Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer Listening

1093344_the_moonThursday evening, Yi Ren Qigong teacher Brendan Thorson said we were right at Summer Solstice and additionally were about to have a full moon—which meant that energies were running high in the world within and around us.

He said he usually felt heightened energy for a week before and after Solstice.

I thought, “Dang! I meant to pay attention to Summer Solstice, but it snuck up on me.”

It seemed too late to assess whether the changing of the seasons was affecting my energy, so I decided to focus on the moon, which was still two days away from total fullness. After all, even we westerners acknowledge that a full moon can have curious effects. A home health aide recently told me that at a nursing home where she’d worked, they always upped patients’ sleep meds when there was going to be a full moon.

So Friday night, I went for a walk at about 10 p.m. It was an almost clear night, and I could see the moon sitting all by itself up in the sky, looking mighty close to round, with its man-in-the-moon facial features quite pronounced. I live in a suburban over-55 community, and there is never much street action at night. So except for a couple of cars driving past, I had the streets and the sky to myself. It was very quiet, and very lovely, and I had a very nice walk—but nothing cosmic happened. Continue reading

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Ceremonies and Shifts

On Saturday, June 15, 2013, I graduated from the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine’s two-year teacher training program and became certified to teach Yi Ren Qigong.

I didn’t expect much from the ceremony. My view of graduation ceremonies has generally been “ceremony, schmeremony, just give me my diploma.” And Saturday’s graduation ceremony was fairly ordinary, if you don’t count the part where those of us who were graduating stood in a circle with our hands extended, palm-up, while IQ&IM leaders and teachers walked in circles around us, beating drums and striking chimes.

But somehow, something about it moved me, and may have changed me.

Maybe it was because I was surrounded by 50-some people who seemed to feel I was worthy of being a teacher, despite all my self-doubt. Maybe it was because my daughter came and brought her husband and my grandsons, even though I kept saying, “It’s OK if you don’t all come; it’s just a graduation.” Maybe there was energy transmission beyond what I perceived when the leaders and teachers were walking their circles around us, led by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, the man who created Yi Ren Qigong.

But I left the ceremony totally stoked about teaching Yi Ren Qigong—and then I went about the rest of my day and the next morning discovered that something had shifted, that maybe I really could unpinch my head a little and begin listening to my body as a whole, not just when doing qigong, but 24/7. Continue reading

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The Memories of Walls

When I was growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., my family often drove out into the countryside on Sunday afternoons. We’d pass abandoned farmhouses, sitting faded and forlorn amidst tall grass.

I lived in a modern, red-brick house on a street lined with modern, red-brick houses, but I loved those old wooden farmhouses, and I could never understand why their owners had gone away and left them to deteriorate in the sun and the wind and the rain. I would fantasize that the farmhouse walls had memory for all they’d seen and heard, and that somehow the lives that had been lived within those walls lived on in that memory. I would imagine people, conversations, dramatic scenes….

I never shared my fantasies with my parents or my sister because I knew they were just that—fantasies, driven by a mix of curiosity and escapism and somehow too personal and too ridiculous to share. I knew that walls don’t have memories any more than they have ears.

Or do they….

Maybe those farmhouse walls really did hold memories—not Hollywood-movie-like memories, perhaps, but energy memories, memories which nowadays might be termed “vibes,” good or bad or even ghostly. Continue reading

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Dethronement of the Brain

human brainAncient Egyptians didn’t think much of the brain. When they were preparing to mummify a body, they’d go in through the nose, scoop the brain out of the skull and presumably discard it. The heart, not the brain, was considered to be the body’s most important organ, the seat of one’s essence, one’s mind and emotions; when the torso was opened for removal of the other organs, the heart was left in place.

Of these other organs, the lungs, stomach, liver and intestines were preserved in special jars to be placed with the body in the tomb, or they were wrapped with linen and returned to the body cavity. The kidneys were thrown out along with the brain; apparently the Egyptians didn’t think people would need their kidneys in the afterlife any more than they’d need their brain.

OK, so they tossed the kidneys. But the brain?

What must it have been like to be an ancient Egyptian? Did they physically feel they had a little voice in their hearts, like I feel like I have a little voice in my head, a little voice that is pretty much me? Did their heads feel like dead zones? I can’t even imagine this. Despite my best efforts at bringing my body more fully into my awareness of me by practicing qigong, I still feel like my consciousness is based in my head. And my words, most certainly, are in my head.

This is interesting stuff to contemplate, and I am contemplating it because I just watched the movie “The Living Matrix,” which I learned about at a Yi Ren Qigong seminar. Continue reading

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