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.
Dr. Sun has often said that the body never lies, and that when your body wakes up and begins communicating with your intellectual mind, you gain a new awareness of what’s going on within and around you. On Sunday morning, as I replayed an upsetting event from the evening before in my head, I realized that I had an awareness of it in my body. The awareness was too vague to know which organs were involved, but it was definitely down there somewhere, not just in my head. I also felt that I had somehow discovered how to listen to my body—because listening was what it felt like—and that I’d be able to do it again.
I can’t explain the shift any more clearly than this; it was very subtle, but perhaps also profound—and a fitting beginning to a new chapter in my life as a practitioner and teacher of qigong.