I was re-reading the manual for Level I Yi Ren Qigong the other day and found a passage about how practicing qigong can help us change harmful habits and negative patterns of thought:
“It’s easy for the mind to lie and have illusions, but when the body begins to be aware, it can actually correct the mind’s misconceptions. This is one of the key points of Yi Ren Qigong practice. When a person becomes more energized and as the awareness of the body increases, the body will start revealing that person’s mental habits.”
This wasn’t anything new. I’d heard Dr. Sun—Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, the man who developed Yi Ren Qigong—say similar things at many a qigong seminar.
I’d think, “Sounds great—but I don’t see any of my negative patterns disappearing; I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Now, however, perhaps I do—or at least I may have an inkling as to how it might work.
I’ve danced with depression my entire adult life—probably my kid life, too, only I didn’t have that word back then. After I started practicing qigong, my periods of depression didn’t seem to last as long, but I still went there—and recently I definitely did.
Depression has always felt like something beyond my control. When I’m in it, I’m in it—although thankfully I never get so far “in it” that I can’t function; I just experience a lot of self-hatred, anguish and despair. When I come out of it, I realize that I have come out of an altered state, but I have no idea how I got into that altered state or why I now feel better.
However, about two weeks ago, during a period when I was in and out of despair, I was able to see how one patch of dark thinking had quite likely caused another—had, indeed, caused me to spiral further downward. I could also see how I might have made things different. Continue reading