Barbara’s Bio

At the toes of the Buddha in Leshan, China

At the toes of the Buddha in Leshan, China

Thanks for clicking to learn more about me—and, no, I do not have a toe fetish. I just really like this photo, taken near the foot of the Giant Buddha when I visited him in Leshan, China, in October 2012. (His head is some 200 feet higher up.)

I am a former journalist, an analytical, skeptical sort of person. I did taiji for eight years and heard a lot about qi but never felt anything distinct enough from my usual and accustomed body sensations to warrant using the word qi (chi), meaning life energy. I figured I lacked the imagination.

Then one day I felt qi between my hands. Since then I have felt it in many other places and many other ways as I have studied qigong (the “gong” part of “qigong” means “cultivation”). Qi is just very cool, even holy. I am currently studying and practicing a health-oriented form of qigong, Yi Ren Qigong, and am also training to teach it through Seattle’s Institute of Qigong & Integrative Medicine.

I had largely quit writing by the time I began studying taiji, and I had no intention of ever writing about either taiji or qigong. But Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, the man who developed Yi Ren Qigong, wanted teacher trainees to write, and so I did. I wrote “Qi, My Final Frontier: Tales from a Doubter’s Journey,” which can be found by clicking on “A Doubter’s Journey” above the header on this website.

Writing that treatise opened a spigot, and now I can’t seem to keep words from coming out of my fingertips. I went to China in October 2012 and wrote about my trip. (“A Pilgrimage to China” is also on this website.) And now I am writing this blog. Who knows where it will end?