This post is an adventure in technology. I'm going to find out if I can post something on my blog from my iPad app. I am here at the Institute of Noetic Sciences near Petaluma, CA taking part in 11 days of a 30-day Qigong Healing Intensive with Master Mintong Gu and staff.
I am one of the very few participants not dealing with a physical healing crisis. The stories are touching, heart-wrenching and often inspiring. This place is the realm of miracles. A woman who 'cured' herself of Parkinsons. A woman with a rare medical condition that left her hand numb and like a claw now has full motion. One of our teachers was in bed for seven years and now looks vital and alive. The other teacher struggled with debilitating health issues for twenty years and now feels more vibrant and alive than ever. Their passion for this practice is palpable. The sense of hope and alive expectation among the participants touches my heart.
When we did our introductions I shared how much I felt self-conscious about being so healthy. I just had a physical and my markers are basically unchanged from my 20's. Whatever healthy side effects may come from participating in a 'healing intensive,' I'm here to explore these technologies and this relational field to wake up. I'm here to experience what is true and let go what is not.
This is an intense practice.
Qigong is different from Vipassana. Rather than allowing and investigating the phenomena of the moment, this technique uses a lot of visualization and directive energy. Rather than just 'feeling the space,' we are encouraged to consciously extend our energy and awareness beyond the horizon. We constantly feel both inside the body and at the same time extend awareness out into infinite space.
This 'in the body and in infinite space' awareness training has a powerful way of cultivating a sense of being both grounded and at the same time, quite light and spacious.
When we feel unpleasant sensation, the training has dynamic way of 'opening the frame.' When I feel my aching low back from the perspective of infinite space, it tends to shift with more ease. When I watch my mind judging how experiences are being led or wanting it different without his constant practice I can more easily let go back into the flow of things.
Perhaps the essence of this training is to learn how to shift from thinking into the immediate realm of sensing. Like all healing practices, it's all about entering the here and now through the body. The trick, again, in all healing practices, is to be intimately present in the body and aware of how everything changes, how we hold each moment with either a sense of grasping, aversion or balance.
The sun will be up soon and we'll be opening to the chi fields shortly. Another day of sensing, sounding, opening and, I'm happy to say, really good food.