In qigong and meditation practice, thoughts, feelings and physical sensations will come into our awareness. It is sometimes described as holding up a mirror and seeing ourselves more clearly.
Often simply becoming aware of something will allow it to change. What comes up can pass easily, like clouds on a windy day. But some things seem to stick around, and may appear to get in the way of our progress.
People are drawn to qigong practice because they want to clear old thought patterns, stuck emotions and physical tensions. When someone is new to the practice, the changes that happen may be obvious, like a sudden jump from one state to another. There can be moments of profound understanding and sometimes blissful feelings. Later it can be difficult to remember what has already changed, and deeper patterns might start to emerge that don’t clear as quickly. So what do we do when this happens?
First, we aren’t trying to get rid of any thoughts and feelings. It’s more about relating to them differently. By coming to a place of stability and stillness in every practice, and developing a felt sense of the physical body, thoughts and feelings automatically become less consuming. Over time the sense of stability grows. We start to see things more clearly and some things naturally stop bothering us as much. But some ‘stuff’ may keep coming back. And that’s ok, and not a sign you are doing anything wrong.
Relax, don't worry, enjoy!
As Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit would often say, it is important not to worry, to relax, and enjoy the practice. These are principles that are built in from your very first lesson. Sometimes it is easy to be relaxed and to enjoy what you are doing. Sometimes less so. Ideas can start to come in that we are getting it wrong, or maybe there is something wrong with the practice itself. There has to be an element of trust: if you do the practice and follow the instructions without adding anything extra, then things will change. Whatever is coming up will clear in time, like changes in the weather.
It may help to remember that the practice is time-tested, and people have been using the same principles for hundreds of years in the Shaolin and Zen traditions. And as things do shift and change, trust will start to develop in your own capability and in the practice itself.
Having a teacher and a community of other students is so valuable, because when you reach a difficult point in your training (which you will), then you get the support you need to go beyond it. If you only practice on your own, it is much, much harder to overcome the challenges that arise, and so you may stop making progress or give up altogether.
Why do we keep practicing?
The question might then come up, why would anyone choose to step out on this journey when it can be so challenging?
The answer is that it does make life more enjoyable. You feel better, more free, with more energy. You find yourself able to do things and deal with things that you couldn’t before. Maybe opportunities open up that previously you wouldn’t have seen.
Carl Jung said "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate". So we keep doing the practice and keep unfolding.
Practicing qigong for just 10 minutes a day can be a journey of transformation. We can use tried and tested principles to allow positive, useful change.
In qigong and meditation practice, with the right guidance you can easily reach deeply relaxed states of mind that can feel quite profound or blissful. But aiming for these states, and wanting to stay in them, can be a trap that slows down your progress.
Regulating Mind States
In classes with Fully Alive, you learn skills that allow you to be deeply relaxed and expanded. You also learn how to safely come back to a more everyday state of mind. You will practice regulating between a more expanded state and a more ordinary state of mind.
In an expanded state you might be more open to inspiration. Or you might have a direct realization of the interconnectedness of everything and a sense of the bigger picture. But there is no need to go to this place every time you practice.
Getting the right balance
As well as the two extremes of expanded and ordinary consciousness, it is really useful to be able to consciously find a balance somewhere in between.
Being able to adjust mind, body and energy to stay relaxed and open as well as present and focused, moment by moment, makes everyday tasks much easier. And everyday life can become more enjoyable.
For example, being able to maintain a relaxed focus for work or hobbies makes you more productive without feeling drained of energy. In relationships, being able to relax without disconnecting or disappearing makes it easier to resolve difficulties and makes good times more satisfying.
Opening up to new possibilities
Opening up the mind, body and heart creates opportunities for change and new possibilities. Practicing relaxed, open presence in classes can transform our relationship to ourselves and our lives.
But this is not always a completely smooth journey. As you become more aware, you may have to deal with issues that are challenging or difficult.
In classes with Fully Alive you will make progress safely and progressively. With a clear understanding of skills and principles, and guided practices that build gradually on what you learn, you become equipped to deal with what comes up. And there is a supportive space within the classes for this process of transformation to take place.
A student who recently completed Level Two – Developing Skills for Conscious Energy Flow made this comment:
“My whole being feels different. I feel more at peace and, after a long time of not feeling very happy, I feel, in a gentle way, happy. I suppose one could say finding some sort of contentment.”
Another student commented:
“I always need a way of returning to 'Being mode', to return to a real sense of myself, and to the bigger picture beyond. I have found a real home here in these classes where that is understood.”
Take a journey of transformation
If you are interested in starting out on a journey of transformation, why not try one of our weekly classes? You will learn at your own pace, and according to what you want to get out of the class, whether that is change on a physical, emotional, mental or energetic level.
If you are interested in learning the skill of generating an energy flow, which is the foundation skill of all qigong classes with Fully Alive, you might be interested in our pre-recorded Level One course to take in your own time and at your own pace, with support by email from Tim as and when you need it.