In my last blog, I wrote about how a daily qigong practice can keep us in good health. However, regardless of the body's ability to defend against illness, one is still susceptible. No matter how well we eat, live and practice, the polluted environment we inhabit and the daily stresses of modern life still keep us deeply out of balance. These days even the animals, the plants and the weather are out of balance. Often we are under the illusion that we live in a bubble and that if our little world is put in order then we have everything under control and nothing "bad" can happen to us. But if we investigate further, we see that we are connected in ways that we do not yet recognize.
In a recent conversation with a fellow qigong practitioner, we wondered together:
Does qi accumulate?
The conclusion we came to was that it must, as we both felt that with regular correct practice our health improved. Over the summer, due to a hiatus in my own practice, I came down with a cold. It could be that I just got sick (sometimes unavoidable), but I wondered later if there was a correlation. I immediately, went back to my daily routine and my immune system seems to have improved again. My fellow practitioner and sometimes student said that with her regular practice, ailments that were once there have vanished. And another recent student said that on vacation her travel companion became ill, but she did not. The research is still underway and I am my own guinea pig.
I recently saw a short interview with a qigong master who said that his Western students love to learn new things, but they don't want to practice. It was a revealing statement. Practice is not just repetition of what I know—the same old patterns practiced over and over again. It also isn't just following a prescription by rote. Rather, I see it as a refinement of what one has learned, and a whole hearted investigation. Practice should be fun, interesting and full of life. This is Qi!
has studied qigong and taiji with Sat Chuen Hon, a Taoist and native of China for several years. Mr. Hon has asked her to carry on this Taoist healing tradition to help benefit others. Ms. Fox received her MFA in painting from Yale University in 1997. Her studio practice, writing as well as her study of dance and movement have been woven together over many years into a rich exploration and inner search. She is a published poet and has recently helped prepare and edit Sat Hon's writings on Qigong and Taoist stories for publication.