Over the last two years I have been seriously studying and practising T’ai Chi Qigong. to begin with I enjoyed learning the forms and working towards attain my black sash in 2019.This entails learning the intricate movements of many T’ai Chi forms by heart. My teachers practise T’ai chi in the Qigong style. It is slow and involves doing each movement in association with the breath.
As you may have noticed, my most favoured meditation technique is following the breath to the point of pure awareness within. So, practising Qigong exercises in conjunction with the breath has opened up my understanding of experiencing awareness. Whereas previously, my meditation was centred in the head, I am finding that awareness is a total mind and body experience.
This entire body is intelligent, all knowing, communicating with the external and internal environment, and communicating with that part of me that makes decisions. plans etc. This body informs me of it’s needs, reacts when it senses danger and so many more functions that I am often unaware of. All this is made possible by qi – life energy, drawn from the earth, our solar system and our own innate energy system.
Life energy is very complex as Casey Adams explains so eruditely in his book “Conscious Anatomy”. He describes how the difference parts of the body use and produce different type of energy to function. All this knowledge has been gained through medical research in the last 40 years.
The Chinese philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine explains the energies of the body in different concepts through centuries of careful observation and personal experience. Both Eastern and Western approaches to explaining consciousness are no longer too far apart.
So to get back to meditation, the breath is the link between the mind and the body. It is the link between awareness of being, to experiencing one’s presence totally without thought.
Here is a brief exercise for you to try out
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Let the knee joints be soft but not flexed. Hands at the sides and shoulders relaxed. Let the chest and abdomen relax. Eyes in soft focus.
- Take some deep breaths, be aware of each in and out breath. Let all other thoughts go and just be, noticing the rhythm of the breathing until you feel quiet and relaxed
- Next, let go of all focus and simply BE in your body. Be totally present from your feet to the top of your head.
- You are experiencing being alive, and this is just awesome and amazing. We undervalue this so much in our everyday lives, as we are so busy living in our heads.
As always, enjoy meditating!!