February 2, 2013 Sharon McCarthy
I began to meditate in 1970 and joyfully found the spiritual deepening I had been longing for. The practice came easily and opened doors of perception that western culture had yet to accept as relevant or of value. Serendipity brought others of like mind together to share this quest of inner knowing. We learned how to access higher states of consciousness, giving precedence to the formless and timeless Light that is our essence. We learned hatha yoga in addition to other more esoteric forms, though few of us knew how toground all this energy. In truth, we loved the idea of full transcendence. We began to change our brains, behaviors and essential development. We calmed our nervous systems, trained our minds to focus attention and learned how to self regulate internal energy. Meditation developed our inner peace and the grace to support us through changing times in an unsettled world. We also found teachings from indigenous cultures that offered ways to include our bodies on our spiritual journeys. New modalities taught us how to direct consciousness through our body, through energy centers - in fuller awareness. We were reclaiming our bodies as integral to consciousness and relevant to awakening.
The core practices of qigong feel intuitively natural to most meditators I know. The invitation to reunite mind with body is very healing. As we increase our ability to direct the subtle flows of energy throughout our embodied consciousness, we become less emotionally reactive and more present. Like ice melting in a winter stream, we invite chi to move more freely through the different layers of self, affirming and recreating our own aliveness. Meditation trains our minds to focus with full attention, supports us as we intentionally direct the physical and energetic movements of our body and helps us to feel the changes. Developing the Qigong state is the most integrating of all practices I have embraced so far. It offers a greater continuum between the formal practices that I engage in and my daily activities. I take more responsibility for being aware of how I feel, creating a healthy spectrum of internal states throughout my day. This state reminds me to interchange universal energy with my own, feeling the oneness. For me, meditation and qigong are like two hands holding each other or like two lips joining in a smile.
Certified Qigong Therapy Practitioner, Level 2
Wisdom Healing Qigong