Monthly Archives: April 2010

Cultivating Joy

As a qigong practitioner, I have learned to cultivate energy in many ways using various traditional practices passed down through generations of teachers. I am honored to know these forms and find them to be so powerful, each in their own way. Some days I enjoy balancing yin and yang as I breathe through the Microcosmic Orbit, other days I love smiling to my organs through The Healing Smile, and other days I feel deeply connected to the vastness of the ocean with Ocean Breathing. Yet, on occasion, I find that I simply want to sit quietly and do nothing, just sit in the spaciousness. And then there are times when I want to sing.

I have come to realize that it isn’t so much about which practice we choose to do, it is more about the feeling and the energy we cultivate while doing it. This feeling of joy, of the heart bursting open as we go inside to rest in that place which is peaceful and fulfilled, is really what all practices are pointing to.

I have, at times, felt guilt when I would rather sing than cultivate energy through a traditional qigong form. I have been trained as a qigong practitioner to practice a certain amount of time daily in order to keep my energy strong and healthy. Yet, isn’t this what I am doing while singing? I feel the cultivation of energy just as strong when I do things that I truly enjoy doing. It seems obvious that if we are doing a practice and feel like it is a chore, we aren’t cultivating a healing energy. We are cultivating resistance, anger and impatience. Yet, if we open the definition of qigong, which simply means energy and effort, work, or cultivation, qigong can take on any form. It is our heart’s desire.

What do you enjoy doing? Gardening? Playing an instrument, cooking or writing? Any of these activities can be used as a path of cultivation, as long as we are present, focused on the task and enjoying it. Gardening Qigong may entail connecting to the earth, the soil, the seeds and plants. Music Qigong may entail really tuning oneself to the sound, the breath and the silence between the notes.

So, as I sing my heart out with Singing Qigong, I invite you to also express your favorite activity as a qigong practice; Cultivating Joy. As we allow our hearts to sing, through whatever form we express, we allow this energy to fill us and overflow.

Photo By Moon Mullen

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