Year of the Dragon!
We are at Worth Abbey at present and experiencing a very exciting three-week retreat with Zhixing. This venue is wonderful for its position in the rural Sussex countryside, and the Benedictine monks are really welcoming.
Hua Gong has been described by Zhixing as a direct channelling of pre natal energy. This series of retreats is undoubtedly proving as nourishing and empowering as the title suggests. We all received a personal gift of a Calligraphy from Zhixing and had many opportunities to experience the power and beauty of this art form.
The third week ( August the 16-22nd) is the Qi Calligraphy retreat and is a wonderful opportunity to tap into the scholarly and aesthetic aspects of the tradition as well as to receive and experience the powerful Qi effects of Hua Gong Calligraphy. There is a direct channelling of Qi and information and we all respond to it as we are helped connect to the source of all energy.
Below is a Calligraphy image posted by Zhixing to help to attune us to the practice during the month of August. As many of us know it is an effective way of receiving Qi transmission by looking at the Calligraphy image and sensing and responding to the effect.
"It is a classical practice in Chinese calligraphy to write this character (pronounced Yong, meaning everlasting) again and again as a way of practicing the eight basic strokes in calligraphy writing. A Chinese character, when well written with Qi, is like a sitting meditator who has entered a state of emptiness. A good meditator can embody the qualities of a well written calligraphy so his presence is like a good calligraphy--stable while lively, with his Qi active while contained in the body."
Important Dates for your Diary Sword Practice
Zhixing will do a formal Sword practice during the August retreats at Worth Abbey. All are welcome whether attending the retreats or not. The dates and times are: August 14th and 21st 5pm till late. We look forward to seeing you there!
The London Hua Gong Weekends 2012
Theme: Internal Alchemy and External Expression
The London Hua Gong monthly weekends will continue to transmit the cosmic Qi-the life nourishing energy described in the classical literature as "Mother Nature's Milk", and to "live broadcast" spiritual information.
This is like receiving direct instructions from the Dao of Nature, and we continue to get closer to the standards required by the practice and continue to refine our skills as practitioners.
August 2-15 Comprehensive Hua Gong Worth Abbey
(Week 1 to be attended before Week 2
(This retreat is divided into 2 separate weeks of 6 days
August 2-8, 9-15)
August 16-22 Qi Calligraphy Worth abbey Sussex
September 16-25 Cloudy Dragon Henley-on Thames
October 27-Nov 2 Turtle & Snake Henley-on-Thames
Hua Gong Story
Jonathan describes how the experience of activating his Qi helped him when he had the diagnosis of ME.
"I had been feeling ill for four years when, in 1996, I was finally given a diagnosis of ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). This is a chronic condition with a long list of symptoms … so many symptoms, in fact, that you feel people will think you're a hypochondriac if you list even a fraction of them!.
The condition varies considerably across individuals in terms of severity, range and duration of symptoms, some people being bed-bound for years while others are what
one ME sufferer I know calls 'walking wounded'.
Conventional wisdom in treating this condition often prescribes the following trio: anti-depressants in small doses to modulate pain and improve sleep, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to promote both management and acceptance of a highly restricted life-style, and a finely graded exercise programme aiming slowly to rebuild one's physical strength. None of this appealed to me at all.
Enter Qi Gong! In 1997, I simultaneously happened upon this life-changing practice from two different perspectives. I became a student of Taiji Qigong . As I understand it, this might be termed 'post-natal' Qi Gong; that is, you learn a set of specific movements, gradually improving your technique with practice. I also started attending occasional weekend courses and residential retreats conducted by Zhixing Wang in the south of England. Zhixing has developed his own style of Qi Gong, which must be about as far from the martial arts end of the spectrum as it is possible to be. It is 'pre-natal' and focuses on health by connecting to the original state, or Qi state, through, among other things, body movements that are relatively free form, meditation, visualization, breathing techniques, sounds and mantras. I find the practice of these two approaches to be complementary and, in my experience, I have found them to be quite literally life transforming.
And it's not just my working life that has virtually returned to normal. With the onset of ME, my social life had all but come to a grinding halt. Having friends to stay for
the weekend would inevitably lead to a relapse on the Monday morning (if not, before my friends had even left!). Evenings out had to be planned in advance so that the
following day could be devoted to nothing but rest and recuperation.
What's more,with so little physical energy, hobbies like hiking and gardening had become thing of the past. In fact, the perceived danger of overexertion, and a hazard well documented in the ME literature, had initially made me nervous about taking up Qi Gong. I remember wondering, "since physical exercise triggers relapses, why should Qi Gong be any different?"
Well, it is different, radically different! Instead of draining a person with ME as would, say, jogging or even swimming, Qi Gong, reactivates stagnant qi along the meridians. At first, I was a little hesitant at trusting this process, and I remember doing a physically demanding ('pre-natal') Qi Gong movement and starting to sweat. Amazingly, I realized that this was the first time I had sweated through physical movement for years. It felt terrific, but I wondered about a relapse. None came! I was back on the road again.
There's a difference, though. When I can safely say that my predisposition to blocked qi is a thing of the past, I'll still be practising Qi Gong."
Have a great month of August and enjoy your practice
From all of us at Chinese Heritage.