The Year of the Dragon
We have just returned from two exciting and inspirational Qi Sword Retreats at Seale Hayne in Devon. At once empowering, energizing and artistic when our Sword becomes a channel for the Cosmic Qi we wish to do little else but stand more upright, take notice and move with it!
The activated Sword becomes our teacher, as it leads us inexorably to gracefulness, artistic expression and improved health.
Zhixing reminded us in one of his lectures that this practice also amplifies our energy, gives us support and is not a burden. The real skill is to manifest a "protective" energy field around us. Once activated a very comfortable warm and nourishing feeling permeates us, as our body softens to meet the "melting" quality of the Sword.
Our physiology, our nature and our essence all resonate with this mysterious quality and very quickly we find we are in tune with the Qi Sword....
The Dao of Tea drinking
The Sword, The 5 Animals, the Hua Gong Forms and all the Hua Gong movements are a means by which we are brought into alignment with our true nature and inevitabley this results in artistic expression as we become more balanced, healthy and graceful.
There is however yet another traditional resource which we use to help us in our joy of life, and this is the enjoyment of premium Teas.
Zhixing says "Apart from the delight and the long list of benefits for health, drinking tea is also part of the Chinese Spiritual tradition. Some Masters of the Chan (Zen) Buddhist lineage were known for sending people to drink tea rather than answering their profoundly philosophical questions.
The Dao of tea drinking has been a way of spiritual contemplation as well as an expression of art. Teas are to be absorbed, appreciated and contemplated".
Above is a Calligraphy image of Tea.
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.
March 25-30 Hua Gong Forms Henley-on-Thames
April 17-23 Qi Sword Devon
April 24-30 Qi Sword Devon
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 Time
Many of us have observed how well Barbara is progressing in her Hua Gong practice. Below is a description of how her practice influenced her quality of life and her health.
"The first time I did the Sword Retreat, I noticed my Lungs and Large Intestine were greatly stimulated. The Large Intestine was a nuisance, I had to keep going out of class early to go to the toilet. The Lungs ( associated with Vitality in TCM ) gave me much more energy. At home one lady at the dances I go to, said “It’s lovely to see you dancing exactly like you did twenty years ago” (and she doesn’t know I do Hua Gong ……she just observed) I found I could also suddenly do the more demanding “Highland Dancing” e.g. dancing over crossed swords, that I haven’t been able to do for twenty years.
In the middle of the retreat, I saw the fireworks that people talk about. When I have listened to people say they saw fireworks, I wondered how literally they meant it, or if these were people with a vivid imagination. My fireworks were big circles of brightly coloured light, flashing, mostly purple. In a few seconds it was finished. Then I saw a geometric pattern, in a rectangular frame, like a picture frame, another, another, another. In a few seconds it was finished. I presumed these were linked to the positions I was trying to get my body into for the Sword Form, although they didn’t look like those. Each one was a very complex geometric pattern.
In the middle of the retreat, I suddenly had great clarity, clarity about patterns I have followed in the past, clarity about the present moment, clarity about the direction to go in the future. At that point…..LUNGS……LARGE INTESTINE…….CLARITY/PRECISION ( all associated with METAL ENERGY ) I realized ……it’s the SWORD that is doing this. The clarity helped me in Creative Writing classes at home, to put thoughts down on paper, to write a story or poem more easily. The clarity helped me in Hua Gong “Story Time” to know……this story is appropriate……yes……tell it
……that story is not relevant……don’t tell it.
Somebody asked me “Why do you think it happened the first time you did the Sword Retreat? Why not the second,, or third ?” Looking back, I felt dreadful, I felt my body wasn’t capable physically of going into the postures, I felt my brain wasn’t capable of remembering the sequence of movements, I had no previous knowledge or skills to draw on that could help me, I felt so TOTALLY INCAPABLE that I think I inadvertently EMPTIED myself and in that empty state, I was ready to be filled.
Hua Gong , in general , has given me more awareness of my own body, its strengths and weaknesses, how to nourish it, protect it, replenish it. After a lot a “letting go", physically and psychologically I am more receptive to nourishment from ALL the retreats, more able to benefit from hearing other people’s Qi Gong stories, more receptive to nourishment all around us (from spring flowers, from the landscape, from the beating heart of the woods). I am acquiring a new attitude to life, to death. I am discovering who I am. I am deeply contented, optimistic about what the future might hold. I am so changed, I really do not recognize myself.
Thank you Zhixing for introducing us to the astonishingly rich world of Hua Gong".
Barbara May 2012
We thank you Barbara, for your personal story which may be an inspiration for others.
Enjoy the season of early Summer and your Hua Gong practice!
From all of us at Chinese Heritage.