Qigong Practice – Focus Through the Lens of Intent
I first became interested in internal energy work because I was feeling energy coursing through my system and I didn’t have a clue as to what was happening. I was later told (by a very interesting woman in Hawaii) that I should be doing some sort of energy practice like Qigong and thus my practice began. I was fortunate in that I had already experienced feeling energy and by learning and refining tried and true techniques I was able to enhance my awareness. A lot of people, unfortunately, do not have the self-awareness to feel Qi and often never do. Below are some thoughts on what to watch out for as you begin or cultivate your current practice.
At first we have to learn the physicality of the art. This requires that we use our “left brains” to learn and catalogue the motions, breathing techniques, structure, alignment etc. This mental part of the learning curve is obviously very important but one has to understand that this is only the foundational groundwork for what is to come. It is the means to the end, you might say it is the root of your practice.
Without intent your Qigong practice will only net you very limited benefits. After you have mastered the physical characteristics of practice, one must learn to compartmentalize and focus on a particular aspect, be it the breath, Yi leading Qi, refining your energy or any other facet. There is just too much going on for one to take it all in at once. I would liken it to being taught science, math, english and history all at the same time. You will not reap the lesson if you don’t focus, and the proper way to focus is through the lens of intent. By focusing on a specific element of practice one can explore all that particular aspect has to offer. All the exploratory avenues can be thought of as branches to the discipline.
At the end of all healthy branches is where you’ll find the fruit. And when you partake of the fruit, invariably you’ll find more seeds.