Sunrise On The Atlantic

Yesterday we got up early in Florida to see the sun rise out of the ocean and meditate by the sea. I was hoping it would jostle my mind a bit to see the opposite of what I am used to seeing on the west coast. I wasn’t prepared for the delight and surprise I felt when it happened. When the first dome of golden light appeared above the water it made my heart sing. Watching it rise was awe inspiring! After some minutes I thought to take a picture to share the moment with you. Since I was shooting into the sun, when you look at the picture its hard to tell if the sun is rising or setting, but its ascending.

That sunrise was a cosmic event and a spiritual experience for me. The ball of light was a life giving entity rising out of the water. I can see why early peoples worshiped it. Sunrise happens every day and yet today, because my mind was tuned in, a deeper awareness came.

The other amazing thing was that the moon was still bright and up in the morning sky. You can see it in the photo above David and the trees. Its waning a bit and just past full, but to have the sun and moon in sight at the same time made the universe seem like a cozy place. The moment called for the qigong movement, Upholding the Sun and Moon.

In this pose, you stand and stretch your arms above your head with palms facing towards the sky and fingers pointing towards each other. You gaze up into the space between your fingers, and with creative imagination you feel you are holding the sun in your left palm and the moon in your right, absorbing the light. In older times, the sun and moon were considered symbols for the eyes of the universe. Doing this pose is a chance to experience being both the observer and the observed. In special moments you may sense that the universe looks out from behind your eyes.

The next time you see the sun and moon together I hope you think of this pose. And even if they are not in the sky together you can do the pose and imagine. Feel you are rooted in the earth and stretching upwards holding those celestial bodies and observing. Let it point you to a cosmic experience.

Feeling the Blue Planet

I’m taking off in an airplane gazing out the window as we climb, bank, turn. The miracle of human flight. I remember the young man who sat beside me once and said those words. The mountain ranges, lakes, clouds and incredibly beautiful blue that radiates upwards through the scattered clouds. The feeling of love seems to radiate from it. Mists on the lake, clear crisp mountain peaks in the sunlight. I am witnessing this beauty.

Gazing at the blue planet I know I belong. It is here that my existence is centered in this moment in time. Thoughts pass through like clouds. Joy bubbles up from within. The view from above gives perspective. I’m thankful for this moment of awake attention as awareness opens. Its so different from being focused on what I’m reading or writing when the plane becomes a bus.  This is a special moment of unity consciousness. I’ll store it in my heart.

A New Space in Your Inner and Outer Home

Patterns are funny things. They are familiar, and yet they keep us seeing things from the same perspective. Like in the morning, I enjoy going out to my back yard to smell the morning air and do some movement and meditation that helps me feel grateful and alive. But I most often go out the door that leads from my kitchen where there is a covered deck space and some chairs. So, when I’m there I see the yard and surrounding area from that perspective. I like that because it helps me sink into the familiar inner space that helps me feel at home in myself and in my surroundings.

However, this morning I decided to go out the door in my bedroom which also opens to a covered deck, but I rarely spend time there. It’s like its in my yard and I’m familiar with it but I’m not present there, and I don’t really “see” from that place. So, I swept the deck and put a couple chairs and my mini trampoline there. I bounced a while, did some qigong and then sat on a chair to do some meditation.

I was pleasantly amazed to “see” from that place. The groupings of ferns and plants that I always observe on my left are now directly in front of me. They are wet and green because it’s a cozy, rainy fall morning. The rain surrounds me and patters on the roof. Its soaking the entire yard and everything looks more vibrant. My inner eye opens, and I sense the harmony of it all. The way that the heavens nourish the earth, and their energies merge. This new (to me) little microcosm has its own qualities and distinct beauty, and bringing my presence there offers the possibility of co-creating some new experiences. This writing is one of those.

I have a good friend who has a beautiful garden with several different places to sit in it just so she has this same kind of experience. This morning I’m happy to share in that, and I invite you to do the same. Magic is right there to see when you look with fresh eyes.

Indicators and Pictures of Resilience

The news of political and environmental chaos is a daily occurrence. So it was a big relief to have a day that filled me with hope about our resilience in community. Here are some indicators and pictures that I hope convey something of that energy to you.

 

It’s a pleasantly warm, late summer weekend with the feeling of leisure and enjoyment in the air. I went to five significant events: morning qigong practice in a green and lush park; a warmhearted family and friends luncheon for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary; a large gathering of neighborhood organizations with resource tables and group discussions on topics like new economy ideas, permaculture, affordable housing, resources for the homeless and hungry; a small gathering of people in a shared community garden with marimba music and deserts; and an evening of storytelling, that keeps tradition alive, in a home concert environment. I felt proud to witness the love, cooperation, creativity and hard work that was apparent in the day. There is an abundance of resources not only in the fruit of the trees and the gardens, but in the hearts and intentions of the people working together to nourish each other in various ways.

This is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of working together. The stronger the bonds within the community, the more resilience and resource we have in challenging times. Eastern astrology calls this an earth year, and late summer an earth time when the energy of unity through community and strength at home are at a high point in our consciousness. This day is a good example of that energy at work.

Walking Qigong to Increase Balance and Grace

To learn walking qigong, join our class which starts on Monday, July 15, 2019 in Hendricks Park in Eugene, OR, 6:30-7:30 pm. Contact me at 541-345-2220 for more information.

Walking qigong keeps our physical foundation strong and flexible and energizes an activity that we do everyday – walk! This is Ocean walk. You move as if clearing a path through the water. This walking practice strengthens our sense of being centered and grounded in the body. In particular it benefits the organs of the pelvis namely the intestines, bladder and reproductive organs. Use your creative imagination to visualize that as you move through the water you wash away toxins and disease, leaving the inner organs rejuvenated.

This video was taken by Keith Sheldon to use as a practice tool after a walking qigong class. Thank you Keith.

 

Express Your Fire – Enhance Your Relationships

The Fire Dragon form is one of those “shamanic” yogas that can help us become aware of and express our fire qi. With the movements and visualization in this form we gather light around us from the external world and shine it internally to body, mind and spirit.  Through our symbolic dance and gestures, we embody our inner fire qi to express in all three realms.

In the demo video In the first round we are activating and clearing our physical body through tapping. In the second round we are clearing and brightening our bioenergy (qi) field with a brushing movement, and in the third we are activating the light of our consciousness and spirit presence with a smooth and flowing movement.

Below I say more about fire qi and how you can use it to transform your relationships:

The high point of the sun at solstice and the beginning of summer in the solar calendar happen in June. The fire element is in the spotlight and with it the Heart meridian. The “heart of the matter” for fire and Heart is shining the light of awareness and love in the world especially through our relationships. Break through experiences can happen in relationships this month with a little attention, effort and communication.

I can attest to this personally. During my weekend visit with my family in California I noticed my desire to spend more time with them on a regular basis. To be more a part of their lives. Our visits here are often short because of the busyness of our lives. My husband noted that it seemed like I was anxious. I shined the light of awareness inward and asked myself what part of me was in pain about this. The answer came as we were all practicing yoga led by my daughter-in-law. I mention this because the focused body movement was a real part of helping the unconscious memories and emotion come forward. The roots of my present experience began many years ago in the complex web of events that occurred after my divorce from their father.

Discovering the roots of events and traumas that reverberate in our behaviors in present time is a powerful transformational tool when you couple it with awareness and self-love. I was able to communicate this with my family and together we came up with a plan that fits our lives now. Most importantly, they felt loved and our time together was greatly enhanced.

Practice Fire Dragon with the intention of enhancing your relationships and see what happens!

Tapping Through The Meridians

After you have finished Shaking Practice (see video and previous post), follow it with tapping through the meridians. This a quick way to change your mood and your energy. You will release stagnation and feel a sense of relaxation and flow. Tap through this sequence 3-9 times or until you feel better.

The twelve organ meridians are pathways and networks of bioenergy that connect the body from top to bottom, inside to exterior, and body as a whole to the environment around us. They form a continuous loop that goes from chest to arms, arms to head, head to feet and feet to chest. Energy circulates in this loop three times in 24 hours like a circadian rhythm that functions to nourish the physical body, the mind and spirit and our emotions and relational energy.

In the video demonstration, you will see that the tapping follows this loop, starting at the heart center in the center of the chest, along the yin meridians that travel along the inner arm and the yang meridians that travel along the outside of the arm to the head. Then we tap from the top of the head, down the back and outside of legs along the yang meridians and up the yin meridians that travel along the inside of the legs and front of the torso. We end with tapping around the abdomen to reground the energy and replenish our store of vital qi.

This tapping method outlines the basic movements of the Fire Dragon form which we are learning in our current qigong class. If you missed the class, plan to join us for our solstice ocean qigong day on Sunday, June 23. We will tap through the meridians by the ocean (along with other qigong practices).  See class schedule http://moonandlotus.com/center-for-movement-healing/class-schedule/ 

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter on the home page, http://moonandlotus.com/ to receive class and event info regularly.

To Your Health and Flow!

 

Shaking Practice

Many people find shaking practice to be the qigong form they remember and practice most often. Perhaps that’s because it’s easy, free-form and relaxes you quickly. Shaking is an invitation to check in with yourself and let go in the places that need it the most. It’s a chance to wake yourself up in the morning or let go of the day in the evening. It can help quiet your mind, send healing messages to the organs and tissues of the body and create the inner space you need to enter the stillness of being present and aware.

During a qigong class or practice session, shaking is the first form we do as a warm up for the form that follows. However, shaking is a form itself. If you would like to experience it with a group, you can join our upcoming Meridian qigong class which begins Monday, May 6, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, and Summer Solstice ocean practice. See class schedule

You can practice for 5 minutes or up to 45 minutes (and more). You can follow along with the short video above. It is an example of how you can move your body as you focus internally on different areas as described below. Continue reading “Shaking Practice”

Discover Clarity and Purpose

Here is a simple qigong movement that may help you take a break and invoke your creative imagination. Practice it with sincerity and focus. It is from the Jin Jing Gong school of qigong and is called “Raising the Yin and Descending the Yang.” Read more to discover how you can use it to increase clarity and a sense of purpose.

How many times have you asked yourself “what do I want to do?” or some version of it like, what job feels right for me?,  or what’s my next project?, or what can I do to make a difference? Even the question “what do I want do today” helps us key into the part of ourselves that has a short or a long-range idea of what seems important and what we want to accomplish. Without this inner clarity, we can feel at loose ends and even depressed. We may start things but not finish them. Or we can lose the big picture and fret over the small stuff. Conversely, those who are very clear on their path and goals may miss the best of life because they keep themselves tied to their to-do list, or rigidly pursue their own agenda without warmth or partnership.

Either way we are out of balance with ourselves and our creative empowerment. The tendency is to react from conditioned behaviors and expectations rather than respond from an innate sense of purpose and choice. We can recognize these inner messages more easily when we take a break, quiet our thinking minds and call on our deeper intelligence. I love to use meditative movement to do this.

Raising the yin and descending the yang is very appropriate for the season because in the spring nature is clear about its purpose and is fresh with new life. The seeds that were planted last year and have patiently labored underground during the winter are finally able to burst forth with renewed vigor. Ah, the fresh breath of spring. It comes with the warmth of sunlight and the caress of new colors and smells. The chance to begin again brings a sense of hope.

When I practice this qigong movement, I like to imagine the feeling of spring and a plant or tree growing and spreading. Spring has Wood element energy according to classical Taoist thought. It is symbolized by a tree which is well routed in the soil and reaches upwards towards the sky. The tree is strong yet flexible and stays aligned with the earth below and the heavens above.

If you want to strengthen your clarity and sense of purpose, you can emphasize the upward movements of this posture, or “raising the yin,” with the intention of asking for inner guidance.  Yin here refers to the earth or ocean and can also be that which is below the horizon of our awareness. If you want to relax tension and the irritation and even anger that can emerge when things don’t go the way you want, emphasize “descending the yang.” This may also help lower your blood pressure. Yang refers to the light, warmth and wisdom that symbolically illuminates us from above. Do it with the intention of quieting your mind and opening to the situation with new eyes.

Practice this movement several times in succession until you feel an inner change in your mood and/or an energized relaxation in your body. The movements will help to slow and deepen your breath which helps you relax and feel centered. Even a few breaths make a big difference and help you see things from a different perspective.  Enjoy the movements and rest for a moment when you finish and before you begin a new activity to let your body and mind absorb the new energy. Practice daily for best results, and especially when you need it the most. Remember to be patient and give the timing of things and the results of your actions to the universe.

Can’t Sleep? Try Moon Gazing

For the last two nights the moon has been very full, and the sky has been very cloudy. I woke at 3:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I stayed in bed for a while trying to settle my mind and snooze again, but no luck. Thoughts about work and life kept swirling around. Sound familiar?

I saw light shining in the window and remembered about the moon. So, I got out of bed and went to the living room windows looking to see if I could find it. At first there was too much cloud cover to see the moon itself, so I settled myself on the couch waiting and enjoying the change of venue. Soon my patience was rewarded and there she was peeking out as the clouds began to part. At first a feeling of awe struck me as I saw the full moon in all her glory. The clouds thinned leaving a translucent layer that slowly spread and gathered, weaving patterns with the bright moon and the dark sky that looked like they should be captured on an artist’s canvas.  I felt like the stunning display was just for me and that the moon had come in response to my heart’s desire.  Continue reading “Can’t Sleep? Try Moon Gazing”