Self-Cultivation – What I Learned in the First Year of My New Life

green yin yang05:08 AM, Sunday:  A new storm system is moving in.  It’s a blustery, rainy morning.  I did a good grocery shop yesterday in preparation for it.

Next weekend will be the final days of my first year of school to get my teaching certification for Qigong.  The next class is “Nourishing Woman and Dai Mai”.  It’s two packed days of Qigong movement and lecture.  I also submit my application for next year.  I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.

The first two years of Qigong practice are referred to as self-cultivation.  What a marvelous concept!  Every college should have that as a required course.

What have I learned this first year, and how has it changed me?  I woke up thinking about that.  Our journey into Qigong has brought my wife, Cee back from the edge of death.  No exaggeration.  Western medicine had run out of options, so we embraced Traditional Chinese Medicine as an alternative.  She is now getting so healthy that we are planning our future instead of living moment by moment in a battle for survival.  We bought a house and have engaged a landscape architect to create our fantasy garden for us.  Every day is bright and beautiful.

I’m learning a different way of seeing the human body, by recognizing its electromagnetic energy field and the role that plays in determining our quality and length of life.  I’m learning about the energy meridians and acupoints where the energy comes close enough to the surface to be influenced by a practiced healer.  Where energy is blocked, disease results, just like a blockage in the heart’s circulatory system can cause a heart attack.

I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for my body, how it feels and how it responds to changes in its energy flow.  We’re still trying to become good friends, my body and me.  It’s quite a process, I’m finding out.

I’ve learned ways to adjust my eating to help my body do its job better.  How’s that for a novel concept?

I’ve learned about yin and yang, and keeping myself in balance, and learned enough to know I have so very much more to learn.

I’ve learned about the movement of life as we pass through the seasons, the constant ebb and flow of life energy, and to appreciate nature in a whole new way.

I’m intrigued by the Tao, with its simplicity and complexity, the ultimate yin and yang philosophy of living an unfettered life.

I’m reading books like the “Neijing Suwen” (“The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine”, the bible of Traditional Chinese Medicine), with its concepts of healthy living, written in the world’s oldest language, Mandarin.  I’m reading it in translation, but I’m also studying Mandarin, not because I have to, but because I’ve always wanted to learn it.

Mandarin Chinese is a fascinating travel into a culture so very different from my own.  A language without an alphabet, written in pictures, unlike the German, Latin, Spanish and Russian I’ve already studied.  No conjugation of verbs.  No odd plurals.  So simple without the burden of heavy grammar rules we use in our language, but so hard to master in terms of pronunciation.  I’ve learning to think in visual concepts when I look at words.  My language skills are moving out of my logical left brain into my creative right brain.

Qigong has strongly affected every aspect of my life.  Now if I could just come up with a good way of explaining what it is to a Western mind!

9 thoughts on “Self-Cultivation – What I Learned in the First Year of My New Life

  1. I love what you said about Mandarin – I teach reading and am fascinated by how difficult and complicated language and reading can be. I wonder whether my pupil that struggles with the sequential aspects of reading English might find Mandarin easier…

    I’ve just begun learning Tai Chi, and meditation, so lots of interesting things going on in your blog for me!

  2. Qi gong is brilliant. Do my exercises every day.
    I just read Cee’s story. What a nightmare for her, and for you. So glad she’s making it now and having some energetic days. All power to Chinese medicine, plus her own determined spirit.

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