Monday, April 7, 2014


Yesterday while practicing Qi Gong in the park with Master Li and others, I was amazed at the relative ease of remaining focused within the movements while standing on my feet for an hour.  I know this is the result of several things.  First we were in the presence of a Master.  Second, there were nine other practitioners besides myself, several of whom have practiced for many years.  The movements themselves are not only familiar to me, but are graceful and gentle.  Qi Gong movements are organized to stimulate our energy systems which has an innate pull to unite our body and mind.

Still we are consistently urged to bring our attention to the physical actions we are performing, else this only becomes a physical exercise.  The use of the mind must be active for the exercises to be effective.  I did find my mind wandering at times, but then I bring my attention back to my hands moving through space or back to my dan tian or energy centers.  And of course the energy of the group supports any of us who has wandered and invites us back to the present moment.

Our practice together lasts at least an hour and frequently goes beyond.  During our teacher training sessions we would go for two plus hours.  Always I walk away refreshed and nourished.  So why does 90 minutes with a guitar and standing on my feet become such a challenge?

The movements in the act of playing are precise and the range of motion with the arms is limited.  Energy blockages form.  While there are repetitive motions, the changes in notes and rhythms place a demand on the brain to recall and execute complicated coordinated movements.  I react to miscues and mistakes, fortunately not to the degree I did at one time, but the mind does get derailed.  Plus there is nothing innate about assuming an asymmetric position to play a guitar nor most instruments.  Finally I am alone so the energy must be generated and maintained from within.

But the good news, though I practice alone in preparation,  I will be joining the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists for these performances.  The energy of the group will be alive, nourishing and supportive.  And we will be in the presence of a Master. 

For more on the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarist Performances.

Photo by Artondra Hall.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this post. The effects of group and master are made quite evident. I wrote about this in my last blog, but you have given it the breath of real life. Thank you.