1. When did you first discover your love for chi-gong?
I first discovered my love for chi-gong back in 2000. In 1997 and 1998 I successfully organized and promoted the Taste of Health Festival, a large DC area natural living expo featuring national and local wholistic health experts and practitioners. After I spent two years of my life stressed and worn out from promoting other wholistic health practitioners I realized I did not have a wholistic modality I used daily to transform my mind, body and spirit. A few years later I found myself often imbalanced, tired and stressed out. Realizing I needed a personal development system I found chi-gong and from there I found my center of being.
2. Take us through your mental and physical process of chi gong.
Chi means energy and gong means cultivation. Essentially, chi gong is a comprehensive energy cultivation system consisting of slow moving, standing and sitting meditative exercises that refine the mind, breathing and posture for health living, longevity and spiritual empowerment. Breath empowerment and correct body posture combined with a calm mind are the important. The initial goal should be to calm and still the mind through standing or sitting meditation prior to movement exercises. When the practitioner has dissolved much of the monkey mind or mental chatter and they have achieved inward focus on the breath they are prepared to practice the slow moving exercises with mindfulness. We have a saying in chi gong, “wherever the mind goes the chi flows”. This is where the empowerment comes in. The process of bringing one’s mind into harmony with the movements empowers the practitioner to guide the chi throughout the body to enhance the flow of energy through the meridians, acupuncture points and also balance, refine and heal vital organs.
3. Would you say that this practice effects your stance on life in a broader sense, if so, how?
Chi Gong cultivates a greater connection with one’s self and with the universe. You become more mindful of your own energy which empowers you to become more mindful of the energy of other people, animals, trees and nature. Over time the practitioner becomes more calm, mindful, and balanced being. Your awareness of oneness is enhanced. This awareness and more mindful state of being that starts from within can improve interpersonal relationships. Many practitioners experience often greater compassion and sensitivity to their environment.
4. If you could share one thing with someone who is struggling to "surrender" to a practice that brings them joy/inner peace, what would that be?
Everyone should embrace a system of energy cultivation such as chi gong, tai chi, yoga or meditation that helps them navigate the stress, uncertainty and challenges of modern living in today’s world. Those that do not have a mindfulness and cultivation system are literally losing their minds due to the nature of personal life, family life, work/career, relationships, world affairs etc. Those that have such a system are able to “surrender” to their authentic higher self, the aspect of the being that transcends fears and emotional imbalances and embraces one nesswith the universe. “Either your go within or you will go without”.