Dear Integral Meditators,
How can mindfulness improve your energy levels and energy efficiency? The article below looks at this question in general, but also specifically from a qi gong perspective.
Two classes related to this topic, firstly the Qi gong workout and meditation class this Saturday morning. Secondly this week sees the beginning of a new series: Five stages of integral meditation practice, from beginners to advanced. A five module course the first class of which will be in how to create an integrated, energetically strong body-mind.
In the spirit of energy,
Learning to conserve, build and circulate your energy (not waste it though dissipation and distraction)
One of the basic principles of Qi gong is that, through our awareness of energy we are trying to learn not to needlessly dissipate or “throw off” our mental, emotional and physical qi. Instead we learn to keep it within our energy field and circulate it within our mind-body continuum. Here are some practical ways in which we waste our qi and life force habitually:
- Continuous physical fidgeting and habitual muscle tension (often due to lack of awareness of how our busy mind is causing our body to feel uneasy all the time)
- Discomfort with feeling deep emotion (positive or negative), due to a habitual aversion to the vulnerability that deep emotion makes us feel. In general, deep emotion carries with it large amounts of qi that we can learn to circulate in our energy system. Repressing emotion, or becoming addicted to it/acting compulsively on it, causes us to lose our ability to use its qi in an effective way
- Doing our physical actions, using much more muscle power than is necessary. For example typing at a computer with our facial muscles locked in an unconscious frown.
- Compulsive and excessive (mindless or meaningless) speech
- Compulsive and excessive thinking or worrying
In all the above ways and many more, we dissipate our qi on a daily basis. So, one of the best ways to start practising Qi gong is simply to make it a daily habit and discipline to be aware of how you are using your qi on a moment to moment basis. Ask yourself questions like:
- “In the last hour, how effectively have I been using my life-force?”
- “How much physical energy do I really need to walk from one place to another, how can I make my walking more energetically efficient?”
- “Is the amount of thought that I am giving this problem really ergonomically effective?” (ie: the amount of good results relative to energy spent on the issue)
Here is a simple, 6 minute exercise that you can do to help develop awareness of your qi, and start to build it in your mind and body, rather than dissipate it needlessly. If you do this and nothing else as a Qi gong practice it will help you raise your energy levels:
For first two minutes:
Sit in a comfortable position. Visualize an energy field around your body, the shape of an egg, extending roughly 10-20cms from the surface of your body. Simply sit still, and focus on the physical stillness of your body. Notice the temptations to fidget and don’t follow them. Try to keep all of your energy in the present moment, and within the boundaries of your energy field. Use your breathing, your still body, and the edge of your energy field as your basic points of focus
For minutes 3-4:
Use the core body breathing technique to breathe energy into the core of your body and out to the edge of your energy field. As the qi moves in and out of the core of your body, retain it in your energy field so that you can feel it building and increasing.
For minutes 5-6:
Relax and breathe naturally, your body and energy field will now feel energized. Practice keeping mentally and physically still, whilst at the same time feeling full of energy and life-force.
This final state is the one that we are aiming to make the base line of our daily life and awareness as Qi gong practitioners particularly, but also as any type of meditation and mindfulness practitioner really: Simultaneously relaxed and energized.
© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby
Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)
Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street
September: Saturday 29th , October: Sat 6th/20th , Fri 5th/26th– Qi Gong workout and meditation class
Begins September 26th/27th – Five stages of integral meditation practice, from beginners to advanced. A five module course
Saturday 29th September, 2-5pm – OneHeart Open Day ‘Activating your journey of healing and empowerment’.
Saturday 6th October 1-4pm – Mindful Resilience: Sustaining your effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure
Saturday 20th October 10.30am-5.30pm – Integral Meditation for Intermediate and Advanced Meditators
Saturday 27th October, 9:30am – 12:30pm – Meditations for creating a mind of ease, relaxed concentration and positive intention
Saturday 27th October, 4-5.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever
Tues & Wednesday 30 & 31 October, 7.30-8.30pm – Samhain Meditation – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors
Integral Meditation Asia