1994 I was my third complete year of Qigong practice. In most ways it has been a year of see-sawing highs and lows, and of radical changes in my life. Some of these highs have included five exhibitions of my work as well as the publication of my book, after much delay. On a lighter note, I also played my drum with a group of drummers at Wembley Arena in front of three thousand people!

All these positive things have run concurrently with several very low spots. My best friend died in June, with no family, so I took on the roll of ‘bearer of bad news, as well as organiser of a memorial service. I was filled with grief and sadness not only for my friend, but also for my grandmother’s death long ago and the death of another friend two year ago. I realised I had not grieved for them properly. I thought I was at my lowest, but on the day of the memorial service, my partner announced, after an eleven year relationship, that he no longer wanted to live with me and would be leaving as soon as we could sort things out.

My energy was very low and my practice of Qigong ceased for a while. (Simon had told us not to practise if we were very sad, or overjoyed) gradually I began to pick up my practice again, but for a long time it was sporadic. This was partly due to the demand for my work, which meant that I was working seven days a week all hours of the day.

At the end of the previous year, when my health had improved considerably I made the mistake of thinking that I could gradually start eating foods that I had previously avoided, because they had an adverse affect on my health. At first nothing happened but gradually I found that I was eating more and more of them, especially during my low periods. I put on weight and lost my sense of health and balance.

Qigong – The Positive Effects

My practice has had a very powerful and empowering effect on my creativity. My work as a potter has really improved and been bought and appreciated by people. I am more conscious of the energy (or lack of it!) in the forms and the decoration of the pots…I use the power of my mind to help ‘pull-up’ shapes on the potters wheel, with positive results – the pots are taller!

This increase in creativity has developed my ability to play and sustain complex rhythms on my drum. This is an entirely improvised practice with no written music as such and involves with no written music as such and involves working with the energy of the rhythm as it grows and changes, as well as listening and responding to the others in the group. Another area that has benefited from an increase in my creativity is the writing of student’s assessment reports, when I am able to sum up their achievements clearly and concisely. The overall effect of this creativity on my work is one of deep enjoyment and commitment.

Intuition, insight and telepathy

During this year I have noticed a tremendous increase in my sense of being ‘in the flow of things’. At times I have tangible awareness of other people’s energy, both good and bad. I sense this, sometimes through touch, and know where problems lie in their bodies. Occasionally words ‘pop out’ of my mouth and I say something to them. I don’t know where these words come from – they are nothing I have thought of before hand.

I have understood that for any one to heal anyone else, whether by using energy, or such practices as herbals, osteopathy, or indeed, allopathic medicine, their intention to heal, coupled with their technical knowledge, is far more potent than just the application of knowledge. Thought is energy. Some people do it intuitively; some have to learn this skill. I am just a beginner in this field, but I hope to progress.

Sometimes, and this has been confirmed on several occasions, I know what people are going to say before they say it, or I will know who is calling before I answer the phone. At other times I know what kind of past lives people have had at the same moment I am speaking to them.

What is interesting for me about these experiences, which after all are not very extraordinary, is the kind of quality of mind that I am in, when they happen. One thing is certain, if I try to do it, it doesn’t work. It happens when I am least expecting it, especially when I feel some connection to the other person – the force or energy of this connection seems to be love.

My sense of ‘being in the flow’ manifests as awareness that my senses are slightly heightened and I become more focused. During these moments people seem to come to me with messages to guide me in my life and work. Sometimes they also recognise and acknowledge this consciousness. I am toughed by their gifts and hope that I am able to give in the same way I so obviously receive. Many times these people are strangers or appear ordinary and yet….

One such ‘guide’ came to me on a mundane matter. Gradually, the conversation changed and I realised he was giving me a message about living in harmony. (It turned out that he had been practising kick boxing for more than fifteen years and tries to live his philosophy.) This message touched me deeply and enabled me to make a connection to some information that Simon had given me during a consultation. Now, at the end of the year, with this idea of ‘harmony’ in mind, one of the things I am doing is to start eating healthily once more.

It has been a year full of emotions: fear, grief, anger, sadness, joy and happiness. But right at the end I was faced with another emotion – lust! It was an extremely powerful response, one which ‘knocked me off my feet’ and consumed my waking thoughts to such an extent that for several days my practice was almost impossible! Luckily, a girlfriend called at just the right moment and helped me realise the potential drawbacks of the situation – her insight helped me to ground my self properly through my practise and I very quickly regained my harmony and balance. I am now trying to get to know this person as a friend – who knows whether the lust can be turned to love! (In the past I would have been in danger of jumping in with both feet!)

Conclusion

Without my practice of Qigong I doubt very much that I would have survived this year so well, and with such a degree of equanimity and poise. Through this years practice of Qigong I have been more able to appreciate the profundity of Simon’s teaching and can sense when he is in the flow – ‘walking his walk and talking his talk’. This has enabled me to make many connections between what he is talking about, and directly relating it to my own experiences. In other words, I find that I am coming to know about Qigong much more directly and securely through my own experience; rather than just being a receiver of wisdom I am gaining wisdom for myself.

For these insights, I thank you, Sifu