Just in time for my Qigong teaching Sabbatical (starting the last week in February and going until the end of 2017), here is the new ritual for beginning a class. It is intended as a way to get more focused and prepared in order to receive the most from a Qigong class, practice or workshop.
Starting with a Stronger Focus
It has often been my way to lollygag my way into focus as the class progresses, following the meandering pathways that present themselves in the process of teaching, listening, watching, following and leading. It is an improvisational, Taoistical method. This is a good method for me; yet it sometimes takes a while for the shape of each class to form out of the fog of beginnings and the sloppiness of drawing a group of people into a unified, health empowerment dynamic. Bringing a number of people together—grounded, open, heart-centered—deepens the class experience and improves individual healing results. And it is more fun to learn and practice together this way. So I am looking at ways to more strongly start, to begin with a multi-aspect energetic and intention that defines our macro-soft outlook and stance; and propels us forward more surely and more fully.
Being in the Heart to Heal
I was inspired in part to put this ritual together by the Heart Centered Therapy course I just took in Sacramento with the Chikly Health Institute. This was my fourth HCT course. Each time I am re-enthused about being more from the heart in my healing, teaching, and private life (which are all the same, really). HCT is one of many sources I have gone to for healing philosophy and practice principles over the last 30 years (I began Chiropractic College in Los Angeles in January of 1987). It is a worthwhile forever quest.
A Secular Prayer
You will notice that the Class Starting Ritual (which doesn’t have a snappy name yet) is somewhat like a prayer. However, as in all my Qigong, it is meant to be secular. I want all to be welcome in my Qigong teaching, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof. If you have a particular spiritual tradition, you can—in your private Qigong practice—add that to this beginning prayer.
I hope you find this ritual as inspiring as I do,
Dr. Robert B. Bates, DC
Near Bellingham in Washington State, Earth
The baseline measurement of a good Qigong practice is in improvement of physical health. If you are more healthy with Qigong than you are without it, then it is a beneficial, proven Qigong. Keep doing it to keep being more healthy than not, and maybe lots more healthy for a long time.
And, there are many other aspects of health that Qigong can help with, including psychological, social, spiritual, sense of gratitude and abundance, intelligence, intellect, clear thinking, applied creativity, familial strengthening, connection to nature and its rhythms, vocational clarity and empowerment.
Qigong Starting Ritual
First version: February 4, 2017
Let’s get into our body, breath, and heart.
I let go of the outside world and outside concerns to focus on Qigong.
Breathing deeply I open my abdomen and feel my Dantian.
Breathing fully I feel all the cells of my body become more alive.
Breathing slowly I engage all of my body.
Relaxing down I let go of tension to root into the ground.
Waves of life force rise through me from the Earth.
Standing tall I enter and center in my true spine.
Relaxing upward, light and intelligence from the stars shower downward through my body.
I feel the energy paths throughout my body open and flowing.
I feel the fluids, tissues, and spaces engaged and enlivened.
I connect to my heart and feel compassion and gratitude while being inspired to have a great practice.