Focus Your Qi ... Using Qi In Your Daily Life
By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Internal Arts and Basics
No, this article is not about how to be a superman or a superwoman, phrases my teacher Master Tam is fond of using. And this isn't an article about the deeper theories of Qi in Chinese Medicine (which you can read here, if you are interested). No, this is an article about what the concept of Qi means to you in your life and your health.
Qi (pronounced "chee"), simply put, is energy. It is not just the energy that makes you get up and go to work, it is all the energy we use both physically and mentally. Additionally, it is the energy of interactions with others, our connections, and our environment.
While modern medical folks like to speak of body/mind medicine - in reality this concept is still incorrect. They use the term in the realization that our mind has a role in our health - that we are not just purely physical entities. For the most part, everyone already knew this. What they are missing is there is no body/mind - there is energy. At the highest levels of the theory there really isn't even an identity, a self - the "no-self" of Zen Buddhism. What this means is that we are connected in deeper ways than we are usually aware and our physical and mental health are effected by our own mind, the minds of others, and our environment.
What does this mean for me?
In general, it means what you think is important for your health (the body/mind theory), and also for the health of others and your environment. Furthermore it has a bearing on what you will accomplish in your life, how fruitful your interactions will be, in short how joyous your life and the lives of those around you will be.
It is well known that we can influence our health and that of others. Studies of prayer, energy healing, intention, etc. have all shown that we influence ourselves and those around us. Our practice of Tong Ren Therapy further confirms our ability to skillfully use our minds in the process of healing.
So, knowing all of this what does it really mean. The idea of Qi, signifies a certain strength. Health comes from an abundance of qi in the body and this abundance effects our mental abilities to focus and direct our energy. On a simple level it involves being more present in your day to day activities and within your interactions. Qi also signifies a certain level of intent. Having more Qi means more energy for you to carry out activities, for your mind to use, for your body to heal, for you to direct towards others.
How can I build and focus my Qi?
We've all been around people with weak qi, and felt it ourselves at times. They seem to not be there physically and/or mentally and what they are saying or doing doesn't carry much meaning. Within our lives we must work on building and preserving our Qi. Not wasting energy with idle thoughts, not using more effort than necessary to finish certain tasks (physically and mentally), not overloading our system.
Certainly techniques such as Meditation, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong all help to build and focus your energy - this is well understood. In addition to that, however, they teach you (perhaps force you would be a better word) to be more present to what you are thinking, what you are doing, and what you are saying. This presence allows you to not waste your energy, to focus your intent on what you are doing and saying so the task is completed efficiently and people understand you. In short, these techniques become a way of life and a new way of interacting.
How does stronger Qi effect me?
For one, you will feel better and your mind will function well. Also, you will not be as influenced by others, what they say or what they do, by the environment, and even by illnesses. You will be more of a "rock" so to speak instead of a "sponge". You will also find that your interactions with others will be more fruitful.
There is so much on any given day that we are not present to. Many miss the good things, the sunrise, the wind, a child laughing in the park... all of which serve to fulfill us. Others miss the bad things as well, the things we should be paying attention to. Throwing trash on the ground, running the water while you are brushing your teeth, throwing plastic bottles in the trash instead of recycling, and more. And, the conversations we miss, the people we do not pay attention to, etc. These activites require a presence - with a presence there is less waste and more connection.
There are no guarantees in life with regards to our health, our environment, possibly at this time even our banking system... But, this is all the more reason to build our qi and use it to be strong, focused, and have clear intent in our activities. Qi is a principle, and this principle is true and will lead to a more fruitful and joyous life for all. Be with good Qi...