Routine is quite often our friend when it comes to Qigong and it can be all too easy to fall into regular habits of practice and life, so the opportunity to spend time with Mingtong Gu in Winchester this week was a very welcome interruption to the quiet comfort that the darker time of the year offers.
For those of you who have not heard of Mingtong, he is a Chinese Zhineng Qigong teacher who studied under Pang Ming, the founder of Zhineng Qigong, and has lived in the USA since 2001.
The interruption to my routine offered by this fascinating teacher turned out to be far more powerful than I expected. His experience of life both in the USA and China has shaped the way that he communicates and the perspective he offered was both refreshing and insightful.
Unfortunately, the clarity Mingtong offered through his unique perspective doesn’t translate well in the written word for me. In fact, I’m fairly sure that my best effort to describe the subtle changes in understanding that I absorbed would be more of a brain-fart than a useful piece of writing.
Having said that, it is worth saying that I often find it’s the subtle changes in understanding that are most useful. In my experience, these small shifts only happen when we step out of our comfortable place and allow ourselves to experience something new.
It’s a bit like that small movement that frees the stuck lid of a jam jar; from a small change something fresh and new can emerge. To take the analogy a little further, sometimes it takes someone else to loosen the lid before we can eat the jam.
My personal belief is that anyone who offers us the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone offers us the gift of perspective and we can translate this perspective into understanding. It’s not always easy, it’s not always comfortable, but it always has the potential to create growth. To steal Mingtong’s words: we should enjoy practice, this is not to say it will be easy or comfortable.
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mingtong Gu for the gift he offered to us in Winchester, his insight has enriched my understanding and I hope that everyone else who got to spend time with him also received a similarly precious gift.
All it remains for me to do is to invite you to step out of your normal routine and enjoy.
Hun Yuan Ling Tong!