Qigong, the I Ching, wu wei and Taoism

This morning I read an inspiring article in the magazine of the TCUGB. I wouldn’t normally start my day with some serious reading but all I can say is it felt right. And as a result of that I found various things running round in my head. Especially what the author said about the I Ching. She has done a thesis on how the 8 trigrams in I Ching are linked to the 8 powers of Taiji Chuan. As a result I found myself wondering if the I Ching could help me make a decision. And I realised what I needed to do was do my qigong practice in the best way, so my mind would be in the right state for me to throw the dice, and interpret what the hexagram said.

Just like the Tao Te Jing, (TTJ) the I Ching is built on the strange concept of’ wu wei’…..non-doing. The idea is that you allow yourself to become in harmony with the universe. When you do that you allow things to happen rather than actively doing things. It’s a difficult concept to explain, and even harder to achieve. It’s called ‘The Tao’ But in the first first of the TTJ it says….The Tao that can be named is not the real Tao’…or words to that effect. So words are not always helpful…but they are all I have so here goes.

I started my qigong practice. I decided I needed to really try a’feel’ the qi or at least to work as if I could feel the qi since this is something that does not come naturally to me. I really focussed on getting my breath and body in harmony, being mindfullly aware of what my body wanted to do and what my mind was doing. I just let it happen. I didn’t tick myself off when I realised my mind had wandered away with thoughts of this blog post. I just lead mt mind back.I didn’t tick myself off when I realised my posture had slipped. I just corrected it.I couldn’t tell you how long my practice took….maybe 30 minutes…..but however long it took it felt right. And I didn’t feel impatient as I sometimes can. Being honest at the start my intention was to use the 6 step…but as I ‘opened the gates’ I realised I would be doing the shibashi.

After the practice I sat down to throw the dice and interpret the heaxgram )(made up of 2 trigams) And I got some very clear and understandable guidance not only about the issue I focussed on but about other issues.

I tell those I teach that the important thing isn’t to come to a weekly class…but to build the concepts into your daily life. The daily practice means that in every day life you automatically respond to signals from your mind or body….and put the principles of qigong and mindfulness into action when you need them.

But it’s called practice because you need to learn how to do it. Does this mine every day my practice will be as good as it was today? No. Today was special. It was a ‘wow’ moment. But I have learned that ‘wow’ moments are built on all the moments in between when you feel frustrated because nothing makes sense, or works they way you think it should. In many ways the days when your practice goes badly are the most instructive ones. And in many ways the important ting is not what you do…but the fact you do anything at all.