Entering Autumn


The 2016 Fall Equinox is September 22.  On the Equinox, day and night will be of equal lengths.  There is a place on the Tai Chi where rising Yin and descending Yang are of equal fullness.  The transition of energy will now move toward the Yin, as we move toward winter in the Northern hemisphere.

It is said that during the two weeks surrounding the Equinox,  the veil between the two worlds is thinner.  It is considered an auspicious time for practicing awareness exercises like Tai Chi Chu’an and Qigong.  What are the “two worlds”, and of what are we trying to become aware?

One concept of two worlds is duality and reality.  Duality is the “dueling” of opposites which happens as  we classify and define things as particle or wave (physics), point or plane (geometry), good or bad (sensations), right or wrong (beliefs).  Reality transcends all that.  It just is.

Our perception of reality is filtered through the veil of duality.  Modern quantum physics states that the observer affects the observed.  Therefore, how we perceive and filter what we observe can define our reality.  Can we be both the observer and the observed?  Can we just “be” for a few moments, and free ourselves of the dueling?  Can we become aware of the duality we have formed for ourselves, and step through it, stepping like a stalking cat with unwavering attention?  Can we slip through the veil, and then, step back again?

As we enter the season of Autumn, we complete the Harvest of Summer’s labors.  How was the Harvest for you this year?  We can assess our successes and our failures, storing the good and releasing the bad.  Feed the rotten apples to the hogs.  Keep the good ones to nourish yourself, your family and community.  Autumn is associated with reward and integrity, but also with loss and grief.  At Northern latitudes, the trees will be losing their leaves gracefully and gloriously, with no grief.  Autumn is the time for letting go.  Let go of passing concerns and considerations, step through the veil of duality, and experience the reality of the ever-changing universe.


A Journey of Healing

During five weeks camping in six states, teaching Tai Chi and Qigong at four different locations, and meeting over 100 wonderful souls on the journey, I met no one who was completely without some kind of pain or sorrow.  And yet, this was a happy journey, and the souls I met were vital, engaged, and enjoying their practice.  Their challenges were revealed in gentle ways.

While assisting my teacher, Roger Jahnke, at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck,  New York, particomega-group-smallipants shared some of their challenges as we guided them into the gentle movements.  “Two left feet,” no previous experience, zero body awareness, balance issues, neurological disorders, past broken bones, medications, surgeries, arthritis, immune disorders, physical and emotional wounds did not stop these souls from progressing on their journey, and graduating the 25-hour Tai Chi Easy Practice Leader Training.

While leading Five Element Qigong workshops in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, shared slices of life included horrendous accidents and  hospitalizations, end-of-life issues with family, financial hardships induced by medical costs, and yet here too, the souls were smiling, laughing, planning picnics, trips to the lakes, and finding serenity in their practice.

Finally, three days before my first presentation at the National Qigong Association Conference in New Jersey, I began to experience strange and painful symptoms myself.  Increased Qigong practice, intense self-observation and a serendipitous public service announcement on the radio made me realize I had probably contracted Lyme Disease while reveling in the wilderness preserves and campgrounds of the Northeast.  A trip to the Geisinger Clinic confirmed it.  With early detection, three weeks of antibiotics, and assisting my immune system with consistent Qigong, the microbe will likely be fully eradicated from my system.  I decided to incorporate my Qigong method for dealing with the pain and annoying symptoms into my NQA presentation, and conversations with colleagues at the Conference.  An astonishingly large number of souls also have or had Lyme disease, and some have had it more than once. 20160727_062444 SMALL It was only by revealing my own challenge that others were compelled to share theirs.  Because otherwise, they were busy learning new healing methods, sharing their own Qigong wisdom, and generally having a wonderful time.

“Into each life some rain must fall” say the lyrics of an old Ink Spots song.  Gardeners know rain as a necessary thing.  My fellow travelers on the healing path showed me that even destructive storms can be met with no resistance, but objective observation, wise preparation, gentle persistence and a whole-soul openness to the infinite possibilities of well-being.

Bon voyage!