Tantric Qigong, Mindfulness, and Flow

Mindfulness, which is often thought of as a Buddhist concept, is really about being Present. Presencing is one form of self-inquiry (which can be done as a meditation or as coaching) as is Tantric Qigong. These art forms are about getting out of your head, your mental analysis, comparison and judgment, and becoming present to what really IS.

It sounds simple, and it is. However, this is not very easy for most people. We are constantly and anxiously analyzing, comparing / contrasting, projecting our assumptions, and judging the world around and within ourselves. Our perceptions are based on our past experiences and our experiences are shaped by our perceptions. This is why I often maintain that we are continually “lying” to ourselves and others. Our internal stories about the world and ourselves are supreme acts of creation in that each person’s world becomes based more and more on this mental / perceptual editing. How can we know what is real? How can we ascertain what is truly necessary and important in our lives? What will really sustain our Self, our heart and soul? Thinking and analyzing isn’t gong to cut it. It hasn’t worked too well so far has it? Perhaps no-thinking may be more useful.

All of the multitudinous forms of meditation have elements of stilling the mind and its critical or judgmental aspects, these demons of discernment gone horribly wrong. But have you ever tried stilling your mind? Herding kittens is much easier. Practices such as Vipassana, Zen, T’ai Chi, Yoga, and Tantric Qigong all have techniques to bring one out of the maze of one’s thoughts and unbridled emotions as one of their goals. The only difference in these arts is in their approach.

One approach to mindfulness and being present is to focus on the details of our experience. Walking down the street, noticing every minute part of what is around us. People, the sun, clouds, every caress of the air upon your cheek, the feeling of your clothes touching your body. Internally, we can notice body sensations, the character of your emotional flow, the many mental distractions. Notice them and let them go.

Try this exercise: Stop and see, touch, and smell the flowers.
A particular flower, perhaps a lily. Notice its overall form and all of its minutia. tigerlily1ininner-tranThe sturdiness of the stalk. How does it feel to lightly stroke its petals? Kiss a leaf. Notice its texture. Does it kiss back? The color. How the hues blend on its petals and leaves. The subtle patterns within. The heady incense of its scent. Pistils droozed, laden with pollen. Can you almost see and hear the grains floating down? Take plenty of time. The closer you come into unity with this flower, the more you will become Present and unify your consciousness.

yinyang11inThe river of Tao encompasses all of creation, including every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. All creativity comes from being “in the zone”, being in alignment with the Tao, from being in flow. Like water, the flow of Tao is both dynamic (Yang) and still (Yin). When we are truly present to flow, obstacles evaporate, we Do and Be effortlessly, and life is suffused with meaning, abundance, and joy. To be in harmony with the flow of Tao is both power and wisdom, knowing when to do and when to be still, when to utilize Will and when to Surrender in the moment.

Qigong as a Meditation
Using the mind alone to still the mind is fraught with great difficulty. Where you are blind to Self, by definition you cannot see what is needed for equanimity, for inner peace. You remain blind. When you are stressed, distracted, overwrought with emotions you must keep in check, the mind is a team of horses pulling in many directions at once. It is an almost impossible challenge to attempt to use only mental processes to be present and centered, and to still the raging beasts of the mind.

One of the great aspects of T’ai Chi and Tantric Qigong is the facility with which these arts bring you into mindful presence and flow. You really can’t let your mind wander; you’ll forget what you are doing. The practitioner must focus his or her attention on one’s stance, sense of grounding, the coordination of subtle movement with deep diaphragmatic breathing, alignment of the body with gravity, and the flow of life force (Chi, Qi, Ki). The moment your mind wanders you are lost, the efficacy and consciousness of energy flow is diminished. This sort of compels you to come back to mindful presencing. We begin anew, as we must always do each moment, to align and unify mind, body, and spirit, heart and soul, with the eternal power of Now. More information at: www.inner-tranquility.com/tantric-qi-gong-sm © Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Keith Hall has taught Tai Chi, Qigong, Tantra, meditation, and other body / mind modalities for over 30 years & is a senior student of Prof. Yung-ko Chou, with permission to teach. He has studied at East West Schools across the world & with Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, S. Saraswati & others. He practices Bioenergetics, Bagua, Tumo, Vipassana, Zen, Spiritual Bodywork, various Yogas, & other East West disciplines. He has published articles on Tantra & Taoist arts in numerous journals & is the Founder of Jade Garden Tantra, 10 Minutes to a Healthier You! Tantric Qigong, Presencing for Emotional Freedom and Enlightenment, and www.Inner-Tranquility.com