Until I am the Buddha herself I will occasionally feel anger. And that’s OK.
The practice of opening the heart with Sheng Zhen Gong will overcome that anger every time.
I was at an event where the theme was love, unconditional love. After a day or so there was a question/answer session with the main speaker during which a woman expressed that she didn’t feel loved or loving. I had a hard time imagining how that could be at this point in the event. I was feeling all the love at that moment. Later on in an informal conversation with a small group of participants I noted that when I heard her say this I didn’t know whether to feel sad or angry. Someone replied with some force “Oh! Never angry!” I was a little taken aback. She seemed to be angry at my anger or at least judgmental about my being judgmental. There didn’t seem to be any recognition about the inconsistency of this. I was aware that, at an event about unconditional love, anger was an inappropriate response. I was acknowledging this. I was confused at my own feelings. There was no further discussion and the subject quickly changed.
There is a difference between feeling anger, expressing anger and acting on anger. We need to acknowledge when we feel anger. We should probably even examine from where that anger comes. That is how we change and grow. My short lived feeling of anger at the unloving/unloved woman came from a feeling that she was being manipulative in order to receive more attention. Since I know I can’t be manipulated like that against my will, it makes it easier to let go of the anger. Holding onto anger doesn’t hurt the person we are angry at, it only hurts ourselves. But denying or repressing feelings of anger is not the answer. Forgiveness liberates us.
I did get to know the woman who expressed her feelings about love and I realized she was as conflicted as I was about her statement. She just felt safe to express her feelings and isn’t that what unconditional love is supposed to do – make us feel safe? She was feeling the love but maybe she just didn’t recognize it.
The picture is of a Buddha Guardian head that I took at the Buddhist Temple in Nara Japan in 2010.
A full moon at Waihe’e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge is magical. Maybe it’s because the spirit world becomes seamless with the temporal world. Maybe it is always special because of everything that has happened there. Or maybe it’s just me and the times I’ve been there. The moonlight is bright, so everything seems more alive, more real. Scott Fisher of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is an extraordinary storyteller. On a recent visit there with my family he told “chicken skin” stories about the spirits that are attached to this place. My nephew really felt the stories.
I’ve been to this place a few times, once as a volunteer with Scott when he was doing a walk with ecology students from the University of Hawaii, once for a Kupu dinner and again for this Full Moon Hike.
The early Hawaiians believed that during a full moon the membrane between the spirit world and ours was thinned or more permeable. Movement from world to world was easier, so spirits could pass into our world. Night marchers with lights in the distance were seen more frequently on nights with a full moon. This site has many Heiau, sacred sites or places for worship. The Ali’i or royalty lived here and the people produced food in managed fish ponds and kalo or taro fields. This place was full of life and apparently is still full of spirits.
I have spent a lot of my life protecting places like this on the mainland with nonprofits and local governments. Our hike in Waihe’e refuge reminds me why.
I am grateful for organizations like the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust for protecting lands like this so that we can get out in nature, get close to historic and sacred sites to feel that connection that sustains us. The connections that fill our hearts.
Isn’t this picture calming? I spent 10 days in this room learning more Sheng Zhen Gong from Master Li Junfeng. It was a spectacular experience of qi gathering and movement, but more importantly heart opening. I will write more about this but I may take some time to absorb the experience. For now, I will just say it was great!!
I have this wonderful, wise qigong friend, Francie. She says the greatest things. She wrote a few days ago on Facebook –
“I choose happiness every time. Once upon a time I wouldn’t or couldn’t. How am I able to choose happiness in the midst of all that happens to me and others? For me, a steady Sheng Zhen practice has helped. Meditation has helped. My mind is stiller and can see more clearly the transitory and the permanent, which is change. It’s impossible really to say how this happened, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t have feelings of sadness, anger, fear . . . these feelings just don’t rule me anymore. They are more like companions along for the ride.”
I’m not quite there yet but I’m on my way and frequently those bad feelings are just along for the ride.
She has a way with words.
As I have noted on this blog before, I am a fan of metaphor.
In the Chinese Five Element System fire makes earth. There is nowhere that this is more evident than on the island of Hawai’i (Big Island) in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The power of the fire in the earth is very apparent.
Steam is visible everywhere. At night the glow of fire from the caldera at Kilauea is visible from many points around the crater and frequently lava is visible flowing down the mountain to the sea.
As we drove towards the water in the daylight the stark landscape of lava spread out before us as far as the eye could see. This is where fire creates earth.
Regrowth is visible in the crevices. Tiny plants grab whatever nutrients they can along with the abundant water, and grow.
Some places that were missed by the lava flow are verdant with plants. It rains a lot so the recovery is quick – in geologic time. The earth begins to return to what we might think of as normal. Almost. Steam appears as the rain seeps into the hot ground and the fire in the earth is evident again.
Water can mean going with the flow or being wishy washy if you are looking at it from the Chinese Five Element Theory point of view. I would say that this water is going with the flow and in the past it has probably dragged some of the rocks (representing earth, another element) along with it. I am a water person when you analyze me using the Chinese method. I have always thought of myself that way even before I knew anything about the Chinese Five Elements. The other elements are fire, earth, metal and wood
I’m pretty sure an open heart leads to an open mind. Keeping an open heart is a hard thing to do on an everyday day all day basis. Stuff happens and defensively we close up. I think an open mind leads to an open heart. The more we know and understand the less fear we have and the safer we feel. Then it is easier to open our hearts.
In less than two weeks we, on Maui, have an exceptional opportunity to open our minds. I heard of TED a long time ago and have listened to many 20 minute talks on line and many have inspired me. Last year I worked at the TEDxMaui for half a day, listening to a few of the talks. They were truly amazing! This year I have a ticket.
It works for me! It’s the right energy work for me. It compliments my acupuncture. I feel better when I practice regularly. I love the people I know through qigong. I love Master Li.
I started Sheng Zhen Qigong when my acupuncturist recommended qigong and a local teacher, Kimberly, taught Sheng Zhen Gong. Kimberly was great! The gentle movements of the Sheng Zhen form were pretty and felt pleasing. The other students seemed to be having fun too. The room was filled with really good feelings. It was apparent that everyone had different abilities, yet the movements seemed right for each one of us. The climate in the room was supportive, not competitive at all.
When I started Sheng Zhen Gong my mood was a little anxious and sad. Tai chi (a martial arts form of qigong) which I had practiced for many years before was great for my balance when I practiced. And had helped a bit with anxiety. It still is a quick fix when my balance gets a little off, but that is rare now. What the qigong did for my moods was amazing. The longer I took the class and practiced the better I felt. In the years that I have practiced and studied I have also had some pain problems and also vertigo. Qigong helps with both of those problems. It also keeps me flexible and strong.
I continue to train annually with Master Li Junfeng. After each 10 day training I feel so clear and relaxed, ready to tackle any challenge.
The spiritual benefits are for another blog post. But the feelings of openheartedness that result from this practice are clearly connected to being relaxed and happy.
Check the Classes page for my schedule. Or you can contact me and we can get together anytime. Introductory classes are always free. I would love a group class. If you have space, I have time.