"The ordinary is the extraordinary" [Wang Xiang-Zhai, Qigong Master, 1885 - 1963]
These 5 words teach a powerful principle.
The principle applies to all areas of life not just the practice of Qigong, Yang Sheng / Nourishing Life (養生) or the Martial Arts. Let me expand a little: extra-ordinary levels of skill or success are achieved through consistent, deliberate practice of ordinary actions.
Fei Bo-Xiong, a Chinese Doctor writing in 1863, helps us to grasp this principle further: "There exist no miraculous methods in the world, only plain ones, and the perfection of the plain is miraculous."
The modern-day Self Development guru Jim Rohn shared a similar belief: "Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals."
But what are these ordinary actions? What are the fundamentals that we are to perfect?
Within the Wild Goose Qigong system, our fundamentals are...
Happy New Year!
We’re now 7 days into 2019. Actually, I’m more of a Chinese New Year kind person [February 5th - Year of the Pig]. Somehow it just feels more auspicious. I especially adore the Lantern Festival. Between now and then is that short window of time when we seek self-renewal and reset our inner compass - better health, relationships, productivity etc. All ‘resolutions’ and goals come down to a simple yet complex truth: stop doing what you know is bad for you and do more of what’s good. Change comes from within and requires us to take new action. Otherwise, we keep doing what we've been doing, with the same results. Simple is rarely easy, however. We, humans, are complex beings. Common sense is not always common practice. But what if there was just ONE thing, one new habit, that if followed, could make manifold changes?
Here’s what I’ve noticed over my 19 years of Wild Goose Qigong practice - especially these...
“A moving hinge never rusts”
This ancient Chinese adage appears in the biography of the Daoist physician Hua Tuo c. 200. It also appears in this interpretation: “A [wooden] hinge is not eaten by woodworm” and often coupled with the phrase, "Flowing water does not stagnate [go mouldy].”
The Daoists have a wonderful way of observing natural processes and applying them, either directly or metaphorically, to the human condition. And this quote is probably one of my favourites.
Movement, like regular Qigong practice, lubricates the joints, moves the blood and Qi, strengthens the bones and soft tissues. Gentle physical exercise can reduce oxidative stress in the brain and body. Physical overexertion, on the other hand, can increase oxidation (‘rusting’).
The simple advice is: move.
But we can take the image of the hinge a step further: after movement (or transition) there is rest. But rest is not inactive. Rest...