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Master Mingtong Gu: Qigong Master

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Aug 5, 2020: Wisdom Healing & Demonstration from the Qigong Master



Guest: Master Mingtong Gu

Host: Kozo Hattori

Moderator: Cynthia Li

Kozo Hattori: Welcome, everyone. I'm excited to be hosting this morning with Cynthia Li, this webinar on wisdom healing Qigong with Master Mingtong Gu. We like to begin each of our gatherings with a moment of silence to anchor ourselves into the present moment of our shared space. So please join me in a moment of silence, and I'll call us up in a bit. Thank you.

[Moment of silence.]

Welcome again to our Awakin webinar on Wisdom Healing Qigong. My name is Kozo, and I'm co-hosting this webinar with Cynthia Li. Awakin calls and dialogues are an offering of ServiceSpace, which is a global ecosystem run entirely by volunteers. ServiceSpace catalyzes and connects individuals and communities rooted in inner work and outer compassionate action. Over the past 20-some years, this ecosystem has organically touched millions, drawn thousands of volunteers around the globe, and grown into an array of online and offline gatherings in hundreds of cities. Amplifying the voices of ordinary and extraordinary wisdom keepers in our world has always been an integral part of ServiceSpace’s work.

Today's call is just one expression of this central ethos. This is how the call will work. My wonderful co-host will introduce Mingtong Gu and engage in a short dialogue, followed by a guided practice with Master Mingtong. The last half hour is reserved for your comments or questions. At any point during this call, if you would like, you can add a reflection or a question to our queue via the live-stream page, under the "Ask a Question" section. You can also send us an email at ask@servicespace.org.

With that, I'd like to introduce our moderator. Cynthia Li is truly a modern-day Renaissance woman. She is a doctor, an intuit, a writer, a mother, a teacher, and a ServiceSpace volunteer. For the purpose of this call, Cynthia is a living testament to the power of these Qigong practices. When Cynthia first started these practices, she was so debilitated from her autoimmune disease, that she could only do the practices while laying down. She built up her practice to four hours a day and recovered from two near-death experiences. She is my doctor and introduced me to these wisdom healing Qigong practices, for which I'm extremely grateful. Cynthia, thank you for joining us today, and I'll hand it over to you.

Cynthia Li: Thank you so much, Kozo. It's wonderful to be here with everyone. I just want to invite everyone to pause for a bit ― because these are some intense times that we're in, dynamic times, personally and collectively ― just to take a deep breath. Now, there are several hundred of us gathered here right now, and really gathered for the purpose of healing and awakening. And, one thing that I have caught my conditioned mind often thinking is that I need to be here. I should be here.

But one thing that my practice in Qigong has really awakened me to, is that everything that we do throughout our day is a choice, whether we're aware of it or not. So, it's really our collective choice to be here today, to learn from Master Mingtong Gu, to practice together, and to connect to each other and to life-giving energy. I mean, that's pretty cool. Right? So, I'd really like to encourage us to re-frame postures to: I want to be here ― the voice of the heart. It's these simple shifts in concept that can lead to profound change. These are also the kinds of changes that I've learned through the last seven years of almost daily Qigong practice.

Now, instead of introducing Master Mingtong Gu by reading his many incredible achievements and awards, which you can do on the bio page of Awakin.org, I thought I would try to summarize him in three dimensions: Qigong master, artist, mathematician. He's uniquely set up to translate abstract concepts through art and math and science. He's also uniquely set up to translate Eastern traditions which can be sometimes very esoteric for the West. This is going to be a very powerful Qigong field today, a chi field that we're going to cultivate together. It is a real honor and pleasure to have you here with us today, Master Mingtong.

Master Mingtong: My pleasure. I'm so delighted to be here. Thank you, Cynthia. Thank you, Kozo, and just being in this beautiful energetic space you created already, and also, all the time. I'm very humbled and delighted to be here.

Cynthia: I first met you, as Kozo mentioned, several years ago, when you were doing a workshop in Northern California. I was there because I had been housebound for the greater part of a decade, with auto immune conditions and chronic fatigue syndrome, to name a couple of the list of conditions that I had, and I wasn't finding any easy solutions in the paradigm that I had been trained in. And since that first meeting, I've been practicing virtually every day, largely guided by you online through your virtual programs and sometimes with informal student groups. This past January, just before the pandemic struck, I finally attended my first in-person retreat at your center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I wanted to share a photo that was taken at that time. [Laughter] This was taken in January, and I just thought this photo captures Mingtong’s essence, taking that in, beyond words and description, just this image.

Mingtong: That is a better version of me! [Laughter]

Cynthia: What it brought up for me was what French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin said about the infallible sign of the presence of God or love being laughter, being laughter and joy. You've got at once this gravitas and a lightness of being, which really exemplifies this yin-yang of the Qi essence. I remember how you told us during that retreat, that before Qigong, you were rather dour. You were not always this happy-go-lucky, lighthearted being, and you carried the weight of the world on your shoulders. It seemed hard to believe. I was just wondering if you could share with us who this younger self was, what the world was that you grew up in, in China, and your path to Wisdom Healing Qigong.

Mingtong: Yes, thank you for asking. Lately, I've been reflecting on that, reflecting on my life in general. I think everybody, or most of us, can relate to that in this time of pandemic. Staying home also allows us to go more inwardly, reflecting on life in general, deeply asking big questions. Who am I? What is my life? What do I want to accomplish? What is the deeper meaning and purpose of life, and so on. When I reflect on my life, on one hand, it feels like a past life, like it happened in a past life [laughter]. On the other hand, it feels so important in terms of affecting or being, or it like feels like a big contrast, the past and the present. We can feel the contrast, the difference.

So, for me, reflecting on my journey of life in general, including discovering wisdom healing Qigong, is literally a process of searching for joy, searching for happiness. We know humanity often, from lack, is deeply searching for something even stronger. So, lack of happiness in my childhood, for many reasons, without going into the story of living with four different families from age zero to fifteen, put strong imprints on my being. In general, the sense of sadness, lack of happiness, heaviness, and sense of not belonging any place, anywhere, literally stirred up a deeper longing for happiness.

But I didn't know until later, realizing, "Oh, everybody is searching for happiness." (laughs) Everybody, no exception, just all human beings, of different ages, different backgrounds, different professions, different cultures, different skins, and so on. They are all looking for happiness.

All sentient beings are looking for happiness. So when I realized that, it was an important insight, because now I can literally make choices based on this deeper search, deeper value, deeper meaning. But at the same time noticing that most of the time, we are searching for happiness in the wrong place.

In the external world, whatever conditioning, whatever ownership. Also searching for happiness from someone else, even from loved ones, whatever authority or people you're interacting with and rarely, even the teaching is there. But most of the time we forget. Looking for happiness or discovering happiness, truly experiencing happiness inside of us, inside of a heart, inside of a body. So that is really when it was most important for me and the most profound gift proved to be Wisdom Healing Qigong.

When I discovered Wisdom Healing Qigong, I was in Columbus, Ohio. I was 30-some years old and studying fine arts at the time. Quickly I realized this is so profound. Not only is it an ancient tradition, but it's very profound wisdom. It's about discovering yourself, discovering life, discovering the nature of the universe. The benefit, the outcome, is healing and more health and a greater capacity to live life more fully. So the big part of that is really opening the heart. In a sense, the summary of my own journey is continuously discovering the deeper capacity of my heart, especially right now in this time of pandemic. Simply put, it is the capacity for compassion, for love, for wisdom, for joy, for creativity. For deeper wisdom beyond mental thinking. But for everyday living, it’s really presenting good challenges for testing ourselves. What is our evolution? What is our growth? What is the deeper capacity of our heart? And so that is still an ongoing process, as much as everybody is discovering and experiencing your own way.

Cynthia: Beautiful. Thank you. So what I hear you saying is that this is really something common to all of humanity. And in that sense, we belong with each other and within ourselves - this search, this quest for deep contentment. The other piece that came to me was, only through my own experience, I heard you say over and over again, that healing is actually sort of the side effect. So the primary orientation is one of connecting to life, to this energy that's pervasive throughout life. And when we do that, in an embodied way, that healing of the physical body happens as a side effect.

I think for me, particularly as a doctor, to say nothing of being a patient, I felt very betrayed by my body - why is my body breaking down and causing me misery? I'm Chinese, but I grew up in America and the mind-body was so disconnected that I could be very aware mentally, but I couldn't bring that down into my body. And so for me, the real epiphany was bringing the consciousness down into the body and then healing happens as a side effect. As I understand it, you also had a lot of chronic health challenges since the time you were a young child that healed as a side effect of this spiritual journey you were on, is that correct?

Master Mingtong: Yes. So the first inspiration or what clicked in my heart when I discovered Wisdom Healing Qigong was really the intellectual, spiritual connection, fulfillment. I felt what Dr. Pang, my teacher and grandmaster mean. Actually, I first encountered it through his book and felt a deeper truth. He was able to express that from all different perspectives: mystical, scientific, medical and a linear or nonlinear way. There was no doubt this deeper expression of truth, it's there. I was not really expecting to heal my own disease. I had at the time from childhood on, sclerosis and asthma. They are both classified as incurable chronic conditions. Because of the spiritual connection with this teaching and this practice, I quickly became very dedicated.

One of my qualities of life in general is when I put my heart into something, I am fully dedicated to it, one-hundred percent, it's not wishy-washy. (laughs). So that's kind of my inner sense of being in general, whatever life's journey. And this is part of the gift, I really appreciate it. I don't have to do everything, but when I choose something I'm really dedicated.

So in this case, I started to practice very diligently in the beginning. One hour a day, then increasing to two hours per day. Then I spent many months in the medicine Qigong hospital in China when it was still open at that time. So then as a result, it took me about two years and I underwent slow, qi purification. Then basically all the symptoms and the conditions of asthma and sclerosis just totally recovered. A part of that was really in healing from childhood trauma.

When I was five years old, as a little boy, I fell down into a toilet as an accident. Back then in China in a little village the toilet was an outhouse, a big hole in the ground, and of course full of shit. (laughs) So I lost consciousness and the shit was to this level for the boy and couldn't breathe. I lost consciousness; I don't know for how long. So luckily, I came back, but as a result of that the body had an asthma condition. My mind chose not to remember the severe trauma. It is a life-death trauma. You cannot breathe. So, I lived all these years until toward the latest stage of healing of my asthma condition, the memory came back. I suddenly realized, “Oh my God, how much in my mind has been disconnected from my body? Even in this case for good reason, because the mind doesn't want to deal with the trauma, including the continuous suffering of asthma.

And so that was my realization. So it's almost like the best choice at the time, until you discover a way to heal this condition, including the trauma. So I studied mathematics - that's the most mental, philosophical, abstract approach to life in general. Then I discovered fine arts, but I was still very mental. I did a lot of conceptual art. But gradually I learned to come into the heart. Until Qigong, I was still very mental. I can still be very mental at times. But I’m realizing now I can connect with my body when I choose to. So it's literally a matter of choice. And I'm realizing now the most common challenge, as you expressed, as I experienced in my life and I notice with everybody right now. The number one challenge is the disconnection of the mind from the body.

So from this disconnection, one of the consequences, whatever is happening in your life, in your personal life, in your collective life, humanity on the Planet Earth right now. We’re experiencing so many problems, challenges, even crises in all levels. And the mind is so engaged with these bad stories, bad news even - it doesn't matter if it’s true or not - we’re lost in that, we’re engaged in that, we’re stressed about it.

And then the mind tries to solve these problems mentally and, most times, the mind knows that there's no solution to them. And so then you feel not only stressed mentally, but you feel hopeless, you feel depression.

But the worst part is when the mind is stressed and hopeless, if you’re not aware of your body, the body carries the stress into your brain, into your heart, into your nervous system, into your five-organ system, into your cells. These become contracted energy patterns inside of your body. But if you're not aware, then this pattern cumulatively becomes worse.

It continuously become worse, until one day the body gives up and says “I cannot handle this anymore. No more.” And then people are diagnosed with all kinds of issues: autoimmune conditions, fatigue conditions, cancers, Parkinson’s, you name it. And then people are surprised. They want to know, “Why me? What happened?” as if something happened overnight. And I can tell you this truth, so you know when they're pointing this out - nothing happens overnight, my dear. Nothing happens overnight.

Even when you had an injury, had an accident. Something happened before that injury, that accident leading to that injury, that accident. So when people ask me, “What is the cause of my disease?” my simple answer is “Everything.” Your whole history led to where you’re at now.

Whether you're healthy, unhealthy, whether you're diagnosed with a disease or not, whatever challenge you're facing, it's always a result of your whole past. And the past has happened already. You cannot change it. And the present, the external condition that’s happening in your life, if you analyze everything happening in your life, you realize you have very little control of what's happening in the world, especially right now. Even in your relationship. How much control of your spouse do you have?

But the good news is the whatever you have experienced, whatever you are experiencing now from the external interaction of life, it's all happening inside of your body, inside of your energy system. And the good news is you have access to your own energy more than anyone else, more than your doctor, more than your therapist, more than your spouse,

But if you're not aware, if you’re disconnected from the body, then you’re ignorant of this choice, you’re unaware that the body is carrying all the stress, all the contraction, all the problems. And then at a time when breakdown happens, then you're shocked. You think you're a victim of something else or someone else without realizing that it’s a cumulative result of life in general. And then you don’t know what to do with it. Because you have been disconnected in this process of life, involved with your body. Then you continue searching for someone else to fix it, or something else to fix it. And so the simple fact is this is your own body. This is your own energy system. If you cannot take care of it, if you cannot master your energy, who else can?

And that is a powerful realization. And this is also powerful responsibility. For this whole group, I can say that. We're ready to receive this message. Awakening is about self-responsibility. Awakening is about this connection, starting with the most important connection: the mind and the body connection. Awakening can only happen when we are able to take care of ourselves and even heal ourselves.

So that's why I'm so grateful to be here with all of you. For me, it's a discovery, a continuous discovery. We realize that healing and awakening are inseparable, and personal healing and collective healing are also inseparable. So when Kozo introduced this energy space as an ecosystem - and that's just so beautiful. It's the very same idea, the same concept as we do in Wisdom Healing Qigong. We call it the healing chi field. It’s an energy field. We are activating, connecting, cultivating, embodying on this Planet Earth, not only personally, but collectively. So, we become a field of energy on the Planet Earth and that becomes an ecosystem, literally speaking.

So that affecting all life on the planet and it starts by directly benefitting ourselves, together, each other. So that's one of my discoveries, the healing of my trauma, my healing of this incurable condition. How every aspect of life is truly important and related.

Cynthia: Incredible. Thank you. So with that, I think we're really eager for you to guide us in a practice. And I do want to encourage you, Master Mingtong, feel free to go past the hour, just in terms of where you are in in guiding the practice.

Master Mingtong: Thank you. Great. All right, let's do this. Okay, so let's do some physical movement first. Everything we do in Qigong is really simple, simple, but also can be very powerful. And very accessible for everyone. So let me just open the video so you can see more of the body when we’re standing up. If you can in your room -- if you have enough space, make sure you can follow this movement very playfully - and you don't have to see every part of my body or me verbally guiding this process.

Master Mingtong: [Guided Movement Practice]

So let's organize the chi field, the energy field first. And I'm continuing, basically from the beginning of the session, as we share in the energy space already, we invite you to connect with your body more tangibly. So while you are standing, allow yourself to comfortably stand with feet together. And internally straightening your spine and rotating your shoulder joints, opening your armpit, relaxing your shoulder, your elbow. Now gently close your eyes, inwardly embracing all the sensation, feeling inside of you.

And the first step of Qigong practice is awareness. Become more aware. Aware of your body. Aware of the deeper sensation, feeling inside of your body. Letting go of any stories, any concept, any judgment.

And the second step is connection. Slow awareness, continuously connecting with your body. With your brain. With your neck. With your shoulder, arms. With your spine. With your chest, stomach, low abdomen. With your hip. With your entire legs. And deeply embracing all the sensation, feeling inside of you,

Both comfortable, uncomfortable. Both intense and subtle. Both the familiar and the unknown. Allow yourself. Open to the unknown. Open to the mystery of life. Open to the energy, the invisible energy of the universe. According to quantum physics we know now, the same wisdom from the ancient tradition, the whole universe, only four percent is physical, measurable form. More than 96 percent is invisible, formless energy.

Allow your mind and your heart opening to this presence of energy. It can now reach in the energy presence of the Earth beneath you. The planet Earth, her power, her ancient history, million years, even billion years, the invisible energy continuously creating life on the Earth, abundance of life on Earth. This pure energy continuously nourishing your body, permeating inside of you to all your cells inside of your body. Continuously allow yourself open. Open above you without any boundary. Pure subtle energy, pure source energy, pure formless energy has no boundary, no separation, no limitation. Expanding to the entire universe above you. Gathering deep inside of you, deeper and deeper. And continuously relaxing from your heart.

Opening to the pure energy in front of you, you can imagine, visualize an ocean of light in front of you. Visible, invisible in front of you, expanding beyond the horizon. Feeling the lightness inside of your body. Every cell of your body is made of light. And feeling, visualizing the ocean of light behind you, expanding beyond the horizon. Feeling the lightness inside of your body. Continuously visualizing an ocean of light on the left side of you, expanding beyond the horizon. Feeling the lightness inside of your body. Continuously visualizing an ocean of light on the right side of you, expanding beyond the horizon, feeling the lightness inside of you. Feeling, visualizing an ocean of light, ocean of energy of the entire universe all around you. Deep inside of you. You are in the middle of the universe. The universe is within you. Pure energy. Pure oneness. Pure connection. Continuously awakening the deeper dimensions of your body, including the physical dimension, the energy dimension inside of you. Slow the movement.

Now opening your feet to the shoulder width, comfortably. Now you can gently open your eyes softly. First you can follow the movement together. In place squatting down to a comfortable position, putting the left hand on your low back then moving your right hand, simply visually follow the movement. And give yourself permission to follow, to move. Keep your palm facing up as much as you can. Give yourself permission to rotate. Rotate your wrist, rotate your elbows, rotate your shoulder joint, rotating your entire arms. Continuously moving with your own best effort. Internally connecting with your body, feeling your body in spite of any discomfort, any tightness, even pain, allow your body to move, allow your arm to move. Allow in the internal muscle tissue, joints, nerve system to rotate and to open. Allow subtle energy visible, invisible inside of your arm, around the arm, to wake, to open, to flow.

Slowly, mindfully concentrating. Playfully allowing the body to move. And slow down, then continue to the left side. Again, keep your palm facing up, rotating your wrist, elbow, shoulder, arms. Allowing the internal twist, internal movement, internal opening, and at the same time embracing all the sensation, feeling inside of your arms, shoulders. Connecting, feeling the entire body, noticing how your spine is moving, how your hip is moving, how your leg is moving naturally, without thinking too much. Using the hands, palm, initiating the movement like a dragon head. This movement has a nickname called "dragon arms." You're awakening a dragon inside of you. And this tension by this twist, creating the power awakening, the dragon awakening, the power, energy inside of you. And slow down, then switching to the right side, continuously playfully, mindfully.

So whenever you feel comfortable, you can continue the movement with the eyes closed. Again, keep your palm facing up, continuously twisting your wrist, elbow, shoulder joints, arms. You can squat down further. You can allow the weight of your body, follow the movement of the hands. Just in this case, your right hand, allow your weight to shift. Following the same direction of the hand. Slow down the movement, continue to the left side. Okay, pay attention to your entire skeleton. Twisting, shifting, rotating. Now, slow down the movement, massaging the low back. And the low back we call (in Chinese) Ming Men, means the gate of life. And this area has a powerful, energetic meaning and purpose. When this gate is open, the life energy naturally awakening, opening, flowing. When this gate is closed, then we're limiting our energy capacity, life capacity. And often we experience low back pain. Also experience more fear of life. So again, now, allow yourself to move your body freely, freely, and notice how your entire body feels a sense of aliveness, warmness, wakefulness, and even powerfulness.

So while we transition to the sitting position, continuously connect with your own body, your own body, knowing the energy just awakened, so the movement continuously flowing, through your entire body energizes you, nourishes you. So again, one of the main purposes of Wisdom Healing Qigong practice is keep your energy moving. When the energy is moving, life is moving. Your heart is open. Your mind is creative. Your spirit is free.

When the energy is stuck, not moving anymore. No matter how much energy you have, you feel stuck, you feel contracted, you feel limited, so you feel even depressed. So right now, the overall expression of challenge of humanity right now is depression. Depression. And there's one statistic that happened I think a couple months ago, obviously because of pandemic, but in general, it doesn't matter what reason behind it. That is what we are experiencing. From that study, more than 50 percent of the people involved in the statistics reported some level of clinical depression. And that is very scary, very overwhelming. Imagine humanity. If humanity is depressed, what kind of world we can create.

So, keeping the energy moving is the key. I can give you all the reasons. But the most important reason is when the energy is contracted all life is limited. When the energy is open, flowing again, life comes back. As a result your health comes back, as a result your heart is more open, as a result your creative mind starts awakening, as a result your spirit is open, is free. So that is one most important understanding from Qigong tradition in general, especially Wisdom Healing Qigong and that's what we focus on.

So before we do another practice of sound healing, I want to a little bit of more of the framework of what is Wisdom Healing Qigong. So we can have a sense of a deeper understanding, deeper connections, and that is not another technique. It's not just another technique. It's a system to realize full potential as a human being, including healing, awakenings simply encompassing every aspect of life. So for the benefit of this technology through the internet, I can share some slides with you and mostly images. So we can feel sense of, energetic connection, our experiential connection with the information I'm sharing with you.

So give me just a second. I'm going to find the slides.

So, this image literally illustrates the essence of wisdom healing. Qigong. What you are seeing here in the middle is a fetus. A fetus. If any of us have experienced as parents to see the ultrasound image of your, you know, can see the babies before their births, you probably remember this powerful experience of the heartbeat of the baby, the fetus. It's boom, boom, boom, boom. And they're so strong. And the little fetus is so small and yet the heart beating is so strong and that is literally the image you're seeing here. And so from that moment, yeah, we're reminded of the power of life, the source of life, the potential of life, the divine nature of life, the sacredness of life and the great joy of life. And what Qigong is, first of all, we are connecting with that state of existence, fetus-like, baby-like nature.

And one of the most profound sayings from the Taoist tradition is the secret to your mortality, same secret to longevity, same secret to happiness, is to be childlike. And that doesn't mean your body is going to be turned to be like a child again, become smaller. It means deeply, energetically, you are returning to that energy state of openness, playfulness, creativity, and joyfulness, spontaneity. And that is the Taoist way of cultivating, not only longevity, but also spiritual enlightenment. So obviously if we look at it, rationally, linearly, now we're growing up, how can you go back to this baby-like? And yet when you’re cultivating energetically, the second step is beyond recognizing the pure energy you’re born with as a baby, is still with you, the same quality is still with you. And yet it's suppressed, distorted, or even numbed by life in general, by education, by our inner programming, family programming, relationship programming, job programming, you name it. And yet recognizing that energy is still there. This natural pure quality, baby-like quality is still there, even buried very deep in the closet or even in the basement of your body, it is still there. So the practice is about reconnecting with that part of you, awakening that energy power, natural quality, natural pure existence, pure essence.

And the second part or third part, as you see in this image is connecting with the source energy, in this case, represented by the spiral Milky Way energy. And that is beyond just looking at the Milky Way and see the star and feel a sense of vastness, the powerful presence of the universe. We all have this moment: Wow, how big, vast the universe is. But we don't recognize the energy in the universe, which is invisible, but that's the driving force. I call it pure energy, source energy, universal energy pointing to the same existence, represented in this image as a spiral energy of creation.

So that is another recognition as we visualized it in this meditation before the movement we did. When you visualize the ocean of light all around you, you start feeling light is inside of you, inside of your physical body. We know intellectually, even from quantum physics, we know the cell is made of energy. But we don't experience it most of the time. We don't approach it that way, in our everyday living, in our health. By visualizing it, you are making one step further beyond what are you familiar with, what do you know. You're opening to the mystery. You are opening into this presence of energy. That is the third aspect.

And the next aspect often we don't see the relationship between, a fetus and the universal energy starting with the Big Bang. We don't make this connection. Thinking, oh, well that energy is out there in the universe. many, many, many million billions of light years away from you. I'm here, I'm limited, I'm physical. But the ancient wisdom recognizes you came from the same source energy, and the same source energy is still with you. That's another powerful recognition.

Then the implication of that, the next step, most important step, not only that energy is present, not only you can access that energy, but you can cultivate the full potential of this creative energy inside of you as human being and connect it around you with the earth, with the universe.

And even the next step further, as I shared in the beginning, you have the responsibility, we all have this responsibility to cultivate this energy. I think of that as one of the big quantum leaps we're making. because we're now forced to recognize that responsibility. We have tried all different ways in the past. And most of the time is expecting either complaining of what is the problem, what is not happening yet, our expecting someone else to take care of the problems, even your own problems.

So recognizing, you can take responsibility. That is one big step. Often if we don't know what to do, then no matter if you have intention, we feel hopeless. So what is Qigong in general is about cultivating this full potential of life illustrated in this picture. Not only the physical dimension of the tree, you can see it's like the tree of life, the abundance of the tree, but also deeply cultivating, connecting with the source of life. In this case, the water is nourishing the tree, the sun is nourishing the tree, the cloud, the weather is nourishing the tree. All of the visible elements, as well as the invisible elements, is nourishing the tree and the roots beyond the visible of what’s on the ground, it goes deep into the ground. Invisible. In some cases, it depends on what kind of tree, the root system is much bigger than what you can see as a branch above the ground.

So in Qigong, we're tracing deeper, deeper to the roots, to the source of life. So in this case, the practical question, the spiritual question is: What is the source of life? What is the source of creation? What is the source of your health? And the practical question: what is most nourishing? Especially, we need to ask this question now: what is most important? What is life sustaining?

We have to drop all the values, all the belief systems from the past. Drop all stuff that we attach to: the materialism, whatever identification we have, including, approaching this body, thinking this body is just a machine. What is truly nourishing this body?

Actually, your mind, whatever your thoughts, is continuously affecting your biology. Your emotion is continuously affecting your biology. Your physical movement, or lack of movement, continuously affecting the functioning of your body. In general, the energy condition of your history is continuously affecting the function.

So you'll realize, you can access the energy. You can make the change. You can embody the change, as Gandhi says, "be the change you want to see in the world." And sometimes, you think this change has to be big in some way, social structure, political structure. But deeply it's coming from energy patterns we're experiencing every day.

For example, right now, the most challenging pattern is the fearful pattern: fight, flight and freeze. If we can change the patterns, it has to start with ourselves. Then collectively, we can change the pattern in humanity. Totally shifting energy on the planet Earth, before we can solve any problems.

So again, as I shared at the beginning, the first step is connecting the mind-body, recognizing that patterns are inside of your body. Often, we say "the issue is in the tissue." It's inside of you. You cannot think yourself out of this.

Yes, there's a transcendental practice, transcending all physical limitation or mundane limitation, feel the peace, mentally. You can do that. Relatively, that's easy to do. But the embodiment practice is bringing this peace, bringing this awareness, bringing this connection of oneness into the physical body, into the everyday life. And you have to address the deeper issues. And that is, I think, is one step further.

So that's the deeper meaning of bringing the heavens to the Earth. So on one hand, Qigong has a very ancient history. You can go back to 5,000 years of history, literally speaking, tracing back to the Yellow Emperor times and very deeply connect with the shamanism prehistoric or shamanism in China, then greatly influenced over time by Taoism, even Buddhist practice. And then eventually, many different branches come out of that, including martial arts. Martial arts focused more on the force, more on the concentration, more on the powers, more on the physical abilities. And the spiritual practice is more focused on the mental aspect and then healing is part of that tradition.

So in this case, Wisdom Healing Qigong is focused on the spiritual dimension, the wisdom dimension, the oneness of energy. Then as a result, is healing, including physical healing, emotional healing, mental, spiritual awakening. And in this case, healing and awakening are inseparable. You start awakening your energy. Awakening your heart. Awakening your mind, same time. So that is healing, an awakening process. Awakening is deeper healing. So this image for me, is very inspirational, and expressed what I have shared. The secret to longevity is to be childlike, baby-like, you can see this elder. This baby-like presence - so innocent, so playful, so joyful, so tender and so soft.

So, that's the one of the quality of Wisdom Healing Qigong: we are cultivating this nourishing quality of energy, and the result is healing. The nourishment of energy quality is a feminine quality. It doesn't matter whether you are a man or woman. We're cultivating that quality: the softness, the nourishment, the openness, the connection, the flow, the spontaneity.

So, quickly just go through a few more slides illustrating what I mean to "work with energy." For this community, most of you are familiar with the amazing art by Alex Grey illustrating the energy body which is invisible, but he made it visible by visual art. In this case, you can think of the medium circle representing, in the Qigong tradition, is this energy field around your body about three feet away from your skin. That's what we call a physical energy body responsible for physical health. Then there's another layer of energy which is much bigger and not represented in this image associated not only with the heart, with your five-organ system, with your emotional body, much bigger, this is called emotional energy body. Then the third layer is represented in this case, around the brain, the golden halo. You see these images in different spiritual traditions for saints, sages, masters. You see this halo image around the brain. That image is representing this energy field of consciousness. We all have it. but we have not awakened into the full potential as saints, sages, as enlightened beings in the past.

In Qigong, we recognize that field, we're cultivating the awakening, the full potential of pure consciousness. This energy field is much bigger than this halo, extending out without any boundary -- merging into collective consciousness; merging into the universal consciousness. That is one way we are connecting with energy. Generally speaking, we think of the body and mainstream medicine is focused on the physical body. Now, we have so much knowledge, so much knowledge about the physical dimension with the body. And that is so important. And yet, what we are missing is the ancient knowledge -- many energy traditions focus on the energy matrix, including the energy circles, meridian channels, different energy bodies and so on. Then, the meditation tradition focuses more on the mind expansion, mind connection, the nature of the mind.

So, all these three aspects are part of us. It is important. And yet in most traditions, modality focuses on only one energy body -- either physical, or in the middle, or on the right side. And now we're making good progress, recognizing all the three energy systems are interconnected, one affecting another. So the integrative medicine is the expression, "Oh, we want to address not only physical, but also emotional, lifestyle and the food, and addressing your mental and all that" -- using different ways of addressing these energy bodies, so to speak. And Qigong takes it one step further, not only recognizing that these three energy systems are interconnected, but also recognizing them as one system. One system.

So the implication of that, when we're doing the practice with the movement, sound, even meditation, you're taking all three layers of energy body with you -- the physical, the emotional, the mental, spiritual; the visible and the invisible. We actually recognize all of these layers are made of the same energy, the creative source energy. And the physical is condensed version of the source energy. Then there's this whole spectrum of energy existing in the body, beyond this fragmentation, categorization of what is called physical, emotional, mental as if they're separate. No, this whole spectrum of energy between all of these three layers, and this name is, in a sense, based on our limited perception.

One of the most powerful illustrations of that is we know this whole spectrum of light existing in the universe. What we call visible light is only a slice in the middle, very small spectrum of light which is the visible ― we perceive that as light, as we see with naked eyes. But beyond that, high frequency light is invisible, and low frequency light is invisible. Then eventually lower, low frequency becomes physical. There's no gap ― this whole spectrum of energy. And so that's how we are approaching it in Wisdom Healing Qigong.

So it's not just doing A, B, C, D, then trying to put ABCD together. It's the wholeness of your energy system. So in this case, also, we connect not only the mind or the energy field of the brain -- also the energy field of your heart. And this of course is more kind of illustration of electric magnetic field of the body. And when we're speaking of subtle energy, it's way beyond just electromagnetic, but as an illustration that can help us to understand a little bit.

So the internal human energy field is very much inseparable from the energy field of the Planet Earth, including its pattern, including its structure. So deeply Wisdom Healing Qigong is about connecting not only the internal energy matrix, but also external energy matrix, inseparable from the Earth, inseparable from the universe.

And the humanness of that we call the chi field. We're cultivating certain qualities. The most important quality of loving kindness, compassion, open-heartedness, joyfulness, and deeper wisdom, deeper creativity. This is the energy frequency or energy quality we continuously emphasize or repeat and embody, not only personally, but also collectively. So over time, we're formulating this chi field. Not just currently when we're practicing in large group, we're experiencing that. But now we're practicing online, we're experiencing that. But also when we connect with the wisdom tradition from the past, even many generations before us, we start to feel this empowerment, feel this presence of energy.

So that's one of the power of connecting with the lineage. When you go a hundred years before, thousand years before, you're tapping into this cumulative energy. Often, we say we're walking on the shoulders of the giants before us, not just as inspirational knowledge, but in this case, you're tapping into the energy field. That's one of the gifts in the current time. Now we learn to connect through the internet, tap into this field, tap into this ecosystem, so to speak. And you can feel this inside of your heart. You can feel this with your pure consciousness, and you can feel this with your body, too. Your body is made of this creative energy. All the creative energy of the universe is around you, activated by the sharing. Then naturally the body itself is bound into that. It's bound into that.

So the energy principle we use is very simple. So in this case is, the water, representing energy in this case, when it's frozen as ice, the water is still there, but it's frozen. So its function, its life function is limited. So we're learning beyond this concept of a good and bad, right or wrong, disease or not. We're learning, oh, it is the energy which is floating, contracted. The function expressed in the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual is limited, compromised, diseased, so to speak. So the process is to unfreeze the energy, opening the energy, flowing the energy, then life comes back fully again.

So that's the paradigm, energetic paradigm. It's very different from the mental process: analysis, diagnosis judgment, right-wrong, good and bad, should and shouldn't. It's a deeper transformation, deeper transformation.

So I'm going to share some image you can use as a visualization. In this case, you're connecting the energy of the brain with the energy of your heart and you're waking the energy of the heart opening. Visualizing the light, expanding, gathering. So the visualization allows you to go beyond your story, beyond your history, beyond the diagnosis, even beyond what are you feeling as challenging side of your body. Allow it to connect with the source energy -- in this case, you're visualizing ocean of light, pulsation of light, pure energy, pure light nourishing your brain, nourishing your heart, nourishing the entire body.

So the next practice we're going to engage together is the sound healing practice ― slow vibration, access to energy. One of the most powerful, I think the most important benefit we need so much right now, is emotional transformation, as we're experiencing so much emotional stress. So the emotional stress in the body― in this case, according to the energetic paradigm of Qigong, is associating your five-organ system. When the energy of your heart contracts, we experience lack of happiness. When the energy of your heart opens, we experience greater happiness and joy. When the energy in the kidney system, representing the blue in this case, contracts/freezes up, we experience fear, fight or flight. When the same energy is flowing again, we experience alertness, strong will for life, strong creativity awakening again.

The energy of your digestive system, in this case yellow, when the energy contracts we experience worry. Oh, we're experiencing so much worry right now, beyond just fear. Obviously, these emotions are related, not separate. So when the same energy of the digestive system is open, we experience more confidence, deep gut confidence.

And continuing to the liver, representing the green here, when the energy contracts we experience anger, especially suppressed anger. When you suppress anger long enough, what happens? Eventually, explosion. Eventually, the worst case is destruction. And often we experience everyday life when we project this anger, exploding to someone else can be destructive, can be even violent.

But the energy of anger is part of life. We learn to regulate that. So why aren't we allowing the energy to flow deeply inside our immune system, purification system, also nourishing and strengthening the immune system. We are also transforming from anger to courage, courage. Right now we need a lot of courage. So cultivating the energy behind anger you can experience courage.

And continuing to the long respiratory system, the color white. When the energy contracts we experience sadness and the grief and then vice versa. Right now we are experiencing collective grief for loss of life, loss of security, loss of whatever we attach to even. So deep sadness, deep grieving is so important a part of the healing. But if we are stuck with the sadness, grief, then eventually [they will] lead to depression. So by cultivating this energy, allow this congestion from sadness, allow the energy open to move again through slow sound practice as well movement practice. Then we can experience the transformation from sadness to compassion. Compassion for yourself. Compassion for others, compassion for life in general. So heart can open bigger. So that's the quick explanation, how the sound healing associated with the five organ systems is associated with the emotional healing.

So I'm going to go into, quickly, this diagram. Energy Mastery: awakening energy inside of you, opening energy inside of you, and awakening to the wholeness, connecting with the life force of the universe, the Earth, and the universe. And cultivating this quality and experiencing the greater capacity of happiness, great capacity of health, and great capacity of relationship as well, manifesting abundance in life and including spiritual growth, spiritual awakening.

So Qigong again is about fulfilling the full potential and the natural benefit including healing of disease as well as prevention of unnecessary complications, and longevity and enlightenment. So, again, it's about these four aspects. One is opening the energy part inside of you and upgrading your operating system, starting with connection of mind-body. This is a continuous cycle and deeply about awakening to the pure nature of who we are, the pure consciousness.

As we know, as shared in the beginning, what is a cause of disease is everything. And as the result of everything in life or history, including what's happening right now, going on in the world, what's happening in the body is a contracted energy pattern. So when we learn to access the energy body inside of us, it comes in the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, then we can open the energy patterns through slow movement, slow sound, slow meditation.

Then from there, we can respond to life from a new place, our new programming, new operating system, new capacity, new way of life. So that's from the internal change, internal healing, internal transformation, internal awakening. We not only model that, but also we respond into life differently. We are also contributing to the energy field on the Planet Earth in the most direct, personal as well collective way.

So one of the processes ― it's really important and often challenging ― is learning how to go beyond the complexity of life, including knowledge of life. Focus so much on symptoms, different conditions, different aspects of life, different linear categories, past, present, futures and the, genetic or not, food or not, everything--yes, they're all important. But at the same time we're lost in this complexity. And often people end up doing 10 different things, doing 20 different things, doing a hundred different things. As a result, you're so overwhelmed, so stressed, so lost, so confused.

What we are learning is going deeper to internal, the functioning of mind, body and heart. Not just the functioning of the food, but the functioning of your own mind, body, heart. Then you go deeper beyond the complexity of functioning of the mind, body, heart. You go deep into the energy of the mind, body, heart, because the function depends on the energy patterns. Then you go deeper. Realizing it is only two patterns. One is contraction, we're experiencing so much right now. Another is opening.

So what are we learning? Recognizing the contraction and opening from this pattern of contraction to more flow, more wholeness. So you can move the pendulum from contraction towards opening. From limitation to creativity, empowerment. So deeply, simply put:

More energy open, flowing, more health.
More energy open, flowing, more joy, happiness.
More energy opening, flowing, more creativity, more contribution to life.
More energy opening, flowing, you're realizing the essence of energy as nourishment, as creativity, as love, as joy, and experiencing the essence of who we are.

So when we go deeper, deeper into this concentric circle, we are liberating ourselves from the karma, from the wheel of life. And that is the process of spiritual awakening energetically in the Qigong tradition. So we're really embracing all aspects, physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual awakening, same time, simultaneously.

And by working with pure energy, pure consciousness and as result is a union of pure consciousness and pure energy. As a result, we're realizing the full potential as union of heaven and Earth. So the implication for health, and I use in this diagram and notice I'm illustrating, allopathic medicine focuses on the last part on the right side: the primal symptom, its immediate causes. The integrative medicine focuses on the middle, the secondary symptom, the quality of life, the stress of life. And mind-body focuses on the internal programming, mind-body programming.

So by working with energy, you can most directly, most internally, most profoundly change the patterns. So again, the practice is simple, but the implication is so deep, so profound. I'll just quickly share some cases. In this case, Vivienne, similar to Cynthia here, healed from Lyme disease and chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions. And Bianca was totally recovered here from Parkinson's condition without any medications; took her two-and-a-half years. And Tom recovered from all these severe diagnoses, including Lyme disease, cancers, severe depressions, and severe pains, chronic pains. And Jay experienced the measurable change after one retreat: 50 percent of reduction of the tumors. There are so many, many cases.

The model we really promote is starting mind-body medicine, self-care, self-healing, as mainstream as the first choice. Then, when you need, it's important to receive help of complementary medicine treatment. Then, in urgent cases, it is so good to be addressed by allopathic medicine. That is what allopathic medicine is specialized. So that is my vision: to transform the health care model. And again, we're starting with our self.

So the last, also the most important I'm going to do, is some small sound healing practice. And I do want to read this part (a cartoon of a doctor treating a pig). It is after the wounds heal, and the bandages come off, your look will improve, but you will still be a pig. And I think this cartoon really illustrates the difference between mainstream medicine and a self-healing -- mind-body practice such as qi gong. It's an internal healing. It's an internal transformation.

So recognizing the pure nature we're born with, and continuing to come back to that, embody that, whatever age we're in. So the secret to immortality, to longevity, to happiness, to health, is to be childlike, energetically, and realizing the true nature of who we are -- the lotus nature, the Buddha nature, the baby natures. When we do it together as the energy field around the planet Earth, we can accelerate this process. We can realize not only personal healing awakening, but also collective healing awakening, which is inseparable.

So we’re going to do a short session of practice of sound. And you don't have to look at the screen, I'm using it just as a reference. So I will share this handout with you afterwards, as well as many other resources available, free for you to experiment. The sound healing is starting with the heart. So you can place your hands on top of your chest. And if you're comfortable, you can gently close your eyes and deeply connect with your heart. And deeply embracing all of the sensations you're feeling inside of your heart. Both comfortable and uncomfortable. Allow the vibration and waking in the energy of your heart. Opening the energy of your heart. You can listen into the sound first, then repeat after me together in this collective healing chi field.

[Guided sound practice]

And the first sound is like this. Xin [sheen]. Together, breathing deeply into your chest. Xiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnn. Together, breathing deeply into your chest. Xiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnn. And relaxing, noticing.

And the second sound activating deeper, subtle energy of your heart ― emotional dimension of your heart. The sound like this: Xian [She-ong, drawn out]. Xiiiiiiiannnnnnnnnng. Again, with your own best efforts, as long and deep as you can, breath into your chest. Xiiiiiiiannnnnnnnnng. Breathing into your chest. Xiiiiiiiannnnnnnnnng. Relaxing, noticing. Continuously, inwardly connecting with your body, connecting with your heart, embracing all the sensations, feelings inside of you.

The third sound awakening the mental, spiritual dimension of your heart ― connecting from the energy of your heart with the energy of your brain. The sound like this: Xing [sheen-g, g quietly]. Xiiiiinnnnnnnn[g]. From Xing, ending with “n” and you lift your tongue upward with the “n” sound toward the end, and feeling the energy of your heart uprising, connecting to the brain. So again, with your own best effort, breathe into the chest. Xiiiiinnnnnnnn[g]. Breathe into your chest. Xiiiiinnnnnnnn[g]. Breathe into your chest. Xiiiiinnnnnnnn[g]. And relaxing, noticing.

And feel a deep sense of aliveness of your heart, openness of your heart, even warmness of your heart. A deep sense of joyfulness, peacefulness of your heart, naturally the pure energy of your heart. Naturally connecting with all the energy of life around you. With a pure energy of all the big hearts that we are connecting in this field. With a pure intention of loving-kindness, pure compassion, pure connection, pure joy, pure knowing of the heart.

And now slowly move your hand towards your lower back, comfortably massaging your lower back and deeply embracing all the sensations, feeling in your low back area, both comfortable and uncomfortable. Internally now reaching your kidney and adrenal gland, your reproductive system, entire skeleton system, hormone system. Now reaching the power of creation inside you, including the power beneath the field. We’re going to make a sound, the first sound like this, awakening the power beneath the field, the sound like this: Eh [quickly, sharply}, eh, eh.

Now together making the sound with your own best effort, breathing deeply: Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh. Noticing, the feeling of warmness, even burning sensation, sense of deeper awakening, deeper powerfulness, the inner power of life, awakening inside of you.

And the second sound continuously awakening energy, circulating the energy to the entire body, transforming from fear, the frozen pattern of this energy to nourishing, empowering, creative patterns inside of your body and the sound like this, Eu [ee-you, drawn out]: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Again, with your own best effort, Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Breath in deeply. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Relaxing, noticing, continuously deeply connecting, deeply awakening, opening.

And the third sound, wakening the mental, spiritual dimension of this creative energy, moving energy up from the base of the spine, upward around the spine to the chest level, opening the heart bigger to the brain level, awakening the brain function to the crown chakra, opening to the pure consciousness. So the sound is like this: Ying. Yiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnng -- from "ng" to "n”. Again, lifting your tongue upward when you are making "ng" sound. And the feeling, the energy uprising, that is the same energy, Kundalini energy, we call the Ching energy in the Qigong tradition -- the same energy, same power. So breathe in deeply. Yiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnng. One more time breathe in deeply. Yiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnng. Relaxing, noticing. You can massage your lower back gently and comfortably.

Whenever you are ready, releasing your hands, move your shoulder joints, moving your spine, stretching your spine and feeling the entire body, sense of wakefulness and sense of aliveness and sense of a powerfulness of life force coming back.

Because of brief time, we are not able to complete the sound healing for five-organ systems. The good news is I can share the entire practice with more free resources and I want to share with this community. That is available on this link: chicenter.com/journal. And from this link, I am sharing some free resource, including an eBook about sound healing. We did a part of it and as well, the guided practice of sound healing, and additional guided video practice for enhancing your immune system, reducing the stress of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and including movement, sound and meditation practice. So I want to share that resource with you with the intention of not only inspiration, but more importantly is empowering you to make a difference. Make the change and now, and with yourself and continuously expanding your capacity for healing, the awakening of not only yourself, but also for the collective and making the greatest contribution for humanity for the planet Earth.

So with that said, the link is chicenter.com And so continuously allowing this energy flowing inside of your body and feeling the sense of connection. And I apologize, we are running out of time, extended the time and so whoever can stay longer. And I thank you for your presence. Also, thank you for whoever has to leave earlier because of other responsibilities. So again, I am so thankful and grateful for this occasion, this opportunity, and for this sharing and thank you, Cynthia, Kozo, and the team, and for making this happen for anyone engaged in this process.

Kozo: Thank you, Master Mingtong. We have a number of questions. Are you able to answer some questions?

Master Mingtong: Yes, I can stay longer.

Kozo: Before we get to the questions, I just wanted to share that I feel expansive because we did the movement practice, then there's a lot of the intellectual background. Then we did the sound practice and I feel like all of those practices put together are just, like you said, mind-body connection, a little piece of everything. So that was beautiful. Thank you so much. I have a question, Master Mingtong. I noticed in your sound healing practice, there's been a shift, like you said, in the last sounds where you go to the "un" sound and also in other videos do this (demonstrates) movement, right? There's a lot of new research being done on the vagus nerve and the nerve that connects all those five organs to the brain. It seems like you are activating that connection. Then there's also research being done in epigenetics, which says that things that happen to your ancestors are transferred into your gene expression. I noticed when you do a lot of your healing practice, you talk about generational trauma, generational healing. I'm wondering if there's a relationship between modern science and the Qigong practice, and if you're aware of that and if you have any comments on that interaction?

Master Mingtong: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. We're living in extraordinary times, I think. One of the unique features of this time is that the science is catching up, including even cutting-edge research on medicine, on mind-body connection, on even energy. Also quantum physics is really validating the ancient paradigm we use in Qigong practice. Not only everything is made of energy, but everything is interconnected through the invisible energy. It's a way of quantum entanglement happening. The science is validating epigenetics, validating neuroscience. This is important knowledge, exciting insight, but what is missing is how to make a difference, how to use these new discoveries to make some substantial change inside of you with a practice. That's what we're missing.

I feel it's an exciting time because we have enough validation now. So now we can be empowered to do the work, do the internal work, feel the confidence that is not just wishy-washy, this is not just the Placebo effect. This is the tangible energy you're feeling that is validated by science. It's not only just comforting, but also empowering. It's also really inspiring to take the next step. I think this parallel development of spiritual tradition and the scientific tradition and eventually we move closer, closer, closer, closer, and eventually discover the same truth. That is the process of discovery, but how to embody that truth? What is missing is the practice that we need right now for this time.

Kozo: Beautiful. I love the way you put it: science is catching up, because the old paradigm was science was always the leading edge. Ancient practices are superstitious almost. But now science is catching up to the ancient practices, so it's beautiful.

Master Mingtong: It's truly an exciting time.

Kozo: I'm going to try to consolidate some of these questions. We have a number of questions about the relationship between Qigong and other practices like meditation and yoga. Daniel asks, "what is the relationship between this life you connect to and the 'higher self' that meditators merge within deep meditation?" David asks, similarly, "Can you please share your thoughts on the similarity between Qigong with practices that also have healing qualities through gentle movement such as Kashmiri yoga and Kum Nye Tibetan yoga?"

Master Mingtong: These are good questions. Basically, yoga is one of the ancient traditions that came out of India. Qigong is a similar ancient tradition that came out of China. These two are really parallel. You can see parallel philosophy, cosmology, methodology in both traditions. The practice, the method are, let's say in a way, a little bit different. Yoga, let's say in a physical dimension, is more focused on the physical posture, focus on stress, focus on breathing. Then you go further, further, deeper into the meditation. In Qigong, we start with a more gentle movement and often standing first, then gradually evolve into sitting and also incorporating meditation in the process.

There's a lot of form of yoga, form of energy practice, form of Qigong practice out there. The form is really focused on specific routines, specific techniques to realize certain results, certain benefits. What I'm sharing with you today, Wisdom Healing Qigong, is a system. It's beyond just one technique, beyond just one form. The system is a combination of different practices, a few different movement practices, then the sound practice, then the meditation practice. Then you combine all these together, allowing you to access the wholeness of energy. Then the methodology behind the method as I shared is about connecting with energy which encompasses the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual awakening, opening, changing the pattern from contraction to openness. It's a particular methodology. Different systems have different methodologies. Some systems use, for example, the Meridian channels and activate certain Meridian points, buried in channels and indirectly stimulating the energy associating certain functions of the organs, even then reaching into the emotional dimension. That's a different methodology.

The methodology can be different from one system to another system. As a system, beyond the methodologies is cosmology. For example, Tai Chi cosmology is focused on ying and yang balance, the interaction of ying and yang. This system, the cosmology, is focused on oneness. In the purest state of energy, not only is everything interconnected, it's inseparable. Literally, you cannot separate anything. Individual existence is based on a world perception, especially physical perception, limited perception of physical existence. The energetic perception is much bigger. The cosmology is oneness, wholeness. The awareness is wholeness of the universe as energy. Awareness of the wholeness of planet Earth as energy, awareness of your body, encompassing the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual as an energy field as wholeness. It's about returning to that oneness and wholeness. And that is different from balance, from different pieces, trying to put together all the puzzles. That's the unique quality of Wisdom Healing Qigong as a system.

Kozo: Beautiful. Getting back to the meditator part, I get this feeling, you know how Cynthia said that healing happens as a side effect? I get this feeling when you explain the system of Wisdom Healing Qigong that almost enlightenment or higher consciousness happens as a side effect. We get the movement going and then it comes. It's not the main focus. Meditators are like "I want to focus on enlightenment." Would you agree?

Master Mingtong: Right. I think that that's a good point. The more you allow this process to naturally happen, including opening the energy, including your mental awareness, concentration, and visualization, you naturally start getting into the same state of meditation, with a more proactive approach, also with the intention of connecting with energy, not just your mind. So, realizing the consciousness and energy are two sides of the same token. If you're focused on only one side, then you're still missing the wholeness. In Qigong, you're taking both sides with you. You're meditating with your mind and at the same time directly working with energy. As a result, you tap into not only the wholeness, but also the side effect, the benefit, including physical healing, emotional healing, and spiritual, mental awakening. That's how that works. That's kind of the unique quality of Qigong meditation in general.

If you look historically, Qigong, is really the grandmother or grandfather of all other traditions in China. Coming out of that is martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, and then certain Buddhist lineages also do energy practices using Qigong to do that in China. Certain Taoist traditions, a lot of Taoist traditions focus on the energy practice, very related to Qigong. Then you have another kind of modality, TCM, a different kind of technique, also herbs, acupuncture, cupping, and so on. But the original, energetic principle is coming from Qigong practice. We often say the best acupuncturist is the one practicing Qigong, because he or she not only knows the formula, but they have a direct experience with their own energy body, knowing how everything works. So their treatment is much more effective. Now I can say that my vision is that the best medical physician is the one who practices Qigong. I think we're moving towards that direction now.

Kozo: I would offer, as Cynthia has told me, the best patient is the one who practices Qigong.

Master Mingtong: That's another implication. It's so true. When the patient practices Qigong, they're naturally not only more engaged, the more responsible for their healing process, but they also recover faster. Then they're also able to use your advice more effectively. You're releasing the unnecessary weight from your own profession as a doctor or a physician. If the patient is not responsible for their healing, then no matter how much weight you carry, how many prescriptions you give them, eventually you'll run into limitations.

Cynthia: The last three months since the pandemic, I can't force anyone to do it, but I've basically been strongly recommending to those working with me: here's your daily homework: give three different free YouTube offerings that you provide people and they can choose. What I have found is that when I see these patients for the first time, it's already shifted. This was an unexpected consequence of this experiment. I work with them much more as partners, rather than them looking to me to fix something. The relationship between doctor and patient with chronic health conditions is already changed just by giving them a practice before they see me. I wasn't anticipating that. That's been exciting for me.

But to that point, I really wanted to ask one question that has come up from a lot of listeners today: for those who are very, very debilitated and stuck ― this is something I'm happy to comment on after you, Master Mingtong. For those who feel very debilitated and stuck, unable to move because of mental blockages, how do they start? How do they keep up the practice? One listener said, "I know so many practices, but I can't start or keep up.” Do you have any words of wisdom?

Master Mingtong: Yeah, that's a really important question. That's what I love about Wisdom Healing Qigong. On one hand is so powerful and the benefit is immediate, a really immediate direct experience, feeling more energy, more joy, more aliveness, higher quality of life. But also, it's so accessible, amazingly accessible, amazingly simple and accessible for any condition, any age, any background, and you can do it without any kind of machine, any equipment. You can do it by standing or sitting or lying down. If you cannot do this physical movement, you can start doing the sound healing practice. If you cannot make these sounds at all, you can just hear the sound and practice. If you cannot even hear the sound, you start vibration, affecting your body energy. And if you cannot do the movement, you just watch the video, visualizing the movement. You start to feel the energy awakening opening inside of you. You can even just simply lie down, doing whatever you can. If you cannot move this part of the body, you move another part of the body. Even if you're moving your fingertips, you're starting the movement of life, movement of energy. Qigong is not about perfection. It's not about you have to do everything perfectly. It's about what you can do now, starting the change, starting the opening of energy.

These suggestions, especially now, the technology is providing all the accessibilities, not only teaching, but guided practice, and you can follow in the beginning more visually. Eventually you can close your eyes, just follow the sound, follow the verbal guidance, and even just watching these videos are healing. We also make healing sessions available. You just listen to the recording and you can sleep with them. Because we work with the subtle energy, you can go beyond any limitation of the physical. By doing this subtle energy practice, energy awakening opening you can feel, then the change continues in the physical body. Over time you feel strength come back. Quality of life comes back. Even the normal function of the physical body comes back, and that is how that works.

So, it's a really different approach than, you know, whether physical fitness or exercises or a particular breathing technique takes a lot of effort, a particular condition you need. So it's very accessible, very accessible, as sincere love to hear more how that, for you, your process, everybody's process, can be different, but more importantly, it's really Qigong providing this opportunity for everybody to start wherever you are at. Another access point, ideally, the question is: if you learn so many practices, so many techniques, my suggestion is really to focus on no more than three in any given time. My preference is to focus on one at a time and over time, you can explore different techniques, different systems, and so on. But at any given time, it's more effective to go deeper with the one system and you're able to really concentrate, really dedicate, really engage, really benefit more from a hundred-percent engagement.

So then over time, you can say, now you're ready to explore another system, but eventually you still have to decide somewhere later what is the most important practice for you. It's not about you having to do everything. What's the point of doing everything? It's realizing what is the important thing to do. What is most needed? What is the most beneficial for both the immediate goal of health and the healing as well as the long-term goal for prevention and sustainability and happiness of life, as well as spiritual development? You need to eventually discover, what is the practice that can fulfill all these needs of physical healing, emotional transformation, mental and spiritual development. You feel connecting with whatever practice, able to realize this benefit.

Then I feel, from my experience, the best way is to focus on that practice continuously, diving as deep as possible. That's my suggestion. Don't rush into trying to do everything or rush into the checklist: “I have done this, then I'm going to combine them together." These traditions have been developed over time, not just hundred years, thousands of years. It is time-tested. As a result, how everything is organized is much more effective than you think you know already from whatever workshop or whatever training. And I just want to be really honest and authentic, truthful with you. So, thank you for asking this question. Cynthia, feel free to add your experience, please.

Cynthia: If you can go back, though, to the mental blockages, which is what I also, in working with my patients who are either very debilitated or have lack of support, or their life is very, very overwhelming. The mental blockage to even begin the practice or to sustain the practice, I think, might be the number one hurdle.

Master Mingtong Gu: There's no magical wand for that. And so, as humanity is evolving, including this technology, now we have more and more accessibility, more and more opportunity not only to learn the information, the knowledge, but suddenly doing something. And hopefully in this last session, in the session we're doing, you're doing it with me. So then, suddenly, "Oh, I'm doing it!" Then you start experiencing it. And some of us are ready to continue to engage this. Some of us may not be ready at this timeframe. And then the information or different connection will come back to you in different directions, at different times. Then, next step, you're ready for more, doing more practice. The next step, now you're ready for more.

So ultimately, by doing it, you can overcome these mental blockages, and sometimes we're forced to do that. That often is a gift of life. Like, our challenge or suffering is so great, "Now I have to do something for myself. I tried everything, from treatment from other people, medications already." Finally, you're fed up with that. And you say, "I'm ready to do something for myself." So it's really a different condition, a different possibility leading to the place: you are doing it. Once you do that, then I think, in a way, Qigong quality is also powerful because you can repeat. You can repeat it. Something you can repeat then makes it easier for you to continue if you are experiencing something amazingly awakening, amazing healing, awakening, and shifting in the energy, suddenly. "Oh my God. How can I repeat that when I go home?" Then it's not sustainable. Then the mind is detached from that and whatever result eventually kind of fades out.

So, this consistency, this repetitive process, it's almost like making it more scientific now for you to repeat again, again, again. That's also important. I think a different person, finding a different way of making the commitment, whenever they're ready. But the condition we're providing, we're sharing, makes this possible now, more possible than ever.

Kozo: Master Mingtong, the more you share, the more questions come in…

Master Mingtong Gu: Yes, I can stay longer. I'm really enjoying this process.

Kozo: We have a question related to something you just shared I think about the repeatability, David asks. "Qigong off the mat. So, we get into a very good space during practice. What suggestions do you have for when we are going through a very stressful work or business interaction for being just as whole (i.e., not fragmented) as when we are practicing." So how do you take your Qigong practice into the real world?

Master Mingtong Gu: Well, imagine the ideal case, whenever we are ready, you are creating a consistent practice every day, whether even starting 15 minutes, increasing to 30 minutes, even some are ready for a one-hour or a two-hour practice. So whatever inspires you to make this decision, you want to make a consistent plan for a period of time. First thing in the morning is a good time to do that. In the evening is a good time to do that. If you're still thinking, "Oh, whenever I have time, I will do it." That will never happen. So don't fool yourself, you can either say, "Yes" or "No." Don't stay in the "maybe" always. In the "Maybe" is exhausting. Exhausting. You're exhausting yourself. You're fooling yourself. You need to just simply be clear to yourself. "Yes" or "No" And you're the one making the decision. I mean, you're the one making the "No." You're the one making the choice; you're clear on that. That's great. But if you make a "Yes," the next step is consistency.

When you're creating a consistent practice, then you're changing the energy patterns inside of you. The immediate benefit is whatever you encounter in your life, you feel less stressed. You feel less reactional. You feel more centered, more grounded, more empowered from your daily practice. The quality of your life, quality of your relationships, quality of your work, including meetings, start to improve over time. And that is the main benefit, the most important sustainable benefit of Qigong practice. Then you can incorporate specific techniques when doing Qigong.

For example, you're organizing a chi field. You're connecting with the energy inside of you. I call this the "Four alignments.” First is internal alignment: your mind, body, heart, spirit. And second is vertical alignment: you're connecting with the energy of the Earth, the energy of the universe. Then the third is horizontal alignment: connecting with the subtle energy in front of you, behind you, all around you. Then the fourth one is purpose alignment. You go into your heart, feeling the subtle energy of your heart, connecting to what is the purpose? -- the purpose of your life, the purpose of your healing, the purpose of your awakening, but also the purpose of the meeting. When you go to the meeting, what do you want to accomplish?

When you're connecting with your heart, suddenly you're connecting with the deeper purpose of the meeting beyond just waiting rooms, beyond just solving a problem, beyond just work as earning money. So suddenly you open your energy to greater purpose from your heart, but also, you're connecting the energy of the universe ― the energy of your mind, body, heart, spirit, feeling this internal alignment.

So, when you show up, suddenly you show up differently in your meeting. And the process, the result of the meeting is transformed by this meditation. And you can use this meditation for any purpose. As a patient, you can do this practice before you see the doctors, then you're getting a better result. Suddenly not only you are more relaxed, but your doctor is more relaxed, more open, and even more accommodating of an integrative approach towards your healing process. And same way as a doctor ― I know Cynthia’s doing that. You're organizing the chi field before your patients show up. Then you are energetically connected with that person before any diagnosis, any analysis, any stress of prescriptions. Suddenly, you're working with them in the energy level before they show up. Then the whole process, as Cynthia said, the relationship is based on this energy connection, energy container, energy purpose, beyond just fixing the problems.

This is really changing the whole dynamic of life, basically. Everything, including abundance, you can organize the chi field for your abundance. You can organize the chi field for a new job, more fulfilling job. You can organize the chi field to accomplish a specific project in your life. You can organize the chi field for healing of a community. Think of healing of children, for example, in the world. The healing of elders, even healing of the spirit of people who died, whether from pandemic or continuous process of life. So, the application of Qigong from three aspects: one is the paradigm shift to oneness and the second is the connection of energy. And the third is your practice allowing you to structure the energy in the most beneficial way.

So then you're applying that energy technology to any aspect of your life, basically. Actually, there's no limitation, absolutely no limitation. And especially if you're interested in the contribution of healing, awakening of humanity, as while you are you doing the practice you're naturally contributing, but also naturally you can lean into that intention, that visualization, that connection. So no matter where you're at, no matter whatever sticky problem in the hand, you can open to the greater energy capacity, energy connection, energy opening. And that is one of the powerful shifts. There's no limitation, and at the same time, it's extremely accessible. Anyone can do it. Anyone can make the contribution now at home, even.

Kozo: Wonderful. Master Mingtong, maybe we'll have one last question and I apologize to everyone who we didn't get to your questions, but there are just so many. Two people asked a very similar question. Oliver said, "Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Is the universal energy connected to the moral universe and justice? And then similarly Daniel asks, "Is there a guiding intelligence that ensures our connecting with energy is completely holistic and pure?" So, I think there's this concern about moral justice, full purity.

Master Mingtong: I think, any kind of a concept -- if it's involved with right/wrong, good/bad, should or shouldn't -- ultimately is going to run into limitations and problems. And yet for a particular timeframe, whatever moral guidance, whatever desire I want to accomplish, good and bad and so on, can open the doorway to the next step of evolution. In the middle of injustice, now we need to emphasize justice that can open the doorway to the next step. I think the next step is really this pure energy, oneness. Cultivating this pure quality is not based on moral formula or religious belief. It's this life nourishing, life nourishing. What is life affirming? What is life nourishing? What is truly promoting human connection, human oneness? And that is in spite of challenges. That includes embracing the challenges, embracing the difference, embracing history, which needs healing, so much healing.

But if we're continuously in this paradigm of right/wrong, good and bad, should and shouldn't, we're continuously in the battle. The battle is starting with ourselves, the internal battle, Then this battle continuously experiencing the social level, even the middle in the family levels, in the social level, in the humanity levels. At least that is my experience, that is my suggestion. So, if anything helps you to open to the next level of connection, next level of oneness, then it's beneficial. Then when we realize, whatever way is limiting us, then we're ready to break this box to the next level.

Ultimately, it's about oneness of pure energy. So we're learning to access energy in this level, access yourself in that level until you access yourself in this purest way, you cannot really realize, "Oh, I want to have a pure vision of the world, pure vision of life." That's just concept. You have to experience yourself. You have to discover yourself, the ultimate discovery as the new human is going to be evolving. And not only just discover the pure nature of all consciousness, but the pure nature of the self.

Kozo: Thank you, Master Mingtong. We have one last question that we ask all our guests and that is how can we, as the ServiceSpace ecosphere, global ecosphere, how can we support you and your work and your vision? What can we do for you?

Master Mingtong: Thank you so much for this question. Thank you, actually, you're doing it already by creating this space, creating this opportunity and by sharing together in such a powerful, deep way. In a both really personal, you and me all together, each other, but also collective. And your amazing dedication, especially over 20 years, is really profound. I think the consistency of this dedication, especially in this self-volunteer organized way, is really a powerful model for all of us. And, hopefully, by sharing what is possible in the process, the practice, the shifting of the paradigm, I can help anyone who's ready to take the next step. We're here together, we're doing this work together, sharing not only the information, sharing the wisdom, sharing the energy information, but also sharing the process, sharing the practice, and sharing this collective purpose, dedication. If anything, if I can help all of you take the next step, I'll be very grateful. So, thank you for asking that question.

Kozo: Thank you, Master Mingtong. I just have two closing pieces and then I'll pass it over to Cynthia and then we'll end with a moment of silence. But the first is just gratitude, Master Mingtong, gratitude for you taking so much time and just sharing so much with us in the course of this webinar. And the second is just a real quick observation that kind of like, it's just a powerful observation I made and we're going to over two-and-a-half hours, right? And your voice and your projection and your vibration is just as strong as when we started. Your clarity of mind, the way you're answering these questions, is just as powerful as when you were doing your own presentation. And I think that's a testament to how the Qi is flowing through you, right? When you flow, then you can do two-and-a-half hours of a webinar and still be focused and strong. And I think it's amazing. Thank you for role modeling that for us.

Master Mingtong: Thank you. Thank you.

Kozo: And I'll pass to Cynthia.

Cynthia: Thank you. I really don't have a lot of words for this experience of bringing Master Mingtong and the whole Chi Center community in together with ServiceSpace. These two beloved communities of mine that have really transformed my life, so profound gratitude and honor, and pleasure, it has been a joyful two-and-a-half hours.

I want to leave with the reflection, based on this question about mental blockages. Because often, when we're connecting with other people and there's a gifted teacher, it's easy, right? We connect, we're in the flow, we're feeling really great. And then we return to our lives when this ends and there can be anxiety, there can be frustration, and then really just falling off this wagon of healing and awakening that we really want to be on. So, having been at that place myself, as you said, being forced, forced at the edge of life to say, ”okay, okay, I'm going to change.” Every day I'm waking up like “I need to go there. Like, I'm going to connect to myself today.”

The parting words that I want to leave people with, what I also discuss with my patients is: don't think about the prescriptions. Don't think about all the things, the different modalities, the different healing paths. It can be really, really overwhelming and it can make us feel less empowered because we keep not doing it, right? Just go back deeper into the more essential questions, A. what is it that you want? B. every day, just waking up: all right, I have a choice. And do I want this or do I want that?

And ultimately it is a question of, are you ready to love yourself? That's really the question we're asking. It's not, how do I keep doing the practice? It's really about connecting with ourselves and this connection with our bodies as we are right now, not in some perfected form, but as we are today. Every day is a new day where we are gifted with that question. This particular chi field community that we've gathered today is going to disperse. So, what are we going to do in our own lives in this next moment, in the afternoon and tomorrow with connecting with ourselves and connecting with life affirming energy.

So, thank you so much, Master Mingtong for being here with us. It's been tremendous. And, thank you to ServiceSpace for hosting this opportunity.

Master Mingtong: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone for your presence and connection with each other. I want to end the session with a Haola blessing. When we're chanting Haola, we awaken the energy and the deeper meaning is “all is well and getting better.” All is well in the oneness pure energy and getting better awakening the relative dimension, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, personal collective to the witness. So we say: Haola. Haola. Haola. Until all the energy brain, all the energy heart, all the energy selves. All the energy connection of life.

Kozo: We'll just have a real short moment of silence with that Haola.

***

Thank you for listening to a recording of Awakin calls. To access archives, visit us at www.awakin.org and to get more involved, volunteer at www.servicespace.org.

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