windows and mirrors
2 days ago
One morning a man was walking down a beach that was covered in dying starfish. The tide the night before had been especially strong and thousands of starfish had been washed up on shore, too far up for them to make it back into the water by themselves. The man shook his head as he trudged along thinking what a shame it was that all of those starfish would die on the beach.
He came upon a boy who was throwing starfish back into the ocean as fast as he could. He was out of breath and it was obvious that he had been at this task for a while. "Son," the man said, "you might as well quit. There are thousands of them. They are washed up all over the beach as far as you can see. There is no way you can make any sort of a difference." The boy did not even pause in what he was doing. He kept bending and throwing but as he did, he spoke to the man, "I can make a difference to this one, and this one, and this one." And the man thought, and he knew the boy was right. He began to help return the animals to their home, smiling at how life's biggest lessons sometimes came from the smallest people."
The 'qi' in 'qigong' means breath or gas in Chinese, and, by extension, 'life force', 'energy' or even 'cosmic breath'. 'Gong' means work applied to a discipline or the resultant level of skill, so 'qigong' is thus 'breath work' or 'energy work'.Moving forward... during our QiGong exercises, my wonderfully calm and infinitely patient instructor will remind us to relax, usually adding: "The more you relax, the more you feel". I have heard this every week for more than two years and I always find my mind wandering to thoughts of why this is so proundly difficult for me... this stillness... relaxation and so forth... I think it is, in fact, because I don't WANT to feel. (It does not escape me that what we are encouraged to feel in class is Qi... energy... but the principle still applies apparently, at least in my pea-brain.)