The Ball of Chi, the Tiger’s Mouth, the Qigong Video and the Nap

Man practicing qigong

Life goes on slowly when you have to stay at home. But there’s also more time to try new things. Yesterday, at the urging of one of my sisters-in-law, I tried a wisdom healing practice called Qigong.

From Pennsylvania, my sister-in-law sent us a link. The Chinese guru of Qigong, a fellow named Ming Dong Gu, in an orange robe and sitting cross-legged facing the camera, urged us to enjoy and learn from our time with him and the instructor in New Hampshire he had picked to lead us for the next half-hour.

“It’s streaming,” my wife said. “It only can be watched live. Then there’s another, same time tomorrow.”

We were watching this on her computer, standing side-by-side, facing the screen with our arms at our sides.

On the screen now appeared a slender, handsome woman with cropped hair, a black blouse and a pair of black slacks tied around her waist with a sash.

“Thank you all for coming,” she said, introducing herself. “Hold your arms out in front of your chest, palms in, facing one another. Now spread your fingers. This is called the Tiger’s Mouth.”

We did that.

“Between your hands, you are holding a ball of chi,” the woman said. “It will energize you and relax you. Now slowly raise this ball of chi over your head. Hold it there, your hands apart, your fingers spread. Let the energy of the chi rain down on your head. Now, slowly, bring your hands down in front of you, still holding the chi, bring it down and down, passing all your sensory organs until it is level with your chest.

“Next, standing tall, twist your body to the left, hold the chi steady as you twist, and feel the energy begin to flow through your lower spine. Now hold it there. For those of you who can’t do all this, do as much as you can, whatever feels comfortable to you. It’s all alright.

She had said “passing all your sensory organs until it is level with your chest.” And isn’t that interesting. I looked at her head on the screen. Yup, there they all were. Her smell organ, taste organ, hearing organ, seeing organ. And why should they be all there? And none of them anywhere else further down our bodies? Was that fair? Maybe we should have our sight organs in our knees. Or sense of smell coming from our belly buttons. Why not give the rest of our bodies a chance?

She was saying something about moving our hands holding our balls of chi down in front of our bodies and swooping the chi close to the floor then back up.

I thought some more. Our sense of touch is not all in our heads. It’s everywhere on our bodies. So she’s wrong about that sensory organ.

I do understand the primacy of having so many of our sensory organs in our heads. We stand up tall. We taste something and gravity sends it down to nourish what’s going on below. So that’s good. Also, having our sight organs that high helps. You can see more from the top. For example, the Montauk Lighthouse has its light at the top.

I imagined some critters who got around on all fours with their eyes in the front, no higher than their backs. Backs would have been good for eyes. There are some critters who have eyes on stalks. Others who have sensitive antennas or whiskers in front of their heads for a sort of preview of a coming touch.

The half-hour was up and our instructor told us to find a seat as we were now going to be returning to the guru master. So we sat, my wife in one chair, me in another, continuing to face the screen. The chi master thanked us for coming and now invited us to take deep breaths so we could emit long low murmurs that go Ooooooommmm. And we did that.

I don’t remember anything after that, except for my wife jolting me to ask me how it went.

“I feel great. Very relaxed. Very ready for anything,” I said.

“You fell asleep,” my wife said.

And I felt great for the rest of the day. Can’t wait to do this again tomorrow.

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