When I first started studying at the Shaolin Temple, I had many questions about my Kung Fu and Qigong practice. One evening, after a hard day's training I went to see my master and rattled off my long list of questions. I was met with silence. All I could hear was the chanting coming from the temple across the courtyard. Then my master took a sip from his tea and said, "We don't have an aversion to noise or think silence is a good thing but silence is the only way to let your mind enter into space like clear water. There's nothing to be found outside of the mind." And he dismissed me.
I had no idea what he was talking about, I was a fourteen year old boy at the time but a few years later I stumbled across this sentence in a Buddhist sutra he gave me: Have you not heard that everyone's light ( enlightened mind) is brighter than a thousand suns shining at once?
That sentence stuck with me. I have used it as my inspiration ever since.
Even though most of my students are not Buddhists and believe in other religions or none they along with myself find the philosophy of Zen to be helpful in life. It has great faith in the power of our minds. And the inherent wisdom that all of us have but most of us - including myself - mainly don't listen to.
Modern science is researching the power of meditation and it's findings are remarkable for something so simple as focusing the mind whether in sitting meditation or doing a moving meditation like Qigong.
As my training progressed I found that my master was right. I found the answer to my questions through the power of my own mind and body practice. Through not answering me, my master was answering me. If you are feeling helpless, worried, anxious or undecided about something then take some advice from the Zen spiritual masters of the past: You have met a close friend. Just look inside your own heart and examine carefully. If you can do this heaven and earth will flow from it.
- Stop. This sounds easier than it is as once we're caught up in something it's hard to stop.
- Let go. Through the process of Qigong or sitting meditation.
- Be a witness. At the end of your meditation think about the thing you are caught up in as if you were an outsider witnessing it.
You may feel a little less caught up but if you don't, don't worry, just keep repeating this process a few times a day or once a day. It only takes a few minutes.
Remember that you are much more than what you think, there is a source of peace and wisdom inside you, waiting for you to listen to it. A good place to start is through your 8 Treasures Qigong Practice.