Chi: What is It? And How to Tap Into Yours.
Chi (also spelled Qi) is the principle of “natural energy” or” life force.” We can recognize it because we all possess it, but not everyone knows how to access it. How is your Chi flowing? Let’s tap into that Chi right now and learn how to turn on the spigot in order to chi up your life.
Everyone has an “off” day from time to time when you feel out of sync. But if feeling devitalized, weak and lonely has become your norm, then you need an energy adjustment.
There are lots of ways to get that adjustment. For some folks it may be swimming laps in a pool, jogging a few miles in the park, biking along scenic trails, Zumba dancing, yoga stretching, or perhaps something as simple as taking an afternoon power nap. All of these are beneficial ways to boost your energy.
The ancient Chinese health practices of Tai Chi and Qigong rev up my chi. These are martial arts, but they focus more on healing the mind/body/spirit connection rather than just physical exercising. Most people believe “no pain, no gain” so they exercise until they feel “the burn.” In Tai Chi practice we use the 70% rule that teaches us moderation, using and moving with 70% physical effort. Emphasis is placed on awareness of the natural flow of yin-and-yang, give-and-take.
I like knowing I am part of a lineage that has endured for over fifteen centuries. For hundreds of years the Chinese internal healing systems were kept secret, closed to the rest of the world. Today we are exposed to many forms of Tai Chi (Yang, Chen, Sun, being the best known), with variations within each one of these. All forms, however, adhere to certain principles, such as (1) alignment (physical balance), (2) relaxation (dantien breathing), (3) mindfulness (conscious awareness), (4) continuity (fluid movements), to name a few.
Many have described Tai Chi as a moving meditation. When I began practicing 15 years ago, I just liked the way people looked when I saw their slow gentle flowing movements. When I learned how to do the form, it made me feel good. I feel balanced and peaceful, strong and connected. Every year my practice takes me deeper into understanding the spiritual philosophy (Tao) behind the practice.
Scientific research has proved there are mental and physical benefits of Tai Chi, so we no longer have to rely solely on anecdotal testimonies. How blessed we are to live in the Internet age when with a click on the computer we can watch a YouTube video or delve into discourses about ancient philosophy, such as the Tao te Ching or the I Ching Book of Changes, upon which Tai Chi is based.
The writings of Ernest Holmes, founder of the Religious Science movement, teach us there is One Substance in the universe, manifested in many forms. This Substance radiates everything, down to the minutest sub-atomic particles. Knowing this truth about all existence includes each one of us. So, how then can it be possible to ever feel devitalized, weak or lonely? This is possible only because we sometimes forget we are connected to Source Energy. In this state of forgetfulness, we lose our power. Once I put a hundred dollar bill in my wallet. I went to a bookstore and wanted to make a purchase, but thinking I had no money I left the store without the book I wanted. Without awareness, it’s as if we are empty handed.
The Universal Life Force exists beyond the five senses. Tai Chi connects me to my internal energy. That power source is never depleted.
P E A C E
Dr. Baji Daniels, RScP, is a certified Tai Chi teacher and a licensed Religious Science Practitioner at the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta. www.taichiwithbaji.com