What Makes a Qigong Master?

August 27, 2009
By

Actually the answer to this is simple: adversity; same as with any practice. Take the example of Wen Mei Yu. At 13 she started practicing under the 73 year old teacher, Yang De Shan. Naturally dedicated she eschewed comfort for her art staying outside when others went indoors to warm up, lying on cold benches and still circulating her energy.

Then WWII came. She and her husband became guerrillas, resisting the Japanese invaders when they could. Captured with a group of others, she and her comrades were buried alive while soldiers looked on. Calling on all of her skills she kept calm and silent, turning inward, remembering her practice. When she knew that the soldiers had left she dug herself out of the ground and saved comrades from death.

A master of Wild Goose, a wonderful and complex Qigong, she also ran into hard times with her own people, especially during the Cultural Revolution where she was put on public display and forced to sit or stand motionless for hours while passersby could criticize and insult her. But every trial she turned into something else. The old saying that the word for “crisis” is the same as the word for “opportunity” in Chinese is not exactly true, but in essence it is.

The point isn’t to go out and be caught by terrorists so you can be better at Qigong. Most people who’ve lived past a certain point already have a backlog of adversity. When you practice Qigong use this to encourage you to go deeper into the practice. You will find an amazing thing: that adversity can actually be re-programmed, squeezed for its benefits by turning it all into something else. Was it Isak Dinesen who wrote that, “Anything can be endured if it is seen as part of a story.”

The story is you.

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