I often hear people say “I am spiritual.”
I believe that, in many cases, what they mean is that they are spiritual and NOT religious. The difference between these two states lies here: being spiritual is a reflection of one’s individuality and participating in religion is an exercise in one’s community.
Of course, in a perfect world, these two aspects work hand in hand, like the relation of a man to his beloved home town. But in modern times, people often feel alienated from religion and that sets them off on an individual spiritual journey. At least, so they think. Searching for their own spirituality, they often read books, talk to people, study from teachers. Though there is no superficiality in their quest, all this still boils down to a form of shopping; they can cite Jung, read about the Dalai Lama, and quote the Christian Mystics. But, in a way, they are still parroting as though they had never left their religion.
So what has Qigong got to do with this? Qigong is one of the oldest methods in the world of experiencing undifferentiated human energy at its most basic level. It is existence preceding essence. It is pure. How many prophets experiencing the changes in their own energy assumed they saw an angel? Or a God? Or a demon? When you feel energetic movement in qigong, you are advised to visualize nothiing, to make no assumptions or conclusions, but rather to keep everything squarely focused on refining your perception of pure human energy. Even more than mediation, which most people engage in already with expectations, Qigong offers an un-presupposed experience of pure life energy. You may not see purple avatars. You may not feel like a chosen personage. But this proto-science gives raw data unsoiled by projections or interpretations.
Everyone must find his or her spiritual path in life. The nice thing about Qigong is that it supplies us with a flashlight.