"Directing Qi, I transmit empowering resources to specific areas to accelerate healing and to restore balance and harmony." Roger Jahnke, 5th Phase Mind-focus Affirmation, The Healing Promise of Qi
(5th Ax in the "Create!" Series)
Before jumping into the fifth phase, a few more words on the 4th, "Purify Qi." My main Qigong teacher over the years, San Bao, teaches only a handful of Qigong exercises. That's part of why I love practicing with San Bao, who embodies the Bruce Lee theory, namely, "better to practice one kick 1,000 times than 1,000 kicks one time each." The one exercise I like most related to "Purify" Qi is called "pushing the clouds."
For this one, you warm-up, do an "opener," and then with each inhalation, pull your two arms to your chest slowly, palms out (think standing push-up); matching the exhale, push them out, all while imagining positive ("fresh, natural") energy coming in on the inhale and then negative ("spent, toxic") out with the exhale. As I've said before, Qigong exercises and the 10 mind-focus affirmations are all inter-related. "Pushing the Clouds" seems just perfect for purifying the Qi.
On to Phase 5, "Direct Qi." This was and continues to be one of the hardest of the affirmations for me to implement, but it sure is "directly" related to creativity. As a Qigong exercise, as the affirmation above says, it's about intentionally directing the Qi to "specific areas." While I am able to feel the Qi in different areas of my body, I have yet to learn how to direct it there in the way healers do. I suppose I'll get there, someday.
"Energy Flows Where Attention Goes"
Phase 5, Direct Qi, to me perfectly embodies that line again, "Energy flows where attention goes." When I focus my energy on the task at hand, the creative juices seem to "automagically" flow. It can even become what some writers experience as "automatic writing." One favorite way I practice is to write down a question with my left (dominant) hand, and then watch as my right-hand slowly writes out an answer. This might sound a bit woo-woo or even ridiculous, but we do know that the brain's right hemisphere, among other things, generally controls the left side of the body, and the brain's right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. So, what does that tell us? (Sorry, fellow left-handers, it doesn't mean, as one guy told me, "Therefore only left-handed people are in their right minds.") It means that in order to write with my non-dominant hand, I'm using the other side of my brain. And I will definitely get a different kind of answer, often a sub-conscious answer. It may not always be the best answer, but it will surely be different!
I've enjoyed the "opposite hand" writing exercise over the years, as well as the "pushing the clouds" Qigong activity. And that brings me to a concept I learned in one of the books on Qigong that thumbed through at the Spa on Koh Samui. In the introduction, the author said, "You don't need this book." And at the end, he said, "The best book on Qigong will be your own journal where you record your experiences with Qi." Amen to that!
Even now that I've read Jahnke's book more than twice, and find something new in it every time, I still agree with the other author too, in that the best learning is direct learning. San Bao would end each session and many correspondences with the phrase, "Keep on practicing." I sense that the practice, like all meditation, reaps cumulative benefits.
If you're interested in learning more exercises and about Qi in general, the Youtube series by Lam Kam is an excellent place to start....10 minutes per day. San Bao taught me about Lam Kam too. Here's Day 1.
Since one of our aims is to keep (or, most likely and more often) restore balance, this 5th phase is a good one to remember. And so let's repeat: "Directing Qi, I transmit empowering resources to specific areas to accelerate healing and to restore balance and harmony." Next time, we'll be exploring how to "conserve" Qi.