by Jessica Waters, MA, NLC, MPS, MPC
Trauma, Grief, Anxiety, Addictions and Expressive Arts Specialist
The American composer John Cage composed a piece of music in 1952 titled 4'33. It was a piece for Cage that represented that any sound can be music. And indeed... there is music in silence if you listen. To become silent in contemplation, moving or still, is to allow the sacred in you to open and connect to the sacred of the universe. Of the Divine Creator God. To become silent and breathe. Science shows that all humans benefit from a reprieve of noise. Our brains run like the Energizer Bunny. Even when we’re not engaged in a conscious activity, our neurons are synthesizing data and filing memories and making sense of stimuli. Silence also bring us to prayer.
We do not have to be still to be silent. In fact for some bodies, moving meditation like Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong are all apart of entering into silence and communion with energy and the Divine.
Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient practices that have led to improved health, fitness, wellbeing and longevity for countless individuals up to the present time. They both cultivate the Qi, also spelt Chi -- the life energy that flows through the body’s energy pathways -- by combining movement, breathing and meditation. Tai Chi and Qigong have in common the same basic property (Qi), the same fundamental principle (relaxation), and the same fundamental method (slowness).
What is Qi? Qi is the animating power that permeates the universe and all living things. It is a basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) -- Qi flows throughout the body’s energy pathways, or meridians, to help maintain essential health. The body is unwell when the flow of Qi becomes stagnant or blocked, whereas a free flowing and balanced Qi energizes the organs, systems and cells.
Qigong literally means “life energy work” -- a way of working with the life energy. It is a healing art, a way of cultivating physical, spiritual, emotional and psychical health, that originated in China about seven thousand years ago, widely practised by the shaman priests during that primitive era. Qigong is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and was first detailed in an ancient Chinese medical text book -- the Huang Di Nei Jing or Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon - that has been regarded as the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for well over two millennia and is still in use today.- Tai Chi Society
I'll speak more about the philosophy of Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga in further postings.
For this moment, don't worry about knowing the movements. Just watch. Listening. Breathing.
"it is in silence of the heart that God speaks"
If all you do is watch this for a period of time and settle yourself in the silence, it has done it's job. If you are inclined to try it with her, please feel free. I have included some beginner moves as well in the link below.