Being natural requires paying attention to the inner nature of all things rather than their forms. When most people think of Qigong, they usually think of “doing forms” – sets of choreographed movements practiced repetitively. I do not believe that the sages of antiquity, who originated Qigong thousands of years ago, had to study any “forms.” Those masters created their systems of self-realization not by practicing some forms, but by discovering their own, authentic ways to experience their true nature. Since they were the original founders, they had no human teachers to emulate. They had to learn from Mother Nature as well as their inner nature.
The founders of the oldest systems of self-realization had to rely on the knowledge gathered from their own personal experiences and some anecdotal stories about the miraculous powers of the ancient Shamans. They had to find empirically their own unique methods of being in the flow of Qi and experimenting with it. Such a genuine approach reared great Qigong masters, whose mastery was based on personal observation and exploration, rather than a routine repetition of forms. Playing with each other and with different animals was the testing ground for their skills and powers.
Alas, the tendency of the human mind to be focused on appearances instead of the inner essence eventually reduced many styles of Qigong, as well as Yoga, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, etc., to merely “doing forms.” You would be hard pressed to find anyone who managed to achieve anything profound by emulating their teachers’ external appearances. In order to experience the authentic mastery of being in the flow, you will need to start by shifting attention from forms to the true essence of everything, starting with your own inner nature, which is pure energy.
Comparing yourself to others is such an insidious tendency that many artists never transcend the stage of mimicking their role models. Yet the entire idea of mastery implies being natural in your art and authentic in your artistic expression. Qi Dao teaches you to develop an attitude of authenticity from the very beginning while allowing yourself to be natural.
Since change is the most constant thing in the universe, the flow is always different from one person to another and from one moment to another. This means that to copy the master’s movements or other actions is to grasp the form of the master’s experience rather than the essence. Such imitation would not enable anyone to be in the flow, because being in the flow implies being in one’s own flow, not in someone else’s flow. Through the practice of Qi Dao you will learn to be truly authentic by perceiving the flow of life force within you and throughout the world around you. You will learn to surrender to the flow and allow it to guide you in whatever way is appropriate. It will allow you to manifest your dreams effortlessly and gracefully.
About the Author
Lama Somananda Tantrapa is the holder of the lineage of Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong – that has been fostered in his clan for 27 generations. Affectionately addressed by his students as Rinpoche, Lama Tantrapa has over 30 years of experience in Qi Dao and other internal martial arts. He was primarily trained by his Grandfather who was the last Grandmaster of Qi Dao. As a reincarnate Bon Lama, he carries a title of a Tulku and was ordained as a Buddhist monk in three different traditions: Tibetan Nyingma, Thai Theravada and Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji.
Before immigrating to America, he actively participated in peace marches and conferences in the former Soviet Union supporting the peace work of his spiritual mentor and friend Junsei Terasawa who aspired to build a Peace Pagoda in the center of Moscow, Russia. His initiatives dedicated to peace work and spiritual freedom were subjected to persecution in his homeland thus he received religious asylum in the United States in 1997.
Rinpoche is an author of a book on Qi Dao and a companion DVD, as well as Qi Dao Home Study Course. Being an avid speaker and presenter, he appeared on many radio and TV programs in the US, Guam and abroad. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US National Qigong Association. Visit us online at www.qidao.org.