Encounters with Spontaneous Qi: Part 10a
The next three articles in this ‘Encounters with Spontaneous Qi’ series, are not specifically about spontaneous qi or qigong. Instead, I will talking about the ability to perceive energy.
For some people, the development of a sensitivity to energy (qi/ki), may be able to help with their activation of spontaneous qi.
Once you start practicing energy work, your sensitivity to energy / qi / ki can increase. When I started practicing qigong regularly, I noticed times when I had an increased sensitivity to energy.
What does the energy feel like?
In my first two cases, I would describe the feeling of energy as like stepping into a kind of energetic zone or field. It is akin to stepping under a shower. There is a perceptible difference in the air around you. In these cases, I found the sensation to be pleasant and I wanted to stay in this field longer.
However, in my third example, the energetic sensation was more deliberate in its action. There was a clear internal movement of moving up my spine and which was related to my chakras and the Kundalini phenomenon.
I would add here, I did not have a kundalini awakening. Although, I did get a brief taster of its initial phase of movement. This occasion was affected by a deliberate external stimuli and actually was not particularly comfortable.
This article gives the first of three examples of when I felt my ability to feel energy was enhanced after beginning qigong.
Part 10a. Pilgrimage to Canterbury cathedral
My old tai chi teacher, a German lady called Dorothea was a student of the late spiritualist Irina Tweedy. I met her by attending one of her Tai Chi classes in North London. Dorothea very kindly took me on as a private student (for no charge), for which I am grateful for. In my 20s, I was a troubled young man (still am), and I think she sensed I was a person who could benefit greatly from her input. She often told me of her experiences with Ms Tweedy and showed me various energy work exercises.
On one occasion she mentioned Canterbury cathedral as being one of the few places in this country, where she could “really feel the energy”. I did not know what she meant by that statement until I went myself.
At the time I was practicing qigong every day usually for about an hour. I had already had my first experience of spontaneous qigong. Along with my regular practice, I was attending about 2 qigong classes a week with another teacher. It was quite a lot of qigong for me at the time. I don’t do that now.
I went with my girlfriend on a day trip. It was my first time there so we made our way to the Cathedral as it is the town’s top most famous attraction.
The Canterbury Tales
Canterbury is a spiritual place in the UK. For hundreds of years, people have been making pilgrimages to the cathedral. Founded in 597, it was rebuilt in the 11th century.
In the UK, one of the oldest books written in English is ‘The Canterbury Tales’. It is written in olde English in the 14th century and tells the stories of different characters undergoing a pilgrimage to Canterbury to the Shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett.
For hundreds of years people have been travelling to Canterbury they pray to god. Rich and poor, beggars or nobles, men and women, old and young. It is a Christian Mecca.
Assassination of Thomas Beckett
Another point of interest is that a famous archbishop, Thomas Beckett, was assassinated by four knights, under orders of the King in the cathedral in 1170.
As anyone who has watched the movie Highlander knows – killing on holy ground is taboo – especially for the Middle ages, when people were more religious than we are today. And to kill an archbishop at that.
Thomas Beckett was canonised by the pope making him a saint. Since then, thousands of British Christians and Catholics have made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Beckett at Canterbury Cathedral.
Awe inspiring building
The Cathedral itself is incredible. It is huge and in pristine condition. To think that such a building was built-in the 12th century is incredible. To construct such a building in a time without machinery, no cranes, no JCBs. It was all done with horse, cart and lot and lots of manpower.
Take a look at the image above. Can you image that such architecture was made in the 12th century with such perfect symmetry? Could we make it today?
It is infinitely far more inspiring than the Shard in London and many other new constructions made in the modern age. But that is the subject of another article, I will be releasing later on. But before I go on, ponder on this… What if we were actually devolving as a species and our buildings were a reflection of that?
A ceremonial day
On the day we visited Canterbury cathedral, it must have been a special day. There were large crowds of people and right in the middle, people were lining up to take it in turn to walk to a particular spot in the middle of the cathedral. One by one, they knelt and prayed in this spot. There must have been hundreds of people taking it in turn to kneel and prey on this spot.
I had wondered if this was the famous spot where Thomas Beckett had been assassinated? But on checking, that particularly spot is marked by a sculpture and four swords, so I don’t think it was the same spot.
As we saw all the people line up and pray, I assumed that this day must have had some significance. We didn’t ask anyone why this was occurring, and it was many years ago, so I cannot check the date. Instead, we just went along with it.
My girlfriend said we should do the kneeling and preying thing too. I wasn’t keen to do so, but she persuaded me.
So we got in line. I wasnt really sure what I was going to do when it as my turn. I was not a Christian at the time and had very little exposure to Christianity. I rarely prayed and had no idea of what you are supposed to do. So I decided I would just kneel for a minute, close my eyes, perhaps wish for loads a’ money, then move on quickly.
And soon it was my turn. I went to the spot where all the people had been praying, kneeled down and closed my eyes. And then I felt something really weird.
It was like stepping into a shower of energy. The air, the atmosphere in that spot felt different. It was charged. It was a field of energy.
It immediately reminded me of entering a spontaneous qigong state except that instead of it being in me, this feeling was all around me and outside of my body. I wanted to stay longer. This feeling was bizarre. It felt so relaxing and I realised that it would be so easy to meditate or prey in this field. I could lose myself in this spot in a state of bliss.
Entering the energetic field: a shower of energy
But I couldn’t stay too long. There was queue of people behind me. I got up and moved on.
Without trying to sound too excited, I asked my girlfriend if she had felt anything at that spot? She had not.
My interest was piqued by this experience that I immediately became fascinated by this cathedral. I wanted to have a good look around.
I used to find cathedrals and churches buildings boring
In my youth, I had often been dragged to museum and stately homes. I had always enjoyed castles because of my love of knights, hosting fights, knights and battles etc, but palaces, temples and cathedrals did not excite me much.
These kinds of visits always brought back unpleasant memories of long boring car journeys where I suffered travel sickness, and then having to pretend to act interested as I was dragged around Medieval bedrooms or living rooms, which are not all that interesting for a young boy.
I always felt grateful for living in modern times watching the A-Team on a comfortable sofa and eating crispy fried pancakes (Yes, the 80’s). And not living in one of these old rooms like a period costume drama.
However, today was different. My interest was sparked. I wanted to walk around this cathedral.
A second energy spot
I found another area – a small alcove type area which clearly had been an area of prayer in the past (and maybe still was today). It had a yellow-type paint on the walls, which was faded away.
I went closer to an area that looked like an old prayer spot. And again, I felt that same zone of energy. Boom. It was intense. Again – I was in the energetic shower.
For several minutes I stopped there and enjoyed the sensation. I could easily have stayed longer just sitting in that zone of peace. But my girlfriend was waiting for me. I told her what I had felt in that area and she too went to the spot.
But once again, my girlfriend did not feel anything and at that point she was getting a little annoyed that she wasn’t feeling anything. I had to tone it down.
I realised, a couple of things about this. Firstly, my ability to perceive the energy had to be related to my regular qigong practice. It had made me extra sensitive to energy (or qi). At that time I was practicing qigong regularly. Usually, every day for at least one hour. Along with 2 weekly classes.
Return to Canterbury a few years later
This was proved to me two years later, when I returned to Canterbury Cathedral. I had long anticipated my return trip hoping to get that wonderful energetic sensation again.
However, at this time, I was no longer practicing qigong. I had become interested in other things like yoga (asanas), but no longer did qigong.
And on this occasion, I was disappointed. Firstly, the initial spot where all the people were kneeling and praying was blocked off. So I couldn’t go there. Nor could I fully remember exactly where the spot was. Also this time, there were no lines of people praying, like on the first trip. It was a regular day, with tourists milling around.
No problem, I thought. I will go to the second spot where I felt energy. However, when I got there, I did not feel anything. There were no energetic zone. No field of energy.
On reflection, I felt this must be because I no longer was doing any energetic exercises like qigong.
Secondly, the areas where I picked up the energy were clearly related to other people. These zones were created by other people praying or meditating at the same spot. It is people together that can create strong energy fields. So if hundreds of people pray in one spot or all together in one room, than they create a strong energetic or meditative prayer zone.
This idea was proved to me by my visit to the Self-Realisation temple in London, which I will talk about in a later article.
Creation of the Meditation zone
That feeling also continues after the person or people are no longer meditating there. It means that, we can create an energy spot simply by repeatedly meditating there. In the second place, my impression was that this was not a popular prayer spot for modern visitors. However, it may have been a popular spot in the past and possibly for the priests today, but I had no way of finding that out.
Whether we perceive or not, we can still be affected by energy zones
But this also means that qigong or energy practices enhances our ability to perceive the energy. But whether we perceive it or not does not matter. Because even if we cannot perceive it, we will still be affected by it. If we take a place among other people in deep meditation or prayer, we will enter their auric field – the meditative zone. It will mingle and influence our energies. It is a field of healing, and consciousness. Of course it is far better if we can perceive this energetic field. And for that reason, I encourage daily practice of qigong.
- These insights prompt some further questions:
- What can be the healing potential with creating a strong field of energy for a sick person?
- Is this the reason why monks or yogini’s meditate together? Is it because it enhances the energetic field?
- What would happen if the whole world meditated at the same time? – What kind of energetic field could be created.
- Finally, what are the implications if the whole world is stuck in a field of negative energy – i.e. anger, violence, blame, desire, competition, jealousy, even lust?
This last question reminds me of a dream-like encounter I had, which I wrote about in this article – ‘Low-Level Entities‘. Essentially, if we meditate together in harmony, we create an aura of peace.
However, the converse is the same. If we unite our energies in a field of thick negative feeling – anger, blame, lust, we create a negative aura. And worse still, we potentially attract negative entities towards us.
The Sufi Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, successor of the famous Sufi master Irina Tweedy, has alluded in some of his YouTube interviews that when you start spiritual work and meditate, you start to light up. Your heart awakens and you also become visible to people with a higher spiritual level.
Stopping off at the museum book shop
As we left Canterbury cathedral, we stopped off in the bookshop, I picked up a book on spiritual quotations. The book opened to a page which contained a Naomi Remen quote about healing:
Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.
Rachel Naomi Remen
The full quote is available in an interview in the book – ‘Healing and the Mind’, by Bill Moyers.
Something about this quote struck me hard. It changed my perceptions of what healing really is. Healing is not just about the physical. Healing is deeper. You can still be physically diseased, but you can still heal. Up to then, healing had been about fixing the physical body. But true healing is more than this. The physical level is only one level of our existence. There is the mental, emotional, but also spiritual. Yet, society conditions us to see there as being only one level.
This hit me, because I realised that my whole life I had been living up to what I believed were other people’s expectations of me. I was never truly living and doing things the way I wanted. As a result I had struggled at doing things in life that were not meant for me and also failing.
I hope now with this work, that I am following my own path, and healing in the process.
Video: What is Healing?
Here is a YouTube video I made called – ‘What is Healing’. It was inspired by Remen’s quote. Other videos are also available on the The Genki Health Channel:
- 30 Day Trial of Spontaneous Qigong Practice
- Encounters with Spontaneous Qi: Serialisation
- People who are able to set off Spontaneous Qi Activation (Amended)
Canterbury Cathedral – 123f.com
Japanese mask – 123rf.com
Picture of Baku, Hokusai, via Wikipedia
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