What’s Your Drishti?

Drishti is a word meaning point of focus. Looking at one keeps us stable in difficult times. What are you focussing on?

Another Qi Gong article below !

Trusting you’re enjoying the Qi Gong articles coming from Dar, included with the blog.

We’ll also have news about our own, new membership site, coming up within the next month.

Meditation Retreat

Our next meditation retreat is the weekend of June 10–12, and in addition to meditating, we’ll be looking at Qi Gong (see Dar’s articles) and Breathwork.

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Your choice of focus is everything
…and happy 25th anniversary to us!

Let me just mention that the drawing for this series of articles comes from work done by Ben Wong and Jock McKeen. I’ve fiddled around a bit with the wording and the arrows, but the concept is theirs.

Today, we move to the upper right of the chart. (The full chart is here)

wisdom path

Last week, we looked at how the “norm” is to learn culturally acceptable behaviour, and then to spend the rest of your life defending what you learned. And people do this, despite being miserable, and stuck, and professing a burning desire for “things” to be different.

The drawing here is the upper right quadrant of the chart I drew a few weeks ago.

This is the Wisdom Path.

I’ve written about this path in many ways, including talking about reaching it through a leap of faith. In many articles, I’ve talked about how you must leave the baggage behind. The baggage is mostly the junk, the stories, and the limitations placed upon us as we grew up. We take it off by facing down our fears, experimenting with paths unfamiliar and scary, and by “opening up” our bodies, minds and spirits.

Robert Frost described this decision to go another way in his poem,

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Wisdom Path is about stepping outside of both the Cultural Norm, and your comfort level regarding who and how you are. Part of this game is the recognition that the discomfort itself is not real.

Our conditioning has set us up to have a “discomfort” reaction when moving toward a boundary. What flashed through my mind was those dog collars that work with the buried wire. As the dog approaches the wire, there might be a sound from the collar, or a tingle. If the dog gets too close to the wire, there’s a shock. The dog “learns her boundaries,” and is soon conditioned to pull up well short of the invisible wire.

In our case, there is no shock, and there is no boundary. Other than the ones we maintain. And we maintain them as we do the same things, over and over, and those same things lead to the same results.

Example: Learning to Communicate

Many clients want better communication. But it’s the rare person that just starts communicating. Everything is hedged. “Well, we’re really busy this week.” “I’ll start when she does.” We’ll start on the small ones and build up to the big ones.” (And they never do.)

In each case, the speaker thinks that the excuse is actually valid. What really happened was that they were getting close to the invisible wire of honesty and openness, and there was the tickle of, “Oh shit, what’s down that path?” and out popped a reasonable excuse.

No Excuse is Valid

The Wisdom Path is the other, less travelled path. As in Frost’s poem, you have to choose, because you can’t walk two paths at the same time. You can viscerally feel the “sigh” of the poem. It’s right here:

Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.”

Taking any path means leaving another. And in terms of what we are talking about, the Wisdom Path might as well lead to another universe. In fact, I suspect it does.

Example: I’m surprising and amusing myself over our reaction to our retirement planning.

Dar put in her retirement papers March 31, and will be done with teaching (after 35 years) the end of June. And, we just celebrated (on April 5th) our 25th anniversary. The picture, above, was taken that evening. We celebrated at yoga class, with headstands. Because, you know, we’re a bit odd…

The shirts we’re wearing say, “What’s your Drishti?” (and they’re available at our tee-shirt store!)

drishtiChoose your point of focus!

In yoga, a Drishti is the place you look when doing a pose requiring balance (like Tree pose.) You focus on a spot on the wall, a place that doesn’t move, and it helps you balance. So, a Drishti is a point of focus, or better, a solid point of focus.

I was talking about retirement with a couple of clients, and as soon as I said the word I took in a big breath, my eyes filled up, I got nasal, and started speaking with “watery-voice.” Rather than try to escape the sensations, I simply described my fear regarding our plans.

Or as Darbella succinctly puts it, “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

Our plans involve leaving Canada for parts unknown (one destination was to be Japan—with all the shaking it may have morphed into S. Korea.) And 3 months in Costa Rica, and we’re looking at teaching a workshop down there (Hi Carlos! Still thinking!)

Scary, yet walking the path, setting things up, moving along, is scary, especially the Wisdom Path, which is unpredictable .

We will both need to process our emotions and resistances as we go along, but we will keep walking. The Wisdom Path requires it.

Here’s what I’m thinking for the next few articles

I’m working with a new client, one who has processed much of the superficial drama, and who seems poised to explore this path. My intention, for her second session, is to teach her Breathwork. If you’ve been with us a while, of have been to The Haven, you’ll know what this is. I’m starting there with her because what she wants to do requires both courage and energy, and Breathwork is one way to build this.

I’m going to be playing around with new approaches to Bodywork and Breathwork as I work with this new person, and I’ll share my results here, along with things you can experiment with.

And as our plans come together, we’ll keep you posted. However, if you were thinking of coming here to do some work, I wouldn’t put it of for too long!

QiGong Secrets – Week 4

qi gong

Week four in the home study course was an introduction to one of the 3 core skills of QiGong—practising QiGong with a relaxed state of mind. Marcus describes this as a QiGong State of Mind. The relaxation exercise introduced last week in the home study course appeared to be a good one for meditation, so starting this week, I begin my QiGong practice sitting on my meditation cushion. After meditating, I practise some of the QiGong moves I am working on.

In addition to improving my health, practising QiGong also helps to calm my mind.

Taking a morning break from the busy musings that usually go on between my ears results in sense of calmness that stays with me throughout the day. I definitely notice a difference in my approach to the day’s busyness when I have taken time for meditation and QiGong in the morning.

As the week progressed, I realized that there had been a shift in my approach to QiGong. I now have a QiGong practice rather than taking time everyday to practice QiGong. Previously my focus has been on the technical aspects of the movements. I always thought that the movements that felt right were the ones to focus my practice on. I have spent the last year with a major focus on the technical side of the movements. In three weeks, QiGong Secrets Home Study Course has taken my QiGong practice to a deeper level.

Week four teaches us the first movement of the 18 that will be taught in this home study course, as well as an introduction to the other two core skills of QiGong. The first movement was easy to learn and is good for general movement of chi in your body. Some movements in QiGong can be more helpful than others for certain ailments. I am learning in this course, that the primary objective is just to get chi moving more in the body

Qigong Secrets Home Study Course

The second core skill for QiGong is taking time for this ‘Qi flow’ to move. Chi will naturally go to areas where the chi is depleted or blocked. In the videos I filmed for the new membership site Wayne and I have been working on, I ended each of the sets with a move called Bamboo in the Wind. This move helps you to feel any sensations in your body and increase awareness of the movement of energy in the body. This is also the time for the healing, the building, and the energizing to take place. The mind needs to be quiet during this time for any healing to take place.

Standing Mediation is the third core skill for QiGong. Having mediation practice helps us to simply allow the thoughts to be there then let them go rather than follow them through an endless spiral. Standing like a tree develops better alignment and balance, stronger legs, increased body awareness, and a tranquil mind. In Standing Mediation, legs and feet are naturally extended and uncrossed so blood circulation is not impeded and can actually improve. Standing Mediation is exactly what it says. Simply stand still and allow the mind to be quiet. Kenneth Cohen, in his book, The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
, describes Standing Mediation as “a million-dollar” secret. (page 134)

A relaxed, peaceful, and quiet mind is an important part of QiGong. It is the activity of the mind that usually gets us into trouble. Developing a QiGong and mediation practice helps us to learn to still the mind. When the constant noise of the mind is gone, life is a very different place. Ten to fifteen minutes a day of mindful QiGong has incredible benefits. An easy way to learn these skills is the QiGong Secrets Home Study course. If you have not check it out already, click on the link to read more.

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

5 thoughts on “What’s Your Drishti?”

  1. Have you check http://www.amatierra.com/ Nice place and not super expensive to give your workshop! I’ll be happy to promote to my local network! Where is your land? I may give you a few suggestions also regarding an place to stay if you tell me what or where you want it! Take good care.

  2. By the way…the last 4 lines of Frost’s poem have been with me for more then 20 years! I certainly hope you come to Costa Rica!

    • Thinking that the article after the next one will be an update on our plans. One thing we’re pretty sure of is 3 months in Costa Rica, starting in October. We may even be teaching a Bodywork — Qi Gong — meditation retreat in Costa Rica in December. We’ll keep you posted and connect when we are down there.

  3. Always enjoy very much your articles…and remember that i live in Costa Rica for the past 20 years…if I can be of help! Check my website.


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