By: Brian Ritter
We are fortunate to live in such an amazing time. Do you ever think about that? We are blessed with royal comforts, able to choose foods, experiences and entertainment that our grandparents could only dream of. We have the capability to travel anywhere in the world, and we carry endless knowledge in our pockets at all times.
For the first time in history, we have access to the wisdom of the sages, across all borders and throughout the ages. But these limitless possibilities are simultaneously a blessing and curse.
We have so many wonderful teachings at our fingertips, but they are often incoherently translated, incorrectly interpreted and confusingly combined. On top of that, the technology that provides access to all this information is also disconnecting us from the core message of those teachings – to get back to nature, other beings and ourselves.
Most of the people I speak with don’t know what shamanism is. To many it is mysterious, secret and esoteric. But shamanism isn’t magic. It’s simply a way to reconnect us with ourselves, nature and lead us back to source. To tap into direct knowledge through experience.
Shaman have existed for thousands of years across the globe. Despite being isolated by time and geography, many shamans seem to follow a similar path. This is probably because they get their knowledge from the same place.
Typically, shaman were the people who solved problems human minds and logic were unequipped for. They were the medical healers, animal whisperers and guides. They interacted with the weather, stayed attuned to twists of tribal fate and prayed to the spirits to bless their people. They bridged the gap between our world and the spirit world, our human experience and divine experience.
Qi gong could actually be considered an ancient shamanic practice. It seeks to reconnect us with source energy, create balance and heal. It’s been around for over 2,000 years and has become more popular in the West over the past decade or so. It’s no secret why.
Qi Gong is the ancient art of cultivating and using our source energy, called Qi (pronounced chi). Practitioner move in unique ways, tone strange vibrations and use their breath to harness and move energy.
Qi Gong integrates physical postures and movements, breathing techniques and focused intention to clear blockages in the body along the same meridian system as acupuncture. It is a type of moving meditation.
Qi Gong works by restoring the body to a state of balance and equilibrium. It also promotes flexibility, strength and balance. It has been shown to stimulate the central nervous system, lower blood pressure, relieves stress and help with digestion and waste elimination.
In fact, since 1993 almost 100 randomized, controlled studies were published on Qi Gong that showed the practice can reduce the risk of – and/or symptoms associated with – hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, pain, heart attack and stroke, insomnia, bone loss, depression and even cancer.
Some people even experience intense visions, emotions and spiritual experiences through the practice.
While shaman tend to be called or chosen through culture, intense psycho social wounds and personal challenges, Qi Gong is a healing art form anyone can practice. It is an access point to direct experience of self, nature, spirit and deep unity.
When Shaman visit western folk their message is generally to respect, and get back to nature. This includes eating natural foods, experiencing nature more often, loving our neighbors (who are part of nature) and loving ourselves.
To me, there is no better way to integrate back into nature and true reality than through energetic, meditative practices. While there are physical benefits and physical changes associated with a Qi Gong practice, to the practitioner these are experienced as deeply spiritual.
When the intention is set to return to truth, empower ourselves to better serve humanity, reform our temples as better homes for spirit… well, that’s just something words can’t really explain. You may just want to experience it yourself.
To experience Qi Gong for yourself and discover how this ancient practice can improve your body and mind, join us for Shamanic Qi Gong at Sagely Willow on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 9am. Space is limited so reserve your spot today.
Brian Ritter integrates a broad range of disciplines and practices into simple, easy to understand lessons and profound experiences. He is certified to teach Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Breathwork. He is also a certified herbalist, superfood junkie, wilderness field guide and supplement buyer for a health and wellness store.