Wild Women, Shared Presence, and the Nuance of Passage ... (May 7th class)

Amazing Women,

Thank-you for willingly participating in the sharing of your chosen cards in yesterday's class. I loved hearing the similar yet unique messages from Eckhart Tolle that each of you contributed. And the Wild Women cards, well...I just can't get enough of Elizabeth Macleod's fun, real and empowering messages!! 

Alanna, what a gift for you to bring your beautiful presence to our circle....it felt as if you had been with us from the start! Gabriole, we look forward to finally having you join us next week! 


It was nice to formally share with you my vision for Practicing Grace Qigong which I had intended to do on our first class, but was drawn elsewhere until now. I have paraphrased this vision below:

Class Philosophy:
This is a sacred space from entry to exit, a place to join with others to access your own healing power. We honour each other’s unique journey, share and connect while being mindful to allow each person’s experience to be her own. Laughter and joyous connection is encouraged!  

Circle of Presence:
The person holding the stone receives utter presence from the others. No words are spoken, unless the person specifically asks for a response. This exercise is about noticing what is and being with it without judgement. It is about shared presence, shared vulnerability and shared celebrations. Together we hold intense presence both for ourselves and for others and to set and sense the energy field of the group. Healing is amplified in a group, and many traditions consider a group to be a necessary component of spiritual awakening.

Practicing Grace Qigong:
Practicing Grace Qigong is an intuitive practice to open the mind and heart and restore energy flow to the body. We honour all traditions and all human experiences, recognizing that most energy blockages are caused from our emotions, our unwillingness to feel the sensation of emotion and stay with it without assigning a mental story to it. Only when we allow the emotion to move through us do we unmask, let go and open the mind and heart.

Qigong uses slow movements, deep breathing, and focused intention to restore the flow of qi to the body.  Of these three qualities the most important is intention; “intent guides the Qi to produce healing”.  It is not about perfecting the details and doing precise movements. It is about listening and following your body’s innate wisdom to move with the energy.

The following passages from three different teachers  capture the essence of what Practicing Grace Qigong is all about...

It is our Qi that holds us together, animates us and makes us who we really are. It is our true self, the source of consciousness, awareness and life. Without it nothing lives. When our invisible life force signal, qi, is in orderly action, life thrives and well-being abounds.
— Master Waysun Liao
This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. All the great spiritual traditions give it different names: Qi (Chinese), Prana Shakti (Hindu), Spirit (Christian), Skan (Lakota).

The only reason we don’t feel this energy all the time is because we block it by closing our heart and mind which blocks the energy channels in our physical body (meridians and chakras). Fear is the cause of every problem. We block our flow of energy by closing our hearts and our minds and we do this because of fear.

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection
— Michael Singer, "The Untethered Soul"
The purpose of the spiritual path is to unmask, to take off our armour, to let go of our fixed identity. Buddha taught that the fixed identity (ego-clinging) is the cause of our suffering. Looking deeper, the real cause of our suffering is not being able to tolerate uncertainty.

If we can get in touch with the sensation as sensation and open ourselves to it without labeling it good or bad, then even when we feel the urge to draw back, we can stay present and move forward into the feeling. Our feelings are the gateway to liberation, an open doorway to freedom from suffering, the path to our deepest well-being and joy.
— Pema Chodron, "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change"

Last week I received my new deck of Wild Woman Mystery Cards in the mail - I was so excited I just tore into the packaging. My beloved yoga teacher,  Michelle Crawford introduced me to these cards and they have quickly become my most favourite!  On Sunday I drew two cards from the deck: PRESENCE and PASSAGE. I had sensed that we would dive deeper into presence in this week's classes, so this was (yet another) affirmation for me. I was absolutely blown away by Elizabeth MacLeod's description of "passage". To me, her description is exactly what qigong is  all about -  presence through the motion of life. I  hope you enjoyed listening to the messages in class and enjoy reading them again here!

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""Don't just do something, stand there!" shouts the Wild Woman. Be present in all your capacity. Envelop all there is. There is nothing you can do in greater capacity than to be present.

If you want to feel your presence you must be there in yourself. With this, you will feel connection to everyone and everything. 

To maintain balance in your life, especially when things are out of your control, is to recognize that there's nothing you can do, except be present. This is all you need to hold your balance. 

Be present to life now. Let it be. Recognize it is almost always the way. Be present. Just be present, and all will come to you."

- Elizabeth MacLeod, Wild Woman Mystery Cards

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"Passage is a word misunderstood. It suggests movement from one place to the other. Consider for a moment that passage is something more that you go through without movement, as if it were an initiation of sorts. Consider that passage is that which you are always engaged in as you move in and out of each moment in your life. 

There are little and big passages, just like little and big moments. Sometimes the simplest moments are the most profound. Simple, Wild Woman is a word also misunderstood. Simple is made to look easy, or made to look quick, but simple is clear and can be as profound as any moment you might ever have. Notice that with each new moment, you are in passage, passage into something new. You are traveling into all that you are, in any given moment. When you realize this, you will know  you that you have reached the initiation of the Wild Woman, knowing that each moment is a passage into something greater than ever came before, because it is a new moment. And with this comes the allowing necessary to open your heart to all the experiences you could have. It's like you are literally birthing into your self in every moment and coming out new, with which to see your perceptions change before your very eyes!  This is the gift of passage. Coming into your self and allowing for passages of life to take place with compassion and light heartedness, you will initiate yourself into your self without the need for anyone to tell you of wisdom they think you should do. You will know.

Wild Woman passage is a sacred event unfolding every minute of every day. It takes a conscious awareness to be present to the steps you take and choices you make in each moment. Passage takes you to another passage. And passage is always there for you whether you like it or not. To be present to passage allows you to take ownership in your life, deciding which road to take and which path to climb. It allows you the full experience of all of you. It's as if with each step you move for you to create yourself. So create yourself. You do not have to find yourself. You are here. Create yourself, in every moment, in passage. What an enormous gift to yourself and ultimately our world."

- Elizabeth MacLeod, Wild Woman Mystery Cards

And, finally, here is the closing Kuan Yin passage and prayer that I shared at the end of our class:

TAI CHI RISING
Your energy field is growing stronger, with more spiritual electricity pulsing through your being. Take time to nourish your nervous system as it adjusts and be gentle with yourself as you adjust to increasing levels of spiritual potency, which gives more impact to your words, actions and thoughts.

A PRAYER FOR TAI CHI RISING
Through the mercy and compassion of Kuan Yin, and my own Free Will, may my energy field grow to meet the needs of my Soul light. May I be strong and merciful, powerful and wise in equal measure, may I be loving and potent with temperance and peaceful intention. Om Mani Padme Hum.
— "Tai Chi Rising", Kuan Yin Oracles by Alana Fairchild
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Thank-you for another meaningful morning. I look forward to seeing you all next week and to welcoming Gabriole into our circle!!

xo
Patti