Being in a qigong retreat gives us an unparalleled opportunity to unplug from our fast-paced life and demanding schedules. It gives us the time and space to sense and plug into the universal energy that sustains us all. Retreats allow us to step out of habits that are resistant to change and cause us unyielding stress.
It is truly a valuable gift to give ourselves the time and space to stop striving and simply exhale, relax and practice just being.
My most profound and transformative qigong experiences as a student and a teacher have happened while on a retreat. There are many phenomena that occur to create these transformative experiences.
Glimpses of Awakening: The initial days of our retreats focus on practices and discussions that deepen our understanding of relaxation. As simple as this may sound, relaxation is the foundation of the Zhineng Qigong (ZQ) system and of wellness. As the days progress we continue with long practice sessions and in-depth discussions on the theories of ZQ. It takes time to describe and understand how transformation though qigong can unfold. The practices inform a deeper understanding of the theories and the theories inform a deeper integration of the practices. The spaciousness of a retreat provides opportunities for glimpses of our awakening hearts to arise. We can then sense this arising as the unity of heart and mind communicating as one.
Refining Qi: Our practices get stronger as the days unfold. It becomes easier to let go of old destructive thought patterns and tension in the body that harbor those patterns. Eventually our practice shifts into focusing on refining qi to support us in our spiritual awakening. This phase of refinement is paramount as it establishes the new patterns that are life affirming, and creates greater awakening of compassion, kindness and generosity. An awareness of peaceful wholeness often reveals itself.
Helping Others and Ourselves: Often near the end of a retreat, qi is activated through special group sessions that initiate our own abilities for self-healing and for helping others. The ZQ methods shared during these sessions can be applied to our journey towards a harmonious state and to help our family, friends, and even pets to find balance and peace. This aspect of the retreat is often eagerly anticipated because of the deep transformations that are usually felt and become evident in each person. Students often refer back to these sessions as the time when a change of their internal structure occurred.
Lasting Change: Our retreats are structured in a similar way as those at the Medicine-less Hospital in China. They include several hours of daily intensive practice to maintain a strong focus for relaxation, transformation and healing. There is time to be outdoors, time for rest and integration, time for community building and plenty of deeply nourishing foods. All these aspects together help to activate qi, awaken the possibilities for transformation and provide support for lasting change.
Immersing ourselves in a Qigong Retreat is an exquisite opportunity to practice welcoming change, create new life-affirming patterns and become part of a strong qigong community. If you would like to read about others experiences please go to our Student Experiences page.
“Excellent! More things are now possible. Mind and body integrating the whole. Wonderful group of people and energy. Amazing group practices to integrate mind, heart and bodies intention.”
It is for all the reasons described above that we encourage and invite you to attend a future ZQ retreat. Our next one is the Spring Renewal Retreat in June, near Santa Barbara, CA. Hoping to be with you in retreat soon.