Qigong students sharing their experience is an inspiring way to learn more about the many possible ways that qigong can enhance your life. So we were delighted when Vikki Reed, a longtime student of qigong from Phoenix, agreed to share some significant aspects of her qigong journey in our newsletter. She is an incredibly talented artist and brings a highly intuitive process to creating her beautiful mandalas and paintings. We’re thankful to Vikki for being willing to share her story of how she came to qigong and how her life has unfolded because of it. Here’s her story in her own words: I first heard about Qigong from a gentleman at an art show 13 years ago. I noticed a quality about him that caused me to inquire, “How do you manage to stay so calm?” He replied, “I practice Qigong”. Needing to know more I went to a weekend workshop in LA and heard magical tales of the Medicineless Hospital in China and of incredible healings that occurred there. I continued my exploration by going to Hawaii to attend the Qigong in Paradise retreat in 2010; I had a marvelous experience. I returned to Hawaii for another retreat in 2011 and saw a visible difference in the returning retreat attendees who had been practicing regularly. Martha shared with me that I could realize many benefits with a minimum daily practice of the 30-minute breathing exercise. I wanted discover these benefits so I practiced nearly every day from Nov 2011-Nov 2012. I began to feel a strengthening of my inner Self and felt encouraged to continue practicing. During the Lake Arrowhead retreat in June 2013 I experienced the presence of my Eternal Self, quietly, powerfully, wisely, lovingly residing in my physical body at the location of my solar plexus. This continued to encourage me. However, by the fall of 2013 I felt disillusioned. I had the expectation that Qigong practice should have delivered me from my daily struggles but that wasn’t happening. I decided to take a break from my practice until one day I began to WANT to practice. I then continued exploring qigong in June 2014 at the Lake Arrowhead Retreat. It was remarkable and enjoyable; I began to experience true awareness of qi. I committed to a 100-day gong of LQUPQD, which I recently completed. Now my practice has a completely different focus. I practice to feel the energy, bringing as much presence as possible to the experience, rather than rushing through to ‘check off’ daily practice from my to-do list. I am reading a wonderful book right now, “Letting Go, The Pathway of Surrender“, by David Hawkins. The following quotes really speak to me and describe what qigong practice is helping me discover more fully.
“We may not be conscious of our inner greatness. We may not be experiencing it, but it is there. If we let go of our resistance to it, we can begin to experience it.“
“Every great teacher since the beginning of time has said to look WITHIN and find the truth, for the truth of what we really are will set us free.”
The quality of my artwork is affected by the quality of my life. For me, qigong is a “keystone” habit. Having a regular practice of qigong gently and gradually modifies many things, improving my attitude toward self and others, increasing my acceptance level, opening to new states of perception, and facilitating access to greater creativity. It is a subtle, but profound difference. I am painting very little right now, as I want to create space for relaxing into the beginning of a new growth period. By making the LQUPQD practice a priority in my life, I am saying to myself, “Your energetic well-being is more important than the demands the world is placing on you.” This will help me resume my painting and I believe the continued benefits of qigong for my work will become clearer as time moves forward. I am completely convinced that ‘primordial qi is omnipresent’, and ‘qi is penetrating and effective.’ If I am not experiencing the results I seek, it is because there are places inside myself I have not yet discovered that could be opened up to allow qi to flow freely. I now know this can change at any moment! Physical fitness was my priority; now I believe energetic fitness is equally, if not more important. Previously, I felt I could not make time for qigong, now I know that prioritizing my time to reconnect with the quiet strength that is always available makes the roar of the crowds of life much more manageable. Vikki’s “Release” is her latest mandala creation: “The Qigong eight verses influenced this piece. The theme of grounding in the earth is central, as well as Qi represented as lifting up and pouring down on the four figures. The tigers represent the power, wisdom and love of the primordial Qi, quietly present and available within all of us”. If you would like to see more of Vikki’s mandalas or her other art, please visit www.chakramandalas.net and www.vikkireedwatercolors.com .