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  • What: An ancient healing system which focuses on the restoration of holistic balance through gentle breathing techniques and slow movements

  • Origins: Qigong can be traced back some two thousand years in ancient China.

  • Benefits:Qigong can harmonise, strengthen and have a healing effect on the functioning of all the internal organs and bodily systems. It increases the supply and flow of energy throughout the body, can have a variety of rejuvenating effects and is believed to increase longevity as it induces calm mental and emotional states.

  • Journal:Click here

Day 10, 24/09/11: Discovering Qigong - China

Up and out to a park this morning to play qigong; our playground today was overlooking an incredible lake, to our backs was a pond brimming with koi.

Master Wan, Daisy and Francesco all took turns to lead the practice. Once again I thoroughly enjoyed connecting visually with the movement of my own body, sensing without judgment the areas of restriction, possibly the areas needing deeper resolution.

After the practice had finished I opened my eyes, an unfamiliar sound of clapping rang out; turns out our performance had been watched by an audience of local people.

To our left baby bottles were lined up on small tables. At first I thought these were for the local kids but then, to my amazement I watched as a little girl placed the bottle into the water. Immediately koi splashed and mounted each other in an attempt to suckle the teat.

Besides pandas, Chengdu is also famous for its brochette work so the group headed straight to a local workshop. The texture, the weave, the way each thread effortlessly merged to create the most elaborate of pieces was amazing. It was almost as if the thread had as much freedom as the stroke of a paintbrush.

Whilst I was stood outside Pokey gave me a panda brochette; what a beautiful reminder of our shared experience.

As the group went for lunch, Pokey, Peggy and I walked through the old town looking in an array of shops. As we stood eating ice cream kids passed munching the heads off baby skewered chickens.

These two women have made a huge impression on me; their eyes sparkle. A slight wink, a nodding smile, a trailing hand, a touch of the back, a squeeze of the shoulders; without words they have the capacity to connect me, to allow me to feel connected to them. It's really profound and for me deeply potent; it's enlivening.

On the flight back to Beijing I sat with Peggy; love this woman! Being around her is so easy, so effortless; not only does the conversation flow but it's warm, sincere and for some reason or other she absolutely touches my heart.

The flight was extremely turbulent and in knowing my discomfort Peggy proved an invaluable support. At one stage it got so rocky that the air hostesses sat down on the floor.

As synchronicity flowed Peggy mentioned the calligraphy piece, specifically the three cranes flying and their direction of flight. Apparently cranes flying left symbolise looking/reflecting on the past; jeez ain't that the truth.

Back at the centre we received treatments; once again the minute they started pounding my left leg the emotion started to shift. I suppose I would describe it as a kind of tingling sensation, like I have to fight to keep myself down or keep myself from slipping...

Once again I was consumed by the need to giggle; obscurely though I didn't find any of this funny. Like inappropriate humour laughter is my defence, and when my emotions start to unravel I hide beneath a facade of banter, I revert to my default mechanism.

As I lay motionless receiving the energy transmission my eyes began to well; inside a familiar but nameless emotion swirled and danced.

As I sit quietly I feel a deep sense of connectedness. Today on so many levels, I feel touched; deeply touched.