Welcome to Stronger Spirit Qigong. We offer a program that promotes physical body awareness, vital energy for good overall health, mental wellness and a “stronger spirit.” The notion of a strong spirit comes from the Chinese principle used in the Martial Arts of a “strong fighting spirit,” or, “morale” or “will.” While we may not have a martial application for our Qigong practice, (although we most certainly can!), we do work on strengthening our spirit to meet any opposition that we may encounter in our external or internal environment.
Our deepening practice of Shamanic Taoist Qigong (known as Nei dan, or, inner alchemy) enables us to connect with the ancient lineages of women shamans of ancient China and Tibet.
The beginnings of China’s recorded history lie some 7,000 years ago, possible more, when a tribal people settled along the banks of the Yellow River — its source high on the Tibetan plateau, its mouth at the Yellow Sea. These people were hunters-gatherers, and farmers. Evidence exists that they were also potters and musicians.
Qigong is the grandmother of all Chinese martial arts - Qi (chi) means energy (air / rice). Gong (kung) means study/mastery/work. There are two types of Qigong – external (hard) and internal (soft.) External is a martial Qigong used for fighting (Wai Dan or external elixir) and builds up chi in the limbs leading to the body's nourishment center. This was the primary Qigong of Shaolin Monks (circa 500AD) for increasing martial power, muscular strength and effectiveness.
Internal Qigong (Nei Dan or internal elixir) builds up chi (vital energy) in the body's core (torso), then leads out to the limbs focusing on health and longevity. Like yin and yang, a balance is required. Qigong is used for conditioning and raising one’s fighting spirit, but also is deeply internal, building our own self-awareness.
Qigong has been used for 7000+ years as the alchemy of the ancient Taoist Shamans who, incidentally, were women. Yes! According to some Tibetan texts, the "Wu Masters" were actually female! Millions of Chinese people today practice Qigong daily as a way of life. It can help change your physiology, chemistry and mental state by building a strong spirit. While you may not be practicing martial arts or going into actual battle, everyday we're challenged by the world around us - disease, negativity, stress, pollution, chemical/biological pathogens, difficult people and stressful situations.
SHAMANIC QIGONG (NEI DAN)
In ancient China and Tibet, women practiced Qigong (Nei dan) as part of their lineage as shamanesses and priestesses. Many shamans were, and are, women. Traditionally, they have not chosen to become shaman but rather had shamanism thrust upon them. The process of becoming a shaman usually follows five steps: 1) a break with life as usual; 2) a journey to an “other world;” 3) dying and being reborn: 4) gaining a new vision: 5) and emerging with a deep sense of connectedness and purpose.
Most shaman women begin their careers with a life-threatening illness, even death, during which time they embark on a spiritual journey and communicate with the gods, spirits and ancestors that become the source of their powers. Then they return to the physical body and plane. After recovering from the illness, they go through a long period of training, characterized by fasts and hardships and instruction from elder shamanesses that reaches a crescendo with a long period of isolation in which the lone shamaness goes without food and experiences more visions.
Ancient shamanesses likely used jade ornaments with divine markings to command mystical forces and communicate with gods and ancestors. Many texts indicate that Tantra was incorporated into the ecstatic rituals of drumming and dancing by the Wu as they made love to the Gods/Goddesses. Ancient Chinese believed that there ancestors originated with God and communicated through supernatural beings, animals and symbols, whose images were placed and often worn on jade ornaments.
The status of individuals in ancient China was determined by the perceived degree of her association with the supernatural. Ancient rituals were used to communicate with spirits and promote harmonious relations in society. These rituals were held at ancestral shrines and meetings with rulers and vassals.
During later dynasties, the metaphysical and real belief was that women, embodying the principle yin, were akin to the spirits, whereas men, exemplifying the element yang, demonstrated hostility toward them.
Not accepting the tradition that Chinese shamans were women (i.e., wu 巫 “shamaness” as opposed to xi 覡 “shaman”), one of the main themes in Chinese history was the unsuccessful attempt by the male Confucian orthodoxy to strip women of their public and sacred powers and to limit them to a role of service … Confucianists reasserted daily their claim to power and authority through the promotion of the phallic ancestor cult which denied women religious representation and excluded them from the governmental examination system which was the path to office, prestige, and status.
The Taoist Wu shamanesses remained true to their practices, but took them deep into secrecy, passing them on through generations by oral methods, mostly in often cryptic poetry. Much of this has amazingly been preserved.
Such preservation allows us today to employ many of the techniques handed down by lineages of women (Wu) to manage our modern-day challenges, such as stress, which leads to burn-out. During our classes and programs, emphasis is placed on the ancient Tibetan traditions of Nei dan / internal alchemy. How we handle stress is a choice: We can choose to internalize it and run the risk of getting sick, or we can ward it off, and improve our health and our spirit. Our attitude can reflect inner calm combined with a deep knowing and quiet resolve that we're a part of all Creation.
Our shamanic, magical connection with the multiverse, Earth and all other sacred elements - and each other - gives us our great strength and stronger spirit.
WUYI QIGONG (SHAMANIC MEDICINE QIGONG)
The ancient roots of Chinese Medicine, Qigong, Astrology and Feng Shui all originated from ancient chinese shamanism. These shamans were known as Wuyi and were highly respected in the community.
The definition of Wuyi is a very good metaphor for Qigong practice. The Chinese Character for Wu translates as Shamanness or Sorcerer and was later replaced with the character Yi (Xi) Doctor of Medicine.
There are a couple of other meanings of Wuyi, although they are completely different chinese characters to the Wuyi above. Sounding similar, they are written the same in pinyin (English letters used for Mandarin characters). Wu meaning emptiness (as in Wuji) and Yi meaning intention. I include this meaning of Wuyi (Wuji) because it aptly explains the best way to practice Qigong; with empty intention.
As a Nurse Practitioner, many people come to me with complaints of fatigue, aches, sadness, irritability, brain-fog and anxiety. I always tell patients to continue consulting their doctor or therapist and taking prescribed medications, as these are still good tools. Adding Qigong can greatly enhance conventional treatments. You can be at your personal best.
There’s no better time than now to create a better life. Let’s get started!
See class schedule.
The’ Wu’ – Shamanesses of Ancient China’s relationship to the cosmos was a shamanic one. At least some among them were able to communicate directly with plants, minerals, and animals; to journey deep into the earth, or visit distant galaxies. They were able to invoke, through Tantric practice, dance and ritual, elemental and supernatural powers, and enter into ecstatic union with them.
Recently I offered a program of Shamanic Tibetan Nei Dan Qigong specifically to women, which was well received. Please let me know if this interests you or your tribe. In summer, I also offer outdoor Shamanic Qigong, infusing the benefits of Nature into Qigong practice.
Our Qigong practice is based on relaxed movement and mindset – incorporated into your everyday life. Qigong is the Gongfu of internal vision, internal alchemy – Neidan. And, because Qigong is calming and pleasant, it is an activity to look forward to, and becomes a lifestyle in itself. Your body will tell you what you need as you become more ‘tuned-in’ to it, i.e., "feel how your body feels." Qigong enhances physical body and energetic awareness.
Movement, primarily meditative Qigong – slow, gentle strengthening, relaxation, stretching and breathing – with enormous and powerful benefits. Because this is energy-work too, there are often quantum effects – with exponential results.
Qigong is the grandmother of all Chinese martial arts – Qi (chi) means energy (air / rice). Gong (kung) means study/mastery/work. There are two types of Qigong – external (hard) and internal (soft.) External is a martial Qigong used for fighting (Wai Dan or external elixir) and builds up chi in the limbs leading to the body’s nourishment center. This was the primary Qigong of Shaolin Monks (circa 500AD) for increasing martial power, muscular strength and effectiveness. Internal Qigong (Nei Dan or internal elixir) builds up chi (vital energy) in the body’s core (torso), then leads out to the limbs focusing on health and longevity. Like yin and yang, a balance is required.
Millions of Chinese people practice Qigong daily as a way of life. It can help change your physiology, chemistry and mental state by building a strong spirit. Everyday we’re challenged by the world around us – disease, negativity, stress, pollution, chemical/biological pathogens, difficult people and stressful situations.
How we handle stress is a choice: We can choose to internalize it and run the risk of getting sick, or we can ward it off, and improve our health and our spirit. Our attitude can reflect inner calm combined with quiet resolve that we’re a part of all Creation. This IS magic!!!
Someone once asked me why I practice Qigong (implying that I already treat people at the hospital, so why do this?) After careful consideration, my response was, and is, “I really love people – I couldn’t do this type of work if I didn’t.” I also love treating our hospital patients wherever they are in the Western Medical setting. Qigong offers a powerful and intimate transfer of shamanic healing energy. Sometimes, if the patient is open, we can blend East with West!
Connecting with the Magic of Nature, the Elements and Earth energy, our own Power – connecting with each other is what Qigong classes are all about.
I would love to share this
knowledge with you.
Isn’t it time to create a better life?
Love is magical energy…and it heals.
Our world seems out of balance these days. Just look at the news – people are stressed out – and there is no indication that the general human condition is likely to change for the better anytime soon. But what CAN change is us; how we see our world, how it sees us, how WE see US, and how we manage our relationships, responsibilities and environment.
We can’t control the world – control is an illusion – but we can, to a significant degree, regulate and improve ourselves by making alterations in our lifestyle choices and connecting to Earth energy. And — we can practice Qigong.
Qigong is a major focus of this website, and Qigong can play an integral and primary part in building a stronger spirit and creating a better life.
Our shamanic, magical connection with the multiverse, Earth and all other sacred elements – and each other – gives us our great strength and stronger spirit.