Gratitude for the Body

This morning I woke happy to start my day. I did a little aerobics and then went outside to practice Qigong. There are numerous styles of Qigong that I practice. Today I found myself doing the Daoist Five Yin, a style that I have in depth training in and one of my favorites.

It was the perfect day outside, with a mild temperature and a lovely breeze. I was doing exercises that are specific to what we call in Chinese Medicine the Yin Organs or the solid organs: lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, spleen. I started to think about each organ and how it functions to keep me going with every breath. In a normal day, I don’t acknowledge this or have any expression of gratitude for the daily reliance on all things continuing. But today, with no prior intentions I just felt how amazing it is that my liver helps me in so many way, and my lungs, and my kidneys. And I decided to do a standing pose while I reviewed how amazing this system of the body is and how grateful I am for each day.

And with this expression of appreciation, I felt lighter and joyous. As a culture, we continually are looking for all joy and happiness outside ourselves. But really some of the peak moments are when we can acknowledge the wonder of just being. I had that moment today through Qigong.

So whether you are a Qigong practitioner or not, I recommend that you take a few breaths to acknowledge yourself as a being in this world and begin to feel the wonder.


Finding the Creative Spark

During my 4th of July break, I went to Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY and took a weekend class in qigong. For those of you who don’t know, Omega Institute has been around for about 35 years, offering weeklong and weekend classes from Spring to Autumn, on healing, consciousness, meditation, spiritual practice, sports, and creativity. It’s a beautiful place for rest & relaxation as well as learning and transformation. Check it out at

At Omega there are always there are entertainment options on Saturday night. I chose to attend a film Moving from Emptiness: The Life & Art of a Zen Dude. It is a beautifully done documentary about Alok Hsu Kwang-han, who is an artist and master of zen chinese brush painting. I walked in loving two things: chinese brush painting and the title of the movie. What I received was an uplifting transformation.

The filmmakers were sensitive and unfiltered in the way they allowed the film to capture the depth of this man. I had that rare experience, during the film, of feeling one-on-one with this authentic, openhearted master and his embrace of life, healing, and creativity. It was so real that I cried throughout the film. This documentary gave the space to be in the depth of another person and to feel his self- knowledge and engagement of body, mind, and spirit. There were actually 2 people to observe -Anok and his girlfriend Raylene Abbott. With each of them and as a couple one sees an intimacy that holds all of life with a creative embrace. And for the majority of the film he was actually teaching a class at Omega transmitting the gift of expressing the creative force within. One of thoughts was to open that spaciousness in my own life for this kind of creative expression. I’ll be savoring the feeling of seeing this film for a long time.

Check it out at and