Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eckhart Tolle's Definition of Qi by Kris Caldwell, Seattle Tiantian School of Qigong

Kris Caldwell is a certified Qigong Instructor, Turtle Longevity Lineage Holder and the Founder and Director of Seattle's Tiantian School of Qigong. 

In the above photo, Kris is performing 1000 Hands Buddha Meditation that she instructed at our 2004 Mount Rainier Silent Retreat, as a movement meditation to practice presence. 

Kris has recently returned to the Northwest after a sabbatical in China. This article was published to her Qigong community in 2009.

Eckhart Tolle's Definition of Qi by Kris Caldwell

My first exposure to what are also the teachings of Eckhart Tolle came in the form of being invited to teach 1000 Hands Buddha (a form of qigong meditation) at a Satsang retreat held by Katie Davis and Sundance Burke at Mt. Rainier in 2004. I learned of Sri Ramana Maharshi's lineage, extending through Papaji and Gangaji, and how those teachings were being disseminated by people like Katie and Sundance, Kirtana, and Eckhart Tolle.

My experience that weekend was profound to me, and shortly thereafter I read the introduction to Sri Ramana Maharshi's book. However, I did not continue as I was already entrenched in studying Daoist and Buddhist philosophies, and in daily extensive qigong practice. While I have studied/practiced many paths since the age of 17, when exposed to a new practice in the midst of another, I have always waited to begin the new one until I had come to a place in my current practice spacious enough to do so. While occasionally there has been some overlap between the conclusion of one practice and the beginning of another, historically I have come to a place of completion before going on.

So here I am again. I have come to a place of spaciousness in my qigong practice. And I am reading Eckhart Tolle, and finding it to be deeply connected to my Daoist/Buddhist/qigong studies. Here is an example of why: his definition of qi, found on p. 131 of the paperback edition of "The Power of Now." You will notice he has chosen to use the Wade-Giles spelling "chi."

"The Unmanifested is the source of chi. Chi is the inner energy field of your body. It is the bridge between the outer you and the Source. It lies halfway between the manifested, the world of form, and the Unmanifested. Chi can be likened to a river or an energy stream. If you take the focus of your consciousness deeply into the inner body, you are tracing the course of this river back to its Source. Chi is movement; the Unmanifested is stillness. When you reach a point of absolute stillness, which is nevertheless vibrant with life, you have gone beyond the inner body and beyond chi to the Source itself: the Unmanifested. Chi is the link between the Unmanifested and the physical universe."

I think those of you who have practiced some form of qigong are likely to recognize his meaning in your experience of your practice. I certainly do, and am grateful for the opportunity, after more than ten years of practicing qigong, to understand the connection between what I have been practicing and the practice of Presence.

More about Kris Caldwell and Qigong at www.tiantianqigong.com

Kris mentions Kirtana who offered an evening concert at the retreat. More about Kirtana at: www.kirtana.com

Visit the Katie Davis Website at www.KatieDavis.org