Today’s Goal: To feel Qi outside your body!
Question: Is it real?
Spoiler: I don’t think it is, but let’s see.
Your body and the universe are enlivened by an invisible energy–Qi . “Qi” is the Mandarin Chinese word for that invisible energy but it is known in many cultures, by various names: Hei (Cantonese), Ki (Japanese), Prana (Sanskrit), Lüng (Tibetan), Mana (Hawaiian), The Force (Star Wars), Etheric Energy (Theosophical Society) and many more.
You get the idea. (see Wiki if you want more)
Qi is a central concept in Traditional Chinese & Indian medicine, Martial Arts and Feng Shui. Having been surrounded by the concept for decades, I assumed everyone knew what I knew. But while writing this post in the coffee shop today, I asked three different friends and none of them really knew what it was, yet alone had ever experienced it.
Qi is real! People in China, India and Japan know what it is. But have you ever truly felt it? Are you skeptical? Well, if you are even halfway open-minded, I can get you to feel Qi by the end of this post. Please read each step slowly.
Key Step: until you get to the last step, you won’t really feel Qi
- Place both your hands on a table in front of you.
- Let your hands rest for a minute.
- Don’t move them. Don’t move them during this whole demonstration.
- Now, I want you to put your awareness in your right hand.Could you feel your attention move to your right hand?
- If not, if you are already resisting this whole thing, Let’s try something more obvious.
- Our brains filter signals so that we aren’t overwhelmed. By putting our attention on something, we can become aware of something we weren’t previously aware of.
- For instance, put your attention on your butt. Feel the chair pushing up on your butt cheeks while the weight of your body pushes down on the chair.
- I doubt you were aware of your butt before I asked you to pay attention to it. See how good your brain is at keeping you unaware of boring information.
- Put your attention back on your right hand. Focus on the right hand. But now, let’s get more focused, but your attention on your index finger. Rest your attention on your index finger for a while.Now, shift your attention to your thumb.Rest your attention on your thumb for a while. Remember, do this slowly with careful, clear awareness.
- Now try to putting your awareness into your little finger. For many of you this will be a little more difficult but spend some time until you clearly feel your little finger — you will get there.
- OK, now return your attention to your index finger. Keep your attention there until you clearly feel it differently than your other fingers.
- Now, let’s narrow down our awareness further. Remember, without moving your hand or fingers, put your awareness on your first knuckle. Yep, sense that small area. Focus clearly. It is not hard. You are doing the same exercise — moving awareness.
- Congrads.Now, move your awareness up to your 2nd knuckle. Feel it?
- Now move your attention to the tip of your index finger — to the very tip of your index finger. Your sensation should be clear and focused. Keep working until you can clearly feel the tip of your index finger.
- OK, now, using the exact same method you have used so far, move your attention to about 1/2 inch off the tip of your finger.Yep, put your attention off your body into the space just in front of your index finger.Take your time. Focus. You will feel it.
- You will feel it in just the same way you did all the other parts of your body above. Use the same process, the same method of acknowledgement.
You should have been able to sense your body beyond your finger.
I won’t tell you my opinions about Qi here. I am reporting as a believer – as I first experienced it just as I did in this post too: “My Magical Introduction to Acupuncture“. Tell me what you think. Your responses may help me in writing my upcoming posts on this issue.
Series Post: This post is part of my series: Confessions of an Acupuncturist.