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Category Archives: Qi Gong

J holding sun

This morning practicing Sunlight Qi Gong as the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean and meditating with the sun warming my face, I had a realization. The sun is always there, giving tremendous energy that keeps life going on our planet. Whether I look or not, whether or not clouds block my view of the sun, it keeps shining, generating and sharing energy with all of us. The sun has not only been here, keeping me alive my entire life, but has existed about 5 billion years! A very potent “Higher Power” in my life! It will continue to sustain me for the rest of my life, and the lives of all people who now exist on earth and those to come for many generations – whether or not I pay attention, respond, understand its generosity and care.

My aspiration today is to be more like the sun, to give of the energy I have, the gifts, the love I have received. Whether or not others notice my light, respond to emails about retreats, days of mindfulness, Qi Gong classes, I want to keep sending out all the goodness, the energy, the light, the love possible that I have so freely received.

Thank you, Sun, for the gift of life. Fill me and help me generate and share your beautiful energy today, whether or not anyone reads this blog!  Or signs up for classes at  :):):)


Eclipse 8:21Today the Totality! Many powerful spiritual forces align with moon and sun to wake us up.  At WMC last night, Thay talked about how listening to one another heals us from within.  I also spent several hours reading and studying Ch 14 in The Healing Promise of Qi by Roger Jahnke.  One passage seemed very relevant to our meeting today of Qi Gong teachers to practice during the eclipse.  “Everyone creates healing fields of energy.  Everyone benefits, especially those whose need is greatest.”

All of nature, especially the dance of the sun and moon today,  cooperates in the act of healing Energy.

Mindfulness is ENERGY! The energy of love, of goodness, serenity, peace, more powerful than hatred, violence and ego.   Mindfulness wakes us up to the fact that we are surrounded by powerful energy every moment of our lives.  It is available to us all – in nature, in meditation, in Qi Gong movements, in sharing both our suffering and joy, in breathing and smiling together.

Our giving and receiving does affect the whole world, sends out healing, refreshing energy to those who are suffering most.  Qi is not bound by time or space! It’s true! Science is real. Amazing!  Grateful to be alive and able to participate in today’s eclipse!

Hands on SligoOur best time to gather Qi at Sligo Creek is early in the morning.  Just as the sun peeks through the trees and touches the rocks and flowing water of the creek, we are beginning “Worship,” the fourth movement of Sunlight Qi Gong.  The gently changing light and sound of the creek enhance the waking energy in our bodies.  One morning we were joined by a tiny deer curled among the rocks on the other side of the creek watching our movements.  Often cardinals, ducks and sometimes an egret will appear.

If you would like to join us, we are usually near Kennebec (between Piney Branch and the hospital) about 7:00am   We so enjoy working with our students at Takoma recreation center, but our “Five Animal Play” class doesn’t begin until October 10.  We hope you are all practicing – any exercises, any time, that nourish your body, minds and spirit.  Qi is available to all of us, reaching out, energizing our lives.  Seize the moment today.  Share your experience practicing in nature .

J -QG Bethany.jpeg

The sun emerged from clouds just after sunrise.  Was it responding to our Sunlight Qi Gong movements, summoning it?  As a child, I thought I could summon sunshine, if I just concentrated hard enough, prayed, wished for it to manifest.

Though many of life’s events have tried to show me that I do not possess that much power, somehow these little coincidences still bring a smile to my lips, a stronger beat in my heart.  Is the energy we generate in Qi Gong much more powerful that we think?  Even if it just reminds us that we are part of vast sources of energy in the universe – the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, mountains, all the people working for peace on planet Earth?

Join us in learning Sunlight Qi Gong on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00pm beginning April 4 for 8 weeks.  At the Takoma Park Recreation Center.  More information on our new website: or register at   If you are not available all 8 weeks, drop-ins are welcome.


Reaching to bring the morning light into his heart with the “Monkey Picking Fruit,”my beloved inspires me every day to live a healthy life.  Our health routine begins long before our first bite of breakfast.   We journal our dreams, feelings, insights, read a paragraph from an inspiring teacher, meditate and practice Qi Gong.  For several weeks this winter, we have had the opportunity to practice at dawn near the seashore, with fresh breezes filling our lungs.

A family member has reminded me that I need to lose weight, so I have been enjoying the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables here, forgoing my yen for cheese and ice cream.  I can also swim, bike and walk here each day, in a warmer climate than I would have back home.

We are all responsible for our own health and well-being.  No one else feels the air coming into our lungs, the beating of our own heart.  No one else can walk for us, exercise, make us eat healthier food.  We are in charge of our own health every day.  Qi Gong is a holistic system of nutrition, rest, movement and mental attitude that nourishes my desire to become a slimmer, healthier woman.

One of my spiritual principles is “Compassionate, Healthy Living”:  “We will practice looking deeply into how we nourish our body and mind with edible foods, sense impressions and consciousness….We will consume in a way that preserves compassion, well-being and joy in our bodies and consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness of our families, our society and the earth.”  Please help me practice these principles in all aspects of my life.

Our next Qi Gong Class begins in January 2017.  Please join us. Your health is in your hands!


We greeted the rising sun together in the woods this morning with Sunlight Qi Gong, my favorite movement. As the first rays of the sun reached the tops of nearby trees, birds chirped, we smiled.  We are fortunate to live near woods, creeks, hilltops, many lovely outdoor spots to practice these healing movements daily after journaling and meditation.

After a very busy July, a restful August, a wonderful women’s retreat at Claymont, a lovely Qi Gong “Energize your Life” class and Pat’s speech at the ANFP conference in Ocean City, we are enjoying the changes in temperature and shorter days.  We will be announcing our new Qi Circles website soon with photos of some of these venues for our Qi Gong teaching.

We hope that you also find moments to enjoy the changes of autumn leaves, moving and dancing outdoors.  Qi is the “life force” energy inside us all, in the air, the earth, the trees, the full moon, the rising sun, the stars, so easy to bring into our minds and hearts with each breath.  Enjoy each precious moment of life!

This has been a busy month, traveling to a beautiful wedding on the Mississippi, then to the beach with our precious granddaughter.  Now we are back home to see the bridge near our home being torn down, and taking daily refuge in our Qi Gong spot on Sligo Creek.  We  miss family, but know that life has rhythms of intense activity and periods of calm, both necessary.

Many of us have spent special time with friends and family this summer, traveled, experienced changes in our routine and our emotional life.  How do you react to change – in routine, in surroundings, in people in your life?  Do you have some daily “non-negotiable” needs or routines?

For myself, I need journaling, sitting meditation and some QiGong each morning, preferably outdoors.  So, as we traveled, I continued to wake early, journal, find a different body of water for Qi Gong and meditation before I was ready for all the wonderful excitement and interactions with beloved family.  Time with family goes much better when I am my best self, remembering that I am never alone to meet any challenges – within myself or in my changing world.

J-QG on beach

My favorite place to practice Sunlight Qi Gong is the seashore at sunrise.  My husband and I had the surprise opportunity this week to stay at a friend’s home there for a couple of days to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary.  Touching sand, ocean and sky, breathing in fresh morning air, my heart opens with gratitude, a smile comes alive, greeting the rising sun.

When I die, please don’t see my passing as a tragedy.  It cannot be.  I have lived so many lives already, loved so deeply, been loved so beautifully and faithfully.  I am grateful for every extra moment of life, every sunrise, sunset, wave of the ocean, every breath, every moment with family and friends, every opportunity to tell my beloved how much I love him.




by Nick Kenrick

by Nick Kenrick

Life is GREAT!  It’s spring!  My husband inspired me on the morning of the first day of spring….he went outdoors to do some Qi Gong  in the fresh spring air….the moon was coming through the mist…he summoned me to the back porch to see it.  He urged me to read Ken Cohen’s book The Way of Qi Gong about “Harmonizing with Seasonal Qi: Flowing with Change.”  There is so much transition in my life these months – spring bursting through a brutal, arctic winter, all the people closest to me going through huge changes in their lives, some moving half way round the world, another transitioning from a long-term job.

Cohen says “resistance to disease is lowered during times of transition, whether this be positive or negative emotional change, a change of employment or environment or the change of seasons.  An important benefit of Qi Gong is an improved ability to flow with changing situations.”

I tried this classic meditation for attuning to the seasonal changes by the fourth century alchemist Ge Hong, adapted by Cohen for the Spring Equinox.  Stand outdoors facing east.  Imagine clouds of healing green Qi flowing from the east and entering the body.  Inhale the Qi or imagine it entering the top of the head or the pores of the skin….as green Qi fills the body, see oneself as beautiful green jade.

Is this a version of visualizing oneself as a tiny molecule of the “instant cosmos” in the last blog??  Will folks think I’ve “taken a turn around the bend”??  Whatever!  Why not!  Once I decided that the God of my youth was way too small for my needs, I’ve become more open to whatever works, however strange it might sound to others.  Energy (“Qi”) is definitely a divine form in my body, my spirit, the buds on trees, the moon shifting among clouds, the dawn of a new day.

Let me know how you celebrate the advent of Spring!

And come to our new Qi Gong class beginning April 9 at the Takoma Park Recreation Department – Wednesdays at 7:30pm.  See Patrick’s wonderful description at

IMG_3156Last night at a wonderful women’s meeting after the big snowstorm, my first time “out” in two days, I was reminded of how isolated and confused many of us can get, especially on cold winter mornings.  I actually had two lovely mornings indoors, while a beloved child slept, doing meditation, readings that inspire me and Qi Gong to the rising sun.  But developing the morning routine, and, in retirement, combining it with exercise connected to nature, has helped me greatly to dispel isolation, loneliness and confusion during the first couple of winter morning hours.

What do I do?
First: journal…write whatever thoughts, feelings, dreams, worries, bright ideas, affirmations come to me…write until my body, mind and feelings are calm, in the present moment, ready to begin formal meditation.

Second: Qi Gong (or yoga, any stretching, shaking, breathing movement that works for you).  Doing “Sunlight” Qi Gong as the sun is on the horizon is very energizing for me.    Ideally outdoors, but not when it’s so cold, rainy or windy.

Third: Read inspiring words from the wise ones.  I’m using Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh and one of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings right now, just short readings that give me food for concentration in meditation.

Fourth: Sitting meditation for a minimum of 20 minutes (usually with my husband or twice a week with a sangha of friends for an hour of sitting, reading and dharma sharing).

Fifth: Prayer that the connection with my Higher Powers will stay with me during the day, that I live the day in mindfulness and service to others, that all those I love and all beings be safe, happy, free from fear, anger and worry.  I have developed a written list of people in my family, community and the world for whom I pray daily, then the St. Francis Prayer, Serenity Prayer, etc.

This routine was suggested by a friend over 28 years ago and has expanded as time allows, but even when I taught high school for my second 20 year career, I got up at 4:30am to be able to have time to find connection with the Universe, energy in my body and mind and calmness in my feelings to be able to enter the classroom a human being at 7:00am.  A good breakfast was also necessary.

Whatever your morning routine might be, I hope it enables you to see the sunrise even when it is behind clouds, feel your own body’s energy and breath and find inspiration and gratitude from connection to the living beings in our world.

Thay’s inspiration from yesterday’s reading: “We have to light up that lamp of mindfulness so the light will shine out and the darkness will dissipate and cease.  Our practice is to light up the lamp.”