Volume 2, Issue 17, 10/23/08
"Slow Down and Feel the Energy"
I've been thinking about energy a lot the past few weeks. Last
October I went on a six-day qigong retreat and this year I did
"Qigong" (pronounced "chee-gong") is Chinese and translates
loosely as "energy work." It's considered the great grandfather
of all the Eastern healing and martial arts and has been around
for thousands of years.
During the retreat, I effortlessly memorized one sentence from
the hours and hours of talks given by the qigong master, Chunyi
Lin. It wasn't the title of this article: "Slow Down and Feel
the Energy." But close. It was "You are loved slow down and
feel the energy."
"Slow down" has seemed like a good idea to me for decades. I
can remember feeling rushed and too busy when I was 15. A mere
38 years later I took my first serious slowing-down action when
I resigned from a more than fulltime job and started my life
Life coaches are known for promoting good life balance, so I was
glad that circumstances (plus some determination on my part)
were allowing me to put my money where my mouth was.
Several years into my coaching business, I started to learn about
the physical make-up of introverts, and the idea of slowing
down took on a whole new life.
The introvert body is designed to move at a slower pace than the
extrovert body. It's about how our nervous systems are set up
to work with those long introvert brain pathways, those busy,
thoughtful introvert brains.
So it was normal for me to be slower. It wasn't just normal I
decided it was my job to slow down! (Not an easy job but one I
was up for.)
That qigong retreat sentence - "You are loved slow down and
feel the energy" caught my attention. It stayed in my head
and I found myself smiling when I thought about it.
The "slow down" in the middle was, of course, familiar. But in a
new context, surrounded by "you are loved" and "feel the energy".
I liked it and I was intrigued.
Master Lin frequently says that energy can be neither created
nor destroyed but that it can be transformed. He often makes
reference to Albert Einstein as the first one to establish that
principle in the western scientific tradition.
In the world of qigong, feeling the energy, the qi ("chee"), is
the name of the game. In qigong, qi is synonymous with
"universal energy" or "life force energy." In the six days of
the retreat, we spent hours every day tracking down, making
friends (if possible) with our life force energy. The instruction
was always to go as slow as we could.
"Slow down and feel the energy" is the way to do business in
qigong. I imagine that's true across the countless different
qigong forms in the world. For an introvert on a mission to
slow down, a qigong retreat is a good place. (Especially if you
don't mind tracking the elusive qi, which by definition makes
up, flows through, everything in the universe.)
In truth, it was the "you are loved" section of my memorized
sentence that made it stand out. I don't presume to understand
this and it may be inaccurate besides but what I gather from
my study of qigong, of Spring Forest Qigong in particular, is
that life force energy in its pure form could be called
Maybe my sentence boils down to the idea that love is everywhere
the trick is to feel it.
I think of my favorite Einstein anecdote. Someone asked him,
"What's the most important question?" And he answered, (not
the exact quote), "The most important question is: Is the
These days home from qigong land and back in the regular world -
my sentence still makes me smile. I'm working on slowing down
and feeling the energy.
And I think the answer is yes the universe is friendly.
End of food for thought on to a practical idea:
A Practical Idea for Introverts and Extroverts
Memorize this sentence (if you haven't already :-): "You are
loved slow down and feel the energy." And check it out.