I came into this world bringing nothing with me, not even any clothes. When I depart, I will not be able to bring anything back with me. For more than 40 years I have been meditating with this question: Does my life belong to me? If so, why can I not control getting sick, aging, and my eventual death?
I sought the meaning of life from many different sources of knowledge, and found that the answers were just words, words like precious, fragile, joyful, sorrow, love, tender, warm, cold, strong, weak, and many others.
Through many years of cultivating with ancient Chinese wisdom traditions, I have discovered that life is within the breath. In my tradition, we say that a new life begins with the first breath, and that death comes when the breath stops completely. I feel the existence of my life, something much greater than my physical body, when I cultivate with my breath.
The breath is like an invisible vital thread that weaves your life with the Qi 氣 (the vital energy) web of the universe. You are receiving the vital energy from the universe with each breath you take. In my tradition, we utilize different breathing techniques for finding our inner peace, connecting with our joy, recovering from an illness, optimizing our health, anti-aging, and to promote longevity. Since 1988, when I began teaching traditional Qigong 氣功 forms (cultivating with the breath), I have seen many of my students recover from severe illnesses, using something as simple and as powerful as special breathing techniques.
During this period when the entire world is effected by a health pandemic, I hope you are all finding ways to use your breath to help you feel connected and to retain your health.
No matter what is going on in external world, let us all keep breathing!
*As published in Excellence Reporter, May 2020