Moving at the speed of breath

Fall leavesLately I’m lost in fast moving thoughts, agitated by endless “to do lists,” rushing through traffic to get to a yoga class.  Catching up with myself this morning, bringing my attention to my breath, a familiar  sense of settling slowly seeps into my cells.
From stillness I begin familiar movements. But now I am present in body and breath. I pause my motion, then stop. Dropping all intention to move, I wait for my breath. Now moving only at the speed of my breath.
Qi Gong (“chee gung”) is a form of Chinese movement that encourages skill (Gong) with (Qi).  Qi is energy, breath, vitality.
I’ve been practicing Qi Gong for a few years, many times hearing the instruction to “move with the breath.”   Another one of those “simple instructions” that has taken years of practice before coming to this momentary experience.
And now, I am flooded with the awareness of how often I am ahead of my breath in thought and action. Out of sync with breath and Qi, I race around in thought, action and feeling.  Without balance, out of harmony with Qi, what manifests is this out of balance mind, body, spirit – distracted, cranky, tense. I hear the instruction again,” try again, come back to the breath with curiosity and compassion.”
From the Tao Te Ching:

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of not being.
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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Aniiyah on April 25, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Perfect timing!

  2. Kim Stowe on November 20, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I love this. I’m always teased @ how slow I am. I need to just tell them, I’m moving at the speed of breath & You should try it too.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on November 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Haha! Love that 🙂

  3. Kerstin Fricke on November 20, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Cindy, I am very curious about your book. it looks very thorough and a great tool to have for oneself and as a therapist. It’s not obvious looking through the kindle sample if you are covering blood pressure under common ailments. I ordered a book by one of your learned colleagues and it must have been written before blood pressure became a common ailment! 😉

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on November 20, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Hi Kerstin,
      Yes, I do cover blood pressure in my book, Meridian Massage, Opening Pathways to Vitality. I have an entire section that covers common ailments from the Meridian Massage perspective, which is based on Classical Chinese medicine. I teach you the theory needed to understand blood pressure from the Classical Chinese medical perspective – from that, I offer a few lifestyle adjustments and approaches based on the 5 Elements and acupoints.
      My intention is to give you the tools to investigate the possibilities of Qi from your own experience – to blend your wisdom and curiosity with this theory so that it becomes usable, living, practically applied knowledge in your everyday life.
      You can look in the index on amazon and see the pages referenced for blood pressure, high.

      • Kerstin Fricke on November 20, 2016 at 11:41 am

        Thanks so much, Cindy, for your prompt reply! (the kindle sample I received only gives “Conditions Alphabetically” which leads to a blank page – it is a sample, I know 😉 I do Wild Goose Chi Gong and your book will fit in nicely! I will opt for a paper copy.

        • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on November 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book once you look it over!
          Thanks very much.

  4. Aniiyah Klock on November 20, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Moving at the speed of Breath! I just said this this morning as I made my way through the snow to the field with the dogs. AND, as I synced my step and breath, I felt filled up. In love with my life. Complete joy in the moment. I love this practice!!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on November 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Yay! 🙂

  5. Heather Roques on November 20, 2016 at 9:13 am

    As always…your writings are so humbling 🙂

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on November 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Thank you for writing Heather, I appreciate your words very much 🙂

  6. DIANNA on December 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I too practice Qi Gong and notice the difference in the way I face my day, and it’s challenges. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on December 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Dianna, I feel the same way as you!

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