Moving at the speed of breath
Lately 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: