Finding meaning during the COVID-19 (Singapore CB) period

The COVID-19 has disrupted the world in a way I would never have thought possible, and while the economy and jobs are being threatened, the benefits to nature, Mother Earth, have been tremendous. It took a crisis of this magnitude to force the consumer-crazy and industrial production-insane world to slow down, and allow the pollution to slow down just a fraction.

For practitioners of genuine qigong and other traditional arts like yoga, this has been an amazing time to practice. While many people have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms from not “going out”, getting drunk or mindlessly shopping, those who have always enjoyed solitude are revelling in the moment.

Shaolin disciples have never needed much space to practice. A famous mantra of Shaolin Kungfu practitioners is that practice can be done in the space where a buffalo lies. Unless you need to do very vigorous qi flow and run and jump around, your hallway or bedroom is more than sufficient for a complete session. The basic 3 patterns – Lifting the Sky, Pushing Mountains and Carrying the Moon – can all be practised without moving your feet, and the resultant qi flow can be the gentle Flowing Breeze and Swaying Willow.

If you are bored out of your mind, and want to do something else (one cannot practice our qigong for too long anyway), use the internal force generated from your qigong practice to do some other physical activity. Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan exponents have enough material to practice for hours a day, and for years. Other people can train their bodies using bodyweight exercises (calisthenics).

I am not advocating watching TV all day, staying glued to the home computer screen attending webinars or wasting entire afternoons and nights on Youtube videos. We already spend too much time on these activities. If you are not doing something physical, then consider cultivating your mind by reading those books you may have bought long ago and forgotten about (as a Kindle user, I have an unlimited supply of great books to read), or start with 1 minute of seated meditation or even lying down (as in the Corpse pose in yoga).

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