Imagine if you could transform your mental and emotional state by sitting with your eyes closed for just a few minutes. Well, Qi Gong meditation can actually help you experience exactly that.
Most people know Qi Gong as a physical movement practice, but a lot of people aren’t aware that meditation is an important part of Qi Gong. In fact, you can experience many of the same benefits of movement Qi Gong through simple Qi Gong meditation practices.
This article will explore one of the powerful aspects of Qi Gong that can be applied whenever and wherever you want — meditation.
Understanding Qi Gong Meditation
To understand Qi Gong meditation, it’s easiest to start by reminding ourselves about the intention of Qi Gong…
In most Qi Gong practices, we seek to work with our internal energy to cultivate the states of being that we wish to experience. Often, we use movement to strengthen our connection with our body and guide energy throughout all parts of our being.
Qi Gong meditation is similar except that it works primarily with the power of the mind.
How Qi Gong Meditation Varies from Other Meditations
While there is certainly overlap between Qi Gong meditation and other forms of meditation, the former is often distinguished by its use of visualization practices that focus on life-force energy (Qi) within the body.
Just as Qi Gong movement exercises are centered around the experience of Qi, Qi Gong meditation practices work the same way.
There’s an important saying in Qi Gong, “Qi flows where the mind goes.” In other words, your energy is directed in whatever direction you place your mind.
Master Qi Gong teacher, Lee Holden, compares the power of the mind to a gardener holding a bucket of water. In this analogy, you are the gardener, and your attention is the water bucket.
Let’s say the gardener walks around the garden and carelessly drops water on the weeds beneath her or his feet. In this situation, the unwanted weeds will start to grow and the beautiful flowers will be neglected and start to wilt.
Similarly, if you allow your attention to be directed toward negative thoughts, those thoughts will start to become more present and powerful in your life. Whether it’s an anger-inducing story about someone else or a self-defeating belief, the mind will start to meld around the thoughts that are present.
On the other hand, if the gardener chooses to avoid the weeds and gives their precious water to the beautiful flowers instead, the weeds will eventually die off and the flowers will blossom. Likewise, paying attention to kindness, joy, and gratitude will help you to cultivate more of those qualities in your life.
Qi Flows Where the Mind Goes
Since energy follows the attention of your mind, Qi Gong meditations often focus on using visualization practices to create the states of being that we wish to experience.
Because each person has different wants and needs, there are limitless forms of Qi Gong meditations. However, most people resonate with a few core values that are important for everyone — love, joy, and inner peace, to name a few.
When you visualize these states of being, energy (Qi) follows the intention of your mind and gives power to your imagination. This enables you to have a profound impact on your mental, emotional, and physical states of being.
Benefits of Qi Gong Meditation
The benefits of Qi Gong meditation are many. Just as you can apply any intention you want in your Qi Gong practice, the same is true for Qi Gong meditations. However, there are a few common benefits that most practitioners seek to experience.
Not surprisingly, calming the mind and reducing stress are two of the primary benefits that many practitioners seek. After all, who couldn’t benefit from letting go of all the busy thoughts and anxiety that most of us experience?
Additionally, a lot of practitioners use Qi Gong meditation to cultivate gratitude and love. Since Qi Gong visualization practices help to shift our perceptions and views in a positive way, it can be a great tool for getting in touch with all of the deeper truths that are important in life.
And of course, everyone wants to experience more joy, inspiration, and self-acceptance. Therefore, one of our students’ favorite Qi Gong meditations is the Inner Smile.
The Inner Smile Meditation helps us to cultivate joy and self-love, something that everyone can benefit from.
We included the meditation for you below. We suggest that you read through it a couple of times before you begin.
Guided Inner Smile Meditation
Start by sitting in a comfortable position. If you’re able to, try to sit in a chair in an upright position with your feet flat on the ground. Let your hands lay gently on your thighs or knees.
When you’re ready, start to take slow, deep breaths through your nose. As you inhale and exhale, try to pay close attention to the sensations of your lungs expanding and contracting.
At this stage of the meditation, your intention is simply to relax your mind. Deep breathing is a great way to calm your thoughts and find inner peace.
After a few breaths, it’s time to bring the intention of joy and self-love into the meditation.
As you continue to breathe, start to smile to yourself. So often, our smile is directed at the world around us. In this moment, try to direct your smile toward yourself.
As you smile, try to send yourself some love and appreciation. Get in touch with those feelings and send them throughout your entire body.
Sometimes, it can help to smile at each part of your body as you send it some appreciation. For example, smile to your heart as you say “thank you” for circulating blood throughout your body. Smile to your lungs and send them gratitude for absorbing precious oxygen from the air.
Each and every part of your body plays an important role in your wellbeing. This meditation is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate deep awareness and gratitude for the miracle that your life truly is.
Keep breathing slowly and deeply as you smile to each and every part of yourself that you want to acknowledge.
As you smile to all parts of your being, imagine your inner smile radiating joy and vitality throughout your body. Feel it filling you up and radiating to every cell within you.
After a few more minutes, you can expand your smile to encompass more than just yourself. Feel your smile emanating love and joy to your family, friends, and to the world around you. Keep smiling with the intention of love, gratitude, and joy for as long as you’d like.
When you’re ready, you can open your eyes and bring that energy with you into the rest of your day.
If you enjoyed this meditation, be sure to check out our Two-Week Trial.
Two-Week Qi Gong Trial
At Holden QiGong, we offer regular Qi Gong classes that you can try for free when you sign up for the Two-Week Trial.
The Two-Week Trial gives you immediate access to five online Qi Gong classes taught by Master Teacher, Lee Holden. Because the classes are taught online, you can practice whenever and wherever you want.
Lee’s classes combine Qi Gong movement exercises with relaxing meditations, similar to the meditation we shared above. Click on the banner below to learn more about how Qi Gong can help you experience physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.