Gathering Chi

Chinese character “chi,” life energy

In my Facebook feed the other day was a picture of muppets from Sesame Street saying “The year 2020 is brought to you by the letters W, T and F.” Too true.

In my Tai Chi class, we start by warming up with a set of Qigong exercises, one of which, described in the opening lines, gives this poem its title.

This is a time when we all need to find a still point of balance and take a breath.

Thanks to Gimli, son of Gloin for the closing quote.

Gathering Chi

Feet at shoulder width, toes forward,
hands at waist, turned in. Roll hands,
lift arms out and up, breathing in, up
to steeple. Turn hands down and push
to waist, breathing out. And repeat.

I asked a teacher what to do with all
the energy that arose from meditation.
She said energy is everywhere, just
reach out. If too much, bow more –
eight full prostrations, or 16, or 108.

On the other hand, tonglen meditation
tells us to breathe in suffering, and to
breathe out compassion, becoming
sort of a MERV-13 filter made of meat.
Whatever it takes to heal the world.

The Bible says that God breathed us
up from dirt, and that every breath
we take contains that same breath.
Such we need and such is provided.
“Keep breathing, that’s the key.”

Note: unpublished draft

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