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2008 Annual Clinic – Asilomar, CA

January 11-13, 2008

Deer met us when we drove in. There was a fireplace in our room. I had breakfast with Grandmaster Shin. Do I have your attention? From the introduction to our closing lunch we moved through a thoughtfully planned out weekend of meditation, Ki Gong exercises, and presentations from doctors, acupuncturists, healers and masters. Grandmaster Shin, Master Schroeder, and Mrs. Rupp created a weekend of learning that was full of ease and possibility. We moved right into hand and foot massages and Ki Cho Ki Gong right after orientation. Our Ki (energy) was present to all of us, even the first timers (which I was) before we headed to dinner. There was no doubt what this weekend was all about!

For those of you who are new to Ki Gong, let me give you some quick details. Ki means life energy, Gong means study and practice. There are three vital elements to ones Ki Gong practice: 1) breathing, 2) posture, and 3) mind. Through these three elements you learn how to command your mind, train your body and how to really breathe. A lot of this may sound familiar to you, and that’s great. But let me tell you something, the breathing is a whole new world. At your first clinic, which I highly recommend, you will learn how to do healing breathing. It is counter intuitive, requires much concentration, and I found to be unbelievably powerful.

Now that you have a rough sketch of Ki Gong, let’s get back to this incredible weekend in Asilomar, California. After dinner, during which I don’t think I stopped smiling (a side effect of Ki Gong), Mr. Robertson introduced us to Chinese Energy Balls and Mrs. Mars gave a presentation on women’s health issues. There was a lot of clanging from the Energy Balls, all of which was met with laughter and support by the group. Mrs. Mars talked about Ki and its role in hot flashes and night sweats. She addressed ways to relieve and redirect the energy during the experience, as well as ways to prepare and support your body and Ki to avoid or lessen the intensity of these types of experience. It was really interesting to hear how energy plays a main role here, where we stereotypically are told it’s all hormonal.

We closed our first evening with a meditation for brain wave consciousness, after which, I headed back to my room, very wide-awake. It took the routine of ending the day and chatting with my roommate to settle into a space suitable for sleep. Saturday we began with an hour of Ki Gong followed by an hour of walking meditation on the beach and breakfast. I wish I could wake up this way every morning. There is so much energy in nature; you can feel it in the calm of a sunrise or the gust of a storm. Acupuncturist Dr. Stern discussed Ki Gong concepts and cupping theory in the morning, between which we went outside and did blood circulation exercises, and before lunch more Ki development.

In the afternoon we did walking Ki Gong and Healing Intuition with partners. The partner work was a new development. We spent time listening, not with our ears, but with our Ki, to someone else’s Ki. We were listening with our energy fields, picking up changes, different sensations. It was intriguing to have my partner use something other than everyday language to assess that I have a back injury and poor circulation in my feet. But she did, and I certainly hadn’t told her! Saturday evening for the level I and II Ki Gong Members was spent with Grand Master Shin as he introduced us to Spring Forrest Ki Gong and Oh Hang Gong Theory and Practice (Five Element). Grand Master patiently, and humorously at times, walked us through the five elements, their organs and their hand positions. Masters Schroeder and Master Inoshita worked with level III and above Ki Gong Club members on Methods of Healing and Acupressure.

Throughout the weekend Mrs. Rupp gave all who were interested an Ion Cleanse foot-bath. I had mine at the end of the evening and let me tell you, my feet were happy! I slept like a baby, Ion Cleanse and Ki Gong-ed out! Sunday morning I recalled Grand Master Shin sharing with us, from the day before, the intent or purpose of Ki Gong. First he asked us what the intent of a black belt was, to which we responded, “to become one with nature, sir!” Then he informed us that the purpose of Ki Gong is to become One with the Universe. With that on my mind, I walked down to the beach with the group for our morning meditation walk. Master Schroeder asked us to be present to the energy of the ocean, and I, having a longstanding relationship with the ocean, was all in!

I spent about 20 minutes simply standing in the sand and then I moved out onto a rock which, when the waves were big enough, was surrounded by water. There I spent the rest of my meditation, moving with the ocean, the sea spray…the energy of the universe. Master Schroeder taught us a new form after lunch, Tae Kuk Ki Gong, which I hope to have a copy of soon!

We reviewed the weekends work, packed up and headed to lunch for closing words and graduation. The weekend was amazing. Not simply because of the topic, but also because of the people. I’m a kid at heart, and in all actuality I play one in real life. But when it comes to energy, Ki, I can hold down a grown up conversation. What I found at the 9th Ki Gong Clinic was a community of powerful, committed healers and martial artists who are up to big things in this world. All of them welcomed me, a Cho Dan, first time Ki Gong practitioner and novice studio owner to the group. Each of them listened intently, compassionately, and patiently to my questions. Ki, we all have it and, yes, you do too. There are so many things in this world that we put off, don’t put your Ki off. Talk to your instructor. Do what you have to do in order for you to begin your relationship with your Ki. Your life depends on it.

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