Inner Calm & the Hummingbird Challenge

by Ralph Dehner • April 6, 2018

Ralph Dehner

Ralph Dehner has been studying tai chi and other internal martial arts all his life and began teaching in the 1990s. He is also a licensed occupational therapy practitioner and brings the healing benefits of tai chi and qi gong to medical and therapeutic settings, working with patients and training allied health professionals to use tai chi and qi gong as part of their practice.

Just what is inner focus, calmness, mental quietness???

When you are doing your Reiki self-treatments, your Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice, is your “monkey mind” working overtime?

Does your body reflect your mind’s level of calmness? Is it possible to have a relaxed body and a busy mind?

Recently I have been taking stock of just how loose of body and calm of mind I am in my practices. I have discovered that if I focus on deep diaphragmatic breathing during my Reiki treatments and self-treatments, both my mind and body stay calm.

In my movement arts – Qi Gong and Tai Chi, it’s not always the case.

Since I shattered my right ankle in 2009, I find my focus when moving is often on the stability of my right side.

It is not all the time nor is it my complete focus. It is enough however to shift my Yin/Yang balance from 5 each to 6-parts Yang and 4-parts Yin (the combination of structure and softness).

Even though I maintain a certain level of flow and meditative movement, it is not quite at the level I had before the accident, and I am working towards finding that balance again.

Thus, enters the hummingbird reference.

On my front porch, where I do my morning practice, we now have a hummingbird feeder.

As I practice, I hear the now familiar hum as the birds swoop in, see me there and swoop off again.

The rate is about once every 90 seconds. For the last two weeks I have been experimenting with standing in the wuji position, calming my mind and body to the point where the hummingbirds now come and feed a mere 4 feet away from me.

Twice they have stopped at the feeder and stayed for several seconds while I was doing my Yang 108 or Sun 97.

I have also found out the hummingbirds are not very nice to each other. Twice now a bird has swooped in and knocked another one off the feeder while it was eating (life in the fast lane).

Are you up to the Hummingbird Challenge? Get a feeder and see how you do. Let me know how it goes.

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