field
May 162015
 

Even though I have been practicing and teaching Qigong since 2007, whenever I think that I know a thing or two about Qigong, I am humbled yet again. After all, what’s the big deal about Qigong? On the outside it looks just like a bunch a slow movements of one kind or another, sometimes accompanied by vocalization. What can it possibly do?
And yet each time I’m being amazed to discover how it takes on a life of its own, expanding infinitely, just like the universe.

I began practicing Qigong when I was in severe physical pain and my life was falling apart on all fronts. I had no expectations from Qigong to give me anything and at the same time, I had nothing to lose by giving it a try – I was desperate. From the first pain relief that I experienced after only three weeks of practice, I knew that there must be much more to Qigong than what my analytical mind could figure out. It was not just pain relief; An entire new outlook on life was emerging, seemingly out of nowhere, one which has allowed me to view the world as a welcoming open door, as opposed to the menace which I have previously regarded it. It has also allowed me to experience life as a wonderful moment-by-moment-opportunity, as opposed to an uphill battle – which is the way by which I have mostly lived my life up to that point.

I thought that by age 40 I knew what the world and what life were all about and that was very arrogant of me, but of course I couldn’t see it back then. Every time that I practice Qigong, no matter what the circumstances of the moment may be, the serenity, inner peace and relief that follow, never cease to amaze me with their power and depth. It’s as if the practice allows me to open my eyes and to realize a new layer that is part of my life’s reality, one which I was previously unable to see. And with such an added understanding, the problems and difficulties that I may have experienced prior to the practice, lose much of their power over me. Fear and doubt lose their firm hold and I become free.

Before I started teaching Qigong, I realized that I was a little selfish to benefit from Qigong and at the same time keep it all to myself. Since then, I have been teaching at the American Cancer Society, several senior centers and private classes. As long as I continue to receive the feedback of amazement from people who discover Qigong’s ever-expanding depth, I will continue to teach.

If you are interested in discovering the secrets of this 5,000 year old energy practice, I invite you to join one of my classes. For more information click
http://odedbenami.com/classes/

 

Jan 292015
 

Whenever it comes to spirituality, it almost seems as though Money is a bad word. It is presented as if it is on the opposite end from spirituality. There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps one them is that money is considered as belonging to the materialistic/physical world, used for purposes of materialistic attainment, while spirituality is used to attain something which is non-materialistic.

Whatever the reasons are, everything has a spiritual aspect to it – everything – money included. But perhaps some of us have developed certain complexes when it comes to money, as well as the fear underlying the wanting for money. And this may be another reason why money and spirituality seem to be on opposite ends.

Fear hardly ever exists as fear, in plain sight. Most often it disguises itself in a host of various forms: practicality, responsibility, maturity, being a part of society, care for others, need, reality and the like. But those who are not afraid to give themselves a close hard look, will sooner or later discover within themselves some kind of fear, hidden quietly, hoping not to attract any attention, since that would be the beginning of its demise.

The fear could be that of lack, of loss, of abuse, of need, of pain, of loss of control, and so many other kinds. Fear is what the oppressor uses against the oppressed to get what they want. At the same time, it is amusing that it is fear, which causes the oppressor to behave that way in the first place.
(I have dedicated a separate post to this dualism, called “The dualism of oppressor and oppressed“).

There used to be life before money. It was based on bartering; I help you with my talents, you help me with your talents. This is the core of what society is all about. The nice thing about bartering is that it doesn’t allow the control of a large group of people by a small group, something which money allows.
Money creates distance between people; no more do I know what other people do, because I don’t need to know. Everything now is done using money. The slow and painful collapse of our economy, for those who are not in complete denial, is a clear sign that this system cannot maintain itself indefinitely.

But we don’t need to dream of a utopian, money-free world to discover the spiritual aspects of money. As soon as we can discover (or rather, uncover) some of the fears that drive our lives, we can begin to realize our own inhibitions as well as some old complexes and let go of our – sometimes unrealistic and incorrect – understanding of money.

Where there is no fear, there is always enough money. That’s because one form of fear, is the fear of being unable to continue our current¬†standards of living, which many find paralyzingly frightening. Change is around every corner and it often gives no early warnings when it comes. Those who fear change may have a constant need for money, when in fact their true need is for a sense of security. (You may refer to an earlier post of mine: Seeing through the illusion of Stability and Security).

When we begin to ask “How much is enough?” or “What are my true needs?”, or “What can I give up, give away, do without?”, we begin to see our own fears: what they are and perhaps what’s behind them.

The above questions are just a small sample. There are many questions that we can ask, that have the potential to bring us closer to an understanding. There is a lot that we take for granted as “real” and “reality” which we never question. We then become slaves of such distorted understandings of reality, one which we may have never truly examined. We may have adopted other people’s ideas and assumed those to be true for us as well. It may not necessarily be the case though.
The only way to become free of such hidden subconscious fears is to begin asking questions, which some people may consider redundant, childish and even downright idiotic. And it is again fear which stands between where we’re at right now, and asking the first question, and then the second question etc’.

Money has, just like anything else, its own spiritual dimension. We can discover it once we begin to shed the many layers that have kept us separate from that. When there’s no longer subconscious fear hidden somewhere in our psyche, money loses much of its mystical power, and becomes nothing more than a tool. Sometimes there’s more money and sometimes there’s less, yet fear is no longer a part of this simple reality. We see through our own behavior, how far we were willing to go in order to have money, including losing our happiness, giving up values that are important to us, willing to become slaves for others and more. At that moment we become free.

Peace within.

Jan 072015
 

Whatever choice we make in life, serves as an exclusion of everything else. Every single moment is a crossroad. By choosing a path, we cannot simultaneously walk any of the other paths.

That’s tremendous power that we have, if one is to consider the option – which again – is also within our power.
The option is choosing not to choose. By making this choice, we become observers, basking in infinite potential: anything is possible – any road can be taken at any given time, yet is left untreaded.
This too has tremendous beauty and power, although of a very different kind.

Further practicing our freedom to choose, we can alternate between times when we choose to take action (via thought, word or deed) thereby treading a particular path, and other times when we choose to “zoom out”, separate ourselves from the “equation” and simply realize the unmanifested potential of being able to choose at any point.