Saturday, December 20, 2008

December Qigong Update (Happy Solstice!)

Greetings everyone,

In this email:

*** Adventure with Amma
*** The Winter Solstice
*** Upcoming Qigong & Meditation Events:
------ Qigong & Meditation Retreats
------ Medical Qigong Certification at Five Branches University
------ Thailand Adventure in January 2009 (Qigong & Thai Massage)

*** Adventure with Amma (November Tour, SR & Michigan)

It has been over two months since I wrote the group, and these days, with everything moving so fast, it almost feels like several lifetimes have passed!

The adventure with Amma was most wonderful, and as always, deeply transformative. I had the grace and opportunity to be with her in San Ramon as well as Michigan, for a very powerful 2 weeks. It was truly life altering to be with her for what seemed like a very long time. Although this time was much shorter than some of the others tours, the effects of her deep and powerful Divine presence permeated deep into my soul.

Devi Bhava in San Ramon really cooked me from the inside out. All of my neurological signals were scrambled. After a nite of cooking in Amma's Divine cauldron, I have to admit, I felt a lot of resistance in going to Michigan. That resistance deepened as I spend the day traveling to Detroit, and upon arrival, already felt quite home sick, alone, and afraid.

The grace factor was strong, however. From the first day I woke up at the Michigan program, I felt Amma's loving embrace as an invisible hand that guides everything. Now I look back on that week with great affection, with so many special moments, magical happenings, sparkling encounters, and glimpses of a realm that typically seems so distant from us - yet is our own very true nature. Around Amma, one just slips into these moments of transcendental reality, and for a moment, even just a flickering moment, a mortal is allowed to look upon the Divine realms and be awestruck by the beauty, simplicity, and perfection that is always there, just underneath the veil of illusion that we typically wear. What a grace to have Amma in our lives!

*** Winter Solstice

Winter solstice is upon us! The depth of winter peaks on Sunday morning (Dec. 21) at 4:04 am. Exactly at that point, Yin energy reaches its peak, and the seed of Yang Qi emerges from the absolute Yin. In other words, the absolute depth and stillness of winter can be felt now, a time when energy has "homed" to its source and is going to the depths. Hibernation is a natural tendency, a desire to retreat and have solitude, reflection, and introspection. The ancient Daoists, who were astutely attuned to the patterns of nature, saw this as a very auspicious time for cultivation, meditation, and reflection. After 4:04 am, light begins to return, and Yang Qi begins to ascend. In elemental terms, the natural tendency of Water, which flows to the depths in winter time, will ever so slowly - but surely - give way to Wood, which begins to push up and out, heralding the coming of Spring! That seed of returning light and outward expansion awakens at solstice, making the time auspicious for cultivation, reflection, and seeding new directions in one's life.

*** Upcoming Qigong & Meditation Events

There are some exciting events planned for the winter and spring of 2009, for retreats as well as the pursuit of qigong as a medical practice, all of which are individually listed below. In terms of medical practice, this includes a Level 1 Medical Qigong course at Five Branches University (FBU) in San Jose, held on Monday nites, OR, Sundays in workshop format. Level 2 will also be offered at FBU for those who completed Level 1. For those interested in Qigong & meditation, but not necessarily as a medical practice, a day-long program will be offered in collaboration with Insight Mediation South Bay. Also, in the very near future, I should have more information about retreats at MA Center in San Ramon.

------ Qigong & Meditation Retreats

Eight-Fold Noble Path Series: RIGHT VIEW & UNDERSTANDING
A Day of Meditation plus Qigong
with Shaila Catherine & Tom Leichardt
Saturday January 31, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm in Mountain View

Meditation & Qigong Retreats at MA Center
Stay tuned for more information about future events! Now with spring semester planned at FBU, I hope to arrange more of these in the very near future. I'll send an update when I know. Information will also be posted at: and on the SF Bay Area Amma website.

------ Medical Qigong Certification at Five Branches University

Level I: Personal Cultivation & Intro to Medical Qigong
32 hour course towards certification (CEU's available)
Medical Qigong can be used as a modality to help others by learning to rebalance the body's energy utilizing time proven ancient practices. The first level course focuses on personal cultivation, learning to work with one's own energy to create powerful changes on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. Both theory and practical applications will be covered.

Two choices exist for this course:

Sundays, Feb 22, March 15, April 5, May 3, 9 am - 6 pm (CEU's available)

Mondays Feb. 9 - June 1 (break May 25), 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Level II: Advanced Shengong Cultivation & Intro to Medical Qigong Treatments
32 hour course towards certification (CEU's available)
For those who completed Level 1.
Sundays March 1, 22, April 19, May 17

Active Qi Cultivation for Level 1
16 hour course towards certification (CEU's available)
For those enrolled in or have completed Level 1.
Sundays March 29, April 26

(*) Please note, I will update the web site to reflect a more current version of certification at FBU, which has been altered over the last several months.

------ Thailand Retreat in January 2009 (Qigong & Thai Massage)

Five Branches University is having me teach a Level 1 Qigong class in Thailand in a few weeks. For more information, please visit:

Wishing all an auspicious solstice,

Where there is Love, there is no effort.

Tom Leichardt, DMQ (China)