Rowing your Own Boat.

I spent much of this weekend at a workshop with the creator of Spring Forest Qi Gong, Master Chunyi Lin. He was in Calgary this weekend to speak to an enthusiastic group of students and teachers about balancing and healing the body using it’s own innate intelligence. I went for two reasons, the first was to encourage myself to practice Qi Gong regularly, the second was to be in the presence of Master Lin. My friend Munira Jiwa, Spring Forest instructor and spreader of Qi-Joy, had told me that to be in his presence was amazing. He did not disappoint.

In taking any workshop I am glad to take away just one tidbit, one piece of information that I can incorporate into my daily life. This workshop provided many, many takeaways. I will eventually share some of them here. But I want to start with Master Lin’s magical way of understanding the Tao.

Feng Shui shares its roots with Taoist philosophy, encouraging us to live in harmony with the inherent patterns and rhythms of the natural environment. It recognizes the interconnectedness of all things in the seen and unseen Universe.

The Tao, or ‘The Way’, is not easy for the complicated human mind to grasp. It is said that the Tao that can be understood is not the Tao. How’s that for a puzzle? If you think you are grasping it, you are not. The Tao, cannot be held, only experienced.

Master Lin told us that the Tao could be explained by singing a simple song that everyone knows. “Row, Row, Row your Boat”. He had us sing it, very slowly, and feel into it’s lyrics.

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream…

He then expounded on each line of the simple rhyme:

Row your own boat. You cannot row the boat of another so stop trying. Focus on your life, your goals, your own life path.

Row gently. Moving through this life is not meant to be a great effort.

Row down the stream. When you feel that you are rowing upstream, you are not going with the natural flow of your life. Turn that boat around.

Row merrily. Do everything you do with joy. Life is more enjoyable that way and your love will spread throughout the Universe.

Life is but a dream. Don’t take the journey quite so seriously. You are here for the joy of the experience.

This was perhaps my favorite part of the entire weekend. I learned many simple techniques to balance the energy centers in my body. My favorite takeaway though, was to sing this little ditty when I need to remember the Way.


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