By Vivienne Verdon-Roe, Ph.D.
I remember sitting on the deck in front of my house on an especially beautiful day in May 2009. I was finally done with a three-month bout of bronchitis, the worst attack yet. But I hadn’t really recovered. I was weaker than before I got sick. Each winter my immune system was less able to cope and when the inevitable bronchitis returned it took more out of me. I was losing my 20-year old battle with Lyme disease.
The sun warmed my skin. The pain was not too bad today. And a hummingbird visited. A good day. I was coming to acceptance that my life was pretty much over. “A couple more years perhaps,” I thought, “And then the bronchitis may well take me out.” Almost relief. I was bone tired.
Until I got too sick to work, I’d been an activist trying to save the world. Avoiding what was going on inside by being entirely focused on the outside, on what was wrong with the world and needed fixing. Doing, doing, doing. When I became ill, the runaway train was stopped in its tracks. I lost my identity as a successful filmmaker and public speaker. As a voice for peace and for the environment. I lost all the approval I got through my work and I was forced to face myself and the deep pain within. Inside, I was wound up like a spring.
I’d tried a number of different therapies. Being outside was my favorite. Listening to the messages from the spirits of nature. “Let go. Let go,” cawed the crows.
And I had let go of and healed much of my past. I felt ready to surrender and to move on from this lifetime. Little did I suspect that surrendering would bring me not death, but an extraordinary practice that has brought me back to life.
A month later I was introduced to Wisdom Healing Qigong. I was so weak at the time, I listened to the CDs lying on my bed, imagining I was doing the practice. After a while I noticed I had more energy. I went to a retreat with my teacher, Master Mingtong Gu and that’s where the magic really happened. One day my heart cracked open and the spring inside me began to unwind.
I found out that in six weeks Mingtong would be taking a group to China for a month-long retreat. I decided to go, despite the fact that just a couple of months before I’d been unable to go to a big family wedding in Europe. The China trip was challenging and life-changing.
Not only do I have my health back — no pain and I have abundant energy — but the remnants of past trauma have been dissolving like ice in warm water. I feel less and less the necessity to prove anything, to be identified as anything. The peace I was trying so hard to create in the world, I’m finally finding in myself. And surely this is the way peace occurs. By embodying it in ourselves. Wisdom Healing Qigong has brought me Home.
Qigong means “cultivating energy”. Indigenous peoples and mystics recognized that everything is energy. Scientists looking under powerful microscopes found that at highly magnified levels all forms are made up of vibrational energy. Thanks to quantum physics the Western world is now waking up to the fact that only 4% of the universe is form and visible. The other 96% is formless and invisible. But it is not empty. It is a great seething ocean of vibrating energy that is always available. Beyond eating, drinking and breathing, we are constantly exchanging energy with the universe, whether we are aware of it or not. In qigong when we consciously connect to the invisible energy and imagine bringing it back as light into our bodies we increase our life-force. The bridge between formlessness and form is the mind. Not our ordinary, everyday linear mind that is conditioned to interact with our world only through the five senses. When we close our eyes and use our imagination, we access another part of the brain that recognizes that physical and non-physical energies are the same.
A blockage in the flow of energy in the body manifests as disease. Whether you are suffering from cancer or a headache, you do the same qigong practice. Expanding energy out to the universe and bringing it back in, thereby accessing life force and creating its free flow throughout the body. Qigong teaches us that it is thought that gives energy structure. So our beliefs and the stories we have about ourselves take part in the creation of our physical bodies. With our intention we can activate the innate wisdom of the body, a state of wholeness that exists as a blueprint within every human being.
Wisdom Healing Qigong came into being thirty years ago in China. Dr. Pang, a doctor of both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, studied with nineteen Qigong grandmasters, becoming a grandmaster himself. He combined these traditional qigong methods, using many up-to-then secrets, and developed Wisdom Healing Qigong. Eventually Dr. Pang let go of medicine altogether in his treatments, using just Qigong. Several times he was accused of practicing magic and jailed. He renounced being a doctor and opened a huge center where people with so-called incurable conditions flocked. Many had exhausted all other options. Each student — they were no longer called patients — was diagnosed using a battery of conventional medical tests on arrival and again four weeks later, after they had participated in intensive daily practice of Dr. Pang’s Wisdom Healing Qigong. The health of 95% improved, with 35% being completely cured. No sign of the original disease. Wisdom Healing Qigong was recently acknowledged by the Chinese government as the most effective form of qigong for healing.
Western medicine usually focuses on the physical – surgery and pills. This is only 4% of the universe. We have access to the other 96% through energy medicine. Once I realized – beyond just a concept — I am an energy being, that mind and body are inseparable, my life changed. No more hoping for a doctor to fix my health or for someone or something external to make me happy. An ancient Chinese statement of wisdom eloquently describes the disadvantage of passively waiting for help.
“You can stand on a mountaintop with your mouth wide open for a long time before a roast duck flies into it.”
Through Wisdom Healing Qigong I learned that I was the one I’ve been waiting for. I can take full responsibility for myself. I have a choice in every minute – not necessarily about what happens to me and my world, but certainly about how I react, what I do with my mind. Instead of waiting until I got healthy again to be happy or despairing that I ever would, I could cultivate a state of inner happiness that was not dependent upon the circumstances of my life. In fact, cultivating happy energy can be an effective way to heal, as Norman Cousins demonstrated so well with his laughter therapy. Certainly being happy is the quickest way to attract a lot of friends. People love being around happy people. And having all that loving energy around also helps the healing process.
My Wisdom Healing Qigong teacher laughs like his three-year-old boy. He exudes happiness and it’s contagious! Master Mingtong Gu goes by Mingtong. Mingtong trained with Dr. Pang at the center in China. He has been in the United States for twenty years. He has a remarkable ability to translate and transmit this technology based on 5000 years of accumulated wisdom and practice in China so that it is accessible to the minds of modern Westerners.
Mingtong recently settled in the Bay Area and he has already attracted a large community of wonderful caring people. My miraculous healing is not unusual. People are healing on all levels of being, letting go of limited thinking and recovering from serious illnesses and life-long emotional pain.
For myself I am profoundly grateful to have found this extraordinarily effective method of releasing old patterns of conditioning. Wisdom Healing Qigong has been my road Home, healing my body, transforming negative emotions, connecting me to a deep inner well of peace and helping me to recognize that we are the love of the universe embodied.
Vivienne Verdon-Roe, Ph.D. (honorary) won an Academy Award for a documentary film about women and peace, called Women for America, for the World. She now focuses her work on the inner world, with the understanding that our collective consciousness is creating the outer one. Vivienne is a certified instructor in Wisdom Healing Qigong, teaching private classes and workshops and assistant teaching at the Chi Center retreats. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.