An Integrative Bodymind Healing Qigong Ritual for Shabbat Candle Lighting
Michael Mayer at Chochmat Halev
Berkeley, CA June 12, 2014
Introduction: Combining of traditions at Chochmat Halev (Wisdom of the Heart) creates a sacred amalgam: Heart/mind, Male/female, mind/body, heaven/earth. Joining traditions, Qigong and Jewish, creates a beautiful synthesis of East/West in our pluralistic age of integrating spiritual traditions.
I. Qigong Practices for Shabbat Candle Lighting Ritual
1) Arm Swinging: First generate chi in your fingertips by Yi Chuan arm swinging (up and down by your sides, wrist rises, palm down to open the Penetrating Vessel, extraordinary meridian); then stop in Standing Meditation posture and feel the chi in your finger tips. Gratefully recognize that this energy is the same energy that gives life-energy to the plants, trees, insects, animals, human beings, and your internal organs.
2) Raising the Chi practice from Bodymind Healing Qigong: Bring energy of the earth up by crossing wrists in front of the heart and opening up the Tiger’s Mouth Palms out, sound “Ah” for the Heart (3 Times).
3) Bringing Down the Chi practice: Bring light of the heavens down with Bodymind Healing Qigong movement. With hands by your sides, open your palms (and heart) and then raise them up above your head, and then down your body as if your hands are electromagnets and you’re cleansing your skin (3 times).
4) Holding the Golden Ball of the Heart*
- Light the Shabbat Candles and sing the barucha for the candles: Baruch atah Adonei, Eloheinu melach haolom, asher kidishanu bi mitzvotav, vitzivanu l’hadlich ner, shel shabbat.
- Start in Standing Meditation posture, and then raise your hands in front of your heart, palms face each other as if holding a golden ball.
- Then assume position number 1 of Yi Chuan Standing Meditation, Holding the Golden Ball in front of the Heart, as if you are embracing a tree, palms face the heart. However in this Shabbat exercise you see the candle light on the ends of your finger-tips.
- Bring light into your eyes by circling your hands, opening and gathering (receiving and giving) with smaller and smaller circles until no circle at all (yet there is still a circle of energy). Vary between the traditional Shabbat cupping the eyes after gathering light (or touching the third eye), and opening and closing circles in front of the eyes by opening and gathering with the circling movements of your inwardly facing palms .
- Next, do the same circling movement but in front of the Heart. Gather into the circle as you inhale, and give to the world as you open the circle. Make smaller and smaller circles until there is no longer a circle, (yet there is a circle of internal energy). As the circle opens (and you exhale) your lower back slightly presses against an imaginary wall behind you.
- Imagine you are a candle, top of your head is blue, center of the candle is radiating a Shabbat glow out to the world. Feel the circle of light all around you
- As you do the large and smaller circles imagine gathering the loving energy of the world (as you inhale); and as you open your circle (exhaling) sending out healing, loving chi to someplace in the world that needs it: the Middle East, or any other place where suffering exists.
5) Visualize how you want your week to be as a glowing candle bringing the light into various facets of your life, work, family, and friends.
II. Closing Ritual:
1) Bring light down from Heavens (3x); Scoop up light in the room opening Tiger Palm Heart (3x); and sing Shama Yisrael (3x).
2) Return to your Standing Meditation stance and “shape shift” into what you want to incarnate for Shabbat and for the week: Imagine being a candle emitting a glow, a tree with rootedness in the heavens and earth, or a peaceful loving being for Shabbat and the week.
3) Imagine using the light of the candle to burn away what’s in the way of your peace, and to activate your inner glow.
4) Shabbat Shalom
* Many of the practices here are adaptations from Michael’s Bodymind Healing Qigong DVD, available on this website http://bodymindhealing.com. The accompanying book, Secrets to Living Younger Longer: The Self-healing Path of Qigong, Standing Meditation and Tai Chi, goes more deeply into the meanings and healing purposes of various Qigong movements such as these. Bodymind Healing Qigong integrates traditional Qigong practices, Western mind-body healing practices, and ancient sacred traditions.
Michael offers classes, workshops, and individual sessions privately or by skype. Discover a Qigong healing ritual designed for your unique life issue, energy blockage, or healing purpose. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see more about Michael’s background and contributions to Qigong click here.