Sandy's May 2022
Hands Like Clouds
I was sitting on our deck at a lodge overlooking the mountains along the Blue Ridge Highway, relaxing after a couple challenging hikes earlier in the day. A breeze was picking up, gently swirling a layer of clouds across the expansive sky while another layer, just above, moved in the opposite direction. It was mesmerizing to watch the shapes change, to watch clouds pass, one after another.
I’m not sure how long I was captivated by this phenomenon, but eventually I found myself standing, moving my hands like clouds in our familiar Qigong pattern. Not a care in the world, no concern about what someone might think if they wondered by - just complete, undivided attention on what was in front of me.
These mindful moments in time were such a blessing that I am recalling them even now, a week later, with a smile on my face. The present moment is indeed a lovely place to reside.
In Qigong and Tai Chi, we often use ‘Hands Like Clouds’ or ‘Cloud Hands’ to assist our minds in settling down and finding a singular focus. While one hand floats across the sky, the other follows like a shadow on the ground. Then our hands pass in opposite directions, one rising and one floating down. Our mindset is that of a child, with nothing better to do than gaze skyward and watch clouds pass overhead.
If we remove ourselves from time to time from our normal routine, allowing ourselves to watch the world pass by from an unattached mental stance, we just might get a glimpse of life passing by like clouds. Who knows, it might even change our perspective or shift our attitude (see the definition of Mindfulness below).
I hope you’ll join me this month for some simple Qigong practices, allowing your mind to rest in the present moment. You deserve this time, and, I believe, will be better for taking it.
Happy Mother's Day, however you honor her,
P.S. Pictures are from the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway, where temperatures could go from 30 degrees one day to into the 80’s the next.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Though it has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness has entered the American mainstream in recent years, in part through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which he launched at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Since that time, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in general and MBSR in particular, inspiring countless programs to adapt the MBSR model for schools, prisons, hospitals, veterans centers, and beyond.
Weekly Qigong Classes:
Monday 9-9:45am CT Qigong via Zoom
Meeting ID: 882 7461 0012
Wednesday 8:30-9:15am Qigong at the Lake
Meet near the Boathouse, Marshall Park, Middleton, WI
Spread the Word: Qigong Activates the Healer Within!
Bring A Friend – Practice for Free!
There is no doubt in my mind that your invitations to friends and family members is THE absolute best means of spreading the word about the healing power of Qigong!
Without someone who has personally experienced the effects of these practices bearing witness to another, most people simply do not understand what Qigong is or how it can make them feel.
Please consider who in your circle might benefit from Qigong and invite them to try a class for free. Each time you bring a new person to class, you can practice for free, too!
Suggested Fee: $10/class for one-time drop in
Flexible Commitment Options:
Purchase classes in advance and use them as you are able.
6 classes for $48 ($8/class)
10 classes for $70 ($7/class)
15 classes for $90 ($6/class)
I am committed to offering access to the healing power of Qigong to
all who seek to practice with us. Please don’t let financial hardship
get in the way of your health. Simply email me.
Or mail check to:
Sandy Salvo :: 7521 Oak Circle Dr, Middleton, Wisconsin, 53562
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