They loom tall. They are friendly giants. They stand in silence, and are dark against the shimmering stars of the night sky and the full autumn blood moon eclipse. I inhale, take another inhale and another. Oh the freshness of these trees, their strength, their majesty taken in through my breath, fill my own living branches in my chest and awaken my being to the magic of the night!
I have just enjoyed a most wonderful community gathering, feast and celebration of the Autumn Moon festival at a Taoist retreat center, Xuan Xiu Gong– full of sharing, good food, poetry, flute music and gazing upon the blood red moon eclipse. My partner and his daughter have left, and, as I prepare to leave, I stop. I feel her calling again.
Yes, the forest. This time she beckons me to stay, to bathe in the mystery of the darkness, the night. Oh the night is such a time full of mystery, of solitude, of prayer, casting seeds of intent and of entering the vast unknown. I love the sense of anything being possible in the cloak of night fall, under a night sky that also radiates with the luminous ones – the stars and emerging white light of the full moon.
So I stop and say yes. I step into the forest. In the night shadows, I enter a circle of tall, elegant swirling cedars, the queen of the Cascadian forests and enter the gaits of Enchantment. Smiling and feeling the quiet, strong aliveness of these trees I begin to practice. I begin my mantra, calling on my teachers, these Cedar queens to teach me as I enter into Big Tree qigong 大树功.
Qigong, just as dancing, running, lifting stones, flinging hammers, can be a tool for alchemy – of learning, receiving from the mystery of Life through the very pores of skin and fibers of our body. Sometimes movement brings in the teachings and sometimes stillness allows them to flood in. Tonight I stand in stillness with the trees, bathed in full moon glow and cedar shadows and allow the trees, the night to fill my being and be transformed.