Cultivating an Inner Garden

by | Jan 16, 2015 | Qi Gong Seattle

Two things I treasure and hold very dear to me……my Qi Gong practice and my garden. They both help me to survive and to refine my survival to a much more vital, joyful, connected, peaceful, insightful, adaptable, and vibrant state!


I grow a lot of my own food in my garden. I know what goes in—into the soil, the types of seeds, the organic fertilizers and soil amendments, the water, and the love and gratitude of my own hands (and feet) in the dirt. I know what comes out–organic food brought to manifestation by a co-creation of Mother Nature, Grandmother Earth and me! On many levels, being involved in this process from seed to sprout to bud to leaf to fruit and back to seed again year after year is incredible.  Having an intimate interconnection with all of Mother Nature’s cycles allows me to feel and see them right before my hands and eyes! This brings wisdom, joy, gratitude and direct nurturance to my being!



Qi Gong practice is like cultivating an inner garden. Instead of growing beets, tomatoes and all the other varieties of fruits and veggies, you are cultivating all of the varieties of your inner ‘food’. Just like my veggie garden, I know what goes in me–from my Qi Gong practice. What goes in is multilayered and complex. It is the study of the dynamic changing postures (called a Qi Gong form), the constant flux of energy that can be noticed on a very subtle level, and the study of the passage of the breath. The continual wisdom, calmness and stillness that is created within a space of just allowing and noticing while monitoring the intent of the unfolding series of movements IS the practice.



These are like knowing the water, the type of compost and seeds, and the intent of the planting schedule in my veggie garden. In the same way, if I know what goes in and I pay attention, I am likely to know what comes out of my Qi Gong practice! The highest level of harmony of my body, mind, and spirit is what I receive–with gratitude and joy!

Just like cultivating a food garden will produce the most vibrant, flavorful, nutrient-rich, and healthy fruits and veggies, cultivating an internal garden through Qi Gong will do the same! Your body/mind/spirit is vibrant and vivid in all your senses, nutrient-rich in all of the qualities of wisdom, insight and connection to Source, and vital in the highest level of health and adaptability!

New and Old Growth in Harmony


New Growth Sprouts Forth


Countless studies have shown the multitude of benefits received from a regular Qi Gong practice. More importantly, more than 7000 years of continuity of practice shows the benefits in direct experience. The benefits are numerous. These include: a strengthened immune system for maximizing your adaptability to life’s circumstances, a deep calmness and relaxation with a maintained alertness that accesses your intuitive wisdom, reduced blood pressure and stress levels, reduced musculoskeletal pain and tension, increased flexibility, balance, and a true functional graceful strength. Most importantly you access your deep inner cauldron of wisdom of knowing. Through refining your awareness you strengthen your innate interconnection to All That Is.


Qi is the vital life force that animates all. All sentient beings and all living systems in Nature are just different manifestations of Qi. My highest level of health and connection of mind/body/spirit is maintained by knowing the dynamic harmony between the constant changing state of Qi within me and within my interactions with All That Is. Through cultivating a Qi Gong practice, I am much more likely to ward off an external invader of Qi such as a virus, a toxin, or a response of fear. My internal Qi is either stronger, more diverse, more subtle, more flexible, less fixed (and the list goes on) than the external invader. Through continuing to notice these changes, I increase my health and adaptability even more.

This is just the same way that a healthy, vibrant and diverse garden can continue to thrive and adapt to challenging circumstances. These may include low water, high heat, pests, windy or humid conditions.  Warding off those invaders while continuing to thrive at a much higher level of strength, adaptability and wisdom is called resilience.



A regular Qi Gong practice will allow you a consistent opportunity to practice your skills of  how you are walking through this life.IMG_5436

*Remaining present for those moments when apathy or boredom sets in and you continue to find curiosity within your practice.

*Remaining present for those moments when you try too hard and grasp onto ‘doing the form correctly’. This often uncovers how you are actually practicing in a very stiff way. Taking a breath and settling in with a gentle curious noticing allows you to find your inner calm to notice and reduce the unnecessary effort.

*Staying present for those moments when there is frustration for ‘not getting’ the complexity of a new move and then finding the inner softness to expand your noticing and allow a new possibility to emerge.

*Staying present for your busy monkey mind that constantly goes here and there within your practice which allows a continual opportunity to draw yourself back to just directly experiencing ‘this moment’.


Learning to lightly find a harmonious balancing between all of the above in your Qi Gong practice spills over to how you have to constantly navigate the same forces in all aspects of your life. This consistent practice, over time, brings the same wisdom, joy, peace, health, vitality, adaptability, insights, and presence to all aspects of your life.

Come and cultivate your beautiful inner garden! Please join Carrie at an upcoming Qi Gong class or workshop.

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