Yi Dao, Qi Dao
If you have ever studied Qi Gong or any of the other Eastern arts you may have come across old Chinese saying that states ‘yi dao qi dao’. It is usually translated as ‘where the mind goes the energy will follow’, however it is probably more accurate to say ‘where the attention goes the energy will follow’. This is a subtle yet very important difference, as people often interpret this as an instruction to intend Qi to move to a particular place, when in fact we should lightly direct our awareness and the energy will follow. If I were to place an acupuncture needle on your big toe then sure enough part of your awareness is drawn to that area and the aspect of your consciousness that manifests in that part of your body is stimulated. There is no need to intend anything.
If you wish to nurture something or help it grow you should give it your unwavering yet gentle attention. This is a concept that is as true for bringing up children, as it is for building the lower Dan Tian energy centre. However it is also true for things that are not so positive. Take this coronavirus situation for example. The constant reporting by the media, the daily death counts, the terrifying projections and the general fear mongering means that our collective attention hasn’t really been anywhere else for the past year and a half, and this is taking its toll on our health.
Let us imagine that you are off to the supermarket. You are fearful that you may catch this deadly virus. How close should I be to that other person? Is this mask giving me enough protection? Should I be wearing gloves to touch this trolley? Who else has touched this tin of beans? And so on and so on and so on. What you are actually doing is increasing your stress levels which in turn is suppressing your immunity, making it far more likely that you catch the virus. This is not new age mumbo jumbo or a quaint ancient idea. This is irrefutable scientific fact. Stress increases our chances of becoming ill dramatically. Clearly this idea of yi dao, qi dao can have negative consequences.
As a case in point, our latest lockdown ending date has recently been postponed because of this so called Indian variant. For a couple of weeks the news was awash with pictures of bodies piling up in Delhi and burning cremations up and down the Ganges. Anyone who has been to India will tell you that this in itself is not uncommon. Statistics show that over two million children under the age of five die every year in India from curable diseases. Where are the BBC cameras reporting on this epidemic? The fact is that diarrhoea, malnutrition and pneumonia are not contagious and pose no threat to us over here so we needn’t worry. This new mutant viral strain however is something we can all get behind and become fearful of. And what happens? Sure enough the Indian variant starts popping up everywhere in the UK. Admittedly this may well be because we allowed thousands of people to travel here by plane who brought the virus with them, but the notion of our attention being dominated with fear still stands.
As I write this Covid-19 cases are rapidly rising yet the death toll is still, thankfully, remaining extremely low. The government has released a new list of symptoms which accompany this new variant, such as ‘a runny nose’ and a ‘slight cough’, which sound remarkably like the common cold. However the fear is still top of the agenda of the main stream media, which can naturally lead one to the question of why? A question that can lead you down many a rabbit hole, some of which you may never be able to dig yourself out of again!
But this brings me back again to the concept of yi dao, qi dao. Giving our attention over to those possible nefarious influences will only give them the power to grow. It is far better for our own health and indeed the collective reality if we focus our attention on positivity, decide what kind of World we would like to re-emerge in to and let our energy follow that path instead.