Patterns, Puzzles and Pandemic


Not long ago the new Yuan Qigong At Home Learning course Changing Patterns (Ling Yuan) – the 8th method of Yuan Qigong – was launched. It recently occurred to me that puzzle making has some similarity to working on patterns. So, here’s my story:

What to do in lockdown?

I started doing puzzles in the early days of the pandemic lock down. My initial approach to puzzles was haphazard. I would dump the 1,000 pieces onto my table and stand back astonished at the sheer volume of it all. I often felt overwhelmed and filled with doubt. Could I actually do this? Could I put this thing together? Did I even want to? I would then randomly begin searching for pieces that fit together. 

These moments often deteriorated into unfairly assigning negative attributes to my puzzles. After taking a time out for both our sakes, I would return, my puzzle innocently waiting, blissfully unaware of the anxiety it had caused. I found this lack of responsibility annoying, but I wasn’t going to let a puzzle get the best of me. I’m stubborn like that. 

Without enjoying one minute of it, I finished my first few puzzles before I changed strategies. 

Discovering new ways

After the initial dump, which was quickly followed by the inevitable questions of why I was doing another puzzle, I got to work rooting around and finding the border pieces. Soon, a neat little pile emerged. I now had a logical place to start. 

In time, I began sorting the remaining pieces too. When finished, I often had 30 piles patiently waiting to be assembled. Still overwhelming, but the sense of order gave me courage.  

I was now on a puzzle-making roll. 

After doing 5-6 puzzles, I began to notice some defining moments that predictably repeated no matter the puzzle I was doing. 

There was the moment the picture on the box began to emerge. In that moment, I felt like I knew my puzzle, that we were in this together. I loved this moment, even though it inevitably led to the next defining moment: obsession with my puzzle. This phase generally lasted three or four nights. I can only imagine what I looked like, uncut pandemic hair wild as I searched for just one more piece, promising it would be the last as the clock ticked on. By the time I fell into bed, my puzzle would visit me in my dreams. 

Then there was the inevitable moment I wanted to give up. I would stand staring at my table, envisioning what it would take to quit. I would see myself sweeping away the remaining piles of sorted pieces. I would imagine dragging the border into the box, the pieces breaking apart as they fell. Worst of all was the thought of destroying the small pictures that had emerged from the chaos. I just couldn’t do it. 

So, I persevered, albeit with a little more restraint. The exhaustion of my obsession phase had worn me out. 

Then, there was always the moment I recognized the one piece that would defy my efforts to find its place. I kept trying, and it kept resisting, almost to the very end. I had to learn to love this piece. What choice did I have? I clearly needed it or it wouldn’t be there.


– Marsha’ s puzzles –


The patterns of the consciousness

It took a while, but I began to see the similarities between patterns and puzzles. Once I did, the wisdom of puzzle making was there to remind me that working on my patterns can be messy and disorganized. It can take up a lot of space. That when I can create order and a place to start, when I have a system for knowing what to look for and how it all fits together, I’m not so overwhelmed. That in time, amidst the chaos, a clearer picture will emerge; what didn’t make sense will slowly come into focus. That even when I feel like giving up, even when I start talking negatively to myself, even when there is that one pattern that I can’t figure out, I can take a break and my patterns will be there waiting for me. Most of all, I’m reminded that the thought of giving up, of pushing my patterns back into the darkness is no longer an option for me. And that in the end, I will be happy that I kept going.

My experience with Changing Patterns (Ling Yuan)

When I first started practicing Changing Patterns (Ling Yuan) – an advanced, internal Yuan Qigong method for working on unhealthy patterns – I relied on my mind to provide the answers. I received benefits for sure, and it was a place to start. Over time, I was able to open myself differently to the information and apply the teachings on the heart and Shen, our True Self. That’s when the practice really took off for me.

Curious about the practice? Check out the new At Home Learning course Changing Patterns (Ling Yuan) created by world-renowned Qigong and life cultivation teacher Yuan Tze. It is an advanced internal Qigong method to uplift life from a very deep level. You will learn how to connect with your True Self and live a healthier and more harmonious life. Find your own personal truth and free yourself from past conditioning with this unique method.



Yuan Qigong allows you to be who you really are and come into contact with your true nature. It can be a wonderful healing experience.

We invite you to join our community and meet interesting people from all over the world!

Join us now! We are looking forward to meeting you soon!



Qi Blog

Recent Articles

About The Author

Marsha Moore

Marsha Moore

Washington, USA
I have always had a desire to know myself and understand life at a deeper level. I began learning from Yuan Tze in 2010. I had been working on my life consistently and had found understanding about many aspects of my life, but it was still incomplete. With REN XUE and YUAN QIGONG, I now have a system of practices and theories that provide comprehensive guidance for understanding and changing my life on all levels. The system is so rich, so full of wisdom, each day brings a deeper understanding about who I am and the meaning of my life.

Start learning Qigong with our course bundles!