Like the Hokey Pokey the language of the Six Verses is an invitation to the dance. The elegant verbal choreography leads you in a sequence that unifies your consciousness with your body, Qi, and the Universe and ultimately leads you to that destination of feeling “relaxed, free, and joyful.” The level of unification depends on your sincerity and ability to focus.
Learn how to dance with your Qi
Instead of dancing with your friends in the school yard, you are dancing with your Qi, the Universe, your True Self. Usually the Hokey Pokey connects you with your fellow dancers and results in a feeling of light-heartedness and joy. That, too, is the aim of the Six Verses. How do you do that? Be sincere and as a Qigong buddy said to me recently, remember to bring your inner smile to the practice.
In the Hokey Pokey, you start by putting your right foot in, you put our right foot out – or maybe it’s your left hand. No matter where you begin, the movement is first in, then out.Curiously, in the Six Verses we put our attention in and then our attention out.
To a beginner, the shifting of our attention and consciousness from the external to the internal can be a challenge as can connecting to the Universe. Remember your inner smile? It’s an excellent way to connect.
How to create a more unified, harmonious state
Initially, I found the “movements” of the Six Verses difficult. My ability to focus internally was poor. Over time it become easier as I paved the new neural pathways that took me to a state of calm. Practicing with a group can help you pave those pathways more quickly and easily as the Qifield of the group supports you in this endeavor. It’s helpful to remember that this is not an effort of will but an act of allowing.
It was when I found the work of Dr. Fehmi, Director of the Princeton Biofeedback Centre on convergent and divergent focus that I began to understand the brilliance of the Six Verses. His research found that the quickest and most effective way to move our brainwaves from beta to alpha is through this method of moving our attention inward and outward using our senses. Why is it important? Because it is in alpha that we can fully relax, our Qi can flow smoothly and healing begins.
How to prepare for a Qigong practice
As you read the Six Verses, you can see that awareness is directed inward then outward from verse to verse. As we are moving our awareness in and out, we are mimicking the movement of Qi – in and out, open and close.
Let’s look at each line:
Line One: “Awareness inside the body, feel the emptiness and spaciousness inside.” Do your best to sense your entire body and feel how spacious it is. Expand your sense of spaciousness by dissolving your body into a Qi-body.
Line Two: “Expand the awareness out, becoming one with the Universe.” Our inner vision and attention moves to the space beyond anything visible to our eyes. Go as far out as you can. Feel the space around you.Connect to the Universe with a smile.
Line Three: “Bring the awareness back to the body, calm and peaceful.” Here the awareness moves inward again. Because we have unified with the Universe our True Self brings the calm and serenity back to our body which has become the center of the Universe. Attend to the sense of peace and calm. Cultivate it.
Line Four: “Open to the universe with utmost respect and Gongjing.” With this outward movement fill the entire Universe with your being. Notice the beautiful bright light and the quality of respect and humility.
Line Five: “Let the bright Universe nourish your heart with compassion and love.” Draw all of the Qi, information, bright light, compassion, and love back. Allow yourself to experience the compassion and love of the Universe.
Line Six: “Feel relaxed, free, and joyful.Qi is flowing smoothly and harmoniously.” With each movement, we have inched closer to that state of harmony where we feel relaxed and joyful. Bring this state into your practice of Yuan Qigong and into your life.
How to use the Six Verses
Say the Six Verses when you wake in the morning, before you drift off to sleep, through the day to build the neural networks that will take you to a state of calm. The more you use and develop this skill, the more quickly you will be able to drop into a state of peace and relaxation at the beginning of a moving practice – or in an emergency.
The Hokey Pokey ends with, “. . .turn yourself around – that’s what it’s all about.” The Six verses turn our focus from external to internal, and that indeed is what it is all about.
Just sit back, gently close your eyes and explore your personal connection to the Six Verses:
The Six Verses help build a strong Qifield and get into a calm, unified state before starting your Yuan Qigong practice. Learn more about their meaning in our At Home Learning program.