Maarten's exciting journey

My name is Maarten and I started to train Zhineng Qigong in the summer of 2005. For many years I have known that this training method exists, but I never took the last step to join a course. Looking back at this period, I wonder why I waited for such a long time. Training Zhineng Qigong is an exiting journey and has become an important part of my personal development!

I have always enjoyed sports and outdoor life, and I used to prioritise these kinds of activities before others during my spare time. The summer of 2005 was not supposed to be an exception. I had planned to climb the highest mountain in Sweden, Kebnekaise, but as the arrangement was fully booked earlier than I expected, I had to give up this idea. First this felt as a missed opportunity, but after having started to train Zhineng Qigong instead, I suddenly realised how fortunate I was to have continued with plan B instead.

Training qigong has convinced Maarten that people have a much bigger potential than they think. As I decided to join the summer-course in Kvänum on short notice, I did not really imagine how it would feel to train this method and what I would get out of it. The first thing one notices when looking at the website is that many of those who have started to train seem to experience a positive effect on a broad range of physical conditions as well as stress related diseases. It is not unusual that the problems disappear altogether or at least become more manageable. That Zhineng Qigong has much more to offer, also to persons who consider themselves to be more or less healthy, was something I discovered during the summer-course.

I remember clearly that what struck me most during those first weeks was that Zhineng Qigong deals as much with training the mind as the body, and that this training continues 24 hours a day. Now, after a little over one year, I feel the main effect of the training, at least for me, is on a mental level. It has become easier to stay calm even when the pace of life is extremely high and I feel more prepared to deal with several kinds of situations. This both accounts for aspects of life I can affect myself and aspects I cannot affect. Another result of the training is that I feel more focused than before, even though I have always had the ability to concentrate rather well.

During the short time I have trained, I have become convinced that most people have a much bigger potential than they use today and that they can steer their lives to a higher extent than what they think. Zhineng Qigong is an excellent method for people who live in a modern and complex society. It enables us to develop abilities that otherwise would have been underdeveloped or beyond our knowledge. The combination of physical movements and training of the mind also is a way towards deeper understanding. For a long time I have thought that consumption of "external knowledge" is the only way of gaining better understanding of life, but now I know that true understanding comes from within us and that this is not an intellectual process.

The fact that I have started to like Zhineng Qigong so much is obviously a result of the effects and experiences that I described above. Another contributing factor is that many things that are discussed in a qigong context both feel positive and natural, as if it connects to something that was already within me but that I was less aware of. I think many have the experience that they think more often of simple principles that otherwise easily disappear under the surface in the sea of thoughts that come by in everyday life. An important result of the training is that these simple "guidelines", such as smiling a lot, thinking positively and helping others as good as one can, become more explicit and are more present.

Despite the fact that I already in an early stage of the training guessed the effects would be very positive, it has been a process to open up completely for all thoughts and concepts. Many of us have gone to school and after that studied and/or started working. During all those years one builds a picture of how the world works, like a puzzle with many pieces. Training qigong does not mean many pieces have to be thrown away, but one needs a somewhat bigger framework where there is space for new pieces as well. This may take some time and it still feels a bit unusual to talk about "qi" and "qi-field", but the more one feels the effect of the training, the more natural it becomes.

All who exercise Zhineng Qigong make their own journey, but a common experience for everybody, both beginners and veterans, is that this training method is simple and smooth, and is practiced by very nice persons. It strikes me every time how warm and uncomplicated the contacts are between people, irrespective of nationality, age or occupation. The atmosphere is always great and a lot of laughter can be heard in between the training sessions. Training in a group is therefore rewarding in several ways.

I did not climb Kebnekaise in the summer of 2005, but instead I have started to climb another, much higher mountain. I have just come a bit on the road, but already now I like the view. Many years ago a Dutch writer wrote: "The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced." For me, Zhineng Qigong is a way to experience this reality in a deeper way than before.

Maarten Sengers