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Stick Exercises

09 Jun

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This booklet (pictured above & below) was published by Plum Village and can be purchased in the book shop at Deer Park Monastery, rooted in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. I imagine our other monasteries in the US must carry it as well. As written on the inside of the booklet:

“The Qi Kong method “Duong Sinh” (life sustaining) Way of the Heart” consists of four exercises based around the use of a long light stick. Each exercise consists of four movements; giving 16 movements in all. The movements in this particular Qi Kong method were invented by the elderly Mai Bac Dau, and revised by Zen master Tinh Tu who put the instructions together in a compact form and added photographs to make them easier to remember and practice.

Virtues

Life sustaining Qi Kong, marvelous virtue,
Sixteen movements preventing disease and pain
Healing hundreds of different ailments
Long life, youthful health, peace of mind
Peaceful spirit shining snow-white
Qi’s rich life-giving force, a paradise for Man
Living with joy, walking with a light foot
Awake I smile, feeling free, I am home”

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I very much enjoy these stick exercises and have found this booklet to be a helpful tool. And, I’m pleased to report, that just the other day it suddenly struck me about how delightful it would be to offer these exercises once or twice a month during the summer months before our weekly sangha meetings on Monday nights. So starting this coming Monday I’ve offered to lead these exercises for anyone who’s interested in arriving a little early. We are fortunate to have the center in which our sangha meets situated on the corner of an entire block filled with trees, a well-tended rose garden, and nice open swaths of lush green grass, called Rose Memorial Park. We also have a stack of sticks to use, which we purchased in order to use them on our local retreats when we offer stick exercises as an optional activity. It seems a great and dandy idea then to make good use of the lovely park and all the PVC sticks in the shed! I’m also looking forward to having some community based motivation to do the stick exercises myself, as I greatly enjoy doing them but don’t often carve out the time to go through them on my own.

If you’re interested in checking out stick exercise I found a great video on Youtube of a woman leading the exact series from this booklet – also, I’ve found that a broom handle works splendidly as a stick too :)

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