Chi and the Balloon

A very strange thing happened at the first class after returning from holiday. It was in Sandbach town hall, a large open room with plenty of space. There had been a party there at the weekend, occasional glitter shapes on the floor and a few balloons had ended up stuck in the rafters. I was teaching very slowly with no rush or desire, and we were approaching the end of the 8 silk brocade. Someone to my right let out a small cry, they had been shocked by a balloon coming down from the ceiling. The balloon continued to descend and I said “this is going to land at my feet.” even though that was far from certain, but it felt it was slowly coming towards me on a circular route.

I was standing with my feet apart and the balloon did head downwards towards my feet, but without landing or touching me, went through my legs and started to rise upwards behind me. I stayed in the focus of the exercise. Apparently the balloon stayed behind my back for a while and then continued to rise further. One in a million, even millions. The energy was very high, very subtle, very gentle. I was shocked.

So what does this mean? For me it was a recognition that I had managed to bring the insight and knowledge from my break into the classroom. I felt throughout the class that I was in the space I wanted to be in when teaching. The aim though, is not to get there once but all the time, not just in teaching but in all activity. This is what I call grounding spirituality, or embedding spiritual insight. When we touch essential truth, have insight or awaken in some way we need to embed that knowledge until it is reflected in thought, word and action. This usually takes time and focus. To embed it we need to keep the insight clearly in mind and practice returning to that place, keep working with it until it is constant.

For me writing is an essential tool. It helps me to return to the feelings and experience I had and how that knowledge grows and manifests itself in the subsequent days. Insight and experience are never wasted, because once realised they are always within, but for me, to be truly beneficial, if we can grasp them then we can apply them i.e. ground them into a changed way of perceiving, behaving and being in this world.