The concept of “mind intent” is predominantly derived from the Chinese medicine exercises for health and longevity known as tai chi and qigong. Mind intent practice maximizes awareness and clarity, decreases distraction and supports achievement of desired goals. Incorporation of this technique establishes positive mental habits and allows one to become the best version of their self. It increases ability to hold commitments and interact with self and others in a more harmonious manner.
Chinese medicine texts are filled with metaphors and images that enrich understanding of a variety of energetic components. As such, mind intent practice is based on the principle: “Where the mind goes, the qi will follow.” Directing qi (vital energy or life force) is the primary goal of mind intent practice, which maximizes the body’s natural self-healing power.
Qi is engaged in combination with what are traditionally known as shen and yi. Shen is synonymous with both mind and spirit. It is fundamental to maintaining stability, clarity, brilliance and tranquility in life, along with being an essential component for optimal health and wellness. Yi is translated as “intention” and has to do with focusing energy on the creation of a particular goal. The activation and merging of fully functioning qi, shen and yi provides the main ingredients for strong and effective mind intent ability.
Mind intent emerges from a sea of energy known as the upper dantian – more commonly known as “the third eye” and located on the forehead between the eyebrows. Intuitive and psychic ability flourishes, along with ability to stay present in the moment when this area is filled with strong shen substance. Accordingly, one of the first requirements for engaging mind intent is to be centered and integrated within oneself. And the first sign of a strong mind is the feeling of inner calm.
Mind intent practice begins with a reflective yin state that includes a search for ideas and feelings - followed by continuous attention and replenishment to transform this yin idea into a yang reality. Positive outcome stems from a caring and patient approach that provides for alignment of qi, shen and yi when the time is ripe. Otherwise, resistance arises along with stagnation and blockage – resulting in discouragement due to lack of achieving the desired goal. Success is derived through pin-pointed mental concentration that allows energy to flow with great balance, rhythm and harmony. This is further strengthened through steadfast trust in ability to manifest an idea into reality - quite similar to the common expression: “anything is possible once you put your mind to it.”
The following exercise is derived from a system of qigong known as Yi-Chuan. It is mainly comprised of standing meditations that work with developing “movement within stillness” and walking exercises that develop “stillness within movement.” A major result of both forms is the ability for manifestation through mind intent practice – also known as development of a “mind fist.”
How to “Stand Like a Tree”: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place hands an inch above eyebrows with palms facing toward the earth. Position arms in an arc as if over the top of a ball with fingertips toward each other and elbows relaxed. Look out into the distance and keep eyes on a focal spot. At the same time, breathe in and out through the nose with mouth closed, while expanding the belly on inhalation and contracting upon exhalation.
Stay centered, patient and integrated throughout this exercise. Continue standing in meditation up to five minutes on a daily basis. With time and practice, ability to manifest through mind intent will continue to grow. This is especially effective during the winter months, when the mind is active while the body rests. This technique is useful for a wide-range of goals that are specific to each individual. Success evolves through drawing upon instinct, staying open to all possibilities, being flexible and yielding when necessary. This provides a way for installing lifestyle habits that ensure inner resolve, harmonious flow and everlasting peace of mind – along with bringing forth natural instinctive ability.
Shoshanna Katzman, L.Ac., M.S. is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, Tai Chi and Qigong Instructor as well as director of Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center in Shrewsbury, NJ for the past 30 years. Shoshanna is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20-Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy and co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness. For more information visit www.healing4u.com and www.qigong4.us
This article appears in the February issue of Natural Awakenings Monmouth/Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe or download the entire issue below.