Qi Day, 2016. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the ability of humans working together to have a synergistic effect in this world (1 + 1 = > 2). In this world of ours today, the most effective organizations are the corporations, top down hierarchies organized around the principle of profit. We have left behind the tribal groups. The extended family is less and less a factor in our lives, as are unions, religious organizations, voluntary associations and so. Many of us have little experience working together in a cooperative fashion. And yet this is how we evolved as social creatures, hunting and gathering together, working the fields, putting up the harvest, building our dwellings, living our lives in community. When we work together, we multiply our potential.
Ever since I returned to Vancouver and started to study Qigong, I’ve had a certainty that we could be much more powerful and effective if we worked together as a community. The course of study I embarked upon was modeled after the curriculum given to the Qigong practitioners who worked in the hospitals and clinics of late twentieth century mainland China. Healers worked together and achieved impressive results.
This coming Sunday, August 28th, this vision begins to manifest. A journey that started early this spring with a suggestion from Jim Balakshin at Gordon Neighbourhood House that I should apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grant to give a Qigong class at this new Jim Deva Plaza that was being created on Davie Street in the West End is going to come to fruition. It started out with the name of Qigong on the Plaza, but my friend and colleague, Caroline MacGillivray, suggested we call it Qi Day, and the name stuck.
So we’ve been putting the pieces together for the past few months, getting the permits, doing the hoop dance, arranging all the little bits and pieces that need to be done for an event like this. Healers and teachers needed to be enlisted. Volunteers to help with organization and set up during the actual day. Props and tents, a PA system, posters printed, a couple of ponies and a brass band (just kidding)… you get the idea. This sort of thing takes some organization. But with help, it is all quite do-able. And the funny thing is, you get bonded to those who are working with you. You become family. You get to know how people are, their little quirks, their strengths and their weaknesses. And the bigger the group that is working together, the more we find our strengths. We all have a piece of the puzzle. It’s by working together that we learn to work together.
Because we’ve had a rather limited budget (no corporate sponsorships this time around), I’ve had to do quite a few things I hadn’t done in a while. I pulled out my old skill set from when I worked as a poster guy for a music promoter back in the 80s. It was actually kind of a blast, riding around on my recumbent bike, talking the local store owners into putting my poster up in their windows. People were so nice! And I got to see Vancouver in such detail on a street level. Well, certain parts of it anyway…I made synergistic connections with people who I had no idea I was connected to. This is such a small town in some ways!
Anyway, it’s all coming to fruition this Sunday. The weather looks promising. Participants are getting ready. I’m having a meeting with Minke de Vos tomorrow to plan a beautiful opening ceremony to introduce Qi Day. I really would like to see Qigong become mainstream, something that everybody has access to. A qigong practitioner in every TCM clinic, a qigong teacher in every movement/yoga studio. This is something I really believe in. We are designed to be self maintained. We have all the tools we need. And qigong is the best user’s manual I have found yet.
I hope to see you there. Check out the Qi Day website, look for us on Facebook or Twitter. Come on down and experience this new plaza that the city has created for us to enhance community. There are good things going on.