This summer I spent many hours in standing meditation or doing gentle Qi-Gong in the park that is my backyard. This practice gave my body a chance to be felt and loved as part of the greater whole. We talk about connecting with the earth, being aware of the four directions and the above and below, and some of us go to spiritual retreats or enjoy outdoor sports to feel that. For me, taking time to “be” in my own backyard was the greatest retreat and adventure I could ever have imagined. First, I needed to open my body with gentle, small motions (many of them in tiny circles), tiniest stretches, transferring their effects day to day deep into my tissues. This would allow all those tight places a chance to release so my joints and bones could realign, and I could enjoy free movement and greater energy flow. In this time of meditation through movement, I got to know my trees, to really “know” and feel them. I also came to feel in my body the mountains, forests, and waterways that embrace the city where I live. I found my mind moving back through time to the days of the ancient forests and giant trees. I felt the presence of animals and of indigenous peoples. As my mind traveled further back I sensed earlier epochs, the presence of animals long extinct, moving through the space that my body stood and breathed. These physical practices–standing meditation and gentle Qi-Gong–are powerful when done with intention and focus. Qi-Gong is based on energy sensing and building through conscious integration of movement and breath. There is energy always present from the earth and sky, from the trees, the sun and stars, and as you move you dip your hands and mind into each energy, your body-mind grows to be receptive to the energy environment in which we live, so unconscious of its gifts and goodwill toward us. I love sensing the ball of energy in my hands and dancing with that, allowing it to guide my movements–this is spontaneous Qi-Gong. Once you open your body and establish this connection to the different energies, your body will change, find its best alignment, muscles strengthening, breath deepening. Just be sure that none of the movements hurt in the slightest, and do not over-stretch. Your body-mind will love the deep attention and guide you to a new body integrity. As I enjoyed these hours, I sometimes reflected that what I was doing/experiencing was possible because of practices such as the Rose Way, which help to evolve the sensory “equipment” of our multi-dimensional being. Human beings are innately multi-dimensional, yet we are raised to be rational and to close down or distrust our intuitive and emotional capacities. Some of us wish to reclaim the fullness of our being, we embark on a spiritual journey as best we can.