Arts & Crafts Magazine

Shedding Acquired Life Roles and Medical Qigong

By Dianefergurson

Conversations with Healer and Medical Qigong practitioner Darren Orr always prove to be an enlightening and informative experience.  I conducted the following discussion originally for the Mind Body Spirit Odyssey blog as part of our on-going educational series on Qigong Healing.  This conversation focuses on our acquired "life roles", our ability or inability to shed them, and how Medical Qigong can assist in the healing process.
Darren Orr is a Reiki master and teacher, a nationally certified massage therapist and a Medical Qigong therapist and teacher.  He specializations are in Oncology, chronic pain, stress management, life-altering illness and palliative care for the terminally ill. Darren recently graduated from a 3 year Medical Qigong Program, a Graduate Degree of over 2,000 hours.
                                                                                                         ~ diane fergurson
MBS:  I've been reading recently about how sometimes people, deep down, don't really want to move completely forward after a death or unhappy life experience.  They resist the healing process because they have, in many cases, taken on a "life role" that they would find hard to give up.  For example, they embrace the role as the "survivor", the "widow", the "sick person". That's how other people identify them. That's what they talk about socially. They build their life and activities around that persona and really don't want to give it up 100% because then they would have to change who they are. Will you speak to that? 

Butterfly in Barely Blue by Nellie Levine


Darren:  Yes, the fear of changing that which they believe they are.  But what are we?  We cling to these identities or life roles so dearly. Why? We defend our positions, create lines in the sand causing strife, separation, division and dissension. We always want to be right and never wrong. Always want to feel pleasure, never pain. Always want to gain and never experience loss, only wanting the highs and never the lows. Never realizing and considering that the Divine flow of life is perpetuated by duality and dichotomy.
On the deepest level though duality merges into unity. We categorize, segregate, name, define, confine, dichotomize everything in our lives in order to try and understand it but in trying to understand it you lose the essence of simply experiencing the unity flow and harmony of each passing moment.
In the Dao de Jing Lao tzu talks about this saying the " the mind is like a knife always chipping away at the Dao trying to render it graspable and manageable, yet that which is formless is ungraspable and unmanageable. Nature is the best example of this and is why the Daoist's revered the harmony of nature as being the best expression of the Dao. The fundamental question of life is Who Am I? With that question comes a spiritual awakening and a rekindling of a fire that has lied dormant since childhood.
Who Am I? Sages from India and China, Christians, mystics, sufi muslims, indigenous religions throughout the world all use this form of self-enquiry to release the acquired mind/ego/false self and in doing so commune with the Source of life.It is very true that people take on a "life role" that they find hard to give up whether that be survivor, widow, sick person or on a deeper level believing themselves to be the body. Everybody builds their life and activities around a persona whatever that may be, that is called the ego/false self/acquired mind. We all have it, all of us.
That is the essential point of self cultivation and Medical Qigong:to refine the acquired aspects of your being in order see clearly your true nature. All the acquired negative, habitual habits, behaviors, thought patterns, attitudes and excessive mental/emotional templates that we all have gathered and carry around with us from birth onwards through living on Earth must be purged and purified through a form of self-cultivation before death. That is our real job in life, not what makes us money.
The idea of heaven on earth in the Christian tradition is talking about the same thing that the Chinese, Hindu, Native American and indigenous cultures are all saying: that when this acquired garbage is cleared heaven exists within ourselves.  If we clear out our story lines, identities, diseases, addictions, attachments, aversions, negative habits emotions and behaviors via Medical Qigong purgation exercises you can live from the heavenly bliss and happiness that has always resided within you while living on Earth.
The reason people have a hard time moving forward after death is because they believe themselves and the deceased to be the finite, temporal body/mind trapped in space and time of 3 dimensions. Yes very true, people sometimes don't want to move completely forward after a death or disease and thus resist the healing process because they have taken on a life role. People resist the healing process all the time due to subconscious issues about how we perceive ourselves vs others and the outside world. What we fail to realize is that the outside is a reflection of the inside which affects our perceptions, choices and decisions determining how we look at and feel about our experiences. Then what often occurs is we judge, label and condemn ourselves for how we think and feel about our experiences. It's a vicious cycle.
It all really comes down to Mind. That is what we work with most in Medical Qigong is the person's Mind. I utilize Qi and Shen to allow the clients mind the ability to see the unlimited possibilities, shifting and moving them out of the stasis of there "life role, sickness or affliction". This then helps them to see the root of the problem, disease or affliction, why certain patterns emerged and then giving them the tools to cut those roots thereby freeing their life-force energy and vitality allowing them to return back to homeostasis, balance and health.
The main message I would like to convey about death is that you do not die. I'll repeat that YOU DO NOT DIE. Your body and brain drop off like a discarded garment but your spirit is eternal. We all are an invisible indivisible eternal spiritual energy.
Like a butterfly breaking through a cocoon. At the moment of death we simply break free of cocoon of the body/mind and return to the spiritual essence and energy that we truly are. We are not our bodies, not our minds, we are not confined to space and time. We are not our thoughts, feelings emotions or information. We are not our name, what we look like or dress like, where we live, life role, social status, fame, wealth or power. Our spirit is limitless, beginingless and endless, a formless harmony of unity and oneness.
Most who walk the Earth live in ignorance of this principle which sustains and maintains them until they are at their deathbed. You can realize and actualize your spirit while still in the physical form full of health and vitality, but you must begin the inner self cultivation necessary to distill the divine elixir that lies within. That is the essence of my job as Medical Qigong therapist, to assist, shift and uplift those who come to me via affinity. Most often its for healing but deeper it is to give them the tools to dig deep inside and find, understand and manifest their destiny-which is always spiritual in nature.
You must delve deep into the depths of your being searching and yearning for the answer to the question Who Am I?  It doesn't really matter what label you place on the life role. Find out who the "I" is you are talking about when you say "I" went, "I" came, "I" did or "I" am such and such.The idea of ever having security and being able to resist change is only going to exhaust yourself in vain.
Life is change. Buddhists talk about groundlessness, the Daoists about Chaos. Do you ever really have control over your life? You may think you do and it could go on that way for a very long time but sooner or later somewhere, something is going to flip your world upside down and knock you on your ass. The question then becomes are you going to just sit there and stagnate or get up and move? The idea is to not get trapped in stasis, not get bogged down in the negative mind chatter of judging and berating yourself that stems from the ego/acquired mind. Most people when faced with a trauma, death or life-changing event don't know how to deal with it. They don't know how flow with it, most people's first reaction is to resist which eventually leads to stasis.
We as a people need to learn how to let go of our mental/emotional baggage that we all carry behind us like a ball and chain. Medical qigong therapy is unsurpassed at showing us tools to get out of stasis and clear, release and let go of this acquired mental/emotional baggage so we can hear the silent song of our spirit and live it while embodied.
When you ride the tide in the Dao of now you flow effortlessly in harmony with the unity of life.
MBS:  Thank you Darren
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Butterfly in Barely Blue by Nellie Levine is available for purchase on Cargoh 
If you missed the amazing 3 part interview with Darren that I conducted last year for the
Mind Body Spirit Odyssey blog, make sure you check it out!
 "From Jing to Qi to Shen: An Interview with Healer Darren Orr".


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