Shake Up Your Meditation Routine With Qigong

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Having problems “quieting your mind” when meditating? I know after a long day, or even first thing in the morning, it can be really hard for me to just turn off the thought machine, so I’ve been mixing it up with qigong (a Taoist martial art akin to t’ai chi) and seeing great results. Qigong meditations are more active and less general than traditional varieties, so they actually give your mind tasks to complete, plus each one provides a specific benefit.

A qigong master-in-training first led me through a few of these meditations step by step, but now I do them on my own and so can you. This week we’ll talk about a protective meditation where you create a double-layer energy shield around yourself to deflect negative vibes:

Even if you’re in a good place mentally, negative energy from others can still bring you down—if you let it. The protection meditation (dubbed “small universe”) is designed to insulate you from the bad vibes you come in contact with every day out in the world. Here’s how you do it:

1. Sit in a chair, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths, exhaling forcefully and vocally, clearing your mind as best you can in preparation for the meditation.

2. Visualize energy from the heavens striking the top of your head (you can actually feel it!), flowing through your body, and out the soles of your feet. Assign the energy a color like white or purple.

3. Next, visualize the energy coming back up from your feet, creating an egg-shaped cocoon around you, eventually reconnecting with the energy stream at the top.

4. Now visualize energy from the earth entering the bottoms of your feet, flowing through your body and out the top of your head. Assign the earth energy a different color from the heaven energy.

5. Finally, picture the earth energy descending from your head, creating another layer of protection outside your body before reconnecting with the energy stream below.

Spend 10 minutes (more as needed) creating your shield and you’re good-to-go for the day, or even longer. Take a second to re-visualize your shield at times when you most need it and try expanding it to encompass an entire room, your car, or another person. Qigong masters say that with years of practice you can even use your shield as an alarm system to warn you of physical danger, like a potential attacker sneaking up behind you!