Pathgate Students Welcome New Year with Outdoor Qigong Practice in the Snow
On the weekend of 2nd and 3rd January 2010, following the five-day Christmas Retreat on ‘Bodhisattvacharyavatara - Bodhisattva Way of Life’, a selected group of Pathgate students who have demonstrated a sufficient level of mindfulness in their practice were permitted to attend a two-day form correction retreat on Classical Qigong and Internal Arts given by Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche at the Pathgate Dharma Centre, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
The two-day retreat was not merely a valuable opportunity for students to receive correction and guidance on their practice, they also repeatedly came to recognise that no real progress in any practices can be made until they become good Dharma practitioners. For it is through diligence of Dharma practice in transforming the mind that one develops the essential qualities to assist one in attaining true progress in the practice of Classical Qigong and Internal Arts - qualities such as faith, devotion, reverence, humility and gratitude - the same qualities that are essential in the study of Buddhadharma.
Students spent the best part of the first morning outdoors in the snow where they practised quiet meditative standing qigong. The fullness of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s energy even in extreme wintry outdoor temperature was hard to miss. Despite not wearing gloves for an extended period of time, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s hand remained warm to the touch when he corrected students’ posture in what could best be described as sub-zero conditions.
Those fortunate to attend benefited from an unparalleled opportunity to witness authentic Classical Qigong in action and receive instruction and correction far beyond that which is commonly available.