Learning Qigong seriously is a long way and brings many changes in your life, external and internal… What is one of the most important skills characteristic for people who are able to persist and progress on this way? In what ways they are different from others?
These practitioners who persist on this path and are able to transform their Qigong practice into art, or better, into art of living, are usually highly teachable.
I would like to share with you some thoughts about teachability. Becoming more teachable was a great challenge for me and still is, therefore I can tell you about some aspects of this skill. It is tightly connected with transformation of your mind-set, self-awareness and it is necessary to develop it if you want to move deeper into this beautiful art of Qigong.
What means to be teachable?
In general teachability means ability to learn but even more important – to be able to accept changes which brings new knowledge, practice and concepts.
For example you might know how to keep yourself healthy. But if you are not doing it, it means that you are not able to accept changes which the use of your knowledge could bring in your life. You are not teachable and your theoretical knowledge is useless. Knowledge just because of knowledge is empty. True knowledge is a part of your life and experience.
You can read thousands of books and attend numberless workshops but if your mind-set is the same and nothing has changed, not on the outside and neither on the inside, you are not teachable. You are only collector of information who dreams about different life, but you are not capable to change it, leave things behind and create new ones.
Teachability can be learned and is not permanent
Being teachable is not something innate and permanent. Your teachability change all the time and to maintain and improve it is quite challenging. Being teachable requires from you to be aware and observe your actions, thinking and feeling. You have to improve it constantly.
Willing to accept changes
I have mentioned in the past that learning and practicing Qigong can considerably transform your life. Of course if you accept changes which come with a new practice.
In order to learn something new you have to do things differently, think and feel differently as before. In Qigong this means to repeat new posture, movement, form, breathing, thought, emotional response, meditation state… until they become a part of you. It takes a lot of patience and awareness and a lot of time to master a new knowledge and integrate it in your body and mind. And then you can say that you have learned something. The deeper you go in a Qigong (Nei Gong) practice, deeper changes happen.
Your body, mind, energy and spirit are interconnected and mutually dependent, and they always try to find the best harmony possible. When a change happens on one of these levels, it produces changes also in others. A change in the body influences also a change in your energy, in your mind… and vice versa. You are not the same person anymore.
What are you willing to change in order to learn Qigong?
Answering to yourself to the questions below will reveal to you how serious you are about learning Qigong (or something else that you think you would like to learn).
How strong is your intent?
If you have a strong intent (and not a vague desire) to learn and study Qigong your practice will be successful and fulfilling. Strong intent means that your Yi (wisdom mind, intention) is clear about why you are learning Qigong and what would you like to achieve.
If you say that you would like to learn Qigong but you are not willing to do anything and you are waiting for the “right moment” then nothing will change. You don’t have the intent but merely a dream.
How much time are you willing to dedicate to achieve your goal?
How many habits or hobbies are you willing to change or renounce to them in order to find time for your Qigong practice? At the beginning 20 minutes, then one hour, two… hours per day…
If you are really teachable you can find 20 minutes for daily Qigong right now (instead of watching TV or having a chat with a friend always about the same things or keeping your kitchen as immaculate laboratory…).
How much money are you willing to spend?
How much money are you willing to spend in order to learn Qigong? How much are you prepared to pay to someone to teach you Qigong, to buy books, videos, to invest in journeys in search for knowledge?
People often complain about their limitations, but you can always find a solution if you are willing to change something. You can find money for the Qigong class if you decide so… instead of spending for unnecessary things, paying high telephone or TV fees… Maybe you can even make a deal with a Qigong teacher to pay his teachings in some other way, to do something instead of him – arrange his website, fix his garden, make accounting…
Yes, all these bring a lot of changes in your life. If you are willing to accept all these changes in order to learn Qigong then you are highly teachable and you are on a good way to succeed in your intent.
Some essential characteristics of teachable practitioners
Here are some essential characteristics of teachable practitioners that you can develop or improve.
- You are highly teachable if you are aware that you don’t know what you don’t know. When you hear the voice inside you telling you that you know everything about something and you don’t have to listen to others opinions, be careful. In this moment you are not teachable. When you accept that you can always learn something from anyone you are very teachable.
- You know that you have to constantly improve your knowledge and your abilities.
- You are willing to learn from anyone. Great masters learn all their lives and they know that they can learn also from students.
- You are capable to listen to others carefully.
- When you fail at something you ask for help and guidance your teacher and you continue practice and try again and again until you succeed.
- Your mind is flexible and opened and you are willing to change your practice if more effective ways are presented to you.
- You are opened to try different things and you are not afraid to make mistakes and you admit when you were wrong.
- If you most times do things (practice Qigong, observing and listening to your teacher/master, study a book or video) … as if you are doing it for the first time then you are highly teachable. It means that you are always looking for new information and improvements to implement in your practice
- If you are highly teachable you are not impatient. It is only when certain knowledge is experienced (not merely intellectually understood!) and integrated by you that you are prepared to deepen your knowledge. Sometimes students criticize their teachers that they are hiding knowledge from them. Later on, with years of practice, you realize that it would be useless if your teacher would reveal certain techniques or concepts to you in that moment. You were not prepared and able to understand them and your cup was still full. As I like to say, in Qigong you can’t force things.
… and how do you know when you are not teachable
You are not teachable when you are full of prejudices, presumptions, when your mind is competitive, when you constantly criticize others… You are not teachable when you blame others for your failures, when you hardly accept corrections or you react to them emotionally, when you are afraid to look stupid or to ask stupid questions. And you are not teachable when you think that you already know everything better than others. You are not teachable if you are constantly talking about yourself, also in a presence of a person who could teach you a lot, for example your teacher.
Try to do your best every day to be as teachable as possible because being teachable enables you to maintain interest, curiosity and fun!
May the Qi be with you!
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