Enthusiastic students might turn to be the worst

Those students that are the most enthusiastic in the beginning, might in time turn to be the worst kind of students you have ever taught!

Don’t get me wrong, though. Enthusiastic students are the dynamos of the classes, for example when the energy level in the group start dropping or your capacity, as a teacher, start being drained by life tasks you need to go through.

While you are leading your students repeatedly on and on through the same steps  in order for them to experience and grasp things in Qigong, things that you have planned might not go the way you wanted them to go. Here enthusiastic students might come in hand and might bring some of that now overly needed light and cheerfulness into the class. But things soon change for better. Other students learn the basics and the basics are hardest to learn. And if the enthusiast hasn’t learn to calm his fire/light down, well my experience is, he will start to be the most unteachable and the most problematic student there is.

First what will happen is that his/her fire of Heart or emotional mind Xin which was so helpful in the moments of energy shortage will start to annoy you as a teacher and also some, if not all, the classmates. This will be seen as the me, me, me attitude. I have to tell this, ask that and you need to listen to me because of this… And everybody including you, teacher, will need to listen and if you won’t give him attention, there might come to confrontation. Or at least some strange feeling might stay in the air. After all, we used to get along so well! But now it’s over. If you want to teach the enthusiast and the rest of your class, you need to stop that immediately.

Enthusiastic students might seem to be good listeners, but might fool you into thinking that they have understood something, while in reality that is far from truth. If in time, let’s say in half or one year of Qigong practice enthusiasm isn’t calmed to the levels that are »normal«, which would mean that a person knows how to handle his or her emotions, then I guess you might say you have a student that I am describing here.

The one you will love to see, and you will hate to teach. This is the first of the students that will have his cup of tea filled to the brim. Maybe he won’t be the first one to leave, but you won’t be able to teach him much more after some time. While other students might progress slower and with not so much certainty but they might grasp things deeper and with more solid understanding.

While enthusiasm is so important in the beginning, for the individual as for the group, in the long run you need to start calming down your mind and emotions. If in the beginning some things have been acceptable, later on some things can’t be acceptable if you want to progress.

Qigong are not only physical exercises done in the relaxed fashion somewhere in parks across the China. This is an ancient alchemical practice and art with which you cultivate and change more than one level of your being.

Enthusiasm might be classified in the category of emotions generated by the Heart or element Fire. Everything that originates in the Heart is also connected with the unbalanced nature of Shen or spirit. You might be a little mad, yet in positive way. While Qigong is very good for people with surplus of fire/light, even better is quiet sitting meditation with attention on breathing with lower abdomen. Of course, the best is to practice both of them.

The rush that enthusiastic people can produce is enormous. They might be considered as locomotives or at least the motivational force of our societies. But the constancy isn’t their best characteristic. One might say that enthusiasm isn’t something lasting. It is momentarily like the nature of monkey. Look at this, look here, look there and your mind is all scattered. But Qigong practice cultivates and needs the concentrated mind, which is the opposite of the one produced by enthusiasm.

In Qigong you need constancy or you need to develop it, if you haven’t done that yet. You need to have your cup of tea empty or at least half full! So the wiser one, usually your teacher, can pour some more tea/wisdom into it. And you need to drink it, again and again. And when you don’t have anything to ask you are ready to ask! And when you don’t have anything to say, you might be asked to speak.

I have seen so many enthusiastic students dropping out of my classes. I was sad, in a way. But it wasn’t anyone’s fault, that we couldn’t go on with the same pace as in the beginning. I knew that they would need to slow down. Some did, while many didn’t.

Cultivation of emotions and mind is prerequisite, before working with energy and Spirit. This is the Way and there aren’t any sideways. Some think there are, but those are only blind alleys.

If you are a person with strong enthusiasm, embrace it, love it but don’t impose it onto others. If you are a teacher and have come up with yet another enthusiastic student,  try to understand. Try to feel that positivity coming from her/him and embrace it. Love it. However don’t load yourself with a burden of the things that are not yours – like emptying the cup of your student. That is not your job!

My enthusiasts, I love you! I was once one of them. I’ve changed. 🙂


May the Qi be with you! Petar


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One comment

  1. Hi Petar,
    As a Taiji / Qigong instructor, I can certainly relate to what you describe here.
    Thank you for this open-hearted account. In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of story that instructors need to hear more of.

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