The National Qigong Association held its 18th annual conference in Valley Forge, PA, last weekend. This is always a fun conference to attend, and Singing Dragon got a great welcome, not least because Damo Mitchell (author of Daoist Nei Gong, and the new Heavenly Streams) was Saturday night’s keynote speaker, and he spent a lot of time hanging out with the attendees on the Singing Dragon stand over the weekend.
There were lots of interesting things going on. Damo’s keynote on the fundamentals of Nei Gong (simple but not so simple) was extremely well received, and followed up by an excellent workshop the next morning which took attendees through the first principles of Nei Gong – learning by doing and giving a strong grounding in how to take the first steps towards enlightenment…
The conference workshops always offer a vast range of approaches and styles, so attendees were as usual spoilt for choice. Old hands know that Daisy Lee (Friday’s keynote) always does a wonderful workshop, and this year it was open to men as well as women. Amongst many other highlights, Solala Towler, author of Cha Dao, and editor of The Empty Vessel, taught the Great Spiraling Dragon Qigong from Wudang, while NQA Chair Mark Reinhart ran a workshop on Qigong for addiction. Singing Dragon publisher Jessica Kingsley flew over from London for the conference, and had a great time trying to learn how to paint bamboo in Maryann Charmoz’s excellent workshop on Chinese Brush Painting, and refreshing a dim memory of the fan form in Mary Sturtevant’s popular workshop.
Attendees ranged from Masters with decades of learning under their belts to the newest of practitioners, and as we’ve seen from previous conferences, the emphasis is always on openness and enthusiasm.
The Singing Dragon reception (any excuse for a party) on Saturday evening following Damo’s keynote allowed everyone to let their hair down and chat informally to the conference big names, who are always generous with information and advice – good fun. In summing up at the end of the conference, Mark encouraged everyone to bring a friend new to Qigong next time. It certainly seems they would have a good time if they came.
All five of the sales and marketing staff from the Singing Dragon Philadelphia office made it out to the conference at various times over the weekend and really enjoyed it.
Copyright © Singing Dragon 2013.