The Importance of Retreat Pt2: The Deep Dive

The Importance of Retreat Pt2: The Deep Dive

The Importance of Retreat Pt2: The Deep Dive

In my previous blog I spoke about the value of retreat for therapists, carers and medical personnel. Highlighting the deep value in having time out from such physically and emotionally heavy work, supporting those who are sick, disturbed and disabled.


As I mentioned I was soon to be going away for the Advanced Module of LifeForce Qigong: Shen training retreat (or the 3rd Transformation, which as expected was a great and welcome break from the work that I do in supporting people with their health issues.

My work is so wide ranging that on a regular basis, I acknowledge that I need to have more than just a holiday, I need to retreat and do some of my own work, not only for self-development, but for self-preservation and recovery. This enables me to (just like emptying the bins) clear out the accumulation of energies from the work I do and reset myself to a healthier point. But without it being about distraction from my work, but a facing of myself.


I wasn’t quite prepared for how deep the Shen (which means spirit/spark of life) work would be and boy did it clear out some interesting parts of my past that were deep inside and in no hurry to come out.


What made this retreat really interesting was the encouragement for silence from us participants. After a difficult start for much of the group, it was agreed that between 7am (our first practice time) and 7pm, the end of the main program and except for asking specific questions in the lecture portion of the day, we would be silent. hadn’t realised until this point, how much I crave and value silence. And although the first few days of clearing the old energy junk stuck in my 8 Extra-ordinary Vessels and 3 Dan Tien’s was hard, the silence helped me process this.

I wasn’t put in positions where I could lash out or react to others, as I have seen in me in the past when stuff is bubbling out, because we were observing the silence. So I had to just sit with myself, allow what was coming up to be acknowledged as parts of me that no longer served or had value and let the practices that Simon was giving us do what they did best.

By the 4th day of 6, I was feeling so much lighter and clearer, so much fresher and healthier, I could really feel the ease returning to my body. And more than that, the lightness I felt was running deep, I felt energised and positive, felt less of my nagging doubts and fears inside. Realising and recognising that many of those had either been passed on through my genetic inheritance or acquired at such an early stage of my life that they no longer had relevance or value. clearing of these 8 Extra-ordinary Vessels, which are part of the Chinese acupuncture tradition, but rarely worked on in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hold not only our deepest pathologies, but also and more significantly, our deepest potentials, those things that have an innate destiny to become from the spark of life given to us and making us more than just a bag of chemicals that has no purpose here.


To start to reconnect with that which makes you uniquely you and to feel that as a gift, not a burden. To clear out all the old rubbish that has been hiding this light from both ourselves and the world, was an amazing process. One that I can see unfolding for some time. As now I have the practices to connect to this energy and to clear that which obscures it, gives me much greater confidence to go forth and create in the world, while also giving me a deeper place to rest within myself and not feel so driven to conform, perform and prove a significance.


This was a truly great and valuable experience, which is something that I can say about all 3 of the LifeForce Qigong Levels which have been masterfully developed by my brother Simon Calder, to progressively clear the old un-useful patterns from the body and help to restore the deep alignment that allows our true potential to be birthed through this vehicle of the self. If you would like to find out more about his trainings, you can do so via


And feel welcome to come and join me for LifeForce Qigong classes and practice days here in the UK, or invite me to host one at your event, festival or retreat.


Give yourself space and time to restore yourself to that which is uniquely you, releasing all that which is not, and see how your world changes for the better.



Image attribution: All images either by Simon Calder or taken from his LifeForce Qigong manuals

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