How Qigong Can Create a Path to World Peace

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Note from Sifu Anthony: This is a guest post written by Sherrie Cronin, a Flowing Zen Qigong student since 2013 and the author of 5 science fiction novels. I was so impressed with one of her blog posts about world peace that I asked her if she would write a guest post for Flowing Zen. Here’s the beautiful result of that conversation.

If you’ve never heard of qigong before, and you have even a bit of cynicism in your personality, you will probably find yourself amused by the claims of long-time practitioners.

To hear it told, qigong will reduce your blood pressure, eliminate warts, make you smarter, and improve your breath.

Those who have been doing it for a while will say nothing as you shake your head. They know that if you do stick with it, you will be making similar claims of your own some day.

A picture of Sherrie (left) and Dr. Akemi (right) practicing qigong at the retreat center in Costa Rica

It’s been a mere few years since I was introduced to qigong and Flowing Zen at a wonderful retreat in Costa Rica, and I’ve already amassed my own short list of ways it has improved my life.

But it wasn’t until I recently compiled a book of essays about world peace that I realized how often I refer to my own journey of discovering qigong.

That’s right, add one more ridiculous claim to the list. I’m now touting qigong as a path to world peace.

Telepaths for World Peace

Let me back up. I’m the author of five science fiction novels about various superpowers, including telepathy.

The hero of my first book, Lola, develops her mind-reading abilities via her empathy and her knack for putting herself in someone else’s shoes. She eventually becomes obsessed with people learning to get along.

The promotional t-shirt for the book says “Telepaths for World Peace,” and, because of this novel, for almost five years now I have kept up a blog on the subject of resolving conflict through learning to see the world through the eyes of another.

So yes, I am sort of obsessed with world peace.

Power Corrupts

This doesn’t mean I’m a pacifist; I’m not. I’m pretty sure that I’d defend myself if attacked, and I like to think that I’d go as far as giving up my life if I had to, for the people I love.

And yes, I am grateful for my freedom and to those who have lost their lives in the service of my country.

However, on a less emotional level, I think that most armed conflicts are born of a desire to acquire power, money and land, and then are sold to the people who must fight as being necessary.

I acknowledge that many in power try to do the right thing in difficult circumstances, but I stand by my thesis that almost every armed conflict in the world could be avoided, and would be, if those making the final decisions were only able to send their own friends and families into battle.

Furthermore, I believe that part of the process of mobilizing a group into war requires de-humanizing an enemy, one who is being told pretty much the same thing.

A Force for Peace

A picture of Sherrie doing qigong at the StoneWind Retreat in Arkansas

So where does qigong fit in?

My contention is that qigong is actually a force for peace in two ways:

1. The first component is that it encourages an inner peace which can be radiated outwards.

Qigong does not simply hand you inner peace, by any means, but the ongoing discipline of mindful meditation provides real world tools to help you fill your own heart with joy, hope and love. Practice and you will feel it. Then lots of peaceful hearts can help yield a peaceful world.

2. The second component is that qigong is helpful for dealing with the malice in the world around you.

It breeds confidence, both physically and mentally, and it’s my observation that confident people are less likely to follow others without asking adequate questions. It encourages calming down, and quieting the chatter in your brain, and often in those calm moments, clarity about those around you emerges.

And, if one is lucky enough to have the right sort of teacher, it encourages forgiveness, humility and compassion in dealing with others.

It’s true that many religions also do this last bit, so please let me go on record as being all for forgiveness, humility and compassion, whatever their source. More is better.

Our Better Selves

Is it possible to study and practice qigong for years and be guided by other, less noble principles instead? Of course it is. We are all human, analog creatures, never completely this or that, and we all slide in and out our of better selves as we make our path in this world.

So do I honestly think that qigong can result in world peace? No. But I do think it can help us get there.

If you’d like to hear more, I’ve put the best of the posts from my blog “Face Painting for World Peace” into a short (121 page) volume of essays that attempt to be both humorous and thought provoking as they examine what I like to call “intra-species harmony” from a wide variety of angles.

Three of my favorites are One Person’s Tourist Destination is Another Person’s Home, My Imaginary Prison Time, and My iPod Works as a Fortune Cookie.

This new eBook is available on Amazon for the least I am allowed to charge (ninety-nine cents), and is similarly available at Barnes and Noble, on Smashwords, and at the iTunes store where it can be found as an iBook by searching on Sherrie Cronin.

You don’t need a fancy device to read it; you can download it on to your computer or your phone or even print it out as a PDF file.

This is not intended to be a money making project; I have pledged to donate half of all proceeds to “Doctors Without Borders.”

This book is my way of embracing 2017 by wishing hope, joy and peace to every human on earth, with no exceptions.

Please enjoy it, and share with others. Then please seek out the chorus being sung by those who believe that kindness should guide our words, our actions and our world, and find a way to sing along, too.

Sherrie Cronin is a retired geophysicist and the author of five science fiction novels. She has been a student of Flowing Zen Qigong since 2013, and has attended several retreats in Costa Rica and Arkansas.

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19 Responses to How Qigong Can Create a Path to World Peace

  1. Ray Morneau April 12, 2017 at 6:03 am #

    Sherrie, you’ve oversimplified it! Thank You!! Precisely what we need!!!
    I’ve been an inveterate optimist, hoping there’s a short answer … though, of course, “short” is not the same as “easy”.
    Qigong can be a/one good starting point. Thanks!

    • Sherrie Cronin April 12, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks Ray. I’ve always believed that the great truths are simple, though, as you point out, simple does not mean easily done. And I think we all could use a good shot of optimistic thinking! I appreciate your response.

  2. Melissa April 12, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Sherrie!!! I’m so happy to see your face on the FZ blog!! You see what I see when it comes to what Qigong can do for one’s spirit, and the benefits you listed are why I still practice Qigong to this very day. Beautifully put, Sherrie! <3

    Now then, I'm off to buy your ebook! 🙂

    • Sherrie Cronin April 12, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

      Thanks Melissa. I’m feeling quite honored to be here.

  3. Libby D April 12, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    Thank you for this humble and compassionate perspective on qigong and world peace!

    • Sherrie Cronin April 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      Thanks for commenting, Libby. I’m quite sincere in thinking that peaceful people can make for a more peaceful world, and I really enjoyed getting to write this post. 🙂

  4. Chuck April 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    Any volunteers to teach Qigong to ISIS members?

  5. Sherrie Cronin April 12, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    I think it’s a fabulous idea.

  6. Blind Brian from Bourne (UK) April 13, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    Blind Brian from Bourne ((UK) Hi Sherrie, are you related to the famous A.J.Cronin? Ps, nice blog.

    • Sherrie Cronin April 13, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks for blog compliment! Turns our there are quite a few famous Cronins out there, including a fairly popular contemporary novelist named Justin Cronin, Joe Cronin of baseball fame and world renowned geologist Tom Cronin. I never quite know how to answer the “are you related to” question because I made the decision to use my husband’s name, so technically the only Cronin’s I’m really related to are my three children. However, my husband isn’t related to any of these famous people either. Given the quantity of famous Cronin writers, I thought about using my birth name for my writing. Bit it’s Roth, and Philip Roth (Goodbye, Columbus) and Veronica Roth (Divergent) kind of own that space already. Maybe I should have used a pen name ….

  7. David Whitham April 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Hi Sherrie, all i can say is I totally agree with what you say, enjoyed your blog, I’m with you on this one and empathy is the way forward.

  8. Cindy Cortez April 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Hello Sherrie,

    You and I share the same inner thoughts and I look forward to reading your book.

    I have been an instructor of tai chi and qigong for many years. However, my interest and full undivided attention turned to qigong because of the the inner peace I found through meditation, breathing, and meditative postures.

    Qigong changed my life and I now assist others to find their way to peace and happiness. My goal is to help them move in the direction to share what they have learned with the hope that one day it will lead to world peace.

    Everything you stated in this article is everything I have also said and feel. Power is the reason we do not have world peace. Your statement regarding armed conflict could be avoided if those making the decision would send their own family members and friends into battle, well I believe it that would not matter to them, especially if they can gain the power by doing so.

    Another person who is deep into world peace is a qigong instructor and lecturer I met on the internet. She is a Buddhist Nun, her name is Supawan Green. She is an author of many books on the subject of qigong and meditation, all leading to world peace. I especially enjoyed, Why Must We Bring Our Mental Self Back Home?, which has the appearance of a childrens book about mindfulness. However, her presentation with cartoons and her explanation makes it easy for anyone struggling with meditation to reach mindfulness.

    It is all about qigong meditation and the relation to bring about world peace. This book is distributed free of charge, however a donation is appreciated. This is her way of reaching out to everyone with the hope that one day we will have world peace. I have purchased several of her books and I listen to her lectures on youtube. She has quite an impressive biography, which you can find on the internet.

    I sometimes wonder how many people in the world feel the same as you and I, and Supawan, about world peace and have been working on reaching out to others. Perhaps we already have our own army of millions and are closer to our goal of world peace than we think.

    • Sherrie Cronin April 16, 2017 at 10:06 am #

      That is fascinating, Cindy. It is always wonderful to meet a kindred spirit and it gives me hope that, as you so beautifully said, we already have an army of of millions. I have come across so many meditative groups that espouse this philosophy and it is always encouraging. I will certainly check out Supawan Green and her book today. I recently bought Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature” in which he hypothesizes that we are slowly becoming less violent as a species. It is a daunting 800 page read but maybe now is time to begin it. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  9. John April 20, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    Hello Shifu Anthony,

    I was curious if you were familiar with the website “Enter Shaolin”? They teach Tai Chi, Qigong, and some other styles of Chinese Martial Arts that I was curious about. Their slogan is “Don’t let style define you, let energy refine you. Their master is Sifu Phu. They also have many videos on YouTube. I’ve been learning Wing Chun from them. It seems that Sifu Phu applies Tai Chi energy principles into their expression of Wing Chun, which I personally like since I’ve been learning Tai Chi (Yang style). Sifu Phu talks about using Qigong to build up Chi and Tai Chi to direct it. Thanks again.

  10. Anne Young April 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Sherrie, I used your words (following) in meditations at the end of my Qigong classes last week. Thank you for the work you do! Any chance you’ll be coming to the Costa Rica retreat again this July? Would love to meet you!!
    Anne Young

    “Our practice of Qigong encourages an inner peace which can be radiated outwards.
    The ongoing discipline of mindful meditation helps us fill our own hearts with joy, hope and love. All our peaceful hearts can help yield a peaceful world. Our practice breeds confidence, which encourages calming down, quieting the chatter in the brain… and clarity emerges. Practicing Qigong encourages forgiveness, humility and compassion for others. Our practice becomes a force for peace.”

  11. Sherrie Cronin April 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    I love the meditation you wove together from my blog post and I look forward to using it too! Thanks for sharing it, Anne. A family conflict makes the Costa Rica trip unlikely for me in 2018, but I am sure our paths will cross at a Flowing Zen retreat somewhere before too long. I look forward to meeting you also.

  12. Monica Marquis April 26, 2017 at 6:55 am #

    Thanks Sherrie!! Great article, and so nice to see you here. Reminds me of our time in Costa Rica! Hope to see you again soon!

    • Sherrie Cronin April 26, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Nice to hear from you, too Monica! This will be the second year in a row that family events keep me from Costa Rica Last year I consoled myself with the retreat in Arkansas, and will try to do something like that again in 2017. Wherever it may be, I hope our paths cross again soon.

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