Jacqueline H. Chan

Practical, Embodied Awareness of

Healing Poetry in Motion

Qigong Instructor

 

East Meets West
Yin & Yang

        Like many others, my story of dedication to my spiritual path came after many years of discernment, exploration, self-doubt, adversity, and universal alignment of the stars with key mentor figures coming into my life.

          As an adult, I currently share the meditative practices of Qigong to hospital staff and in classes. The sense of energy, hope, joy, compassion, and resilience that I have found in my daily qigong practice is something I hope to extend to participants in my classes and one-to-one sessions. I am currently studying psychotherapy through an integrated spiritual lens of Buddhism and Daoism at The University of Toronto. I am queer and I have learned spiritual healing techniques from Qigong, I meditate and I have had many clairvoyant or clairsentient experiences. I have been described as “Two-Eyed Seeing” – by learning and seeing from one eye, the Eastern Indigenous strengths and ways of knowing, and through the other eye, the strengths of Western ways of knowing   

                I am doing my best to bring forth the gifts of practice from Eastern qigong and Western psychotherapy.  I believe this can be reflected in the motif of the ying-yang symbol often seen in Tai Chi practices shown by the black dot within the white, and the white dot within the black, together existing as one harmonious, balanced, dynamic, and integrated interdependent whole. To me, on a deeper level, this Ying-Yang symbol represents an integration of the mind and body; of the heart and mind; East and the West. In the context of being a qigong teacher, my ying-yang motif is expressed in the way I try to facilitate information on the mind and body connections that honors my tradition, while being relevant to the West. I am constantly learning how to do this. As an emerging psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, I hope to bring forth the gifts from both Eastern and Western healing practices.

University of Toronto 2021
At Grade 2, she led tai chi with Grandmaster Weizhao Wu

 

Jacqueline is a research staff member in the SickKids Research Institute as well as a member of The Mindfulness Project Team at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She is an instructor of Qigong (pronounced “chi-gong”). She grew up in a Qigong school within the lineage of Master Weizhao Wu and Master Teresa, and has shared this peaceful traditional Chinese healing art in symposiums and conferences.

She has been sharing Qigong to the public (virtually) and to Sickkids staff for over 2 years and is an active participant in Wellness programming provided by Occupational Health at SickKids. Qigong is a gentle and serene form of moving meditation, a kind of mindfulness in motion that integrates one’s body and mind. She is dedicated to having a diverse and inclusive space.

Jacqueline is combining her passion for integrated heart-body wellness by currently studying for a Masters of Pastoral Studies (MPS) at The University of Toronto in spiritual care and psychotherapy (inter-faith/Buddhist foci). She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters of Early Childhood Studies. She’s also the daughter of Master Teresa, founder of Pureland Qi Gong International School.

What is Qigong?

There are many schools of teaching in qigong, and many that do take more theoretical positions with detailed explanations of the different kinds of “chi” that exists in and around the body. There are different schools of Tai Chi, which is more popularized, as well.

The practice of qigong, now categorized as “meditative movement”[1] a new category of exercise defined by (a) some form of movement or body positioning, (b) a focus on breathing, and (c) a cleared or calm state of mind with a goal of (d) deep states of relaxation. While often called “meditation in motion,” Harvard Medical School has referred to Tai Chi, a form of qigong, as “medication in motion” because of Tai Chi’s therapeutic effects on the mind and body for preventing and treating health problems. Professor Peter M. Wayne, in his book “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi” dives into over a decade of his research on Tai Chi for health and refers to it as having eight active ingredients, likened to the active ingredients in pharmacological treatments. The eight active ingredients include: 1. Awareness, mindfulness, and focused attention; 2. Intention, belief, expectation; 3. Dynamic structural integration; 4. Active relaxation of mind and body; 5. Aerobic exercise, musculoskeletal strengthening, and flexibility; 6. Natural, freer breathing; 7. Social interaction and community; and 8. Embodied spirituality, philosophy and ritual. (Wayne & Fuerst 2013). I admire his work, where he takes an ecological and integrative view of the mind, body and health in Tai Chi and appreciating it within a Western medical paradigm.

 

[1] Larkey, L., Jahnke, R., Etnier, J. & Gonzalez, J. (2009). Meditative movement as a category of exercise: implications for research. J Phys Act Health 6(2), 230-238. Doi: 10.1123/jpah.6.2.230

Biography

Like many others, my story of dedication to my spiritual path came after many years of discernment, exploration, self-doubt, adversity, and universal alignment of the stars with key mentor figures coming into my life. ….. More on this another time.

My spirituality is built upon a foundation of daily committed practice of qigong (qi is pronounced “chi”[1]) as well as a community that is like my home and connects me back to my roots. My spiritual and cultural home is the qigong school community  that I’ve been brought up within [2], which was the bread and butter of my single mother. I’ve known some members of our community for many years (over a decade) who are now family friends. Many different forms of peaceful meditative practices in Tai Chi and qigong exist and we have taught our school from a more secularised version for the West. Hence, I sometimes feel limited in my theoretical knowledge of Daoism or the detailed intricacies of Traditional Chinese acupuncture and medicine theory, although we practiced it because my traditional Chinese mother (now Qigong Master) practiced it. I am like a hybrid – a Canadian born Chinese, with many North American attitudes – while still practicing a traditional form of healing, qigong, that have roots of thousands of years back in ancient China.

My paradigm of qigong practice: Hanyun Gong

My spiritual practice of qigong from our teacher is based on an Eastern paradigm that looks at the interconnected circuit of “hanyun gong” symbolized by three connected spheres: 1. The universal (heavens or sky) energy; 2. Mother Earth energy; and 3. The human being. The human being is the one who connects this circuit of living energy between the heavens and Earth. Hence, to be fully in balance, one must have both their feet firmly on Earth, yet connected to higher (intuitive) spiritual wisdom, and one must practice. The “gong” in “qigong” actually translates to “work” or more eloquently, “cultivating”. Thus, a disciplined mind and body of practice is needed to be in balance for this circuit of energy. A First Nations friend and long-time student in our community, says that I am carrying Indigenous knowledge, and I’m holding the lineage from Grandmaster Weizhao Wu. She likened it to the importance of those on the path of the Bodhisattva to have a teacher, as a holder of a lineage of teaching. From a young age, a famous astrologer told my mother that I would be the one she and Master Wu would impart their knowledge to…

[1] Chi or qi refers to the universal life force energy and is a central concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory (eg, acupuncture, herbal medicine, feng shui, qigong) that posits balance of the mind and body depends on the flow of chi. We have connected energy channels running through the body called “meridians” that correspond to organs. (Matos et al., 2021)

[2] Pureland International Qi Gong School: www.purelandqigong.com

Qigong Presentations

Mindfulness & Compassion Rounds,
Department of Spiritual Care,
The Hospital For Sick Children (SickKids)
December 2021 (virtual)

Going with the flow: Letting go with Qigong. 

July 2020 (virtual)

An Introduction to Qigong

 

New College,
The University of Toronto
December 2021

Guest Lecture: Qigong Introduction. In “Socially Engaged Buddhism”

Stroke Patient & Family Night,
The Hospital For Sick Children
November 2021

Qigong MIndfulness Break

The  20/20 Canadian Safe School Network Conference,
A Clear Look at the Past, Present, & Future of Safety Education
February 2017

Youth Stream: Qi Gong for Stress Relief and Anxiety Management

Emmanuel College Contemplative Practice Community,
The Toronto School of Theology,
The University of Toronto
October & November 2021 (virtual)

Introduction to Qigong

Opening Devotion,
Psychotherapeutic Theories Course
The University of Toronto
February 2022

Body Relaxation

The 3rd Annual Kindful Canada Symposium,
Canada: A Mindful and Kind Nation
September 2018 (in-person)

Guided Introductory Qigong (Chi Gong) Practice

Breathing Space,
The Mindful Society Conference
May 2020 (virtual)

Introduction to Qigong Practice

May 2019 (in-person)

Introduction to Qigong Practice

 Presentations

MindFest
Department of Psychiatry,
The University of Toronto
March 2022 (virtual)

Qigong Relaxation (co-presenter)

Feb 2019 (in-person)

Qigong Introduction (co-presenter)

Talent Contest
Canada’s Top Choice Beauty Pageant
August 2018 (in-person)

Chinese Butterfly Swords Performance

The International Toastmasters Club
The Hospital for Sick Children
March 2019 (in-person)

1st Place: Speech Evaluation Contest Winner
(Area 5 Winner)

February 2019 (in-person)

1st Place: Speech Evaluation Contest Winner
(SickKids Club)