Focus On: Nicole Lee
The Focus On series is all about sharing the diversity of meditation journeys and experiences. An opportunity to come together and share stories, practices, and insights .. to listen and learn from each other.
Welcome 2018 and one of my lovely new spaces!
Chi Space is a gorgeous and inviting new space in Balaclava – 281 Inkerman Street – that my Integrative Qigong teacher has just opened. I am so excited for Nicole and her very special Qigong classes, Integrative Qigong Teacher Training and other events .. and I am so blessed to be able to offer some meditation classes in this gorgeous space.
Name: Nicole Lee
Special Interest: Qigong
1. Tell us about your special interest
My area of interest is Qigong (pronounced chee-gong), it’s an Eastern self-healing, mindfulness and movement practice. It originates from China and is essentially the exercise therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
2. How long have you been practicing, or working in this area? Tell us about your ‘journey’ to this point
I found Qigong quite unexpectedly in early 2013 and later that year I started sharing it with others. I began with ‘Integrative Qigong’, which is basically a modern approach to the practice and what I sometimes describe as qigong for westerners! Last year I went to China to study with a Master and the Classical practice really resonated with me and has become my own daily practice since. I’ve begun teaching the Classical practice as well and there is quite a lot of interest from my students. Since 2014 I’ve been teaching qigong all over Melbourne in different studios and locations but this year I have settled down..
and opened Melbourne’s first studio dedicated to Qigong – Chi Space, in Balaclava
3. How did you ‘find’ meditation, and how long have you been practicing?
I’ve been interested in Meditation since I was a teen, although my experience with it was quite intermittent until my mid 30’s. After I began practicing Qigong I was drawn to learn more about Mindfulness and completed my Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation teacher training with the Gawler Foundation in 2014.
4. Do you have a regular practice – daily, weekly, other?
Yes, I have a morning practice. It varies depending on the time available and what I have on that day. It is generally 20 – 120 minutes and is a combination of yoga, qigong, and stillness.
5. What inspires you to keep meditating .. returning to your practice?
It feels good! I feel better when I start the day with time to connect to my inner-being.
6. Why do you meditate?
I enjoy exploring the connection with inner self and my greater self and I find that it has brought an incredible sense of self-knowing – this is ongoing!
7. Do you have a particular technique(s) that you have found most suitable for you?
Qigong – it’s a moving meditation is my favorite method. I do really enjoy and appreciate stillness based choiceless awareness also.
8. AM or PM? .. Chair, cushion, stool?
Definitely AM. When I practice stillness it is in a chair.
9. Have you a dedicated space for your practice? Where do you meditate?
Yes, until now it has been in my lounge room which is really a makeshift studio rather than a typical lounge? very soon I will do my practice each day in Chi Space.
10. Have you attended a meditation retreat, can you share some of your experience and insights?
I haven’t attended a retreat that is solely a meditation retreat. I have attended a few retreats that have been a combination of yoga, qigong, and meditation. What I love most about retreat is the opportunity to disconnect from day-to-day life and experience deep rest.
11. Any favorite books/CDs/Resources that you might share with others?
There are so many! I’m reading some interesting books about breath-work and medical astrology at the moment.
my favorite qigong book is ‘The Way of Qigong’ by Kenneth Cohen
12. Any wise words to share with those who are new to meditation?
I think starting off with a manageable commitment to yourself is the best way .. something like just 5 minutes a day and slowly building it up. Also, not beating yourself up if (when) you miss a day, and keep just smiling and starting again.
13. 7 Random things about you?
*I’m color blind (I can still see color!)
*I worked in Property for 15 years
*I grew up in Gippsland (VIC)
*I’ve lived in Dubai, Wisconsin and San Francisco (and Australia)
*I have a cat – Ange – the Chi Space resident cat!
*I only learned to swim properly in 2012
*I love cooking
Thank you so much, Nicole for sharing your meditation and qigong journey!
My own exploration of Qigong started with some short and mystical references at various workshops and retreats many years ago, which left a seed of curiosity. But while I would occasionally do some research, I couldn’t find a local teacher so I simply continued to incorporate some of the simpler exercises into my own movement practices and in my classes. It was only in 2016 that I found Nicole and started her Teacher Training program.
it was like coming home!
Nicole offers a range of classes that I cannot recommend highly enough .. if you are interested in Classical or Integrative Qigong (go to the website to learn more) she offers a range of different classes and times. Movement with mindfulness is a fantastic practice with a wealth of benefits for our body, heart, and mind.
You can also JOIN ME at Chi Space for the
EXPLORING MEDITATION (6-week) course
SUN 18th FEBRUARY: 5.00pm to 6.30pm
further details and registration HERE