Margaret Macky, Mingjue Organizer from New Zealand

A Lesson in surrender

When did you first meet teacher Wei?

I met teacher Wei through Patricia Fraser. She formed a trust that supported teachers from China to come to New Zealand. Teacher Wei was one of the teachers that we sponsored, and he offered a workshop. It really changed my life.

What was your impression of teacher Wei?

I was struck by how sensitive he was to the people in the room. He was very much in tune with the pain that people were going through.  The way that he conveyed the information was transformative and led us to become committed to a lifelong practice.

Your scientific background was there as you became involved in Qi Gong?

Oh yes!  Although at the beginning it was a leap of faith for me. I have been curious to see how neurobiology and electromagnetic effects on the body are understandable in terms of qi gong. I think we can confidently adopt it in the West, and we should feel confident in using qi gong in a healing environment.

How do you feel about being an organizer?

I feel inspired by it. When I lead, there are words that come to me that may be useful for the group at the time. I feel humbled by the struggles that people are going through. It is a privilege for me to be around people who are suffering, and to be able to gently hold their experience as they are going through it. It is a privilege to hold the space for people. It has been a pleasure.

It seems to me that you are speaking as a healer. How do you see your experience as a doctor and now as a healer?

I think I am a vehicle for people. I have often wondered about what it is about the environment of healing that is a determinant of people’s recovery. Think of the placebo effect, I have always been interested in it because it is fascinating that it plays such a huge role in recovery.

It is interesting to think about the placebo effect. It makes me think that the placebo works much like mingjue. It allows some room between the pain, for instance, and the emotion that it elicits.

Yes, in the West we value our emotions, and they are part of our culture. Yet building our lives around emotions leaves us exposed to experience. More and more, teacher Wei talks about allowing our attachments to emotions to be observed and released.  I found that attachments to old emotions have a very strong hold on us.

I have been thinking a lot about my life, and its purpose. As I look back, everything seems very beautiful. But I am attracted by the idea that suffering can be reduced by understanding the connection between the extra layers which we put on things and the experience itself. It has been a great lesson not just about emotion but about all the things to which we may become attached. All the things that are related to what the ego says is important and the concept of surrender that teacher Wei talks about.