Maggie H is a Global Explorer and Wellness Guru from Hong Kong. Among many spiritual endeavors, Maggie practices and leads Qigong meditation to help people around the world find their inner balance. Find out more about this practice and join her weekly on ICBRKR's live Qigong Meditation stream every Wednesday.

Photo by Zen monk and photographer, Venerable Seonam Sunim

Tap-tap... tap-tap-tap.

That's the sound of a big split bamboo stick tapping on the shoulder of a monk.

It is a common scene in a Zen temple when monks meditate. They sit down in a big room facing the walls and the head monk quietly paces around the room holding a big bamboo remonstration stick. The head monk gently and rhythmically pats on the shoulder of the monk a few times with the bamboo stick, when anyone dozes off or gets lethargic. This is not to inflict pain but wake him up and others, with the crisp and clear bamboo sounds, so they can come back to the focused state of the mind.

When our body is in deep relaxation, which is a similar state to falling asleep at night, all thoughts disappear from our head and our mind becomes quiet. That's when the brain waves go down to the slow and deep state of Theta, which is right before we fall into a deep sleep of Delta. In the Theta state, our body switches to a maintenance mode of healing, restoring, balancing, recharging, and resetting. That is the reason why we feel like a new person after a good night's sleep or a good meditation session.

Up to this point, there is no difference between good sleep and meditation.

The difference is this: good meditation keeps the body and mind in full relaxation, so the brain waves stay in Theta and do not go down to Delta, which would be sleeping.

The bamboo stick makes sure that your mind stays focused on the present moment. This is the kind of focus where there is absolutely no intensity involved. It is almost like looking at a beautiful flower, that is focused enough. With this relaxed body and focused mind, we can reach deeper into our consciousness.

Having said that, this can be challenging for many beginners. To those attending my group meditation sessions who are heavily stressed and physically exhausted, I encourage them to just relax and not worry about falling asleep. Many people these days are in dire need of relaxation. Without practicing how to relax the body properly, you can't even think about focusing the mind. So in my meditation classes, please never feel bad for snoring or sleeping the whole time. For my part, I will take it as a compliment.

Physical relaxation requires a bit of practice, and once you are able to relax your body whenever you need, we can then work on the focus part.

In our next session, we will be more mindful of the relaxed body and focused mind. By continuing this practice, we will naturally achieve a higher level of consciousness.

I look forward to connecting with you again at the next ICBRKR live Qigong Meditation stream, every Wednesday.

Maggie H is a Life Cartographer, Eastern philosopher, Qigong master, Buddhist and Taoist meditator, Feng Shui practitioner, and researcher of Buddhist scriptures. She lives in Hong Kong, and regularly travels to both India and South Korea to further her spiritual growth and development. Her lifelong motto is: "benefit to all humankind."

To find out more about Maggie's work, check out her website and join other ICBRKRs around the world in her live streams every Wednesday. Check the app, under Global Live Streams, for exact times in your location.


Find your tribe on the ICBRKR app, available on iOS and Android, and share your positive energy with like-minded people.

To view related posts, click on the relevant hashtags below: