December 23, 2008

Conscious Citizen Interview: Michael Hamilton, Qi Gong instructor and acupuncturist

Michael Hamilton is a staple character in Honolulu’s art scene. He is a true saint, offering his teachings without regard for the dollar. His Community Acupuncture program works on a sliding scale from $10-30 based off the patients’ discretion and his Qi Gong classes in the park are on a donation basis. His priority is to give the knowledge and practices to the people so that they can heal themselves. If they have money to donate, he appreciates. If not, he is just as happy.

Here’s how he describes Community Acupuncture: “In Asia, acupuncture traditionally consisted of a quick intake, pulse & tongue diagnosis, and several people lying with needles in one communal room. This model can work in the West as well. By treating people all together, it is much more affordable for everyone, allowing for more frequent treatments, and faster results. Experience the collective healing energy of our community as we receive acupuncture together.”

Michael healing at the Community Acupuncture clinic.

If you don’t know about Qi Gong, it’s basically Chinese Yoga. The movements are very flowing, connecting the body and mind through breath. The essence of the practice is complete relaxation while moving “chi” (energy) throughout the body.

In Michael’s classes, the students form a circle and share their energy and inspiration. A typical class begins with warm-up exercises and light stretching followed by medical Qi Gong to build energy and dispel toxins. Then there is self-massage and a 30-minute meditation. Lastly, Michael usually leads the students through a Tai Chi routine (check out Tai Chi Dvds to learn more about this Chinese martial art) and teaches some hard-style martial arts like Thai kick boxing, Kung Fu or Hawaiian Kempo.

More or less, Michael is on a quest to break people out of their paradigm. Through the use of theatre and videos, he introduces meditation and spontaneity into peoples’ lives while telling tales of mysticism and esoteric traditions. He produces Qi Gong Theatre, an eclectic blend of acting, music, and madness. During the last performance of “Pan: Half Goat, Half Man”, the forest was brought indoors and grapes of immortality were fed to the audience.

Cast of Pangaea’s Lounge performance of “Pan: Half Goat Half Man”.

He also produces videos on the links between esoteric traditions. Here’s a link to his video Jade Gourd on immortality. Currently, he is working on his Earth Acupuncture project, in which he envisions groups of alchemists performing rituals at specific vortex sites at specific times to heal the Earth, heal it’s inhabitants, and raise the spiritual vibration.

Michael’s work, community, and contact information can be found at his website, Lotus Space (lotusspace.com).

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Studio: Kapiolani Park and Ong King Art Center

Class Times: Wednesdays Qi Gong 5-7pm in Kapiolani Park and Mondays Community Acupunture 3-7pm at Ong King. Visit Lotus Space for details.

Style: Silken Qi Gong (sitting and standing), Bone Marrow Washing of Zhou Ren Li, and Taiji Quan Yang Style, Tibetian Five Yoga.

Age: “A moment in time can be an eternity. She put a grape in my wine, broke me out of my paradigm.” 39 years old.

How long have you practiced the Taoist Arts? 13 years of Qi Gong and Tai Chi. 25 years of Martial Arts.

Why do you practice the Taoist Arts? To feel good and exercise. I can practice everyday safely. It’s fun to do; it’s like a dance. I like to exercise outside. I like to go to vortex sites and just practice.

Favorite Taoist philosophy?
Tao of Pooh…he didn’t care if he got his head stuck in the honey pot as long as he got the honey.

What do you focus on in your classes?
Benefit for all participants: human, earthly, and heavenly.

What is your training background?
Longhushan lineage from Changyixiang. Travels through China, India, Japan, and Taiwan. I completed a 4-year program in acupuncture and taoist arts at the World Medicine Institute here in Hawaii.

Taoist diet? Lucky Charms, Dominos pizzas…just kidding. I like to work bitter melon into the equation because it cures the dampness.

Any religious affiliations? Hare Krishna devotee. I’m not a very strict devotee, but I’m an initiate. My Hindu name is Malaya Krishna Das. It means the “Great wind through Krishna’s flute”. Initiate of Islam. Born-again Christian of the Presbyterian faith. Taoist disciple. Road scholar of Hinduism and Buddhism and all that other stuff.

What else are you into? Healing arts…the consequence of the martial arts. Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, nutritional therapy, Qi Gong). And then you have the divination arts of the Taoists (astrology, geomancy, I Ching, ect.). Ayurveda medicine. Playing music, organizing multimedia divination Qi Gong theatre.

Last thing you did to help the world become a better place?
This interview.

What does Qi Gong do for the ego?
Takes it away. It makes it zero!

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