Do you ever have the feeling that the world is out to get you? Have you ever experienced a time in your life when nothing seems to go right and even the mundane tasks seem to be a struggle? You’re not alone. Peter was just such a person. One day he was on his way to work and things just seem to go wrong from the moment he walked in the door. Peter comes into the office with his arms full of paperwork, his secretary gives him a fist full of messages from clients mostly “urgent”,

he spills coffee on his shirt trying to set the paperwork on his desk, fields a phone call from an angry client, throws on a suit jacket, and grabs a file on his way out the door running late for a court hearing, walks outside only to step in a puddle of water, gets to the courthouse only to find no parking available, and finally gets through security, after having to remove his shoes, take off his belt, and his jacket to expose his coffee soaked shirt to all who must surely be watching his struggles to make to the courtroom, only to get there and wait for an hour while the judge attends to an unanticipated meeting in chambers. An hour in which Peter could be working on his ever growing pile of case files, but must sit and wait for his case to be heard, never mind it will only take a brief minute or two, but he will dutifully wait over an hour just to complete this small task, before rushing back to the office to catch up on some much needed backlog. Finally, Peter returns to his office, to be given another fist full of angry messages, and attends to a client meeting with a person who has been waiting for 15-20 minutes for his arrival as he got held up in court, all the while wondering when he will ever have time to get to the brief that is due by 5:00 p.m. Peter finishes his client meeting and works through lunch trying to finalize his brief, and leaves for home, arms full of files, to have dinner with his family, before pulling an all nighter at his home office.

If Peter takes even the tiniest of moments to breathe, he may even begin to wonder, “Is this really what I signed up for when I went to law school way back when?” The constant pressure of deadlines, demanding clients, ridiculous court schedules, family pressures, and seemingly never a moment to himself. He doesn’t eat right; he doesn’t sleep much; let alone have time for exercise, or hobbies, and often even his family. Peter may feel helpless, a slave to his obligations, his clients, his bills, the lifestyle to which his family has become accustomed, and may secretly wish for a miracle to whisk him away. But absent a miracle, like winning the lottery or a genie in a lamp that comes to grant you three wishes, what is he to do? What are you to do?
If you are currently asking yourself this question, you are not alone. Nearly 75% of lawyers are dissatisfied with their work! The first time I heard this statistic I was shocked. How can so many people who enter the profession become so disillusioned?

Clearly something more is going on then just a poor career choice. As lawyers who had ideals of helping people and making a difference in the world, perhaps its time we stepped up to the plate and did just that. First we must learn to not be bogged down by our work and start making time for ourselves.

How you may be asking? I did just this for myself and it has made all the difference. I now live my life with more joy, hope and excitement than I ever dreamed possible, and I owe this transformation to Lama Somananda Tantrapa and his practice of Qi Dao – his family style of Tibetan Shamanic Qigong. I know that is a mouthful, but believe me, it has been instrumental in helping me and I am quite convinced it will do the same for you. The only prerequisite is being open to living a happier and fuller life.

When I started practicing Qi Dao, the first principle I learned was to be more attentive. I believe it is most appropriate to provide you a brief excerpt from Lama Tantrapa’s book, Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong: The Art of Being in the Flow, on the topic of attention.

"Attention is the interface between what you know and what you do not know. You cannot learn without paying attention, since you cannot remember that which you pay no attention to. Development of attention always requires acceptance. Being attentive is only possible when you accept what is. You cannot be attentive to something you do not accept, simply because when you are not accepting it, you are busy resisting it or running away from it, engaging in “fight or flight” instead of just being present. Such lack of acceptance creates the rigid dualism of right and wrong, judgment of actions and threats of adverse consequences.

For instance, when you label something as “good,” you may create an expectation that it should be good not only for you but also for others. It may also imply an expectation of continuous goodness or badness despite any common sense. Many things that were deemed good yesterday may not be so good today and what resonates with one person may not resonate for others. Labeling something “bad” is just as misleading. Being accepting will help you transcend this dualism, allowing you to be more content and happy with your life.

"Your practice of Qi Dao must begin by learning to shift from the mode of having attention to the mode of being attentive. This entails learning how to be fully accepting of what is; being present and awake to the reality that is unfolding right in front of you and within you moment by moment. It requires letting go of expectations, projections, and judgments of things or persons as good or bad. As you practice, you will learn to pay attention to the flow of Qi [energy] and to be in the flow.

"Many people in the modern society live in the mode of striving to have attention and thriving on the energy of attention they receive from others. You probably know people willing to do, say or wear whatever it takes to receive as much attention as possible. It certainly feels good to have attention. Since attention can direct energy, you get energized when you receive attention. Why is this pattern of behavior so pervasive? Some blame Western society, which provides no role models of attentiveness. Actually, this pattern keeps repeating itself because people have a habit of forgetting that they have an abundant source of attention within them. If you think about it, you will realize that nobody can give you as much attention as you can give yourself. When you do so, you recycle a constant flow of energy within your energy system, which gives you access to an abundance of Qi within you."

Every lawyer would benefit from being attentive to themselves and their needs even during working hours. If you ever find yourself in a situation like Peter, having to wait for that hour in the courthouse; rather than be anxious, frustrated, and worried about the work you could be doing, take that opportunity to pay attention to yourself. If you start paying attention to your thoughts, you may realize that anything you are thinking about other than what is actually happening in the here and now is a day dream. What would this tiniest of shifts mean to you? It gives you tremendous power to dream of something you want rather than something you don’t, and it will give you a much needed opportunity for self care. I encourage you to try it. You may find that you are happier, healthier and even more productive at work and in life by just applying this principle.

Author's Bio: 

Kali Samaya Tara graduated from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 2002, and her Qi Dao Coaching degree from the Academy of Qi Dao under the instruction of Lama Somananda Tantrapa in 2008. Ms. Tara has practiced law in Oregon and the tropical island of Guam and now lives in Portland where she practices qigong daily and coaches others to manifest their life’s dreams. If you are interested in learning more about Lama Tantrapa and his works, please visit his website at