Charlotte Cortooms and Marco Nettersheim
Zhineng Qigong since:
Date of birth:
10/02/1970 and 15/05/1961
www.enertytime.nl and www.nettersheimsolutions.nl
After Charlotte worked in the IT business for many years, she decided to follow the shiatsu therapists training in 2003. In 2006 she completed her studies and in 2009 she started her own company: Energy Time. She offers pressure point massage (Shiatsu), Zhineng Qigong Classes and coaching for people who get stuck in their lives.
After his studies at the University with specialization in Commercial Economics Marco started to work at the SNS Bank as a corporate account manager and most recently as director of Parkstad. In 2002, he switched to a family business that produces sliding door wardrobes tailored for the Benelux, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There he worked until May 1, 2015 as financial, commercial director and HR manager. In 2015 he started his own business and advise SMEs in a wide area.
Charlotte, you have completed the teacher training Zhineng Qigong in 2010. How did you benefit from this year?
It was the first time I practiced Zhineng Qigong. I already knew other Qigong forms and wanted others to benefit from it, too. Therefore, I looked for a Qigong teacher training and found the Zhineng Qigong program. It was a personal enrichment as I learned many new things. I experienced the effects of Zhineng Qigong as I practiced every day without a stop in between. I love the theories behind Qigong and that part of the teacher training could have been more developed. The practical part was very good and also the part where we learned how to teach.
Marco, you also got in touch with Zhineng Qigong because Charlotte did the exercises at home. How did you experience that?
Charlotte did indeed start with her daily practice at home. After her first training day, she told me that she was going to do a gong with the Lift Chi Up Pour Chi Down Method. She explained that a gong takes 100 days. In these days you repeat the exercise every day. She asked me if I would join her to do the gong. She reminded me that she started to play golf for me. There she got a point. But 100 days were a lot. Anyhow I choose to walk this path together with her. She showed me the exercises and we started. She was quite a tough teacher.
Why did you choose to participate in the three-year-Masterclass?
Charlotte: ‘After the workshop with Master Yuantong Liu and Master Feng in 2013 China we received the announcement of the Masterclass. Marco immediately said: ‘I will join.’ I myself had to think about it. It’s a three-year program. Organizationally, we had to arrange some things in our private lives. We understood that following the Masterclass means that we would have to practice and study about two hours a day. At that moment it seemed a lot. When our friends said that they will sign in for the Masterclass I thought it would be fun to watch the process with a group. Zhineng Qigong is constantly developing. After the teacher training I continued to participate in workshops and I always learned new things. I realized that the Masterclass was a unique chance to get much more background information. That’s why we signed in. About 6 months before the Masterclass started, we took the decision to increase the practice time to 2 hours a day.
Marco: In China, I fell in love with Zhineng Qigong. I consciously felt Qi. The lessons of Master Feng were impressive. And doing the gong with Charlotte I experienced that the pain in my shoulder left. That was not succeeded by injections, physical therapy, etc. After 100 days practicing Zhineng Qigong the pain was totally gone. I realized how special that was. When I saw the offer of the Masterclass my first thought was: I want to participate. It was the first time that this kind of training was organized in Europe and I wanted to be part of it.
Charlotte: We have also greatly stimulated each other. When one enters this process, the other wants to be part of it. It’s a life changing experience and we wanted to walk this path together. Keep in touch with the feeling of what happens. Sharing is also much easier as you know the process. If something happens with the other person, it’s easier to solve it together with the tools you got in the Masterclass.
If someone asks you what the difference is between Level 1, 2 and 3 of the Zhineng Qigong what is your answer?
Marco: For me it was an inner journey. During this journey through the different levels I felt the Qiflow deeper and deeper in my body. I experienced silence and peace.
Charlotte: There are three levels of practice and different levels of meditation. During the Masterclass you work extensively with the levels of meditation. All exercises can be practiced on different levels of meditation. A beginner could practice the Crane Walk of Level 3 but most probably he will practice it on a different meditation level as an advanced Zhineng Qigong student. For me that’s one of the main differences between Level 1, 2 and 3.
In the three years you have intensively practiced the different levels of meditation. How did you experience that?
Marco: I was used to a result-oriented approach. What do I do and how do I experience that? The practice was one thing. I had to learn the movements in the beginning. When I knew the movements, I started to be more conscious about the Qiflow in and even outside my body.
Charlotte: In the beginning you start doing the movements. Then you learn different levels of meditation. You understand them with your mind and you can also integrate them. But what is the benefit of it? The most ‘catchable’ result is that I am more balanced. Even in challenging situations I can stay calm. If something goes wrong, I am right back in a state of peace and tranquility. Through the intensity of the exercises during the three-year Masterclass you created a center of peace inside of your body. Upon closing my eyes when practicing the Lift Chi Up Pour Chi Down Method or the Body and Mind Method I immediately feel the Qiflow and my attention is consciously inside.
A three-year Masterclass with a Zhineng Qigong Master of the Huaxia Center is special. What did Master Yuantong Liu give you personally?
Charlotte: Goose bumps appear on my skin with this question. Liu has given a lot and also asked a lot. Certainly in the first year. The homework was a big challenge. I even have considered to stop in the first year because of the homework. One of the most important things Liu taught me was that I am my own master. I decide what is good for me, he often repeated. He said he can tell us a lot but that we are the ones who truly believed it or not. I do it because I make the choice to do it. That’s what I learned and I practice it. Develop the feeling what belongs to me, do I really want it, am I able to do it or do I have to adapt the speed because I prefer to walk slower. Continue in your own pace. He was always there when I needed him. In these moments he gave me something so that I was able to continue, to go on walking the path. Liu was very important for me in this Masterclass and of course he still is.
Marco: He has given a lot to me. Same as for Charlotte. He taught me to trust, to think differently, to look at things from a different perspective. In the beginning I did not understand his saying ‘all is fine.’ I even found it irritating. How can everything always be fine? Now I understand that it’s all about your own mindset. That’s what the masters teach us when they are telling us that we can choose the New Point of Life at any time. We are the masters of our own lives.
Two other words have become important to me in developing my intentions: Trust and believe. By increasing the confidence, I see things much more positive. I am happy with everything that is. Sometimes I ask myself whether that’s normal. (#Smile)
Each participant of the Masterclass has a personal process. There are ups-and-downs. Do you think that this process became stronger/more intense because you both participated?
Charlotte: I have gone through several stages during the Masterclass. Different things happened. Through that and the participation in the Masterclass I feel that our relationship has become closer. We are and will ever be two individual persons. We consciously made the choice to be together in order to strengthen each other. I realized that even better in the last three years. I am also grateful for the fact that we could experience this process together. It’s a gift that we could be there for each other when we needed it. It’s also a gift that we could share the beautiful moments during the Masterclass together. That’s an additional value if you choose to participate together. You understand each other quicker as you speak the same language, let’s call it the Masterclass slang.
Marco: I agree with this. Even if you experience difficult moments together, you are in a discussion and patterns appear, you know how to support each other. It can also work against you. If you are ‘trapped’ in a pattern, the other one knows the tools you should use to step out of your rollercoaster. That’s sometimes difficult as patterns want to stay alive. Transformation is good but also challenging.
Zhineng Qigong has become part of your lives. What are your plans after the Masterclass?
Charlotte: I will continue to follow Zhineng Qigong workshops. How do I integrate it into my daily life? I keep practicing every day. That’s part of my life. At the moment I still do my homework every day of the Masterclass Level 3. When I’m done with it, I will see what exercises are good for me and I will create my own program. I also learned that the real practice of the exercises is only a small part of Zhineng Qigong. If you do it good you practice 24 hours a day. 24 hours to be aware of what you are thinking and what are you going to do with the thought. Do I like the thought and do I accept it? Exercises keep my body soft; thoughts make me practice Qigong all the time.
Marco: I just go on. I will practice every day. Ideally I would like to do so three hours a day. The question is whether I want to do something else with my knowledge than only practicing for myself? Create something and share it with others. These questions I have not yet answered for myself.
Additional notes after the interview…
Charlotte: If people consider to do the Masterclass, please realize that it is a personal development. It is not just the exercises and the theory of Zhineng Qigong. You learn a lot, especially about yourself. You are confronted with yourself on a regular basis and you get the chance to clean up your life. If you are ready for that process, sign in fort he Masterclass!
Marco: Thanks Anne for creating this opportunity. It feels great. Thank you so much!