I’m staring at the computer screen.

Whenever I get up and go away, I am compelled to sit down and write, yet as I sit here nothing comes to mind. It all flitters away the second the bootup sound hits my ears.

All of a sudden, nothing to say, nothing to share. No experiences from the last week to reflect upon, just an overwhelming urge to search the internet for reasons why my girlfriends phone doesn’t reliably send text messages.

Someone else’s problem to solve, to distract me from my own. Distract me from the feeling that I have spent so much time practicing, that I no longer know what to do with myself when I am not?

Is that it? Not sure, still searching for the reason perhaps.

This week was a draining one. Often working till 8 or 9 at night and, unlike last week, only got to meditate 3 times. This was partly due to being hungover mid week…which btw was a horrible idea, despite my claims to the contrary. That morning was great, possibly.. but then 2 hours later I realized I had to stay awake for the rest of the day…oops.

Today I got some practice in at the park, 15 minutes of meditation along with several forms. The final form was very yang, very explosive as I dug out that suppressed energy from the weeks haul, but overall the term I would use to define the forms was sluggish.

I got some 48’s in just to make sure i kept it fresh. Tomorrow will be the 83, aiming for 2 run throug’hs chiming in at an hour or so of practice at least.

Wading through several days of built up mental stress caused the forms to feel a bit like I was mentally trudging through knee high mud. Though, it felt great to be out there. The sun was out and there was sounds of laughter from the kids learning to ride their bikes and playing on the playground.

Seriously missing my afternoon practice. I have been breaking off around 3 every other day to do some Qigong with a coworker, but we only do about half an hour. Perhaps next week I will start to throw an hour or so of form work at night to get rid of the days stress.

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Wuji – Emptiness in Emptiness

It will be an interesting month.

Work has picked up considerably and we are now required to work 10 hour days until October.

Kind of sucks for my afternoon classes as I will no longer be able to make them, but it has allowed me to focus on some aspects of my personal practice that were unclear before.

Knowing that I was going to be at the office until 8 every night, it released the pressure of sticking to a schedule off and suddenly I didn’t have that extra anxiety in the morning that I didn’t even realize was there. I was able to focus completely on my practice and still got to work at the same time.

30 minutes of meditation and 20 minutes of stick work every morning for the last week (except Monday).

Sunday, I got a full two hours of my own practice at the park which was incredible, I did 30 minutes of qigong, 20 minutes of stick work, then I did the 23, 48 and 83 Erlu forms. The 83 was a bit rusty, but I took it very slow and just paused at the moments I was stuck until the next move came to me.

I started “The root of Chinese Qigong” again, which I never finished the first time. I had put so much pressure on myself to remember everything that I just burned out.

For the last couple weeks I have been suffering from a crisis of resolve. Wondering if I was wasting my time in all this, or if I was just convincing myself that I was feeling the sensation of chi, relaxation you name it. Wondering if I had just allowed myself to be hypnotized by the mysticism of it all and was just blindly going through the motions. (Which I realize now, I was because I was partially disengaged)

I felt like I had frozen in progress and that I was just kidding myself that I could teach this in the future at all. I was convinced I didn’t know anything and that my knowledge was so thin it would blow away at the slightest gust of wind.

I have had this intention to read all these books, to grow my knowledge, and yet I had not read any of them. Basically, I felt like a fake who was not doing justice to this ancient practice and that I should just quit.

Not to digress too much… but, I realized that the only way I was going to learn or to feel satisfied, was to do two things.

  1. Start reading and retain the information I could. Not stress so much about retaining everything, just letting the things that stick, stick  and the stuff that doesn’t well… I will come back around to it.
  2. Dive in to the meditative side of personal practice to build a greater foundation for pushhands, form and just general life. (I also realized the importance of building familiarity with the wuji state of mind. You begin to be aware of where your mental center is at all times.)

One late night last week working, I just picked up the book and started reading it again.

I was feeling exhausted, the exhausted I usually feel right before I decide to go to bed or just shut my brain off and watch a movie (which i have been doing a lot of lately to distract myself). After the first page, I noticed a palpable wave of relaxation just pass through me.

I was not “straining” to read the book. I was actually relaxing in to it.

The words kept going by and I was finding myself not only understanding them, but enjoying where they were taking me.

So, I have been reading at work for breaks and when I get home at night as a way to wind down and decompress.

I seem to have accidentally brought over the intention I had during meditation, to detach all value and purpose from the action. In doing so, I was able to enjoy it just for what it was, not to reach some end goal of knowledge or relaxation, in the case of mediation.

To actually be present in the moment of action completely and fully with a focus and relaxed mind.

I now can see the reason the old masters stood in mediation for two hours every morning. it changes you. My thirty minutes will have to do for now.

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Archaeologist’s

I think I am starting to understand why most chinese martial arts are based off of animals.

Animals express pure movement, they don’t have the extra baggage of having to “figure out” the best what to do something or have the capacity of masking their purpose from the rest of the animals. Their bodies are pure illustration of their intention at all times.

When a cheetah chases its prey, it doesn’t think about whether it is using the proper form as its running.

When tiger is lying about, it isn’t thinking about all of the things it needs to do that day, or wondering where or if it will find its next meal. Its purpose and intention is directly connected and communicated through its body.

The deeper I go in to Tai Chi the more I realize it’s really all just about getting back to this state inside the body.  Removing the years of programming I have encorporated into my movement Learning to get rid of all the ideas I have on how I should be doing something and just doing it… Letting the body unlock itself and do things the way it is naturally inclined to do.

I look at this concept and can’t help but realize how far I am from that goal. There is constantly some thought or idea hidden in my subconscious, masking itself cleverly as relaxation, limiting my movement or obstructing my natural motion. The deeper the layers the more difficult and deep the programming is to uncover and modify.

The only key I have found, so far, is to allow myself to pay quiet attention. Passing no judgement on it, but to just allow myself to become aware of it. I try to understand its origins, connections and its uses, comparing it to what I have already learned. I explore its edges, walk around the visible sides up of it and start to carefully excavate around it. Like an archaeologist carefully uncovering the remnants of a long past civilization. Trying to figure out how deep it goes and what secrets it holds.

No matter the size, no matter the depth, thus far I have always been able to get all around and under it in order to extract it.

Perhaps extract is the wrong word, that seems like it’s removing something toxic.

It’s more like I absorb it. Absorb it into the past, allow it to become another bump on the road.

The results are much like when the physical body relaxes a long tense muscle. Suddenly, it unlocks a new more fluid movement and everything around it is different, new pathways of movement to discover and build upon until the next artifact is discovered.

Then it begins again.

Practice this week:

It has been a little slow going getting back to practice this week. Lots of reading and train surfing instead of the normal morning practice

Wednesdays Practice:

  • 20 minutes standing meditation

Thursdays Practice:

  • 30 minutes Dynamic Qigong in the morning
  • 1.5 hours beginning tai chi.
    • Ended up teach the 24 for 30 minutes of this class

Fridays Practice:

  • 20 minutes train surfing (So Fun!)
  • 30 minutes qigong
  • 1 hour form practice

nautilusFossil

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