Archive for November, 2018

Tai Chi notes, November 27, 2018

Nov 27 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

Not much to say this time, pretty normal week. I didn’t do Qigong on Thursday because of Thanksgiving, but I did the regular practices other than that. Still feeling more of a connection in my kua than I had been a month back, and getting used to that.

The only new thing that comes to mind is in the Oblique Posture: I’d been keeping my torso upright, but apparently the application is more of a shoulder strike. So I’m tilting my body more, but trying to do that in a way that has me sinking into my kua instead of into my knee.

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VGHVI Minecraft, October 25, 2018

Nov 24 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

Pictures from the October Minecraft session:

First, the stuff that I did. The idea is to extend the shopping area from the train station to the entrance into the middle of the mountain.

I’m going to continue along that wall, going around the corner towards the dark area.

Looking up to a nearby mountain, where Dan is building. (We’ll get to him later!)

Looking down from the top of the mountain.

There’s some nice water on the right, I should think about that.

Let’s put in some tables and chairs.

In the back corner you can see the stairs that lead into the mountain.

Putting a picture on the wall.

A view from the corner.

Let’s replace the chest with stoves, maybe this can be a cafe.

It turns out that item floods the area when placed…

The flood spreads.

Now it’s dry again, and there’s a bit more decoration.

That’s what I did; Dan next.

Flying over to visit my neighbor.

Torches and stairs inside the castle.

Some water behind the glass.

A field of sunflowers out back.

The sunflowers are completely green from the back.

There’s a moat that extends around the side.

A closeup of some underwater plants.

Building a path with red flowers on the other side.

An exciting action shot of the flower planting.

Now there are flowers on both sides of the path.

Miranda was working on her underground tomb:

She’s added a watery pit.

Sea creatures in the water.

The surrounding room.

Pretty sure I’ve seen this gold room before.

The ground above the tomb.

And, finally, Pat’s latest buildings. (I don’t think I’ve taken pictures of the second of these before, but maybe I have?)

Inside his latest house.

There are books under the stairs.

A closeup on the chest nook in the books.

Looking out the window at the start of his next project.

The second floor continues the book theme.

The view from the second floor balcony.

Something in the early stages of construction.

Another house nearby that didn’t look familiar.

In this one, there are stairs under the stairs.

A light shining up from below.

There’s a bathtub in the basement!

Up on the second floor attic.

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Tai Chi Notes, November 20, 2018

Nov 20 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

I was expecting being out of town to reduce the amount of Tai Chi I did, but actually I picked a very good week to be away: there was an unhealthy amount of smoke in the Bay Area, so if I’d been at home I probably wouldn’t have practiced on Sunday and I’m not sure how much I would have done on Saturday. As it was, on both of those days, I went through the Lao Jia first form three times, and I also went through the full Silk Reeling once and all of the Xin Jia first form that I know once; not as much as a normal weekend, but not bad all things considered. (And I got back for the Tuesday class.

I didn’t do as much standing meditation as normal, but that’s totally an unforced error, I had the time. Also, I walked less in general but up and down hills noticeably more; it’s kind of depressing how much I noticed that, I could probably use more cardio in my life.

While practicing, the main thing that I noticed was feelings in my kua: I feel like I’ve crossed some threshold where something is switched on and I’m getting a lot more connected there. Just standing and opening my kua feels different; it makes me wonder if that’s the way I should be standing normally? One noticeable effect of the Gokhale courses was that they convinced me that I’d been holding my shoulders unnaturally forward and that I’d feel better with my arms hanging by my side when I’m in a neutral position; maybe it’s also the case that my legs are coming a little wrong out of my pelvis, and that I should be opening them up more? I’m really not sure…

In class tonight, I asked about moving my arms (and changing my shoulder orientation) right after pounding the pestle; my teacher went back a step and told me that I was finishing Pound the Pestle with my hands too high up, I should move them down in front of my Dantian. So I’ll try working on that. Also I want to think a bit about maintaining a Ground Path between the first punch and the third Pound the Pestle; and maybe also waiting a bit before letting my forward foot turn when stepping back in The White Goose Displays the Wings? I’m not at all sure about that last one, though, I really do have to think about it.

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Tai Chi notes, November 13, 2018

Nov 13 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

Doing my Qi Gong on Thursday was interesting: my kua felt warm in a way that I don’t remember it feeling before? Hopefully I can build on that… (And maybe that’ll lead to feeling things further down in my legs and feet, we’ll see.) Also, in terms of random sensations, my feet in general seem to somehow be feeling better / more stable, not just when doing Tai Chi but in general: like my pronation is going away or something. And I spent more time than usual over the last week trying to move my attention in circles around some Qi Gong orbits (right around my Dantian and also all the way up my spine, over my head, and back down); that’s getting easier to do, and I’m getting a stronger feeling of something moving around while doing that.

Which could totally all just be in my imagination! And, if there is a real physical correlation, I’m not sure to what. But I was noticing on Saturday that I’m starting to feel more active energy flow during silk reeling, so I’m going to want to nurture that more, I think. And, returning to the kua, I’m also starting to more actively notice as soon as my knee feels a twinge when doing something and using that as a reminder open my kua and shift my weight there.

Also while doing the form, all of a sudden I’m getting better while turning in some tricky situations with my foot in the air, in particular when shifting to the flash after Kick with the Right Heel. No idea when/why that happened, but I’m not complaining. And I’m trying to pay attention to maintaining a Ground Path and maintaining Peng; my hypothesis now is that those two are pretty closely linked, that you really want to maintain Peng a lot of the time and use the expanding downward part of that to maintain a Ground Path.

I’m out of town now visiting Miranda, so I didn’t do my normal practice on Sunday since I was on an airplane. I did do a bunch of those Qi Gong orbits while sitting and waiting, though… And no class today, of course, though I did make it out to a park yesterday and went through the form three times; hopefully I’ll find time to do that another few times before I leave. And hopefully I’ll find time to do my Qi Gong, too; I didn’t manage it today, though, because I was out during my normal lunch time and because I want to make sure I’m online and productive working remotely. I’ll miss next Saturday’s class because of that, but I will be back for next Tuesday’s.

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Tai Chi notes, November 6, 2018

Nov 06 2018 Published by under Uncategorized

Not much to say this time. I’ve been doing longer Qi Gong sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays this week; I think I’ll keep that up? I’m noticing more random sensations in my body while doing the form; e.g. I was noticing on Sunday that, when doing Embrace the Knee, there’s a funny twisting situation on the sole of my right foot, and when doing Reverse with Spiraling Forearms, I feel something on the side of my head near where my hand is moving. Also, energy seems to be extending more during the Ji part when you raise your hands at the start. So, basically, more seems to be going on internally.

And tonight I was noticing lots of little things that didn’t feel right in the first few moves of the form. E.g. when stepping back in the Pound Pestle, I think I probably leave my hands forward too much, or maybe even move them forward instead of just leaving them. Or in Grab and Tuck Robe I might be leaning to the side a little? Definitely no end of details for me to work on…

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