Archive for July, 2019

Tai Chi Notes, July 23, 2019

Jul 23 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

The main event for this week was the number of times I did Wu Ji. I finished something at work at 4:45 on Wednesday, decided I didn’t have anything super productive to do for the next 25 minutes, so I did a last e-mail scan and went outside and did 15 minutes of Wu Ji. On Thursday there was a team lunch, so I didn’t have my normal lunchtime practice, but I again found some time in the afternoon. And basically I kept that up, sometimes doing Wu Ji when I got home, sometimes at work, and sometimes in my normal practice times, and I ended up doing it 7 days in a row and counting.

They weren’t, admittedly, always the best practice sessions: on a couple of them I bailed noticeably early and on one or two I bailed a little early. But still, doing it every day made me happy, and my body felt better after that.

I’m also trying to tweak my posture: I was reading a collection of articles called Daoist Reflections from Scholar Sage and one of them mentioned not having your knees past your toes, and also not having your pressure on the balls of your feet. (It’s supposed to be over your Yong Quan, but that’s a little further back.) So I’ve been trying to alter my posture to follow that, which also seems to me like it should fit with the idea of acting like you’re about to sit on a barstool instead of down into a chair? Good that this fits together, though it doesn’t actually feel like it’s making things any easier, in fact frequently the practice has been feeling more strenuous since I’ve made that change, so I’m not actually sure that I’m doing things more correctly.

I’m also starting to feel like I have a better notion of how far down I’m supposed to go: in particular, if I go far enough, I definitely feel that my center of gravity is too low. So that’s good. And I’ve been working on sinking my qi, both when doing Wu Ji and when doing seated meditation, and I feel like I’ve been able to do that more reliably; hopefully I’ll be able to build on that. (Sometimes I then do some reverse breathing after I feel I have my qi in the right place, not much coming of that yet.)

Not much to say about Tai Chi. This weekend we had the Sunday class, and some more people were taking the teacher training test; some of this is probably seeing flaws in others while not noticing the flaws in yourself, but I felt like I can do the first form better than three of the four people showed? So I should probably take that test at some point; maybe I’ll do it next year. The potential blocks are making sure I can do one of the weapon forms, and the fact that my teacher has a preference for people having done a competition first; I’m not 100% sure I’ll feel like doing a competition next year. But I could work on the Lao Jia Dao form for the weapons form, that should be okay, I think. Still, I might target two years from now instead of next year?

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VGHVI Minecraft: June 27, 2019

Jul 20 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

Pictures from the June Minecraft session; not a lot of them this time.

 

First, some travel stuff.

A random crafting table and banner in an island somewhere.

Some towers become visible from a distance.

It’s a compound in the desert that I’d forgotten about.

Back to the jungle glitch in the water near the city.

A bump in some water.

 

Next, pictures of what Pat was working on:

The outside of a large hall.

The inside of the hall.

The view looking out from the entrance to the hall.

Pat found some lanterns he really liked.

He added the lanterns inside the hall, too.

And to the path! Along with a green fringe.

A small flower garden next to the hall.

Walking down into the garden.

There’s a nice little pond with a bench further down.

 

And, finally, Dan was adding lanterns too:

Some lanterns in the entrance to Dan’s underground white halls.

The top of the steps heading down to a large unfinished room. (Except for the lanterns!)

Inside that room.

Looking back up those steps.

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Tai Chi Notes, July 16, 2019

Jul 16 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

My cold is being very stubborn; probably a sinus infection?

On Thursday, I bailed fairly early on in Wu Ji, but at least I did some, and a round of Qi Gong.

On Saturday, I went to class like normal; not doing great, but I made it through. One thing I noticed while watching my teacher doing the form: you don’t look to the right for as long as I thought during Grab and Tuck Robe, you want to stay looking to the right when you cross your hands but you look left when you start circling your right arm out.

On Sunday I did 40 minutes of meditation lying down and 40 minutes sitting, good to be getting back in form for that. I wasn’t feeling great, though, so I didn’t do any Tai Chi in the afternoon, but I went through some Silk Reeling and some Wu Ji. Only 10 minutes of Wu Ji, but that was the first time since I got sick that I at least didn’t bail before my timer went off, and actually I was surprised when it went off.

And today I did 15 minutes over lunch, plus some Qi Gong (I’m holding off on the Frolics until I went better), and I went to most of the Tuesday class.

I definitely would like to feel better, but at least I’m staying somewhat in practice, and I’m not feeling completely out of touch with what it means to relax…

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Tai Chi Notes, July 9, 2019

Jul 09 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

Last week was spent fighting the cold. I was starting to get better by the end of the week, so I did go to Tai Chi class on Saturday; didn’t feel great, my lower back was tight and hurting, and in general I didn’t feel the normal body sensations (energy, sinking, relaxing). I could sort of tell that those sensations were available on the fringes, just hard to access.

Because of the tightness, I went through the full silk reeling series on Sunday as well. I only did the first form three times, but that felt like a reasonable victory given the time I spent on Silk Reeling and given my energy level. I tried to do some Lotus Wu Ji later in the afternoon, but I just couldn’t get into it; I probably should have pushed through, I wasn’t actually hurting particularly (and in particular, my lower back actually wasn’t causing problems for that), I just didn’t have the mental fortitude for it.

Unfortunately, the cold refused to go away; I actually felt kind of lousy yesterday (and was coughing a ton), so I worked from home today, didn’t do Wu Ji over lunch, didn’t go to Tai Chi class. I did at least put in 20 minutes of sitting meditation; a little distracted by coughing at the start, but that actually got better as the session went on, it was a surprisingly successful session. (Which reminds me, I did 30 minutes of lying down meditation on Sunday; that was less successful, though not a complete loss.)

Hopefully this cold will end soon and I’ll be able to start working on getting my body back in shape, but who knows when…

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Tai Chi Notes, July 2, 2019

Jul 02 2019 Published by under Uncategorized

My Lotus Wu Ji went great on Thursday: 21 minutes, no significant pain. Not sure whether I’m accidentally making it inappropriately easy on myself, whether I’m doing something right, or whether it depends on something non-obvious in the state of my body; if it’s the first of those, then great.

And I had a free moment in the middle of the afternoon that day, so I went for a stroll, and after that I found a quiet spot that I hadn’t previously been aware of quite a bit closer to work, so I did another 15 minutes of Wu Ji. That made me happy, it might make it realistic for me to start working in practice on Mondays / Wednesdays / Fridays as well.

Unfortunately, on Friday I also had a few spare minutes, but I had a real headache, so I decided practicing wasn’t a good idea. And, more unfortunately, that was a sign that I was coming down with a cold, and a pretty nasty one: I was not only out of commission Saturday and Sunday, but I ended up taking sick days Monday and Tuesday as well. (I think I’ll be up for working for home tomorrow, at least: today was better than yesterday.) So no Tai Chi class on Saturday or today, no Wu Ji today, no practicing on Sunday.

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