Tai Chi Notes, November 26, 2019

Nov 26 2019

One thing I forgot to mention last time: I reread Damo Mitchell’s first book. Lots of details to work on in the Ji Ben Qi Gong, and lots of stuff to improve on in seated meditation, though it’s harder to get the details of the latter from a book…

I am trying to work on my breathing when meditating, and in fact to bring that breathing into more contexts. Basically, breathing a little more deeply than I am than when I’m not thinking about it, but not holding my breath at either the inhale or the exhale, thinking instead of both of those as turning things around. So there’s a similar sort of pause as to when I hold my breath, but the way it feels is different. And, in general, my body does feel different when I breathe this way: energy in my huiyin, in particular.

On Thursday, when doing Wu Ji, I felt a little bit of tingling in the middle of my back; I’m used to tingling from my huiyin to my live gate, but this is higher than normal? Though I still don’t actually feel real energy from my live gate itself. Then, towards the end of the session, I felt a sharp feeling on the top of my head; I thought it might be my bai hui, though it was further back than I expected? But I know the bai hui isn’t at the very top of my head, it’s further back than that; looking it up, I think it’s plausible that that was my bai hui, though I’m not completely sure, there are a lot of points up there. Still, the bai hui is the one people talk about the most, presumably there’s a reason for that…

And, after that, I’ve been sometimes feeling tingling on the top of my head when doing standing meditation. It’s not super strong, there’s definitely something that I need to nurture there. (Same for the bottom of my feet, honestly.) But still, progress?

Exactly what sort of progress, I’m not sure. It would be nice to think that I’m opening up my governing channel, but I’m not really convinced that that’s the case: maybe I’m starting to open it up through the middle of my back, but there’s a lot of room between there and the top of my head. So my guess is that the bai hui is opening up for other reasons; and certainly there are lots of channels that end up there, it’s an important point for a reason.

Aside from that, the feel of standing meditation in starting to change a bit: I’m slipping away from straightforward physical feelings a bit more, and also away from tingling and the like a little more, into something that feels plausibly related to energy but also a little more substantial? Still trying to understand what that means. Doesn’t necessarily mean that standing meditation is super easy, and I’m not getting the really pleasant feeling that did once a couple of weeks back, but it helps and feels like progress.

Though sometimes it’s easier than others. There’s a little grove of trees right outside the office, and meditating there feels easier; standing meditation at home seems like more of a chore? Though, even at home, I’m still sometimes surprised when things are over; I haven’t been doing long meditation sessions recently, what with the surgery and such, but I have been surprised more than once when it’s over. I should probably get back to working on longer sessions, at least on the weekends…

Anyways, as to Tai Chi: I couldn’t remember whether my thumb is supposed to be inside or outside my fingers when doing the Jian. My teacher says: when doing Lao Jia Jian, put your thumb inside, that’s more internal. Also, when going through the form, I still need to figure out about my head and torso movement in Forward Trick / Backward Trick; I think they’re supposed to turn in the direction of my hands instead of my leg, but I’m not 100% sure. And I need to figure out my footwork when transitioning from Gao Tan Ma to Cross the Foot, I’m taking more steps there than feels right.

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