Archive for January, 2020

Tai Chi Notes, January 28, 2020

Jan 28 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Some notes from Saturday class: in Dantian Change, when you’re preparing to draw the silk, your left arm should go farther forward under your right arm, so you can draw it back more. (And I think I should also be turning my hips more there.) And in Xin Jia, when doing Jing Gang the first and second times, there’s a place a little before you’re about to move forward, where your right hand goes back and down; your wrist should be curved in a little bit instead of curved back, so it can be relaxed and let you do a little flash of Fa Jin before moving forward.

When doing seated meditation, I’ve started experimenting with doing a Full Lotus instead of a Half Lotus. On one side, it’s reasonably comfortable; on the other side, though, I definitely feel off: a little off balance, a twinge in one knee, and one foot doesn’t want to stay up. Seems close enough to be worth working on, though.

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Tai Chi Notes, January 21, 2020

Jan 21 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I’d been feeling like I wasn’t making progress on my Live Gate, and my lower back felt like it wasn’t at all flexible, which made me think that it was still compressed, that I still had lingering aspects of my back problems. So I started doing Spine Stretches a couple of times a day, and I asked my teacher about it on Saturday, and he recommended doing Hip Rotations, so I added that in as well. And, to my surprise, things actually started feeling better on Sunday – maybe a little bit better while doing Wu Ji, but also when walking around that evening, it felt like I had a little bit of space and energy in my back? Hopefully that wasn’t a fluke and things will continue to feel good. (And hopefully I’ll make progress in my Wu Ji…)

My teacher went over my form on Saturday. In the first Jing Gang, when stepping back, I should look forward; and, practicing on Sunday, to my surprise that actually helped me keep my balance, I think it put me in a more compressed / lowered body shape? In the reverse Oblique Posture (before Angled Body Fist), my right arm is going too far back, and I should tuck my tailbone more. In Feel Out the Tall Horse, I should spiral more with my right hand, and have my right hand pointed a little more to the right instead of straight forward, in line with my right foot. And in Grab and Tuck Robe, I should make sure my right knee is over my right foot instead of inside, and tuck my tailbone more.

And one thing that came up this evening: near the end, when going from Swing the Leg to Head-On Cannon, I should do a Cai.

Did 30 minutes of Wu Ji for the last three days (I was working from home on Monday, so it was easier to do a little more time); nothing particularly interested happened, but I’m trying to keep the possibility open.

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Tai Chi Notes, January 13, 2020

Jan 13 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I’ll be out tomorrow evening, so I’m doing my notes a day early.

Sadly, my Wu Ji has returned to its normal state. I guess because I’ve been a little tired and haven’t been feeling like putting in 30 minutes a day? (And also because work hours don’t make that so easy.) Something to try to work back to, though…

Some notes from Saturday Tai Chi: in Groin Punch, your right hand should start pretty high up, by your rib cage, palm side up. (I feel like I’ve written that here before…) And in the Xin Jia first form (which we’re starting over again), when pushing to the right after the opening position, it’s a Peng instead of a Ji. And in Jing Gang, after you’ve come down, you do a counterclockwise movement with both your hands and your waist, and then when issuing, you go out from your Dantian but you don’t shift your weight.

We had the monthly Sunday class this weekend; our last time before restarting the second form. I mostly know the second form in class, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to remember from week to week, and there are definitely details I’ve missed. And I’ve given up on the staff, but that’s fine, I already am trying to learn too many things. This year’s Sunday weapon will be the Double Dao.

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Tai Chi Notes, January 7, 2020

Jan 07 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I’d had a quite interesting time with Wu Ji at the end of last week, and my holiday schedule made it easier for me to do longer Wu Ji sessions this week, so I did 30 minutes almost every day. Which was rewarding: not as extreme as what happened last week, but almost every day, I had unusual physical sensations, most typically around the area of my tailbone or just above? In general quite pleasant, though sometimes when it was getting strong I almost felt nauseous…

So I still felt like I was on the edge of some sort of state change, but wasn’t actually reaching that state change. I tried doing a second Wu Ji session on Sunday, hoping that that would have a similar effect to the previous week, but I really wasn’t feeling it the second session; too tired or something. And there were two days this week where I wasn’t really feeling it during the first session; I stuck it out for 20 minutes or so, but for whatever reason it wasn’t feeling the same. Unfortunately, one of those days was today; hopefully that was just a blip.

Normal stuff otherwise; not as much Tai Chi on Sunday as I would have liked, but it was okay in general. In the Saturday class, we got some pointers about the Body Stretch exercise in Silk Reeling; you’re supposed to fold your chest sideways (like a hinge with your spine in the center), and also when your arms go up, the bottom of your torso should be stretching down. Also, when doing the Chest and Abdomen Folding, while you’re mostly folding along a horizontal axis, during the bit where your arms go together right before sticking them out, you should fold along both axes.

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VGHVI Minecraft, December 19, 2019

Jan 05 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Pictures from the December Minecraft session:

First, some wandering photos.

Here’s the cave I’ve been working near; wasn’t really inspired by looking at the inside, though, so I decided to just wander around.

A sunset over the mountain with the castle Dan built.

The view down the valley.

A nice view of trees and mountain passes.

Is that a structure somebody built or an algorithm change glitch?

Turned out to be caused by an algorithm change, just a particularly bizarre one: I don’t really understand why this one chunk strip would be different?

It actually got a little weirder after that. (So maybe that original strip was more than a chunk wide?)

If I’m remembering correctly, this was actually a hole in the wall of one of those weird blocks, and it was actually beneath the ocean level; but for some reason the water didn’t flood in the opening?

I ran into a quite deep chasm at some point during this.

On the way back, I saw this on the horizon; if I’m remembering correctly, it’s something Dan built maybe half a decade ago?

At the top, there are flows of water and lava.

Here’s a picture going down the middle.


That’s a picture of what Dan had been doing years ago; here’s what he was doing more recently:

The pumpkin fire and the tree scaffold in the mist.

The trees at the top of the scaffold have grown out now.

There’s now an orange pyramid in the water next to the train tracks.

Here’s a closer view of the pyramid.

And here’s what it looks like at ground level.


Ariel didn’t do lot of building this month, just starting to add a second level onto their current structure:

Starting work on a second level.

And here’s the view from the bottom, with interior walls starting to get sketched out.


Finally, Pat built out the inside of the big building he’d been working on.

Pat in a large room with a large bed.

Looking down the hallway on the second floor.

One of the rooms on the second floor, I guess a bathroom?

A cute little bedroom.

The other end of that bedroom.

A larger room on the ground floor.

A better view of the hearth in that room.

Looking out the window next to the fireplace.

Another view of the master bedroom, with bookshelves.

A somewhat more formal room.

Armor in this one.

A closeup on the decorations on the wall.

The outside view of the chimney leading to that fireplace.

A bigger picture view.

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