Archive for March, 2020

Tai Chi Notes, March 24, 2020

Mar 24 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Not much to say this week: no class, and I’m still feeling like I have a low-grade cold so I’m restricting what I’m doing. Trying to stretch and walk around a little more, because my back was starting to give ever the slightest twinge; presumably I can do that in meetings, since they’re not in conference rooms these days, and since they usually don’t require me to be staring at my screen. In general, though, I’m still feeling like my spine is potentially a little freer in interesting ways; hopefully I’ll be able to hold onto that feeling until I get better and start practicing again.

Damo posted a video about Building Immunity in Qi Gong; unsurprisingly, he leads off by saying that Qi Gong just isn’t going to do magic for you in the short term (he says that yes, it helps, but it helps because you’ve been doing it!), and then goes into his usual theoretical analysis. There is one exercise he gives about two thirds of the way through that I might try working into things, though.

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Tai Chi Notes, March 18, 2020

Mar 18 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

We actually had Tai Chi class on Saturday; not as many people, and I kept my distance more than normal, but it happened. But even then the Tuesday class had already been cancelled, and now we have a shelter in place order from the government, so no classes for the indefinite future. My teacher is putting up a series of videos of health-related exercises, I should give that a look.

What I was supposed to be doing on Saturday through Monday was going to a local Lotus Neigong course on the Ji Ben Qi Gong. But it got cancelled, as did Damo’s upcoming course in April. Joyce and Rick (the local teachers) ran a two-hour class over Zoom on Sunday morning, though, which was very nice of them. And pretty brutal; I feel like I did in part of it manage to relax in ways that helped increase the stretch of some of the exercises and reduce the pain? And something Rick said made me think that I have more work to do around relaxing in my Kua.

Also, right at the beginning Joyce said something that was related to my worries last week that Neigong practice might be not the best idea when I have a cold. She said that it’s potentially dangerous when you’re sick: internal work has the potential to move bad stuff further inside your body. So you want to stick with surface level stuff, or on exercises that are about expelling stuff (Dao Yins, I guess).

And I am feeling a bit off again; so, for now, no Wu Ji. And even when I do a little bit of Silk Reeling to stay active during the work day, I can feel stuff inside that I’m not completely comfortable with; on the balance, I think it’s still probably a good idea, but I’m not completely sure? (Hmm, maybe I should just do basic stretches instead.) I’m still doing a little bit of meditation, but I’m using this as an excuse to do the “focus on the tip of your nose” thing from The Mind Illuminated, hopefully that’s surface enough!

The frustrating thing is that I also feel like my back and neck are potentially starting to open up, they’re giving these faint tickles that feel good. So I’m really curious what progress I might be able to make if I were able to practice! But I just don’t think it’s the right time for that; hopefully I’ll be able to at least avoid regressing too much until I do feel better…

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VGHVI Minecraft, February 27, 2020

Mar 14 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I didn’t take so many pictures in February: partly because I’m still not sure what to build next and partly because I got caught up in conversation.


A few pictures from wandering around:

A cliff with a small cave in it, and an island off in the haze.

A valley with some animals.

Another one-block water discontinuity, this time including ice.

A randomly generated staircase.

That last one has stuck with me; maybe I’ll try to find it again and see if I can do something with the cave around it to cause the staircase to fit into a larger context? Hopefully I know more or less where it is…


No pictures from Dan or Ariel, but Pat was working on a bowling alley:

The lanes of the bowling alley.

There’s a space on the other side of the lanes.

Here’s what it looks like from the outside.

Looking closer at the windows.

Here’s what it looks like behind the lanes.

Now there are some pins in place.

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Tai Chi Notes, March 10, 2020

Mar 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Not the best week for Tai Chi, unfortunately: I started feeling like I might be coming down with something on Thursday evening, so I skipped my Wu Ji practice for the rest of the week, and I skipped most of Tai Chi on Saturday, only going in for the Jian bit. And I skipped Tai Chi tonight, too.

Fortunately, the cold or whatever it is hasn’t been too bad; I think I’ll start venturing out in the world again tomorrow, and I probably would have actually gone into work instead of working at home yesterday and today if it wasn’t for the COVID scare. And hopefully I’ll be able to go to a Lotus Nei Gong course from Saturday through Monday; focusing on the Ji Ben Qi Gong, which I would like to learn better.

Anyways, during the Jian practice, in the hop near the end, you should keep your sword angled up, in the direction where you’ll be thrusting it next; also, the hop should be a little bit forward.

On Sunday I at least did Silk Reeling at home. And one thing I noticed there: in exercises where I’m moving forward and back some (e.g. during shoulder rotations), there’s more room to open my Kua than I’ve been doing. And I think that’s what I should do, that my teacher might say that I’d been collapsing my back knee slightly? Keeping my Kua open more requires me to maintain a bit of an active stretch, which I think is probably good?

The funny thing about Thursday is that I actually felt like I had a really good Nei Gong practice over lunch; but I also felt relaxed and open in a way which somehow fit with the ache that was the start of being sick. And, similarly, doing Silk Reeling on Sunday felt good but also left me feeling vulnerable. It’s nice to think that this internal work helps protect from disease, but I don’t have any real reason to believe that that’s the case, and it almost seemed like it opened me up to disease moving around this week a little more. Dunno…

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Tai Chi Notes, March 3, 2020

Mar 03 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I guess I am writing the notes this week after all, but they’re short. I was googling for Lotus Wu Ji images, and I ran across this one; what struck me there was that Damo spread his arms significantly wider than I’m used to doing. So I tried that, and wow, it felt super different. Less different a few days later, now that I’m used to it, but still, maintaining a bit of a stretch seems like a good idea. Probably means that I should stand a little farther apart, too, to get more of a stretch on my legs as well.

Anyways, I’ve been good about doing my practice on the trip. I was actually hoping to get up to 30 minutes of Wu Ji every day; didn’t manage that, though, I wasn’t consistently doing it at a time when I wasn’t tired. (I find it noticeably harder to keep up Wu Ji if I’m tired or have eaten recently.) But I did 30 minutes some days, at least. And I did about 30 minutes of seated meditation, so that’s good. I only did Tai Chi once, on Sunday; did some Silk Reeling, some Lao Jia first form (3 times), some second form (2 times, I think?), 30 minutes of Wu Ji, and the Ji Ben Qi Gong during that session, which added up to a good session.

Might be starting to get little tingles around my live gate? Would be nice if it opened up… And I’m hoping that the Nei Gong seminars I’m planning to go to in March and April aren’t canceled because of Coronavirus, but who knows.

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