Archive for August, 2020

Nei Gong Notes, August 25, 2020

Aug 25 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson was more Dan Tian Gong; the full sequence is 10 moves long, which (together with stuff between them and at the ends) would take just shy of an hour at the two-and-a-half-minutes-per-posture rate I’d been going at. Which I was thinking was too long for me; I’ve tried it once so far, and I gave up after 8 moves, with my lower back hurting a fair amount. I’ll probably try the full thing once a week, but 6 moves is a better length for me; that translates to 37 minutes, which feels pretty substantial as it is, and I’m certainly glad to be doing that.

I’ve been trying to do a breathing exercise that sets up a connection between your Dantian and Huiyin; sometimes it feels like there’s something building there, sometimes not, I need to work on it. And another breathing exercise about feeling a couple of channels in the arm; maybe I can feel part of the channels, between an appropriate place in the wrist and and appropriate place in your fingers, or maybe not. I’ll need more work on both of those, and I might give up on the channel exercise eventually.

No class this Saturday, so I had some extra time, which I spent by going through the long breathing exercise from the Microcosmic Orbit course; glad I did, though even when I start off fairly alert, I’m starting to fall off by the end… Seems like a good thing to continue to work on occasionally, at any rate.

Not sure what side course to work on now; I’ll retry the current Heavenly Streams lesson on feeling those two channels, but maybe I’ll start another course? The study guide recommends the Qi Gong Deviation course, and while I’m not super interested in that, I don’t have a better idea? I might go through the Clipping Passes exercise a few more times, too, it was good for my back.

Haven’t done much Tai Chi recently, I should pick that up, I’ve just been having to walk Widget almost every weekday evening.

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Nei Gong Notes, August 18, 2020

Aug 18 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I picked a good time to start standing higher in Wu Ji, because this week’s class covered a long multi-part Dantian exercise; you move your hands around some but you maintain the same stance for the whole time, a little over 35 minutes the way I was doing it. Which turned out to be fine: my legs weren’t thrilled, but it wasn’t a problem, if anything I actually had a bit more of a twinge in my lower back. And I’m glad to be getting back to standing for longer periods, it makes more interesting stuff happen in my body. (Though, honestly, still not as interesting as some of the things that were happening over the winter?)

That class was actually one of two, so I am a little nervous about adding still more stuff onto the sequence this week – my lunch breaks are only so long, even if I can stand for long enough! We’ll see how much longer it gets…

In class on Saturday, I was told to have my arms wider during Wu Ji. Which was getting back to something I’d been doing a few months back; it does feel better. Nice that the teachers aren’t saying I’m tilting to the right, it does seem like that’s been better? And we went over the last of the Ji Ben Qi Gong, that’s been useful.

In terms of other online courses, I’ve been pausing the Heavenly Streams one while working on the arm sensing exercise. It’s been a couple of weeks, though, so I’ll probably start that again; I wish I was doing better at the arm sensing thing, though? It felt like it was going well at the start but it hasn’t gotten any better. Part of that is that I’ve been unusually tired the last couple of weeks, which has really not been helping my seated meditation.

And I finished watching all of the Microcosmic Orbit videos. I think I’m going to go back and do a few of the exercises: the first one on anchoring the breath is useful but depends on me being awake for 40 minutes of meditation, which isn’t usually the case these days, unfortunately. I actually think I can already do what it’s working on developing to some extent, so I’m also going to work on the second exercise, on connecting the Huiyin to the Dantian; hopefully I can be awake enough to make progress on that. And then there’s one near the end on Clipping Passes, which is useful on a purely physiological level in terms of making my back feel better.

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VGHVI Minecraft: July 30, 2020

Aug 16 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

We skipped the June Minecraft session, but here are the pictures for July:

 

I was wandering around the main part of the city, and I noticed a path that I’d kind of forgotten.

A path near the city.

Here’s a side view as it goes up some stairs next to the train tracks.

Now it’s heading down some stairs in the direction of that large colored glass tower.

A level stretch, a little closer to the tower.

And here’s one end of the path, near that roller coaster ride thing.

 

And a couple of pictures of where the fire temple got swallowed by the rift, and some other random pictures:

The entrance almost looks normal if you don’t pay attention to what’s behind it.

From a side view, it’s clear that things went wrong.

Some other random older structures that are in the same general area as the new castle Ariel is working on.

Floating buildings glowing at dawn. Or maybe dusk.

 

I’m still not really building myself these days, but Dan and Ariel are continuing to work away. Dan’s continuing his geometric explorations, but with branching structures instead of just lines / planes:

A new branching sculpture.

It’s got a smaller neighbor next to it.

If you look at the background, you can see a line, a plane, and a cube with some branches coming out of the top.

And here’s a closer view of the new one.

 

And Ariel is continuing to flesh out their castle:

Adding in some armor racks. (And a view of the super tree through the window, I’d forgotten it was close enough to be visible.)

Some rooms that are still under construction, though one of them has a bunch of furnaces.

The hallway outside the greenhouse, I assume those are stairs down at the back.

Is this the basement? Though the roof makes me think it might be an attic area? I can’t remember…

A room with a huge bookshelf and a quite large skull painting.

The other direction has a large chest and a view of the side of a hill.

The outside of the building.

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Nei Gong Notes, August 11, 2020

Aug 11 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

I’m going back to standing higher while doing Wu Ji; honestly, I have no idea where that’s correct or not, but I didn’t feel like I was getting a real benefit from standing lower. So I’m working on doing that for longer; 20 minutes is no problem (other than boredom), I should get back to 25 minutes. And I’m working on relaxing my stomach while standing, which will help with the sinking in a different way.

We had Pao Chui class this Sunday; when splitting the fists at the start of the Overdraping posture, both of your fists should be down. And in the very last move, you fists are also down, right next to each other.

Damo gave a Zoom class on Monday, about sinking your center of gravity. Interesting enough, though I think for now mostly useful as a statement that it’s not just that you want to lower your legs: you want to relax the inside of your torso so structures inside your torso can sink.

This week’s bit in the Nei Gong course was about changing the focus of attention over the course of a meditation session. Not super interesting, though there was an interesting point on the Bao Yuan mudra: if your hands are in that position then, when your mind wanders, it comes back much more quickly to the Dantian.

And I’m following along in the side courses. For the Heavenly Streams one, there was an exercise in feeling along your arms; I’ve been doing that every day, and I think I’m going to keep that up for another week before proceeding in the course, because I think it’s probably quite important if I want to really try feeling the channels? And in the Microcosmic Orbit course, I listened to one long lecture and went through an exercise on freeing up the Clipping Passes. That one was just body stretches and the like, so it didn’t depend on any energy work; and actually my back felt better for a couple of days after doing that. So I’m thinking I should probably return to that and learn the exercises, just for physical health reasons.

I had a bunch of good days this week. Though, unfortunately, I’ve been tired a lot the last few days, so in particular meditation practice hasn’t gone as well as I’d like. And sometime standing practices have been a bit iffy, though I’m doing better at those; I had a good session of that today, at least. (20 minutes Wu Ji, 10 minutes of Thickening the Qi that felt like it was having an effect, and the first two Ji Ben.)

I think I did Tai Chi twice this week? (Outside of the Sunday class.) And today’s Tai Chi practice felt good; I’d been going through the first form three times, but I felt like doing it a fourth time today. And I was noticing my Dantian a little more than normal during Tai Chi, I think I should probably try to lean into that feeling a bit. And I did Silk Reeling a couple of times last week, though not so much yet this week.

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Nei Gong Notes, August 4, 2020

Aug 04 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Not a whole lot to say this week: I was extra allergic (and hence extra tired) the first half of it, and I tweaked a back muscle yesterday so yesterday and today’s practice wasn’t great. Still, practices happened, it was okay.

This week’s and last week’s lessons in Damo’s online class were about Ting; the specific action that he wanted you to do was soaking your mind through your body while doing seated meditation, and being aware of what’s going on everywhere. Interesting enough: not quite what I’d thought Ting was, and also the sensation of awareness soaking through (and down) was kind of interesting?

And on Saturday I got an answer to my question about Cow Turns Its Head: your hands aren’t close to each other like they are in the Earth Wu Xing exercise, so while you are looking through the gap there, it’s a much larger gap.

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