Archive for October, 2020

Nei Gong Notes, October 27, 2020

Oct 27 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Still sleepier than I’d like; maybe that’s getting better, maybe not?

I listened to the Calm Abiding video again; I’m supposed to spend 70% of my attention calmly paying attention to my Dantian, 20% to the rest of my body, and 10% to what my mind is doing. Not entirely sure how much I’m supposed to be pleasantly zoned out, but there was this bit about relaxing while paying attention.

Anyways, I’ve been trying to do that, and today was super interesting; I did get back to the pleasantly zoned out state, at which point all of a sudden my attention was shifting to my body as a whole. (And, to the extent that there was a center to my attention, it was quite a bit higher.) So the difficulty wasn’t in getting 20% of my attention on my body, it was in restricting my attention so that only 20% was there and keeping 70% on my Dantian. (And who knows what’s going on with the last 10%.)

I should probably ask about that, though I’ll wait until I’ve gotten a little more experience with it. It does feel plausible that what I’m doing is consistent with generating qi, at least, which is the goal of the exercise.

This week’s video was on preparing for sleep; you’re supposed to try to pay attention to exactly when you switch from being awake to being asleep. Which is hard, Damo said it took him several months. And, if you do it wrong, you run the risk of having your mind racing a bit, which is counterproductive; that did indeed happen to me, and honestly really isn’t what I need right now. Still, I’ll keep on poking at it…

Also, standing in Wu Ji is continuing to be interestingly different. I’m kind of feeling like my upper body is being held up by its tendons now; I relax the tops of my shoulders, my arms go out, my hands go up a bit, and muscles don’t feel particularly active in any of this, it feels a lot more sinewy. And it actively feels like there’s energy flowing through all of that, too, which is nice. If I could get to that situation with my lower body, I’d really be happy, but it’s definitely progress, and even a bit of a state change. And, honestly, somewhat surprising given that I haven’t been practicing for as long the last couple of weeks because I’ve been tired, but I’ll take it. (Not as much of the buzzy Dantian feeling as I’d had a week or two ago, though.)

No class with the local Nei Gong folks this week; Tai Chi on Saturday, we’re almost done with the Jian, I’m somewhat optimistic that I’ll be able to retain that? It’s been useful reviewing the last few moves that we’d done before COVID, I’d been a bit iffy on those even back then.

And I did practice Jian at home on Sunday, hopefully I can keep that up. I should practice a bit more during the week, though, and probably do one round of Silk Reeling during the week – Saturday is good but not quite enough on its own. And my back has actually been aching a bit, in ways where I think Silk Reeling could help; I need to get back to the back exercises, too. (Might be a consequence of me not exercising quite enough, might be a consequence of how I’ve been turning off use of musculature in my torso?)

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Nei Gong Notes, October 20, 2020

Oct 20 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson is on “Calm-Abiding”. Which sounds maybe a bit boring, but it turns out to be relaxing during seated meditation in a way that gets you into a kind of blissful state, while simultaneously paying attention to a couple of other things. Which, in turn, reminded me of something that used to happen to me when I was doing Wu Ji before starting the course, where my perception would shift and I would feel really good; I think this is the same thing, but seated? Very happy to be getting back to that again.

Unfortunately, I haven’t actually gotten back to it after watching the lesson. It’s been a bad week for that: I had early morning meetings that prevented me from doing seated meditation at the start of the day on several days; I did the meditation later in the day, but I’ve been incredibly tired this week, and if I did the meditation later in the day, that kicked in. More recently, I’ve done my meditation at a more normal time; I’ve been closer, but I haven’t quite reached that state again. I might want to bump things up to 25 or 30 minutes, though, maybe if I spend a bit more time both preparing myself at the start and then trying to relax into the desired state in the second half, I’d be more successful?

I certainly need to watch the lesson again: I was too tired to do that this past week, but I’ll find time at some point. I want to watch it again both because I hope I’ll be able to reach the desired state of relaxation and because I’m actually not super clear on the full instructions, on the two things I’m supposed to be paying attention to.

Anyways, tired week, so while I did my practice most days, it was pretty minimal; I think maybe allergies are being a little overwhelming, I’m experimenting with a new medicine there and hopefully that will help. The weird thing is that my body actually seems to be doing quite well, in two ways: the upper half of my body is sometimes feeling incredibly relaxed in a solid way while I practice, with everything just falling into place, and if I, say, raise and lower my shoulders, the vibrations go all the way through my torso in a very direct way. And the second good thing is that I think I’m starting to get a little ambient buzz in my Dan Tian pretty much all the time; it’s very small, but I think it’s something new and different? So hopefully that’s a sign that my body is getting into shape.

Or at least my torso is; the Saturday teachers pointed out that I’m leaning and twisting again, in ways that I think comes down to my hips and legs being positioned wrong. That’s annoying; I’ve got some ideas about what to do about that, but I’m not sure those ideas are right; we’ll see.

Saturday Tai Chi as well; not super productive this time because I was so sleepy, but again, good to be getting back into group practice.

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Nei Gong Notes, October 14, 2020

Oct 14 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

This week’s lesson had me doing reverse breathing while going through the Ji Ben Qi Gong; interesting, it keeps you anchored lower in the exercises that have you moving up and down. And I found it very difficult to do reverse breathing during Upholding the Moon.

I kept on doing the seated reverse breathing exercise from last week, using your hands to try to set up a connection between your Qi Hai and Ming Men. I didn’t feel anything more than last week; not planning to regularly focus on that exercise for now, though I should try it out occasionally.

And we started in person Tai Chi back up on Saturdays and (once a month) Sundays. Which is good: I definitely hadn’t been doing enough Tai Chi, I find it easier to do that in person than practicing on my own, and the Saturday class fits into my schedule. Still no Tuesday class, but mostly back to normal there; and it’ll be good to finish learning the Jian form and hopefully to fill in my gaps in the Xin Jia first form.

In general, Nei Gong practice went fine this week; I’m definitely feeling more like my upper body is falling into place. And there’s something different going on in the tendons on the inside of my thighs; I’m honestly not sure if that’s a good sign or not, I might be having my stance too wide? And, unfortunately, I’m back to twisting my upper body because my right kua isn’t folded enough; I need to work on that more, and I think not just relaxing it in a way that folds it back but relaxing in a way where I let more weight go down onto the top of my right thigh?

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Nei Gong Notes, October 6, 2020

Oct 06 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

More reverse breathing this week; still seated, this time adding in some hand gestures that are supposed to connect your Qi Hai with your Ming Men. I don’t know that I felt a super strong connection, but I did feel kind of a cylinder inside my stomach while twisting my hands, so that was interesting. I’ll probably keep up the exercise for another week or two, to see if the feeling changes.

The other thing that the exercise pointed out is that, when I’m seated, my navel and Qi Hai are pretty low, there’s not that much room to place my hands below my navel. Sitting in Burmese instead of Half Lotus helps, but I think it’s also evidence that I’m slumping. And, unfortunately, if I try to sit up straighter in a way that lengthens my lower spine, that has a tendency to raise my buttocks, which doesn’t seem right; so I have to work on lengthening my lower spine while staying firmly seated. Which I can do, it’ll just take some work to establish it more firmly.

Low energy in general this week, my sleep was interrupted as often as not. Not really sure what’s going on there, whether it’s allergies or just everything else that’s going on in the world or something else. Kept up my practice okay, given that, though not a lot of actively good days.

Still working on trying to do abdominal breathing at different times during the day, sometimes with some success? And also during my initial seated practice I’m working more on sinking, because I feel like my energy is rising too much. (Probably related to the interrupted sleep issues…) Somewhat successful; something to keep on working on, at any rate.

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