Nei Gong Notes, January 26, 2020

Jan 26 2021

Good week for practice. This week’s lesson was on Song breathing, and it was a follow-up from the previous week on anchoring the breath; basically, start from the feeling you get from the previous week, and then try to release on outbreaths, using your hands to help. This depends on building up the mudra from anchoring the breath, which I can’t say I think I have super well established, so I did both parts most days.

Damo also talked about some of the physical signs you’ll see when doing Song breathing, once you get good at it: vibrations in the hands, then feelings in other parts in your body as you release tension and clear blockages. He says it doesn’t take too long to start getting to that stage, maybe a few weeks; I’m certainly not there yet, but I feel like it’s probably worth trying to get there? So I’ll try to work both anchoring the breath and Song breathing into my practice routine, instead of always doing Calm-Abiding. (But I really do want to get back to Calm-Abiding, I hope that this week’s lesson isn’t yet another seated meditation…)

Practice-wise, I’m adding in the Tai Chi form (three times through the first form, once in the middle of the week); actually, it felt good enough this time that I went through the form a fourth time. And this weekend I did Wu Ji for 40 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday felt good, probably because I’d gotten a quite solid sleep the previous night; I might have been taking it a little easy on my height in the Wu Ji, but in general my body felt like it was doing interesting things? Sunday didn’t feel quite as good, which I suspect is because I was a little sleepier. I have actually been thinking that I’d get something interesting out of Wu Ji if I push myself until I’m more tired than I’m comfortable, but, if so, I don’t think being sleepy helps, I think it’s just physical tiredness that might help me relax muscles in useful ways.

I’m also thinking I should spend more time doing seated work: I’m kind of ignoring most of those lessons, but e.g. for the Song breathing, maybe the exercise from a month or so back about moving energy through your fingers and arms would be useful? And I’m only doing standing Dantian Gong, but some people in the Facebook group were saying that both seated and standing are useful, for different reasons. I used to do more seated work when the course started, but I’ve stopped other than my morning meditation; the main reason for that is because seated work is harder to focus on when I’m tired, and that’s true and still something I have to worry about, but on days when I’m not so tired, I think I should try to work in some of the seated practice.

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