Nei Gong Notes, February 1, 2022

Feb 01 2022

Interesting week. In the Nei Gong course, we covered an exercise connecting your Huiyin to your Dantian; seemed similar conceptually to one of the earlier bits of his sequence of Microcosmic Orbit lectures, so we do seem to be getting closer to that. (I kind of doubt I’m really prepared for it, but who knows.) One thing that surprised me about this lesson was that Damo was pretty explicit about only doing it for 15 minutes; not used to that kind of recommendation.

Also, the previous week I finished reading Anatomy Trains; I honestly mostly skimmed it after about the first third or so, but I’m glad I read it. Not sure if it’s coincidence or if the book has had an effect on my perception of my body, but I’m noticing stretching caused by relaxation in a bunch of places in my body now; that certainly seems to be a good thing?

Not great Nei Gong practice this week in general: I continue to be more tired than normal, I’m not sure why, so I didn’t put in as much time as normal. Because of the new seated exercise, I also didn’t do the concentration exercise every day; more disappointingly, I had a hard time keeping it going when I did do it, probably because of the tiredness? Not sure if I’ll keep up that exercise or not; I was thinking that I’d do it for a couple of months, but now I’m wondering if it would be better for me to go back to one exercise from the first year about choosing which mental seeds to water, because that certainly seems relevant. Though, thinking about it a bit more, the issue right now is I think mostly just that I’m tired, which would have an effect no matter which one of those I do, so I should probably work on that and try to spend time on the Concentration exercise when I have good days.

(And I think I’ll continue to work in this week’s new exercise fairly frequently from now on, too.)

In Damo’s Tai Chi course, we continued with the four energies drill, this time having our body movements coming from relaxing to generate release. Which is a pretty interesting way of doing things, and one that doesn’t seem familiar from my regular Tai Chi course? Which, in turn, raised the question of whether I should work it into my regular Tai Chi as well or if I should treat that as a Yang thing that isn’t applicable to Chen. In particular, I think Chen is more focused on everything coming from your Dantian.

Thinking about that a bit more, I got to wondering about Cover the Hand Punch in Chen: Tony sometimes talks about that going from your foot to your kua to your hand, which is potentially consistent with having it generated by release but isn’t so consistent with having it come from your Dantian. So I asked Tony about that; he said that, actually, that was just a beginner way of doing things, it really should originate from your Dantian, going down both your arm and foot. So that’s making me pretty sure that I should try to keep the Yang and Chen stuff separate, and that using release to initiate movements is on the Yang side of things.

The other thing I was noticing on Saturday was that my body felt different inside; maybe another side effect of reading Anatomy Trains? In particular, I really was noticing my Dantian, having it feel like a ball; that’s happened to me sometimes before, but it was more present and persistent this time. And there was also more of a feeling of direct connection between it and other parts of my body; maybe that’s the silk reeling stuff, reflecting fascial restructuring. Definitely something I want to keep on playing with.

Going through the spear, I’m realizing that the second circle on the right side of the Full Martial feels wrong. Playing around with that more on Sunday, I think I need to let go a bit and let the spear swing around more, I’m restricting my arms a bit. Something to work on.

And we’ve finished the Xin Jia first form now: I’m sure I’ve got details wrong but now I feel like I’ve at least learn all of it. Speaking of details, I feel like I’m skipping over a step (or combining two steps) right after the second Gao Tan Ma, so I need to figure that out.

And on Sunday I was going through the from while paying attention to the Dantian, and I noticed something feeling odd right at one of my regular trouble spots, when stepping forward in Jing Gang. Basically, it felt like my Dantian was kind of falling off the front? Experimenting, tucking my tailbone there seemed to help; honestly, seems like a slightly odd thing to do in that movement, but maybe it’s the right thing to do? Or maybe I can find a different way of moving that will make more sense. Something else to keep on playing with.

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