Nei Gong Notes, February 16, 2022

Feb 16 2022

Better practice this week than the last couple: my Wednesday / Friday Nei Gong sessions weren’t quite as long as I’d like, but they weren’t bad, and on Monday and Tuesday I had solid practice over lunch at work. So hopefully I’m on an upswing from the recent dip.

This week’s lesson in the Nei Gong class was on settling the shoulders. Which is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and feel like I’m doing pretty well at; there was one new idea in the lesson, but in general, much less new in that lesson than normal. In fact, for the first time maybe since I’ve started the course, I actually didn’t do the new exercise every day during the first week after the lesson: there was a full moon, so I wanted to work in that practice, and I didn’t always have time to do a second meditation practice.

At first, the full moon practice felt basically identical to how it felt when I’d done it a week or two before the full moon: same stretch inside the body. But then I kind of relaxed and it actually felt milder? Not sure if that different feeling meant that it was more effective or less effective or just different, and I’m also not sure if it was related to the full moon or just a coincidence. Anyways, I’ve rescheduled my reminder for next month.

In Damo’s Tai Chi course, we did Wu Song Shen Fa 2 – another exercise on using Song to generate movement. I haven’t practiced it much, hopefully I’ll be able to work it in a few times this week.

We had the Sunday class in my regular Tai Chi course this week; we started the Guan Dao. So now I’m learning two completely new forms (that plus the Hunyuan 48), and getting the spear form back into my memory; hopefully that won’t be too much? I can report that the Guan Dao is heavy; and that when reviewing even the small bit of it and the Hunyuan 48 that I’ve seen so far, I basically immediately forgot what I just learned. Fortunately, I have good movies of both of those (though the Hunyuan 48 video is only the beginning, I think), and I think after watching those videos enough, I’ve more or less gotten those bits into my memory? We’ll see.

I also noticed that my legs ached a bit on Monday; not sure if that was caused by the Guan Dao, but it might be. And my body felt different on Monday in a different way. When walking, I felt a little like my feet were sticking well to the ground, and movements through my hips / butt / kua were more present? And also my torso felt like it was sinking more. If I’m optimistic, it might be a sign that I’m finally starting to get to the stage of flesh separating from bone that Damo talks about? I will continue to monitor it.

Damo’s having a 9 day Nei Gong retreat in June, and I did manage to get signed up for that; I’m really looking forward to it. It’s in Maryland, so I’ll have to fly across the country, but maybe being isolated will make it more effective as a retreat? Anyways, not much I can do about that: he’s not coming to the Bay Area this year, I’m just glad to go to an event of his at all.

It gives me motivation to get stuff in order so I’m prepared well to benefit from the retreat. So I’ll have to think of ways in which I want to go on a diet, mentally and physically. Speaking of which, I happened to listen to an interesting interview on the Ezra Klein show, talking to Johann Hari; among other things, they talked about just having more time to have your mind wander. Which made me think that I should do that more, especially while walking; means I should wean myself off of FlipFlop Solitaire, though…

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