Nei Gong Notes, June 28, 2022

Jun 28 2022

A less exciting week than I would have liked. I was hoping to keep up the benefits from the retreat, and in particular to continue working on the Microcosmic Orbit. Though, as per Damo’s recommendation, I figured I should only do the Microcosmic Orbit once a week; I’d copied down notes on both the MCO sequence that he’d used during the retreat and on a similarly long Qi thickening exercise that had a fair amount of overlap with that sequence, so I figured I’d do the Qi thickening on Wednesday and the Microcosmic Orbit on Friday.

I was actually worried that I wasn’t doing enough practice in the start of the week, and during the previous weekend. But the thickening exercise on Wednesday went well, and my stomach did feel like it was activated decently well after that – not moving around or anything, but there’s a certain brightness I sometimes feel there? Unfortunately, though, the Microcosmic Orbit practice didn’t go well on Friday: I felt the orbit a bit, but not nearly as much as I had during the retreat.

Not sure what’s going on there – I was a little sleepy then, so maybe that was it? Or maybe I just need to practice more for the MCO to work reliably; if so, I don’t know if that practice has to happen in intense bursts or if I just need to keep on poking away at it. Also, there was one part of the sequence in my notes that I wasn’t sure about, and asking about it, I think I might have gotten that part wrong; I wouldn’t expect that to be a super important difference, but maybe it was?

Anyways, I’ll keep on poking away at it via that plan for a bit; hopefully I’ll build things up and get the MCO working again. If not, I’ll figure out some place to put in more work, and I might also add in the version of starting the MCO from the online school. (I think Damo’s reasoning behind only doing it once a week is that it’s more strenuous on your body than it seems like; but hopefully if I’m not actually kicking it off well, then trying it twice a week would be reasonable?) And hopefully I can get back to doing three hours of practice instead of two on Wednesdays and Fridays; we’ll see if my energy levels allow that. (I made the mistake of eating breakfast before practicing on Friday, and I think that was a mistake…)

Other than that, I’m also trying to work in more Dao Yins in my practice than I have in the past: that was definitely something that we were doing quite a bit more during the retreat than I regularly do.

Anyways, in terms of the online course, there was a lesson on practicing in water (bathtubs, swimming pools); not relevant to me for now, so I’m not worrying about that. And in terms of Tai Chi, I’m mostly but not entirely caught up with the spear form and I chipped away a bit on the Guan Dao.

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