Nei Gong Notes, August 23, 2022

Aug 23 2022

The week started off pretty well. As I mentioned last time, I’m pausing new lessons in the Nei Gong course, so no lesson on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I did go through the Qi mobilization versions of the entire Ji Ben Qi Gong (with 5 minute intervals, so 85 minutes in total); I’m glad I did that, though I wouldn’t describe it as a revelation or anything. (Actually, the way I was feeling when practicing today, I’m thinking I might want to spend some time doing the first 3 in sequence, with 9 minutes on the non-Wu Ji parts of each.)

Unfortunately, my week basically turned awful after that: my dog was clearly not doing well overnight, and when we took him to the vet in the morning, they took one look at him and rushed into action. They stabilized him and diagnosed him as having Gastric Dilation Volvulus. (So, if you’ve got a large chested dog and they’re doing dry heaves, it’s potentially a sign of something very serious.) I took him to an emergency vet after that for surgery, and it actually seemed like that went well, we’d avoided several potential outcomes that they initially warned us about. But he also didn’t recover as well as they liked, and then they realized he’d gotten pneumonia during the process; that got really severe really quickly, and he died on Friday.

I’m doing better now, it’s feeling less raw, but Thursday was bad, Friday was horrible, and Saturday and Sunday things were still pretty raw. So no Nei Gong most of those days, no Tai Chi on Saturday. I did go to the Tai Chi Sunday class since I’d missed it the previous two months, but I skipped our annual picnic that day.

And I’m glad I went on Sunday. I mostly went because I wanted to get back into Guan Dao; I’d reviewed some on Wednesday, and also I’d been trying to learn ahead before my trip to Ohio, so I knew I was at least partly caught up; it turns out that I wasn’t completely caught up, though. But I should be able to make up the difference before next month’s class, I hope?

Also, I ended up leading the group going through the Lao Jia first form, and my teacher gave me several pointers after that. During Hand Maneuvers, I shouldn’t turn my head so much, my gaze should mostly change because I’m turning my torso. During Dantian Change, I should relax more and make it fuller, and I should sink more; also, when bringing my left hand over at the end of it, it shouldn’t go too high. And in Ground Hacking Dragon, I should keep my torso upright instead of leaning over and sticking out my butt; it’s okay if that means that I don’t go so low.

And today I had my my TCM treatment; my doctor says my Liver is doing pretty well and my Kidneys are doing better. I sure hope the Kidney treatment starts to make a difference, because I definitely still have issues caused by that; he switched herbal formulas, so now instead of just being on a Liver formula, I’m on a combined Liver / Kidney formula. So we’ll see if that helps; at least it’s less bitter…

And in the Tuesday evening class today, I did some slow walking around an area with big trees while people were doing Silk Reeling; I’m glad I did that, though honestly it also pointed out that I’ve kind of forgotten how that slow walking exercise works. I might be starting to feel the presence of trees a bit? And then I did push hands; nothing new, mostly just trying to consolidate single hand, two hands, and moving two hands. My partner and I both couldn’t quite remember how the moving two hands worked at first, but then our teacher came over and reminded us, I think we’re in a better position to remember it going forward.

Also, in general, I’m feeling like I definitely need to work on my foundations. I talked about that in a Nei Gong context last week, but I’ve been feeling it in Tai Chi as well: I haven’t been practicing Tai Chi as much recently (see the above Kidney issues!), and I think I’m actually regressing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to doing that more: I’d been making catching up with the Spear form my first priority, and either reminding myself of the Jian form or catching up with the Guan Dao form my second priority, and all of that is still important, but I really do need to spend more time on the Jian, and also get back to doing the Lao Jia first form multiple times on multiple of my non-class practice days. And, ideally, I’d make significant progress on that in the next three weeks, because that’s when the next Sunday class is, and teacher certification is happening then. (Honestly, I think I’m good enough to pass the teacher certification, but I’ll feel a little embarrassed doing it at my current level.)

And I’m also feeling like my legs are weaker than ideal. Though I’m not sure how much of the issue there is that my legs should get stronger and how much is that I should lose some weight? I’m not super fat or anything, but still, I’m definitely carrying enough weight that it wouldn’t hurt for me to get rid of some.

So the good news is that now I’m feeling excited about stuff to work on, and I think I’m enough past the awful parts of this past week that it won’t be affecting me quite so directly. We’ll see how much my energy levels are up to practicing tomorrow and Friday, though.

Oh, also I reread Damo’s White Moon book. Good stuff there, though, to be honest, I think that one of my takeaways there is that I’m probably not going to be making enough lifestyle changes to make it super far into Nei Dan. Which is okay if that’s the way it turns out? I’ll get benefits of going through the Nei Gong parts of things, and if I make progress on that and then stabilize, that’s okay. (Though, speaking of foundations, reading that book made me think that I should spend more time sitting, e.g. starting to work in an hour-long session of Calm-Abiding. Probably not something to do until I’ve gotten the MCO in a better state, though.) And if I still want to go deep in internal arts but Nei Dan isn’t for me, there are lots of other arts out there for me to continue improving on. (Tai Chi, for example!)

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