Nei Gong Notes, July 4, 2023

Jul 04 2023

A change in my situation this week: we got a new puppy on Friday! Which is a very good thing, but it also means that, until our puppy is more housebroken, I’ll have to fit in my practice during times when she’s asleep during the day. (At least on days when I’m home alone looking after her, which includes the days when I’ve been practicing the most, because those are weekdays when I’m not working, and, not unreasonably, I’m doing primary puppy care those days instead of Liesl. And she’s going to be out of town for a week soon, which means that I’ll be doing solo puppy care.) Fortunately she sleeps long enough during the day that fitting in 30 minute sessions seems pretty workable.

And also right now my sleep is getting interrupted multiple times each night because of having to take her out, which certainly doesn’t help with things. Though that interrupted sleep is actually not interfering with things as much as it would have historically: my energy levels continue to be better? I really do think that something is changing in my back; I can feel it being more active, in ways that feel like there’s Qi bubbling around there and that I’m doing better at relaxing / releasing it, and my TCM doctor has been saying for a while that the blockage he’s been targeting is in my back, and recently he’s been thinking it’s getting better. So hopefully this improvement is real and will continue; if the improvement pauses for a bit because of the puppy, though, that’s okay, puppies are important!

Anyways, not a lot to say on the Nei Gong front; I’ve been keeping up basic practice fine, at least, just Wednesdays and Fridays aren’t as involved. Besides my back, I’m also wondering a bit what’s going on in my solar plexus: ever since the workshop before last with Rick, it’s been feeling better in a way that’s hard to describe. (“Bright”, I’m tempted to say, but I don’t think that would make sense to anybody else.) And I was noticing that a bit more recently; I actually wonder if it’s a sign that some sort of firing process is getting ready to happen or already low-key happened? Who knows.

On the Tai Chi front, my regular class has been going fine; though I’ll probably have to skip it the next two weeks because Liesl is out of town. And I’ve been keeping up my practice; hopefully I can stick with that even with the new puppy, I think I’ll try bringing her out to the yard with me while I’m doing Tai Chi and attaching her leash to a tree? We’ll see how she reacts to that…

Also, a couple of people have mentioned that they wished they could have gone to my Silk Reeling course. So that makes me more motivated to give it again; not now but maybe in the fall or something? I’m also thinking I might do it once a month instead of once a week next time: you can make a good case that that’s a better schedule for learning the material, since it’ll give people more time to practice, and also I can be more flexible about the time and even the location then (since making an exception about that once a month is easier for me than once a week), so hopefully that will make it possible for me to reach people who couldn’t make it this last time.

I’ve also been thinking about something my Tai Chi teacher said during a podcast interview: he talked about spending time with his fellow students, critiquing each other’s form. And I feel like there are a lot of things that I’m noticing in my practice that would like to be able to talk about with other fellow students, and maybe the other more advanced students also feel the same way? It’s a little odd, because a lot of what I’m thinking about is coming as much or more from my Nei Gong practice than from my Tai Chi practice, and I’m not sure how those disparate influences would play out if we were to spend more time talking about stuff, but maybe there’s something that we could do there. I don’t know, and I also only have some vague ideas about the format, but I might raise the issue with one or two of the other students and see if they’re feeling the same way and, if so, if they have ideas about the format? (And I should re-listen to that interview.)

And I’ve also been continuing to go through Damo’s Tai Chi course; I’m still going through the early lessons again that I tried going through a couple of years ago, but they’re being a lot more interesting this time. I (kind of accidentally) went through two last week, which is just as well since I’m not sure I’ll have time to do one this current week. In Ba Men 1, the thing that struck me this time is that the feeling I get when pressing my arms against each other during the Ji part of that is similar to the feeling that I get when lightly squeezing my thumb during the mudra in the Spleen Hui Chun, or even to the feeling that I get when standing with my weight on my Yongquan, basically with an expansion inside my body that’s making it feel more structured somehow. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t feeling that at all the last time I did that course, and I suspect it’s a sign of something important / useful; I’ll probably ask what. And in the Fang Song Gong version of Wu Song Shen Fa 1, I’m doing better at releasing than I was before; I’m still not particularly good at kicking off the release from my feet, but I think I can get the release somewhat in the rest of my legs. (I’m trying to go after the same feeling that I get when I relax my neck and my head floats up and back, or when I relax my back and it uncurls.) And I’m also doing better at the sinking part, I think. So I’m feeling pretty motivated to keep that up; most days, I’m doing Tai Chi stuff during the standing part of my practice instead of Nei Gong stuff.

Fun and interesting; I’ll be curious to see if it starts affecting my Push Hands.

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