Nei Gong Notes, December 12, 2024

Dec 12 2023

Really good week, honestly my best in I don’t know how long. My energy level has been significantly better this week than my previous norm; not quite as good as last weekend, but I’ve been much less tired during the middle of the day. I’m not sure that I’ve had a nap all week; and it’s not like my sleep has been stellar, it’s been fine but there’s definitely room for improvement on that front. Also my weight has been doing slightly better than normal; not a big change, but I’m pretty sure there’s something going on there. Who knows how long this will last, but I’m enjoying it for now.

And that’s helped my practice too. Going chronologically, on Tuesday I watched the next video in Damo’s Nei Gong course. It was a push hands video, but it also contained a standing exercise that’s actually relevant for Nei Gong as well; it use your hands and Lao Gong to pull on your tissues inside your Kua and inside the sides of your ribs. Which, honestly, is one of these things that I just would not have believed before starting this course: I can move my hands in a certain way without them touching my hips / torso and I’ll feel a pull inside my body that’s strong enough to have my body kind of snap back when I release it? But it absolutely does happen.

Anyways, on Wednesday I went through the Spinal Dao Yin, the Ping Heng Gong, and all of the Chen Tai Chi forms that I hadn’t done on Sunday. And some more too; one of the MCO prep exercises, I think, and maybe the new standing exercise I learned? At some point in the end of the afternoon I realized that I’d forgotten to do a Hui Chun; and since I was going to be pretty busy on Friday, that meant that I’d be able to do at most two Hui Chuns this week, which is my minimum, I’m trying to do four. (Two each of Kidney and Spleen.) So I was worried about my energy level not keeping up.

On Friday, I went into San Francisco to see some exhibits at the Asian Art Museum. And I’m glad I did, just on an aesthetic level; the Takashi Murakami exhibit in particular was really neat. But it meant that I wasn’t going to be able to do any practice at all before driving up, given that I wanted to give Velvet a decent walk before heading out.

I decided to do a 20 minute sit (nothing fancy, just observing my breath) during one of the galleries (near a Buddha statue that I liked), so I did get in my sitting practice. But, as it turned out, the whole visit turned into practice: I was feeling contemplative, and I had that contemplation extend to my body, and my body was sinking a good amount, and that sinking even was turning into force going up in my body. So, in practice, I think I actually ended up doing hours of low-key walking practice during the visit. And, on my way home, I stopped in a park near my house to go through the new standing exercise in a park, so that I could focus on Velvet when I got home; one interesting thing that happened then was that I felt my lower back widening near the end of it. (Maybe a combination of the sinking I’d been doing plus the stretch that the exercises puts on the bottom of my ribs?)

Saturday was my regular Tai Chi class; and I did get in the Kidney Hui Chun that day, and I also did another Ping Heng Gong session. (I think I’ll try doing that on the way home from Tai Chi, the park that I’ve been using isn’t too far off of my route.) And on Sunday I was just feeling good, and into the ideo of doing a lot of practice, so I went through the Spleen Hui Chun, had a Wu Ji session that was only 20 minutes but was super powerful, and then I went through a 100-minute MCO prep practice video from the 2022 Maryland course. Which felt like it was going okay through most of the video, but then turned out in a particularly interesting way: my attention was rotating quite smoothly on the inside of my Dantian at the end, and with either no or really minimal effort on my part, which is actually something I wasn’t quite accomplishing during the workshop.

I was a little worried that I might have pushed it too far on Sunday, because my back was starting to ache some on Sunday and my sleep wasn’t that great. But Monday was fine, so I’m not so worried about that now.

So yay. I’m feeling like it’s time for me to do more Nei Gong now: dial down my Hui Chun (two a week is good but I don’t think I need to aim for four of it), and go farther into the MCO prep. (I’m genuinely curious what would have happened if I’d tried to kick off the MCO on Sunday; it kind of feels to me like it would have worked, but who knows.) I still think this week was a bit of an aberration, but hopefully not too much of one? And I should try to recapture the feeling of that Art Museum trip; maybe I can get into that mode while doing dog walking, and there are also local museums that I can go to, I don’t need to go all the way up to SF.

And I think I will pick up lessons in the Nei Gong course again; I’ll alternate between the Tai Chi course and the Nei Gong course. Not necessarily clearly a great idea to do that while also hoping to push forward with MCO stuff, but I don’t want to treat the MCO stuff as a huge barrier, and the combination of dialing down the constant Hui Chuns and having more energy should plausibly give enough time to push on both. At least if my energy level holds up…

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