Winter practice


barrier ~ bridge

My first teacher Pytt Geddes once said to me, "make of your barrier a bridge", and I took it to heart once I came to live in this lonely valley.

Here now in wintry solitude, I am mulling over the questions that students have put to me recently, telling me of difficulties that have surfaced in their taiji practice.

When we work together again later in this winter,  when the opportunity presents, surely there will be specific adjustments that can be made ~ to help find clearer flow, effortless connection and greater ease in posture and movement.

For the time being, I would like to make a suggestion : that you observe yourself closely during your practice sessions.

What is the state of your mind?
What is your attitude towards what is happening?
Where are you tense inside?
Is your head full of thoughts?
Do your thoughts affect your breathing?
Do you compare yourself to others?
What does your taiji mean to you?

Take one period of ZhanZhuang, or Chansigong, or form.  Say to yourself that during these 15 minutes or half hour, you are going to simply watch what is happening.

A position or move may feel wrong.

If you are aware that it is hurting, by all means adjust yourself! But let the general attitude, for this exercise, and so far as sensible, be acceptance.

Feel, watch, and wait to see what happens.

Above all, be aware of your thoughts.

Let me know how you get on.  I will say more after you have tried a little experiment in mindfulness.