The Training Path – Physical Self

2 03 2008

I was thinking of heading down to s/v Zen today, which is Sat. as I start this post. I wanted to pickup a few things and maybe do a little work. As the morning turned to afternoon quickly from our late start. Also as even as this current time rapidly is going the way of yesterdays gas price, I came up with an alternate plan. This involved staying at home with the Lady Z on her day off , hanging out, home chores and saving a trip and gas until tomorrow. I had no deadline for doing stuff down at the marina and soon I would have plenty of time to get things down. I am planning of week of just working on the boat one work stops in two weeks.

I took the trash down to the lot and picked up the mail it occurred me that I needed to practice the Tai Chi Palm Sword so I would not forget what we went over yesterday. At the same time I took in what a great day it was. The tide had me land-bound today so I could not sail, I was staying home… I should practice. The clubhouse was empty, I could also have the choice of by the pool on the deck. I went in for my sword.

sword n yard

After I changed clothes and got my sword I decided outside was nice, but it was on the chilly side, I could not concentrate so I went inside. It was prefect. With all the glass windows facing the pool or the garden it was quiet and peaceful for a early afternoon practice.
I did Chen Style to warm-up. Slower than usual I went through things seperatly, like doing chakra activation in Ch’an meditation. Section by section then connecting them. Working on understanding each piece better and my body position, not the movements in between but the grounding. Staying grounded, a bamboo in the storm. using the waist, the spine, the legs. The weight here, mind here, sink, tuck…The arms attached, but they are not the leaders, right before left, lots of details. This is why it takes so long to understand, let alone master Tai Chi. This is also why it helps all else one does. Shisuk said many times, Tai Chi helps your Mantis, also your Shaolin. Practice your Tai Chi, remember the rest. I received a flash of understanding about doing Tai Chi on a boat. But that is another story.

Jian (sword) time, I was glad I decided to practice . There were a couple of parts I would have forgotten otherwise…maybe. Anyway it was good to practice with feel of nature around instead of walls, the glass gave a nice illusion of being in outside…without the chill. I had not been using this Sword for a while. I was surprise how quickly I adapted to it again. It must be my sword. Here I could not put the same kind of internal focus on the set. Here I had to remember the external before I could go internal. I am still learning this set. It may take another 3 moths if finish it. Then I need review on my others ones, and record them so I can keep them separated. Some moves are the same in all three forms ( sets).


Before I leave I practice a little Mantis. I do pieces of the last form worked on with Shifu, Lan Ji. I think it is my favorite from the Tai Chi Mantis System. The parts I remember are ok, however there are holes. Sigh, I have a lot of practice to do and notes to make. Fortunately I will not need all the forms I have learned over the years. Shisuk says I should concentrate on just a few things now. Which makes sense, however I need to review everything and make sure I have some filmed backup or notes. Generally we (teachers) work with a several forms repeatedly and have notes to remember the rest. Which is why it is nice to have some advanced students. One has to dig up those advanced sets and combo techniques. It is more fun then also to teach, rather than the masses of students that come, stay a week or a month then leave. The mass are like doing your daily Zazen . So one gets mostly in a loop teaching the same basic level. One flip side of that, one gets to really understand the basics, which is a very good thing. The better the roots, the stronger the tree.




One response

3 03 2008

Fascinating stuff – and the photos are lovely, they capture the moment.

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