Shared Use of the Park
I went to the Park this morning for practice. As I entered the grass covered field, morning dew still creating jewell like sparkles, two swallows came speeding towards me, only to veer off at the last second. As I walked to my favorite spot, this behavior continued. I know that swallows eat the insects that are stirred up by my feet when crossing the field. So my presence gave them a nice meal. And they gave me a thrilling show of acrobatics. Sharing the riches of our lovely town park.
Yin and Yang of Practice
There are two main approaches to our practice of our Tai Chi Forms – Yin and Yang. The Yin approach is sitting back in your head and watching the unfolding of the form. It’s like going to a movie and just sitting there and watching what happens on the screen.
The Yang approach is to take charge of the direction of practice through the use of imagery, applications, principles – all to direct what is happening with the body/mind for the practice of the form.
Both of these require a solid memorization of the form so that one doesn’t need to concern oneself with what direction the form should unfold in.
Yin form is like going into a dark room and turning on the overhead light so that you can see the entire room and all its contents. The Yang form is like taking a flashlight into the room and only shining it on certain places and objects so that they are visible, and not the entire room.
In any case, it is important to start your form practice with a body/mind integration meditation, one I call “hooking up the energy centers of the body”. Let me explain.
Before starting your practice be sure to take a moment to hook up your basic energy points, using intentional breathing, to your Dantien (lower belly). To do this you concentrate your mind first on your Dantien. Take three breaths (the number is not important), then on the Yung Chuan point (Bubbling Well – earth Yin point) on the bottoms of the feet, (take three breaths), the Bai Wei (opening for Yang Chi) on the top of the head, (take three breaths), and the Lao Kung (human chi interaction point) in the center of the palm, (take three breaths). Finish with three more breaths into the lower dantien. Since energy follows the mind, these points will be strung together, like a string of pearls, just by concentrating on them. The deeper your attention to these points, the stronger the connection will be. In this way, the body, mind, and spirit will be stimulated and encouraged to work together as you practice your forms.
Stephanie is taking the month of July off. Her family needs her loving attention. Her very popular classes will return in September. John, Susan, and I will teach through July, then take August off.
I will be offering another 6 week Friday, 9 AM Qigong series starting on June 22, going through July. Our first class will be “Organ Cleansing and Strengthening” which is most beneficial on the Solstice and Equinox. Check in at the beginning of each week to see what the class will cover.
First Saturday Workshop
On July 7, we will work on the Partner Cane Form, an easy to learn and fun, effective Tai Chi partner weapon form. Limited Tai Chi experience required. 1 to 4 PM at the Studio. $30 Fee. Just show up.