October 24, 2015 at 8:13 am #45025
In an article I’ve read that the average person is slightly uncomfortable in the body. The other possibilities are comfortable and very uncomfortable. But the what normal is nowadays is slightly uncomfortable.
I would like to hear your experience when and with which practices is this comfortable state achieved and stabilized.
I suspect grounding has a lot to do with it. I would also like to ask your experience in how being grounded changes the state of being in everyday life vs. ungrounded. Thank you.October 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm #45026
If you do a vipassana retreat (10 days of silence) … the initial practice is to watch your breath moving in the body. It seems straightforward, but slowly, hour after hour you go deeper and yet deeper and even deeper into feeling yourself, feeling your insides, your muscles, your body, your tension, your breathing, experiencing your interiority.
I am sure it dawns on most participants after a few days … that they had (up to that point) never felt themselves, and never known themselves. They had lived for decades without feeling themselves inside.
We are too busy. Too busy to know ourselves.
In the Christian tradition one ancient teaching is to “suffer consciously” … meaning that being as we are always uncomfortable in human life, to actually attempt to become one with that discomfort. To no longer avoid any suffering. To sit, and feel, and be there whilst the discomfort is there. No fighting, hiding or spacing out … simply to become one with the phenomena of our existence.
Night follows day … it is not great to have a philosophy of life where it is always day-time or that you are always happy and avoid pain. True ‘mastery’ of life is to enter into the day-time and night-time equally.
There are many ways to avoid ourselves … even chi kung can be. We can ask … “which chi kung can I do, so that I can continue on as before and not feel pain”.
But perhaps it was because we refused to feel our pain, and respond to it, that it has grown so much ?
Grounding (in my understanding) connects you to a layer of existence below the phenomenal world, and you return home which feels good … you enter your deep being, the existential mountain underneath worldly life.
In order for this to function well, one needs to BE there. Meaning you are actually inside the practice, you embody the practice, you surrender to the practice. Rather than … doing it like a soldier, like you are trying to kill something, kill the pain, or fight someone – which is not a good way.
Over time part of you enters the mountain; and as you walk through life, part of you always exists in the solidity of the mountain.October 24, 2015 at 8:59 pm #45028
This question is vague enough that different people could be responding to the survey with the answer “slightly uncomfortable” for entirely different reasons.
1. For some people, the primary reason is physical:
A lot of folks have poor diet, poor lifestyle choices, inadequate exercise, shortage of sleep, overwork, etc. So for them, they feel somewhat unwell in their bodies. This is the reason they check the “slightly uncomfortable” option. For them, while qigong could be helpful to reduce stress, the real thing they need is a change in lifestyle habits. Others in this category could have some kind of illness that needs to be healed, and this is the priority. Depending on the nature of the illness, the solution could take many different forms (e.g. Healing Tao, say different clinical qigong protocols depending on the situation) in addition to lifestyle changes.
2. For some people, the primary reason is self-judgment:
If “comfortable” is the top choice, and “slightly uncomfortable” is next, many will choose “slightly uncomfortable” because of self-judgment. Ultimately they are self-critical, unhappy with how they are, and want better. It could be that the person is overweight or they have a lack of muscle tone, or maybe some physical feature of attractiveness they wish were different. So this slight disappointment in their physical body is the cause. For them, the solution is more about self-acceptance. There could be some overlap with the physical (say in the case of someone being overweight), but it could be entirely self-judgment (i.e. “I’m ugly”). For these people, the predominant solution would be cultivation of self-acceptance, e.g. Healing Tao, say via the Inner Smile.
3. For some people, the primary reason is indeed ungroundedness:
While most modern folks in our high-paced culture are ungrounded to some degree, for some people it is their biggest problem. These are people who live almost entirely in their heads. Some symptoms of ungroundedness are:
A. caught in discursive thought, i.e. rapidly shifting from one idea to the next;
B. daydreaming about various negative (crazy) storylines, often about other people and what they “are probably thinking”, e.g. “if this is what XXX is thinking, then I’m going to get revenge on him by doing XXX, but if XXX does this, then . . .”
C. obsessively worrying about things that one has no control over, or worrying about trivial matters
D. rapidly shifting from one emotional state to the next, with no stability OR alternately, getting stuck in a negative emotional state for hours (or days or more) due to constantly replaying the same upsetting storylines over and over again, which fuels and keeps the emotion alive I.E. no detached perspective from thinking and emotions
E. restlessness, constantly feeling on edge, feeling the need to escape
F. psychological addictions: i.e. eating disorders, compulsive gambling, compulsive shopping, etc.
G. boundary issues: inability to say no to others, personalizing others’ problems as your own, getting disrupted by the emotional instability of others, etc.
That’s not to say that someone who is ungrounded will display all of these, but it is not uncommon to see more than one. Realistically they are all variations of the same energetic problem.
In any case, for those in this third category (of which being ungrounded is the dominant player), the issue is that they are so completely divorced from their bodies, it causes a psychological “discomfort” to “being here”.
Therefore, *for these folks*, the most important solution is to get grounded. The main instruction is to get into the body and connect to the slow vibration of the earth. It’s stuff I’ve mentioned in other posts to several individuals here on the forum, for example (E.G. Healing Tao, via rooted standing meditation (best), but also other things like Tai Chi 1 and Deep Earth Pulsing).
BUT, it is not necessarily the case that ungroundedness is the biggest issue for *everybody*. While it IS an issue for everyone *to some degree*, for some it may be a lesser issue and something else is more dominant. In particular, I have a close friend who is very self-critical, but ironically also very grounded (I know this sounds strange, but if you knew him, you’d understand). For him, for example, I wouldn’t say that “grounding practice” is the thing he needs. My recommendation for him, were I to give one, would be something completely different. Moreover, for others whose biggest issue is their health, I wouldn’t *necessarily* say grounding practice is what they need . . . especially if the cause is due to lifestyle issues, e.g. diet, exercise, sleep, etc. In total, it really is a case-by-case basis.
However–as to your original question–there are a number of different things that could cause a person to feel a “non-optimal” comfort level. I think it is likely that because of the variety of these possibilities, it ends up making most people choose “slightly uncomfortable” as their survey pick. It is hard for many to feel comfortable, picking “comfortable” (pardon the pun), when they can see the possibility of being more comfortable than they currently are.
StevenOctober 25, 2015 at 8:39 am #45030
Thank you for the detailed reply rideforever! I just want to point out that there is a Qi Gong technique called Sung breathing that is very similar to Vipassana.October 25, 2015 at 8:47 am #45032
Thank you for your reply!
For me definitely ungroundedness is my problem. And with the Five Animals practice the most work I have to do is on the earth element to move it to a more balanced state. Before moving to other Qi Gong practices I believe I should work on the grounding part. But right now even with Qi Gong fundamentals 1 so much is healing and changing.
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