May 26, 2007 at 5:37 pm #22368
1. How do you coordinate practice and eating?
I know this is a weird question, but one I would greatly
appreciate input on!
Probably 50% of the time I want to practice, but I have to eat.
I eat, and then you are supposed to wait for an hour or 1.5 hours
before practicing again. So I do something else. I then lose
track of time doing this other activity, and when I realize it,
it is time to eat again, and the pattern repeats.
2. If you just ate food, but want to practice, what do you
do while you wait for your food to digest?
Comments highly appreciated as my practice time could probably
double or more if I could harmonize these things.
StevenMay 27, 2007 at 1:45 am #22369
I practice after eating. Just eat light before you practice. If you still donot feel right to practice after eating you can wait, but 1.5 hours is allot of time. I think a half hour should be fine. You might what to check in to see if you are using the food as a way not to practice. The old partern of feeling guilty because you let life get in the way of something you “realy” wanted to do. Practice is great but I find there is usaualy resitance to it some where. Hope this helps.
Chi in I am out
Doggy dog mcgraaaMay 27, 2007 at 3:12 am #22371
While you are asking a question about pacing which will be different for each of us and different each day, I have another take.
If chi kung is about cultivating energy and not relegated to the forms of movement what better place to pay attention than at the kitchen table?
There are so many ways to bring this awareness to food from the growing, buying, cutting, cooking…
But the most practical way I have found is chewing.
Try for short periods to chew each mouthful 50 times. See what effects this has. BarryMay 27, 2007 at 10:34 am #22373
Taking off on Barry’s take, if HT is about cultivating awareness, then be aware of the energy of the food while on the plate, while in the mouth, while being swallowed etc. Where in your body is the food wanted? unwanted? desired? feared? How does it feel energetically, physically, spiritually? This is all enabled by, as Barry suggested, chewing longer.May 27, 2007 at 11:01 pm #22375
I asked Michael this same question; his response was that it’s best to practice on an empty stomach, but that he had been practicing long enough that it didn’t matter for him. Michael’s response seems to suggest that once you have sufficiently established strong chi flow you do not have to wait to practice when there’s food in the belly.
I prefer practicing on an empty stomach, I’m more aware of the flow of energy, but have eaten lightly before practice when I’m too hungry. Mild to stronger hunger usually dissipates for me during qigong practice (physical movement).
Standard phrase: If the belly’s full, there’s no room for chi.May 28, 2007 at 1:05 am #22377
Thanks for responding.
I tried practicing today with just a half hour of wait time,
and it more or less was OK. Occasionally, I’d belch and
taste food, but didn’t really have too many problems.
I think that you are partially right about using food as
an excuse to not practice; shortening the wait time should
help somewhat to keep myself focused.
It would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to eat though.
SteveMay 28, 2007 at 1:14 am #22379
True, there are definitely meditational aspects to eating
and food preparation that I hadn’t thought of. Good point.
I’ve always had kind of a funny issue with food.
I tend to be more finicky than most people, and I’ve always
considered eating/meals to be more of an annoyance than
something good. In a way, I’d almost prefer if I didn’t have
There is some underlying source issue here, but I don’t know
what. I do know that I am once again annoyed with the food
issue because it interferes with my practice.
SteveMay 28, 2007 at 1:23 am #22381
You bring up an interesting conflict. I both want and do not
want the food simultaneously. I eat it because I have to, but
wish I didn’t have to bother.
I don’t know if that makes any sense.
BTW: That pic is intense!
Also, Barry/Chris, without being too invasive, what you guys DO in the
intervening time between finishing a meal and practicing? I’m really
at a loss for how to use that time constructively.
SteveMay 28, 2007 at 1:28 am #22383
Yeah, I tend to feel best while practicing qigong when I
am at the “sweet spot” between having just eaten and
not yet gotten hungry again, i.e. normal.
I can eat less so that the downtime is less, but then I
have to eat more often which is just as annoying.
I don’t know.
StevenMay 28, 2007 at 1:40 am #22385
Oh no. Here I am responding to my own post.
I’ve always considered responding to one’s one post
to be somewhat wacky, and here I am, going ahead
and doing it.
At any rate, I don’t know why I have such an issue with this
food and practice thing. All I know is that having to stop
and eat, and then losing track of time while I wait until
my stomach isn’t full is costing me practice time.
Has anyone run into this problem (and conquered it) ?
Today I did find one trick to manage the full stomach down
time. Pick up one of the qigong books (i.e. Michael’s e-books,
or Mantak’s Chia’s books) and read until an hour has past.
The one advantage here that happened when I tried this today,
was that my mind was still focused on qigong an hour later, and
I actually went back to practice.
Sorry for all the posts, but this situation frustrates me to
no end. All responses have been and will be appreciated, and
StevenMay 28, 2007 at 2:55 am #22387
Yeah farting and belching just part of the fun. No eating!! Nah, accept our food. Take it in and make it apart of your wonderful process. You can go with out food, sex, or music but whats the fun in that. Unless your ready for the mountain, but the life force will test you to see if your doing it for the right reasons. There are allot of times you might miss meals and not care because you ate from the source(in practice). But this is different then making your self not eat.May 28, 2007 at 3:28 am #22389
I hope you take nothing we say as the gosple but just what works for us. I have already barked at you to much. I wish you the best.May 28, 2007 at 5:35 am #22391
I find there are some things you can do while ‘waiting to practice’ after a meal – although in a sense, they constitue practice anyway.
After eating, while sitting, you can massage any accupoints you want. Some of best for after (and before) a meal are
zu san li = stomach 36
about 3 fingers below the top of the shin bone. the point is on the muscle just on the outside of the shinbone
san yin jiao (‘3 yin meeting’ kidney, liver and spleen meeting point) = sp 6
about 3 fingers above the inner ankle bone on the inside of the leg
if you use 3 fingers to massage, you can’t miss ’em
Master Wang (link below) taught me this one.
After eating, standing (outside if possible) with fingers facing to the earth (earth=spleen/digestion). Make circles with both arms.
The arms move slightly behind and away from the body, then come back in toward the body in a circular motion.
Imagine that the earth qi is comming in through the finger tips and to the stomach for digestion when you do this.
After a few minutes, this can feel really nice and quite powerful.
Relaxed walking is good for the digestive organs at any time, including after a meal.
When walking, you can do the circle movement described above.
Master Wang actually says it is done best while walking.
Another thing he said is that when eating, imagine that the meal is THE NICESET TASTING meal you have ever had.
best, matMay 28, 2007 at 11:50 am #22393
I got into the habit a long time ago of practicing upon waking. And waking earlier and earlier according to my responsibilities. WIth a cup of liquid, a quick neti pot and flush of toilet I am on my own. Before dawn is best for me. But you know what that means…about the night before…barMay 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm #22395
My practice is all about awareness, so every moment is ripe.
My physical practice really consists of getting, and coming into balanced with, a Feldenkrais Functional Integration once a week. I’ve been doing that for two years and it has taken away sinus infections, incipient tmj, serious pronation (I could destroy a pair of shoes in a few weeks), and almost fixed leg problems stemming from many many sports injuries. It changes my body like nothing else, to the point that I feel like I have been reborn, and am living a new life! The downside is that, like a newborn (see below), I sometimes can’t make sense of my body or the world and it is all a bit wild.
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