January 5, 2007 at 4:10 pm #20197
In my practices the chi moves in the orbit and I gently support myself with the Wudang method. The problem is I either forgot or didn’t really get the essential movement indicated by this form and need some help.
I find myself focusing and assisting the chi spheres one of two ways and which one is the method, if either?
1) The spheres rotate forward to back in a smooth procession while moving through the orbit. As a planet in rotation revolving through the skies. There is no wobbling.
2) The sphere actually revolves tightly and quickly around a neutral center/ as in points around the channels
as it revolves around the larger orbit
The first method is calmer/deeper, my eyes stay centered. The second involves the eye movement following the revolutions and produces more heat, which makes me think it is the method as its intention is to mix blood and chi.
Any clarifications would be helpful, thanks in advance, barryJanuary 6, 2007 at 5:15 am #20198
I think spin is the key thing. The neutral center of the sphere sounds cool, maybe I’ll try that!January 6, 2007 at 4:02 pm #20200
This is the way I tend to approach things when a question like this forms in my mind-
If I set the intention to do the orbit or anything else (which is an intention coming from an inner drive for whatever doing that will bring) and I smile into the idea and my center as I release it to the universe, I ask, either in words internally or just in attitude of openness, “What wants to happen now organically?” I open the space to see where it wants to go on its own and see what that does for me. This has worked really well, producing good, steady changes with lots of pleasant surprises. I avoid much controlling as I find the receptive way allows the lifeforce to do things for me spontaneously I might not have thought of.
How’s this sound to you?
AlexanderJanuary 7, 2007 at 3:58 am #20202
I agree, be open to transmission from the qi field. freedom to experiment is yours, because the experience is YOURS. Examine the results, and go with what you need or prefer in the moment.January 7, 2007 at 6:43 am #20204
“How’s this sound to you?”
It sounds to me an attitude embodying the spirit of our practice and one producing good results for you on and off the practice floor. It both arises from and strengthens your earth center and as such I feel touched and strengthened to hear you voice it.
It sounds like an orientation you are developing perhaps in response to an overactive controller and because you value what works on as many levels as possible.
– what is the role of a functional ‘controller’ ?
Perhaps this belongs more on the philosophy section (it seems to be at the heart of the buddhist/taoist back and forth) but it is a centerpiece of practice so I will leave it here.
When I initiate a time of formal practice I seem to have two strong intentions. One is to allow myself to be moved and inspired by the moment rather than follow a set list and in this, two- communicate/gather/strengthen/purify/identify/ play/ return to my earth center.
In some ways the earth centering is more important than whether I am in a receptive or active mode. I say this because in my internal labyrinth I meet various shadows of the functional shen who appear when I think I am receptive and appear when I think I am active. Only earth knows for sure.
What I mean by this is the true receptive arises from and strengthens (as you modeled above) the earth center. It encourages inner security and trust. What I will call the false receptive, for the sake of discussion, leads me to a scattered place far from earth at times-far from inner security. I am grateful for a practice that has this built in bio feedback as I become more familiar with earth and what this feels like in my bodyheartmind.
Now, a functional ‘controller’ or ‘doer’ also can arise from earth and strengthen. For example in practice when I receive inner movements and recognize I am in a form transmitted to me from outside I bring a certain will and curiosity into it and ‘work it’. However the inner joke is once I am aware of working it I am certain I am no longer in it!
What I mean is my controller gets all wrapped up into shadow stuff. E.g. doing it right, proving myself to authority, give my moment a name, figuring it out so….I am… OK…. Back to Earth strengthening I go. To the next level of what inner security means/feels like. Back to surrender to the moment/ listening.
Yet giving up on the controller also feels not quite right, possible or respectful to my outer teachers. Nor does it seem fair to my earth center to reinvent the wheel. If receptivity comes from a place of avoidance of structure inside of ‘soft openess’ is hard pride, anger and fear.
So yes, I am interested in what is the proper method transmitted over time but only if it supports my primary intention of living more and more in and out my earth center.
In this way I meet inner rigidity of action/thought and the groundlessness of receptivity and do my best in the dance in and out of formal practice trusting that Earth will straighten and simplify the steps.
I appreciate both your own attitudes and asking me what I thought.
What do you think?
BarryJanuary 7, 2007 at 6:21 pm #20206
It sounds to me that you have a lot of thinking going on as well as very good questions being raised because they are part of your process.
We ARE the process and it is important to remember that your earth center is you.
As far as the controller goes- “control” is a very fuzzy word. I don’t like to use it. I make decisions all the time about what to do based on what I feel is right and the difference between what I feel is right and what I may think is supposed to happen is enormous. A major part of my own process has been to learn that it’s alright to do things the way I want to do them and that, IN FACT, whenever I learn some “thing” from someone I had better eventually make it my own or I don’t really know it. We are supposed to be individuals not clones.
Making choices is “controlling” but when you say “I make choices” it doesn’t sound the same as when you say “I control things.” I believe it is a point of maturity one reaches to realize that one does not need to “discipline” but to guide and relate to oneself, and that it is in having this attitude that one actually transmutes oneself and grows (up). That is feminine energy – nurturing yourself.
Most of our thinking comes from our heads in this society and we are taught to fer anything else. Thinking from the head as opposed to thinking from the heart is thinking that is disconnected from the greater reality and is therefore dysfunctional. Unity consciousness, what we are developing now on earth, is based on the balance between the masculine and the feminine. That happens from the heart. Earth energy, your center, is created from this kind of interaction. When the feminine (in the kidneys below) is properly mixing with the masculine (in the heart above) you have the presence of yuan chi and yourSelf. That’s unity, love, completeness…however you like to put it. So, for me, our practices are about dropping anything we do that interferes with this action, like head thinking and all the junk that goes with it- doubt, fear, anger, resistance.
All your references to “shadow stuff” are about what Chinese medicine would call your constituional type, your personality structure. It is your way of maintaining an identity apart from the whole, the Dao. You have to make a big space inside you (a cauldron, technically) to hold all the stuff you are capable of doing, thinking and feeling and let it all boil down. In the end, you want to feel good, to feel whole. Who gives a shit if your mind thinks it’s doing things right, right?
This is why cultivation is a longterm project. Home wasn’t built in a day.
I know a lot of forms. I like to use them but I am always looking for what is deep underneath them, the essence, the core. So the form I use is an external structure for me to follow so that I can experience myself more fully and deepen my ability to stay in that inner-centered place. Once one lives in that place normally the form is no longer necessary. And that’s the point: The ultimate place to live is in wu wei harmony with the Dao. Where it flows through you effortlessly and spontaneously without undue thought or emotion, in peace, trust and certainty.
I believe that the ultimate key here is that we learn to trust our feelings about what we are doing. Our feelings tell us when we are on or off, aligned or not. The best way I know of to develop this is to use the smile and face our demons with it, holding the space and making the best choices we can as we go. At some point we have to challenge what our mind tells us and ask it, who is always asking us for proof of the reality of this spirtual stuff we are doing, to provide us with the proof that it is right to doubt, criticize or ridicule. “Prove to me, inner pest, that what you say about me is true. I challenge you to show me that I really should be ‘doing it right, proving myself to authority, give my moment a name, figuring it out so….I am… OK….’. If you smile strongly enough, deeply enough, for long enough things start to change. You get the idea that you can’t serve two masters and you spontaneously chose unity instead. When your “I” is single your body is full of light.
May the Source be with you, AlexanderJanuary 8, 2007 at 1:05 am #20208
Nice discussion, guys.
wudang; does the earth jerk back and forth on its axis of spin while circling the sun? The point of having a guide light is to keep the center of pearl on steady course. The spin is enough to mix the blood and chi.
funcitonal controller: this is like debate between heaven and earth as two halves of cosmic brain. Who is controlling the dance between the two? When the dance partners are in deep harmony, you cannot tell. But let’s remember that we’re learning to dance from earth side, so body/structured intention has to learn to lead at first. That is why you don’t “kill the ego”, you need its structure, even if faulty. Otherwise no vessel to hold the wisdom.
wuwei: spontaenity only happens in relation to a structure. Musician needs to master strings and octaves before going wild.
mJanuary 8, 2007 at 3:28 am #20210
“does the earth jerk back and forth on its axis of spin while circling the sun?”
No, but it wobbles. Nothing in the solar system works perfectly but it all works well enough to keep going. The point is, too much thinking ruins the rice. I think the pearl knows how to spin if we let it.
“wuwei: spontaenity only happens in relation to a structure. Musician needs to master strings and octaves before going wild.”
Yes. After mastering an outer practice form, the system embodies the knowledge and can use it through any presented outer circumstance which then becomes the structure to go wild in.
In a video clip I saw Fred Astaire onstage with Ed Sullivan in the early sixties. Ed handed Fred a golf club and asked him to do a quick improvisational dance with it. Fred took the club, hemmed and hawed a bit while “thinking,” (“Now what do ya want me to do with this thing?!) and then spontaneously leaped into several tap movements that developed into a large spiraling motion which ended in a completely unpredictable, smooth, consistent, full golf swing from the floor up. It was Tai Chi in tap shoes.January 8, 2007 at 11:56 pm #20212
Agreed. The earth wobbles, but it never loses it center. It wobbles from the center. Same centeredness in the oribtal spin of wudang method.
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