Balance

Time to consult the I Ching, I think – which I haven’t done for a loooong time.

I seem to be juggling with too many balls, so a change of some kind is needed. Not sure what yet…

Some particular thoughts on my mind:

  • I’m getting further away from enlightenment, or so I feel. My meditation practice is shot to pieces, there are no Dharma talks I can attend, and the serenity I felt after attending meditation retreats is but a distant memory.
  • I am enjoying the yiquan very much, and learning a huge amount from it, as I’ve mentioned before. However, recent conversations have shown me that I’m missing a huge amount of Master Yao’s teaching, because I can’t understand what he’s saying. Watching his actions maybe isn’t enough. Not sure what to do about this.
  • Beijing’s an extremely down-to-earth and pragmatic city, and I like that. On the other hand, I find that I really miss the temples and shamans of Singapore, the sense I had there that spirituality is a part of daily life for so many people.
  • Yiquan is doing a lot to improve my health in many ways, including opening up the joints, changing my posture, and improving my understanding of body unity. Nothing else I’ve studied has been so effective. On top of that, of course, it’s one of the few internal martial arts I’ve studied that regularly trains in application. All of this is great and extremely important. However… this morning I did a bit of work on the CMC-37 taiji form, which I haven’t practiced for ages. It’s very interesting to note the different feelings, post-practice. After taiji I feel positively energized, calm, and very aware of qi. After yiquan, I feel very focussed and, not aggressive, but goal-oriented; energized, but in a physical sense, like after sport, rather than in the qi. It also made me realize that since I started working exclusively on yiquan I haven’t felt quite so “well”. It’s difficult to convey exactly what I mean here… but taiji really built up my qi; bagua really massaged the internal organs… and the absence of these practices is something I can feel, more as a lack than a sense of being unwell… Of course, it could just be coincidence, or be caused by something else… but still. It does make me think that yiquan is great… but after achieving a level of competence I will still want to go back to bagua and taiji.
  • Reading and thinking more about systema really makes me think that it shares a great deal with Chinese neijia. Reading “Let every breath” and trying to substitute “qi” when they talk about “breath”, I get the same result – as the Chinese say, “the yi directs the qi, and the body follows”. Sounds a lot like what I read about in systema. Of course, without having had a class, it’s difficult to say. I wonder if there’s enough interest in Systema in Singapore to make it worth flying Vladimir Vasiliev there for a seminar…..?

4 Comments

  1. The is definately an underground movement / interest in Systema in Singapore. I know a few people have travelled for seminars and 1 month courses. At lot of my contacts have tried some systema drills in there time. I will check it out for you once I have my WC class started this month. At the moment I’m stuck in the Sahara Desert!

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  2. I can’t see why you can not practise your Tai Chi form along side you Yiquan? Every morning Post Standing 20 mins then Tai Chi form for example? Your Yiquan can only help with the missing instruction of your Tai Chi training. It’s not like you are learning something new and overloading yourself as you already know the movements / sequence inside out! Maybe also you cold set aside one evening a week for BaGua.
    Come on, Emlyn! It’s not rocket science he, he. I know it’s easier said than done as of you have work full time. Talking about work I think I’ll have 2/3 months off when I get back! he he!

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  3. Emlyn, even those feelings and the awareness of those problems you wrote about above might be painful, I’m rather happy that you have them.

    Comming back to TJ and BG will be a good thing, I’m sure, and they can be done as well with application as Yiquan, you just find the right teachers.

    That’s what happened to me, after 25 years of Yang TJ, I ran into an OMD who teaches Yin style Bagua, very amazing.

    As the less spiritual Beijing, I wouldn’t wait for the dharma comming there. With your new experiences, you might try to go back south and find a nice teaching position, get the apropriate teaching and some spirituality.

    All the best!

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