Saturday, May 03, 2008

STAYING CENTERED DURING PRACTICE

I was reading a book on Tai Chi and came across the meaning of "Yi Shou Dantian" as mind being focussed on our lower dantian or lower energy center. The author went on to say that every movement starts with the dantian and in this way our spirit will manifest in all movements. I realized that this is what I need to stay focussed within during my practice and tried it out during this morning's session of ZBE. From the start: "Duan sheng cheng zuo..." I placed my "Yi" in my lower dantian and at the directive of "bai hui shang ling... sia ke nei shou..." instead of using my neck muscle I used my mind to think qi from dantian rising to lift up my bai hui... Thus the movement has originated from dantian. The effect was surprising.... an almost effortless movement of bai hui being lifted and chin following inward to my chest.. spine pleasantly stretched...

During establishment of qi field: "Siang qi kong... (think space)" A momentary affirmation of yi on dantian and then gently shifting yi towards "chi kong" produces a sensation of outward expansion which is being controlled from dantian acting as the center.

During ZBE1 I felt a relaxation in my abdomen and lower never felt before. Breating in I can feel qi being drawn seamlessly into dantian with concurrent relaxation of the lower back and lumber bones to accomodate the qi. Towards the end of the breathe in cycle I felt the need to intervene with a slight muscular action to change the cycle to breathing out. This muscular action caused a momentary loss of connectedness with dantian. Not perfect yet as I know the changeover should be a seamless transformation from in to out. More work needs to be done here.

The overall effect of employing "yi shou dantian" is a continual feeling of connectedness with dantian at all times... Whilst employing this mode of practice I am aware of my thoughts moving back to a week ago when I was at my son's school science fair. At the fair I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to peer into space through a telescope to look at the planet Saturn. It surprised me how beautiful Saturn looked in "real life" as opposed to seeing it in pictures and in photographs in the internet. I could not stay look at it too long as there was a long queue behind me. I felt that I need to look at her again and re-joined the queue right at the back for another opportunity. When my turn came again I am more prepared for it... the same sense of awe struck me at how beautiful the planet can be and this time I noticed that it is gliding across space from one side of the scope towards the centre... wow! I had to stop again as it would not be fair to the others waiting in the queue.

While this thought was re-playing itself in my sub-conscious, it dawned on me that it is TAO that is moving Saturn and all the planets and stars in the entire universe! TAO is the center of this motion... it is a point about which everything revolves around and yet it is not static for it is at the same time the origin of all movements of the planets and stars. A sudden inspiration strikes me:

WHEN WE DO OUR GONG WITH MIND FULLY FOCUSED ON DANTIAN AND ALLOW ALL MOVEMENTS TO ORIGINATE FROM DANTIAN...

WE ARE EMULATING OR IN TOUCH WITH TAO!

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