Thursday, 19 February 2009

No mind

I've been practicing chi kung every day now for the past while, at least once if not twice per day. I am using a combination of the form for health which is a part of our syllabus and various exercises from Shaolin Wahnam Cosmos chi kung (I love the name!). Unfortunately I don't have the provenance for the form taught to us by Guy, I assume it comes from Tai Chi Mun, but that's all I know.

I've been doing ck for about five years now and recently have come to understand (should have sussed it earlier, I know) about the importance of mind in training. This is called shen in kung fu terms but just to keep it in a western format, I'll call it concentration and perhaps, attitude. The atter is important when practicing ck, your mind has to be "right" otherwise you are just doing gentle physical exercises. By "right", I mean focused, concentrated on the job in hand. I think I am just beginning to learn how to relax enough to simply focus on breathing and moving or just breathing. I always used to have awful problems quieting my mind when doing the standing meditation part of ck. I'd be trying to count breaths and random thoughts would just pop up like "what's good on the telly tonight?" etc. I'd get frustrated, my frustration would "stick" and my concentration would just disappear. Somehow, now I find that I can pretty much just count breaths and if a random thought pops into my head, I can be aware of it but simply let it go and continue breathing and counting.

Ok, you might wonder.."So what?" The answer to this is how I now feel after practice. I feel a lot more refreshed, I have more energy, I'm calmer and not least, i look forward to the next training session. In short, I really enjoy my practice. By not overanalysing and just getting on with it, I've in some very small measure achieved a "no mind" state. Of course, I cannot use this state to previsualise beautifully choreographed fencing or fights, like Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai (as cool as that would be). I'm just content with having made some definite progress in my chi kung training.

Oka wari?

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