Uh oh :( the spirals!

Posted in Baguazhang

So Bagua, it has all this spiraling energy…

I remember a couple of years back when I was in a class with John and he was showing me about a certain type of spiraling energy. That night the room wouldn’t stop spinning for 8 hours! Then the next week I was showing a strike very gently to Blogger1 and she got the spiralies for a moment, but managed to send the energy off. She felt as though she might black out just for a split second. Then more recently when I overdid the Bagua, I felt dizzy for ages.

Well I’ve figured out how to keep the spiraling and dizziness away, for myself anyways, and it involves lotsa qi sinking :). I keep the qi sunk when circle walking, and sink the qi anytime I feel even slightly lightheaded and all is good. It even works anytime I feel a little dizzy from the practice, hey you do go around in circles for long periods of time afterall!

HOWEVER… apparently I haven’t mastered the not have someone I’m teaching not get all dizzy and spiraly! Oooops! Usually when I teach people we go slowly and we only get about 20-40 repetitions of each exercise in. However the person I was showing them to this evening just does them faster than the other folks, so we end up doing a couple hundred of each. Now for me that isn’t a problem because I have been doing them nearly daily for 8 months, so a couple hundred is no big deal. However someone who is brand new to them, that is a little much… apparently!

When I teach people the exercises I am always very aware of the energy and will change up the exercise if I feel the energy is becoming a bit much, or not going in a good direction. I also make sure to stand far enough away from the person that they aren’t standing inside my energy sort of thing. Perhaps the fact that we were practicing where I had just completed half an hour of circle walking myself beforehand wasn’t the best plan!

Now this guy has been doing Bagua for about 5 years now with some good teachers, so he does have some experience. He also meditates a lot, so is very open and receptive to energies. Well the poor guy ended up feeling very light headed and ready to fall over. It took a lot of encouraging to get him to start doing some qi sinking exercises with me. Then I sunk the energy a bit as well, and that helped… a little. So I went by intuition; we went over to the grass where there was a giant tree and put our back to it for awhile. That helped a LOT! He was able to walk in a straight line after this! On a side note he did find a $5 bill at the base of the tree and used to it pay for the lesson lol.

After spending about half an hour sinking qi and hanging out with the tree and me coming up with random things to talk about so we could get him grounded before he left for home… we were able to run for his bus without him falling over.

Needless to say, Bagua, most especially these Daoist exercises is very strong medicine! Apparently to be worked up to and done in moderation. Now with circle walking, I have found that you can do that for as long as you want without any odd side affects past sore legs. However these exercises are meant to bring the stagnant and turbid qi up and out it seems.

I think next week we will cover where to get bags of rice and Escrima sticks at good prices! 😉

You are not doing Bagua if you don’t circle walk

Posted in Baguazhang

Sorry but it is plain fact. I don’t mean just circle walking during class once or twice per week either. I mean circle walking on your own alone, for at LEAST half an hour straight. That would be daily. Well OK perhaps 6 days per week will do it, but I wouldn’t fudge and do only 5 if you want to practice Bagua.

I have seen people practice Bagua who have been at it awhile, and if they haven’t put in that circle walking time, they just don’t end up very Bagua like. The body doesn’t move right, the energy isn’t there, and there is no depth to the practice.

Martial arts is all about the training and practice. Class time is to learn new things. Then one must go home and practice the hell out of those new things. During class is not when you can go the deepest into your practice or gain as many new insights. It is where you learn.

So go do your Bagua practice and circle walk!

Daoist QiGong prescriptions and meditations

Posted in Baguazhang

So it seems, these QiGong meditations and prescriptions are pretty much the same sort of alchemical stuff I’ve been doing for a couple of decades… accept with a few differences. For one there is a focus on the acupoints and meridians. Also the qi is thicker and a bit more dense than the previous meditational stuff (for the most part). Also there is far more qi sinking. Love the qi sinking! I think if the entire metaphysical world would just sink their damn qi, everything would be so much better. The more the qi is sunk, the more one can enjoy vibrant health. Also the more the qi is sunk, the more that one can explore the higher spiritual realms. This is sort of akin to building your foundation in earth within the western esoteric traditions. However unfortunately in the western esoteric traditions everyone wants to rush ahead and not spend much time with the base earthy stuff lol.

There was some pre-dawn circle walking again this morning. Then some at about dawn and/or sunrise Daoist meditations which were prescribed to me by my teacher. There are so many different meditations and prescriptions, it is nice to get a customized list of what to work on for my daily practice. I’m starting to get the hand of these exercises. At first they were quite confusing and difficult to make work, but now they are finally starting to make sense, get memorized and feel like they are actually doing something. I look forward to exploring them more fully.

The scar tissue in my ankle was hurting quite a bit today during circle walking, so I’m glad that I’m starting to work through that again. I hope to eventually have full mobility in that ankle. I only circle walked for half an hour though, so it didn’t hurt at all after I was finished the practice.

Some reading :)

Posted in Baguazhang

Being as such things as walking, hiking, leaving the house, working, getting out of bed and such have been still difficult lately, I seem to have a lot of free time! That would be a lot of free time at home, in front of the computer and surrounded by books! I thought the least I could do was make use of all this free time, so I have been reading the Medical Qigong books. There are five books in the series, and they are a bit over 500 pages each. Needless to say they are keeping me quite busy!

I circle walked 4 times all together today, but unfortunately not very long sessions. The good news is that I felt a little better after each time, so apparently I didn’t overdo it! I also got the Daoist exercises in a couple of times.

There was also some qi packing and some kidney pushups. The nice side benefit of the kidney pushups is that they keep colds away, which is good this time of year.

I was able to put a little more effort and power into my circle walking today which is nice :). I’m starting to feel as though I’m not quite as rusty now, but still have a long way to go.

I also did a few of the Daoist homework exercises which are specific to the large intestine and lungs. I figure they are helping, as I do keep feeling better and better, it just isn’t very obvious at the time. I also tried a couple of other meditations I found in one of the medical qigong books. There is definitely some good stuff in there. I’m sticking with things that keep my qi within my body presently though, and will do the ones that call for emitting qi outside of my body when I’m feeling much better.

Now all these prescriptions call for 15 minutes per session 3 times per day. Well I don’t know if it’s just me, but I do one of them for only a few minutes and I’m exhausted! I can also feel the energy of the meditation/exercise very very strongly right away. I can’t imagine doing 15 minutes worth; I would be in such an altered state and exhausted I’d be done for the day! Perhaps one of those 70 or 80% rules comes into play here, instead of putting 95% effort in ;).

Ohhhhh, so that’s what Bagua does!

Posted in Baguazhang

Any long-time readers of my blog (both of you lol) will remember that the first year and a half of Bagua was a bit of a love/hate and living hell thing for me. While the practice was most definitely awesome, there were also some very negative aspects, primarily emotional and so forth.

So apparently, what happens (according to the Daoist medical qigong folks) is that as children when we come into this world and all of it’s crap, hypocrisies, guilt, untruths and perhaps worse depending on the individual, all of the shutting down of ourselves and suppressing the negative emotions gets trapped in our tissues. Apparently it just keeps collecting there over our lifetime. This causes illness and disease. Well then you start to practice Bagua (or good qigong or taichi) and guess what, all this stuff starts to come up and out! That is if you practice daily or close to it. I think the circle walking brings this out the most, but the Doaist exercises do as well.

Any medical maladies are only the flower, or the obvious bit. Western medicine only works on this part, yet with Bagua, qigong and Taichi we go deeper to find the root of the problem, or the “flower” will just return. What is amazing is that they look at this deeper approach in the hospitals in China. However from all I have heard China does not seem to be a place of huge amounts of introspection into self as a whole. Perhaps the body brings about certain health challenges to help us along these lines. I’ve never known someone who has had a major health complication where it has not completely changed their life as well as themselves, more often than not for the better. Do keep in mind that I tend to hang around optimistic people who are making positive change in their life, so it’s highly possible my selective sample is a bit too selective.

All this Bagua stuff also gets the qi flowing, clears blockages, breaks up and removes stagnant qi, and gets you back into health. In other words you end up with more vitality, more strength, and end up living longer apparently. Bruce Frantzis says that through his research in China that the Bagua masters tended to live about a decade longer on average than the Taichi masters. I would personally be quite happy to still be practicing Bagua in my 90’s ;).

Bagua, Bagua and some more Bagua

Posted in Baguazhang

There was some circle walking yesterday morning, and some more circle walking yesterday evening (going the other direction). Then thanks to a little insomnia there was some of the Daoist exercises at 4am. Fortunately between those and some reading I got back to sleep a few hours later!

I was quite tired all day yesterday for some reason. Perhaps because I missed a day of the Chinese herbs. Those things are expensive!

I had a bit of fun yesterday, a Kung-Fu friend of mine brought me over a pile of goodies. He’s moving out of town, so he dropped off all the stuff he no longer needs. I got two pads used for partner work, with nice dense foam in them! He showed me how to double them up if I wanted to make the kicks hurt less. I had mentioned to him previously about being doubled over in pain during class from kicks. He then warned me that sometimes the young kids will get too excited and miss the pad entirely and kick you in the face sometimes lol. Oh great! He’s been teaching martial arts for 30 years now, so he takes all this in stride apparently. Well he also brought over an acupuncture dummy :). This acupuncture dummy is awesome for figuring out where exactly my meridians and acupoints are on my body. He came with a couple of wall posters as well to help the process. I’ve named him “Bob”.

So now when I read through the medical qigong books, I can follow along much more easily. Also some of the exercises call for leading energy up or down a certain channel; now I know exactly where these channels are instead of kinda/sorta. However I’m just taking it all in on an intellectual level for now and not experimenting (much) with the information, as I learned what happens when I try to jump ahead!

Bagua and Chinese medicine and healing

Posted in Baguazhang

The Western corporate medical industry disgusts me! It is more about making money from the various prescriptions and operations than it is about health. Sure it is good for things such as broken bones, burst organs and such, but it is completely counter intuitive when it comes to most other health issues. It is truly amazing how far behind we are with this. Perhaps behind isn’t the right word though considering Eastern medicine has had it right for thousands of years!

I was quite disgusted the other day when I read an article about a new cure for cancer found, which can’t be used since it is not under copyright and cannot be copyrighted. However what disgusted me most about this is that there are already cures for cancer, hundreds of them! I will just take the most famous example, essiac tea. Well another example is qigong. I was listening to an interview with Jerry Alan Johnson the other day, where he states plain fact that he has healed thousands (or was that tens of thousands, I don’t recall) of tumors using his qigong healing.

Interview with JAJ

This made me so angry. Why do they not have this in hospitals here? Do they have some problem with actually wanting to heal people? Oh sure, they likely have it at that fancy cancer hospital resort in the USA which no health care plan covers and is only for the exceedingly wealthy, but nowhere else. Over in China they have the patients do the various exercises daily, as well as have qigong and acupuncture and the chinese herbs. What the fuck is wrong with us int he west? We would rather hold onto our beliefs that qi and meridians don’t exist than heal?

Oh and it’s not like Dr. Johnson has the only answer here. He just went to China and learned the standard practices. Yes, the practices thousands learn and use daily! Here is another example of cancer healing with qigong. Fighting cancer with Taichi blog

I’m also pretty sure that a quick google search would bring up millions, and I do mean millions of examples of qigong and the like reducing and/or completely healing cancer. Cancer just being an example because it is supposedly thought of as incurable for the most part. Also the “cures” such as radiation therapy or a horrid process the person must go through.

Now where I live all of our medical is paid for by the government for a very small monthly fee. You would think they would hire some qigong experts to save costs at the very least; reducing the time a patient needs to stay in the hospital as well as less people actually sick. Unfortunately though it is more political than anything else. The doctors and surgeons would not want their jobs at stake; the drug companies and their multi billion dollar industry, and the hospitals also making millions off of the sick.

Now the unfortunate bit is most qigong out there is pure crap. Hell I’d even say some of the qigong out there actually makes people worse off. It is difficult to find good qigong, but when you do it is well worth it. At least Taichi and Bagua are a bit safer, since even crappy Taichi or Bagua have healing and health benefits! Now really good Bagua, can heal about anything; I’m pretty convinced.

There is a catch to all this though, the patient must do some work. Yes that is right, you can’t just sit on your ass and expect it to all be done for you. I think that is why allopathic medicine is so popular, you can just do nothing, take not responsibility, take a pill, have an operation, get chemo, or whathaveyou and you don’t have to do anything! This is our fast food culture kicking in here. However with Qigong and Daoist healing you have work you must do, and it isn’t always easy. Sure the exercises look easy, but they also bring up aspects of ourselves we may not wish to look at and thus tend to be left to the wayside or ignored.

These practices make us unravel and look at ourselves, look deep within. I think that is why most people don’t stick with martial arts, or qigong practices. It is easier to just ignore everything and stay blind. Some actually prefer it to good health and/or healing. It’s easier to stay the same and never change.

I love Pakua more and more everyday :)

Posted in Baguazhang

I woke up before 5am this morning, arg. So I of course decided to get some circle walking in because I sure the hell wasn’t going to start work that early! It was most awesome circle walking :). I am still feeling a little rusty after the time off, most especially in the powering my stepping from the back leg and dantien aspects. I am also not quite up to full strength so can only put so much into it. I’m at least up to 75-80% effort when I circle walk now. When I’m ill or weak I just do the 50-70% effort thing and make it into a qigong exercise. Many Bagua people would frown on this approach, but they can fuck off, or try to live with crohns, their choice ;). It works for me, and I actually recommend it for others who find themselves to weak to circle walk daily. I feel it’s better to get some 50-70% circle walking in than no circle walking in. It is extremely healing. All the principals must be kept in mind still of course, just less torquing, and less driving from the core during the walking.

I have been trying a few different things, such as the 1-10 exercise (by Jerry Alan Johnson) while circle walking. Also have been doing some of the organ prescription exercises during the walking. Yes, yes, I know they are sitting exercises, but I’m more likely to actually do them more often if circle walking is involved. I do the sitting versions as well of course.

I have also been focusing on change and smoothly flowing through the turn arounds as well as change in general when I change directions during circle walking. I just don’t like all the stoppy starty stuff, it doesn’t seem right. Unless you are issuing power for a strike or something, there is no reason to have disjointed Bagua.

The marriage of heaven and earth

Posted in Baguazhang

I have been getting a few alchemical impressions and visions as I walk the circle through the Bagua gua lately. Pretty neat :).

Had a good early morning circle walking session. Did the Daoist Bagua circle walking before the sun came up. The sun comes up really late these days.

I have noticed that each particular Bagua style most definitely seems to have it’s own distinctive energy. It’s amazing how the energies can be so distinct from one another, but most obviously still Bagua. The Fan style has some interesting aspects to it for example. I also would like to learn some of the Cheng style more mystical side stuff; c’mon Lui Bin is in the lineage for the style I do, there has just *got* to be some more depth in there ;).

Melting frost with Bagua! ;)

Posted in Baguazhang

It was really really cold outside, as in 3 degrees kinda cold (that’s 37 for you american folks). The grass was rather crispy. I started my circle walking in a down jacket and thermal pants! About 5 minutes into the circle walking the frost had all melted into a nice circle and I had to take off my jacket and mid-layer. I actually warmed up enough by the end I was sweating and wishing I’d worn thinner pants. Bagua has amazing powers of HEAT!!!

I felt a little more wobbly than usual this evening. Must be all the time I had taken off to hang out in the hospital and such recently *grumble*. Well that and practicing on grass is a little more difficult than on pavement or a floor. Also the energy wasn’t as strong as usual, perhaps it doesn’t flow as well in the nearly freezing temperatures lol. If qi could form into icicles I think it would have all down each arm.

I have noticed that colder it is out the faster my circle walking becomes. It isn’t about getting it done faster either since I was training until I was tired, not a certain number of repetitions or anything. I think by January I will be at about sprint pace…

I did the Daoist form, the Daoist exercises, and the Cheng form. I didn’t do any of the extra stuff since apparently some guy thought my hour of Bagua was a spectator sport; yes he stood there watching in the freezing cold for an entire hour :P. I have also seen him come out when I practice at about 7am. All I can guess is that his wife makes him smoke outside and me circle walking is slightly more interesting than the nothing else that is happening around here at these hours.