Cultivation, alchemy, Daoist stuff, sitting on my ass Bagua, and so forth…

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I have so far not been including any of my cultivation and so forth practices in my pakua blog, since most folks don’t believe it has anything to do with pakua and/or would be bored out of their minds reading it. Well the other thing is that I’m so used to doing spiritual and cultivation work that I don’t think anything of it. I guess also in the past I have been greatly discouraged from combining the two. Well lately it is becoming more and more merged with my Bagua practice :). The Bagua teacher whom I am now training with actually beleives it is essential to combine these practices and for the cultivation work as well. The school actually sees it all as one practice and can’t believe that others leave such things out of their Bagua! It was really cute one day when Sifu quite honestly had no idea that most Bagua folks don’t actually add the other stuff in! His teacher on the otherhand is quite aware of the many different practices.

So the thing is that Bagua brings up any stuff which we have not processed or worked through yet, and I mean all and any! Many (or more likely all) of the movements and practices are specifically to clear out particular channels or organs. Well they don’t tend to just clear out on their own completely, we get to help things along. The helping things along is an awesome internal practice, yet is also extremely difficult at times.

The fact that I’m also learning medical qigong as well as Daoist magic from my Sifu makes it all that more awesome…. and also all that much more difficult! The physical parts seem so easy now, just some severe muscle pain, that is all. However refining my internal self has been much more of a challenge.

So I asked Sifu what about the folks who don’t incorporate this aspect into their practice, doesn’t the Bagua still have the same affect. Apparently yes it does, they just perhaps don’t realize it is the Bagua, or they quit, or they work it out on the mats. Stuff definitely comes up with sparring and apps! Mat work is extremely humbling and can teach you a lot about yourself!

Ankles speak to meeeee! ;)

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It was an awesome class tonight. I was teaching my student with the super awesome memory. I started to wonder during class how much I would learn with Sifu if I had such a wonderful memory! It’s all good though since I just learn stuff deeper by taking a long time to get stuff each time. I am still amazed though how she picks up stuff that took me an hour or two to learn in just minutes! It is also really cool how both of my students pick up the energy stuff really quickly and easily. Well all of us have been doing meditational practices and energy work for over 20 years each, so that does help a lot.

We covered quite a bit today. Since she doesn’t practice at home every single day *cough* *cough* lol, I make sure that we cover a good part of the curriculum each week. Her circle walking is improving, awesome! She is also doing the movements with more of her.

As per usual I made sure to do all of the exercises as well as the circle walking much lower than was comfortable. I am really trying to work on my sinking. I also helped my student focus on some sinking.

The only problem with class today is that this annoying chinese guy who was there with his son and they were bikeriding around the schoolyard. He kept watching us, and looking at us every few seconds. It was getting really annoying. So I made sure to face away from him during a few of the things which aren’t really public and to wait until he was on the other side before showing my student how to move stuff with the dantien, or any other deeper sort of movement type stuff. I also drew us out a circle in the ground and asked for protection from his annoying energy. We then circle walked inside the circle for a time, to create some good barriers between us and him.

I figure he kept looking because he was surprised to see Bagua done so badly lolololol ;).

I think we will practice on the other side next time if we see him though.

There was some ever so awesome vietnemese food after practice :>.

Full moon Bagua! ;)

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I noticed near the end of class today that the moon was full, and was a lovely golden colour.

So my student showed up today and his energy was AMAZING! He has most obviously been doing a lot of work lately and it shows. I was so incredibly happy for him. I let him know of course. He mentioned how awesome Bagua was to bring that about; I reminded him that it wouldn’t be working if he hadn’t been putting the effort in. I told him congratulations on the amount of work he has been doing :).

So of course I had to give him a couple of advanced energy exercises! 🙂 I was amazed that he didn’t get dizzy at all, and only slightly spacey a couple of times. We did some stuff to ground him back out though. Considering how much new stuff I introduced, I was quite amazed he did so well for so long. I like to push him just a little bit more each week so that he can build up… well whatever it is you build up through your Bagua training.

At one point I noticed his posture was perfect! Well or as perfect as it looked to me (newbie here) and with him wearing a jacket. At the very least it was a huge improvement over even last week.

For myself, I focused on trying to do everything low during class this evening… well low for me anyways.

Well I have to embarassingly admit that my student lasted longer in the horse stance than I did! Well I see where I need work lol. Must set good example! 😉

It’s so awesome to see when a student has been training their asses off and it shows.

For my own work recently, I’ve been taking a couple of days off of the Daoist alchemy. I had some pretty horrific dreams last night, so have to look into the cause of those. They were not your natural just sorting stuff out kind of dreams. Perhaps I attracted some negative stuff or entities while circle walking that evening.

Also the watch every single thought and emotion thing is extremely difficult, but I’m still keeping track of it. I don’t want nasty crap to manifest in my life. Sometimes though I have to admit I would just like a day off. I’m guessing though that one does not get a “day off” with this sort of training.

I think there is a lake of sweat in my practice space now….

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I think I have been less soaked from showers before. This lower Bagua stuff really is a workout! Then I finished off with some beating and drumming of the qi, which produced a tributary of sweat to go along with that lake.

I felt bad for taking a few days off of Bagua, but I think it really helped in some odd way. Apparently my body needed some recovery time.

Also all that Daoist alchemy stuff helped get things flowing better I think.

It was a good practice session.

My kua and legs are a little disgruntled but that is OK.

The lack of Bagua might explain why I was so grumpy all week….

A random Bagua meeting :)

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I was down in Chinatown today waiting for a bus, and this very very old chinese guy starts staring at me, I look back and he starts pointing at me. Apparently he was pointing to the Bagua symbol on my jacket. He kept pointing to it and giving me the thumbs up. He didn’t speak a single word of English at all. I tried to get across that I love Bagua as well, but not sure if I managed or not. Then after spending 5 minutes giving me the thumbs up for doing Bagua, he wandered off with his walker. I was tempted for half a second to walk a quick circle to let him know I understood, but then decided my circle walking sucks too badly for that LOL. Anyways, was kinda neat to meet someone else who apparently loves Bagua quite a bit. I wondered if the old guy could still circle walk or not. He most definitely was needing the walker he was using.

I am so humbled by the amazingness of my Sifu!

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and his Sifu as well! The fact that they have done the rituals many many times that I have done in the past week, and they survived them! I think that makes a greater martial artist than the ability to hit someone. Not that hitting someone with power and accuracy while maintaining calm isn’t also truly amazing, I just think it’s perhaps a bit easier than some of the Daoist alchemy! Or perhaps it is the Daoist alchemy which leads to the latter? Along with some physical training of course. Thoe were some of the most difficult rituals I have ever done in my life, and I’ve been doing various rituals for over 20 years!

The good news is the amazing inner peace that comes after such workings! It seems to just purge out more than contemplation, regular inner work, and contemplations!

I think my circle walking will improve now :).

Bagua was so much easier when it was just about apps and circle walking!

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Most Bagua is all about the applications. The deeper Bagua is about circle walking and internal body movement as well. Then you get the darn Daoist Bagua which adds completely overhauling oneself. I still think it is awesome Bagua, it just gets a little more than difficult at times! Fortunately the Bagua also seems to get more and more awesome each day or week, so all of the hard work is worth it.

The Daoist alchemy part of Bagua makes the physical parts seem easy!

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Some of the homework I have been doing lately makes those silly broken bones and torn ligaments, the torturous horse stance, and the lower circle walking seem easy in comparison! Well anyone reading this who does Bagua knows full well that none of the above are easy in any sense of the word (well OK maybe if you are 20 years old and in top physical condition), so you get the idea. However the alchemical homework is worth the difficulty and work as it really does help clear things out… everything from meridians to one’s deep internal self. Not that I haven’t been clearing crap out for over 20 years, but the Daoist folks, they just have a few more tools to finally and fully get rid of stuff. It is rather difficult work though!

Aside from that, getting up out of chairs or bed has been a lot more difficult lately! Apparently I’m growing some leg muscles. My legs are currently wondering why I insist on walking lower these days; they felt that walking in a pretty much upright position was just fine!

Hating my Daoist alchemy homework :P

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It’s sort of like juicing broccoli. Anyone who tells me they enjoy the flavor, I call BS. Oh sure it’s good for you….

Bagua just gets deeper and more awesome each week!

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Since I just recently finished my Bagua marathon training with Sifu, it still feels like I’m unpacking all that I have learned :). I keep discovering new things about Bagua, about the practice in general, and about the specific exercises I’m learning and doing.

This evening I focused on helping my student get over the dizzies. This has been difficult for him. We have (with the help of Sifu, as well as an experienced Bagua friend) we have narrowed this down to three causes. Primarily not keeping the chin down; the qi creeping up to the head, and armoring. I have also found on my own and while working through things with him that densifying and solidifying and sinking the qi helps greatly as well. The cool bit is that all of these things also help greatly with health and martial arts. Bagua is most definitely awesome!

Through some trying stuff out we found that when my student goes into a very strong and stable/solid stance this also grounds out the dizzy energy. I had him go into a more solid stance by pushing him backwards, then having him solidify his stance against my pushing. I have also noticed that when people get spacy, as well as when people have health problems that their qi and energy is all fluffy and very large and too far out. So I had my student compact his qi tonight to ground him out a bit.

Ever since he started Bagua about 5 years ago, he has never been able to get his hands warm during practice. Personally this amazes me since all I have to do is think about Bagua and I start sweating! So I had him try a few things that work for me to warm up my hands, and also worked for my other student a couple of times she was cold during class. However unfortunately they did not work nearly as well as I had hoped. Well it just means we will keep working on things until his qi is flowing so well that it gets to his hands as well.

We also focused on some channel dredging and qi scattering to keep him grounded throughout the exercises. We also did many old man and the tide pool exercises.

The most interesting part of class was trying out a personal theory of mine… instead of standing in the regular stances for the exercises that always make him dizzy, I instead had him sink, no sink more, no sink even more, and don’t let me push you over sort of sunken stance for the exercises. It worked! He did not get the dizzies at all, even though we did more in tonight’s class than usual, and did a few of the exercises which always set off the dizzies for him.

However I did discover that it is not necessarily good for me to touch him during practice, as that can set the energy spiraling! I can touch him for corrections and to help him to get the idea where an arm might go, or how it night move and so forth, but partner practice sort of touching of palms and so forth just transfers energy over I think. I also noticed that if I did energetic stuff next to him that it can influence his energy.

For the armoring aspect I told my student the bad news, that yes there is only one (well pretty much) cure for such things, and it involves the writing of the stories and the rice bag beating. He still has not gotten around to the rice bag (funny how we all ignore that more than we should). So I reminded him that it is the most important thing to do to eliminate the dizzies.

Speaking of rice pounding, I have also come up with some new stories recently. I could swear that they get more difficult over time, as they go deeper and deeper. Now I’m working on this particular forgiveness prayer and ritual that Sifu has given me. Simple enough right? Unfortunately not so much, it’s much more difficult than it looks. Also I’m having some technical difficulties with the whole forgiving aspect lol. It seems I have my work cut out for me.