Monday, December 6, 2010

Body Changes: Journal Notes #16

Notes from my March 2004 Zhan Zhuang Training Journal. I train with The School of Cultivation and Practice which practices Wujifa zhan zhuang. (My current reflections are added in italics.)

* Question: How much can Rolfing do? Would another year have pursued the emotion?

Answer: No. You're getting your money's worth with that alone. By analogy, you're buying a factory built car. If you want a stock car, you've got to work on it yourself.

(From January through April 2004, I went through the first series of ten Rolfing sessions. (See my Rolfing Notes.) This question refers to this experience. In Journal Notes #15, I had asked about Rolfing and was told that Rolfers generally don't get into the emotional release / counseling aspect. I was looking for a short-cut; to have someone else do "the work" for me. This question is a continuation of that conversation.)

* Question: I'm seeing people's structures and sometimes I'll feel their structure and it hurts me. How do I stay open to feeling but not get influenced?

Answer: You have what is called an "easy-going" or "flaccid" personality. Your boundaries are weak. To strengthen boundaries, do the towel exercise three times a day. See what comes up.
(There were a few experiences that I'm referring to in the question which occurred after having gone through several Rolfing sessions. In one case, I had gone to a workshop where we had to "take on" a physical characteristic of another person in the room. I was able to do that but then couldn't shake it. Also walking around on the street and noticing that I could now notice people's structures in a feeling kind of way, not just visually notice. A really new and different experience.

In my case, the personality observation is accurate. What's interesting to me is how this easy-going, "Taoist" Tai-chi yielding, going-with-the-flow personality also manifests in the musculature. In my Wujifa zhan zhuang practice, "taking a stand" or "setting boundaries" on different levels was and is one of my long-standing internal gong-fu practices. For me,
developing internal strength is about a lot more than "just standing".)

* While standing in class, I received an adjustment such that my legs felt heavy and my top felt light and I felt a peaceful serenity I can't recall ever feeling before - or at least not in a very long time. But I wouldn't allow myself to enjoy that feeling for long and slowly shifted back to the pain, back to constant scanning of my structure.
(Ah, yes, the internal gong fu. Part of what "holds me back" is not wanting to or being afraid to let go of the old, ingrained habits. One habit is "look for a problem and fix it". Interesting how that showed up in my zhan zhuang practice, eh? )

* "The method is not the truth. Once you get the feeling, get rid of the method."

* You're getting caught up in the method. Try this, while standing, adjust on one breath. Relax and be with that for three breaths. Check and adjust with one breath. Repeat.
(I think this is referring to "Stance Dance" which is where I would continuously scan and adjust the alignment of each part of my body and I wound up not standing still and feeling the whole but continually "dancing" based on mechanistic perceptions. Wujifa alignment (1,2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4) is a method in which a feeling can be discovered. I wasn't looking for a feeling. I was stuck on mechanistically following the rule of "proper alignment". So, another method was suggested to help me overcome my being stuck on a method. And yes, this method did help me to c-a-l-m - d-o-w-n... )

* Learned about the inguinal crease (kua). Side to side and circling the hip is a "kua" exercise.
(Wow! I learned about inguinal crease stuff six years ago? I still can't do it right. I'm still learning and refining...)

* The key is to feel the elasticity of the fascia.

* Wow! What an enriching hour of class that was!

* During the week (the last week of March 2004), I felt the inside of my musculature of my vertebra from shoulders down. I felt my thickness and could differentiate front and back.

* While my body is going through these fantastic changes, I still feel lackluster.

* One day, I woke up feeling vibrating and tingling especially in the lower belly area.

* I've felt how I keep my lower back contracted and pulled in almost always. I'm now paying attention to allowing it to open out and sideways. Relaxing there brings up a fear of falling even while sitting in a chair as if the chair will break and not be able to withstand the outward pressure so I have to hold it in.
(This is another of the many "that's interesting" feelings, one of the roadsigns along the way that the body is slowly changing. I continue to work on relaxing my lower back outwards/sideways. I still feel a little fear that I'm going to "push it" too far when I reach "the edge". I haven't broken any chairs yet. Stay tuned!)

Further reading:
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: An Early Lesson in Learning: Journal Notes #15
Next article in this series: Bio Questions: Journal Notes #17

Make sure to visit Wujifa.com and the Wujifa blog.
And stop by The School of Cultivation and Practice.

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