* There are different translations:
- Round the back, sink the chest.
- Expand the back, soften the chest.
- Keep the back straight, relax the chest.
* Question: Is improved structure synonymous with increased strength?
Answer: Structure, balance, relax are all factors in strength. If any single one is perfect, then the others must be perfect as well. In the beginning, you feel the three as distinct but as you progress , the three become one and the same. As you work on each individually, you are working on the others as well. You cannot change/work on one without affecting the others.
* Question: Is it better to practice stance in silence or with music playing?
Answer: The best is to practice in silence and focus inward on the inner silence. But in the beginning, this is torturous. So you use music as a drug to soothe the mind, to keep it occupied. Eventually, you will wean yourself off this drug to stand in complete silence, stillness.
(In case this didn't come up before... when I first started standing, I used and hid an alarm clock set for 10, 20, 30 minutes. This was really difficult waiting for the alarm to ring and I would check the clock to make sure it didn't stop. I moved into listening to music and timed how long it took to get through to a certain song and then stood to the end of that song. As that got easier, I moved into just standing, no alarm clocks, no music but with a clock in view.)
* Practice under-ware. Not a-ware, and not un-aware as these are terms of polarity from the yin-yang paradigm. Focus on the fulcrum at ever increasing magnifications.
(This is a fun play on words, a kind of a koan... )
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: Xing-Yi Quan Five Element Seminar: Journal Notes #29
Next article in this series: Yin-Yang Wuji Fulcrum: Journal Notes #31
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