Monday, December 12, 2011

Developing Presence: Journal Notes #69

Notes from my July 2009 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.)

* Note: I didn't record a lot of questions and answers this month. Instead, I was dealing with a lot of stuff to get me to stop running from feeling deeper and to remain present with feeling deeper. So my notes are kind of, well, note-y. I hope you get an idea of the nature of what I was working on.)

* You are where you are and that's where you start.
(A lot of people don't know where they are and mistakenly want to start at a higher level than they are capable of and either skip or ignore the immediate work they need to do to get them to that higher level. I've done this either through ignorance, not knowing or not being taught what the immediate step was, or through ego, believing that I, a mere novice, could do what the old masters describe.)

* When I "zone out" or "go into trance" this means I'm not staying connected to feeling, hence, not feeling. Being present, being here, now and not "tranced-out", is an important step to feeling connection.
(Back in July 2009, I blogged an article titled: Zhan Zhuang; Breaking the Stance Trance in which I wrote about this experience as I understood it then. Now, after two more years of working on this I understand and feel more deeply.)

* The process I experienced and moved through in the July 23rd class. Breaking stance trance.

(If none of this makes sense to you or seems a bit "mystical", all I can say is that after two years of working on this, I can now notice more easily when I'm blocking or open to feeling, for example, when I'm dealing with some every-day life "situation" that I don't want to feel or when I hit a newer, deeper level of connection in zhan zhuang practice that feels completely awesome. I still tend to block the flow but opening in class and training is becoming easier and less painful. Another level of sensitivity and feeling.)

* When I feel anxiety, I notice the opportunity to ahhhhhh (exhale).

* Question: How do I figure out this presence thing?
Answer: Instead of trying to figure it out in your head, try to figure it out in your body. Then instead of trying to figure it out, simply feel.

Question to me: How hard do you have to try to figure this out? (Instructor touches my shoulder.)
Me: Not hard at all. I just feel it.
Instructor: Exactly!

* I now notice when I'm out there or in here. I am noticing opportunities to be here.

* I feel the presence feeling and connection as a very soft feeling. I can get there and here myself.

* Making movies and pictures inhibit my progress and slows me down.

* Becoming aware of feeling overloaded vs feeling overwhelmed. I feel secure with overloaded but overwhelmed with feeling still freaks me out.

* What is the opportunity? Noticing the opportunity can be pretty good medicine.

* I get stuck in my pictures... until now....

* Are you noticing out there (space)? Can you notice feeling in here (body)?

* I'm beginning to feel presence my self. I feel anxiety when I bring my pictures closer.

* Where are you? Here? What do you feel? Bring your attention into your body. What is the opportunity? To bring feeling inside.

* Pictures of You by The Cure.
(The most amazing aspect of Wujifa class is when a song on the playlist coincides with and puts into words the mood or feeling or teaching at that moment. Wujifa class can be a magical place at times. Check out this song which I noted as being a song from one class' playlist that hit the point.)

(Part of the lyrics:
I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
that I almost believe that they're real.
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
that I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel.
There was nothing in the world that I ever wanted more
than to feel you deep in my heart.
There was nothing in the world that I ever wanted more
than to never feel the breaking apart
All my pictures of you.)

* We discussed the pros and cons of various zhan zhuang stances. Many stance practices allow for the body's habitual twists and chronic contractions. The difference with the Wujifa zhan zhuang stance is that it is designed to identify where the twists and chronic contractions are as the body attempts to conform to the Wujifa structure.

* Question: Dan is doing San-ti, why can't I start doing San-ti too?
Answer: After you feel connection from doing zhan zhuang, then you can move into doing san-ti.

(Again, you are where you are and that's where you start. A lot of people, like I used to be, don't know where they are and mistakenly want to practice higher level practices than they are capable of and either skip or ignore the immediate work they need to do to get to that higher level,)

* I'm beginning to notice there is a difference in the feeling between following the rules of stance (1,2,3,4-1,2,3,4) and standing in a way that feels right.
(This last line was actually the last entry for July 2009. How interesting that I noted this AFTER I went through the above noted classes and got more connected in my body...)

Further reading:
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: Wujifa Kua Movement: Journal Notes #68
Next article in this series: - How Do You Know: Journal Notes #70

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

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