Friday, January 8, 2010

Recalling the Kinesthetic Memory

In Wujifa class, my instructor makes adjustments to my zhan zhuang stance. I then go home and try to recreate the feeling by recalling and focusing on all the little adjustments and corrections he made to my structure in class. How is this working for me? Not very well. I just can't put it all together to arrive at the same total, unified feeling that he can elicit.

So in my last class I got into a "lively discussion" with my instructor about this frustrating problem which ended something like this:

Inst: Go over there and stand.
Me: (I get into stance.)
Inst: Now, remember a time when you were doing stance here, after all the adjustments. Got it?
Me: Yeah, that time on the porch, July 2007.
Inst: Go there. Remember that feeling.
Me: (I do.)
Inst: There! You just had it!
Me: Right! You saw that?
Instr: Practice that.

(Note about July 2007: I stayed after a class in July 2007 and got some private zhan zhuang training with my instructor. After many adjustments, after getting me "tuned up", I experienced the most intense and nearly overwhelming feeling of what I called "being present" that I ever felt. I remember saying "My legs are fine. I don't know how much *presence* I can tolerate!)

So after this recent class, I went home and practiced and instead of doing what I had been doing for years, I completely changed my approach to practice. Now I quickly get into structure (see: Zhan Zhuang Alignment) and then recall the kinesthetic memory of that most intense zhan zhuang experience from two years ago.

The result is that I kinesthetically feel as if my body is in a constant inhale, almost like a holding without exhaling and yet, I am not doing any breathing techniques (just breathing normally) and I am not visualizing or imagining anything! I'm simply recalling a kinesthetic memory. The experience however, is no where near as intense as that day two years ago and that's OK. I now have something to build on!

I also notice that after just a few minutes of standing like this, a vibration starts in my abdomen area. This is kind of like the leg vibration but instead starts in the abdomen area. I don't know how or why this happens but I'm told that this is a good thing.

It would seem ironic that I was shown this door two years ago and I continued to beat the bushes for two years looking for the door when it was here all the while. Why would I do that? Well, I'm also learning how my typical data driven/mechanical/problem solving approach (which serves me well at work) influences my approach to a very different, kinesthetic feeling art.


  1. That sounds so cool, Mike! I can connect with the feeling of excitement over going in a direction I can feel is right after some beating around the bush time.

    I'm really looking forward to watching where this will take you, and continuing to train with you as your school brother into the future.

  2. Hey

    I remember a person saying something about Lowen having this saying about "Dying to live" that when you let go it can feel like dying and surrending to this letting go and letting the old patterns die gives birth to being reborn free of the bondage that the old patterns held bound up.

    Check into