Thursday, June 3, 2010

Musings on My Zhan Zhuang Practice

Your Zhan Zhuang practice can either be a dead post practice or a living, evolving practice.

In a recent trip to northern Michigan, during my Zhan Zhuang practice early one morning while the dew was wet on the grass and bird song complimenting the tranquility, I noticed elements of my surroundings that could visually represent my Zhan Zhuang practice and so I snapped the below photograph.

zhan zhuang stance shadow photo

There is a dead post connected by an "Indra's Net" to another dead post. Yet this faux Indra's Net does not contain a jewel at the intersections and does not reflect any other jewel. Yes, there is a connection, just as the body is mechanically connected, but the connectedness is not alive and not connected to life.

The dead post rests in, and yet is on the edge of the shadows, where seeing and feeling is difficult, where there is confusion, where there is the seed of learning and growing, of emerging into the light.

There is a living, growing tree. Begun as a seed, growing the seed, new growth emerging in this spring summer season. The base of the tree is obscured. Where exactly is the foundation of the tree? I see no roots, yet it stands tall. It moves, yet is immovable. It is connected.

It looks like "Indra's Net" connects the dead post to the living tree, but upon closer viewing there is no connection. The tree, the growing the seed, is independent of the connected dead posts. It is outside the system of dead posts and what connects these dead posts each to the other.

And there am I. A shadow of my self. In the picture, yet not fully present in the picture. On the same plane as the dead post and the growing seed. Closer to the dead post, but not the dead post. Seeing the tree, yet not the tree. Noticing both the dead post and the seed growing. Transitioning.

How would you visually represent your practice?


  1. I practice Zhan Zhuang at home (apartment) so I don´t have a place so agreable. For now I have no time to do it another way, but as soon as I can I will go to open places. It´s much better.

    When I lived in another neighborhood I used to go to a mountain near my house, sometimes twice a day. I miss that time. But we can´t stop training.

    Forgive my bad english.

  2. The location photographed here is far away from where I live. I also usually practice in my house.

    All the best. Thanks for commenting!