Monday, May 16, 2011

Let Go. Got it? Ahhhhh: Journal Notes #39

Notes from my June 2006 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.)

These notes are from the only class I attended that June. My teacher tries to communicate directly with the feelings of the student when transmitting the principles of Wujifa, so the "Ahhh" you will see throughout this post is his exhalation to which he is anchoring the feeling of letting go to the exhalation of my breath. In Wujifa, the highest form of practice is making tea which means getting one's point across without having to do battle. What you will read below is another example of how a teacher gets his point across. If you're familiar with NLP or Milton Erikson, this will make sense to you.

* Breakthrough!

* My logical, analytical thinking is my strong point. My strong point is my weak point.

* What is the feeling in the body behind the logical thought?

* Thinking is there which is different from here. I can be in the same place (the dojo) but it is different if I'm there or here.

* Here and there are authentic but there pretending to be here is a fake.

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* Left-brain, right-brain stuff. Awaken, connect and experience the other half.

* Logic. Rules. Sadness.
* Feeling. Freedom. Joy.

* Breathing. Not breathing.
* Logic. Thinking. Holding breath.

* This moment. Now..... Now.... Now....
* Same or different?

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* Breathe in. Get oxygen. Got it? Breathe out. How hard do you have to work to not breathe? How hard do you have to work to breathe?

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* Once you got it, let it go. You can't get more until you let go of what you've got now.

* Eat. Why eat? To nourish the body. Once you have nourishment, then what? Excrete. Let go the "food". What if you never breathed out? Never defecated? What if you held onto that breath and that food? You'd die of course.

* What happens if you hold onto one idea? The idea that there is a special feeling to internal strength, some holy answer, and you never let go of that? This too is a kind of death. Never being open to anything else. Never being able to feel where you are at now.

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....
(Regarding feeling where you are now... In a Wujifa class just prior to this posting, I experienced that there is a "special" feeling and to me it felt more like a nothing-special feeling. When I accidentally hit that just-right connected alignment, the resulting power was born from a different kind of kinesthetic ease.

And to get that, I now know I couldn't just go directly from there to here. I had to develop a lot of feeling and relaxation and... to get to a place which allowed that to spontaneously and accidentally show up. I could not have and cannot purposely create that feeling. Got it?)
* Extend both arms at 45 degree away from the center of your body. Left hand is past. Right hand is future. Look straight ahead. What do you feel? Past and future have equal pull. Now move left hand back (out of sight). Now which hand has greater "pull". Future.

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* Beginner's mind. Curious.

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* What happens is that over time, people show up to class physically but lose the beginner's curiosity. How do you get beginner's curiosity? How do you keep it? How do you live it?

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

* Sometimes you need to hold, for example, if you're under water. Holding your breath will keep you alive but once your head is above water, you don't have to keep holding. If you're drowning and someone throws you a rope, you will hold on for dear life but once you're back on dry land you can let go of the rope.

* Let go!

* Got it? Ahhhhh.....

(The more I develop and the more I watch others develop, the more I witness myself and others holding the breath, holding the rope. I now know that I was not doing internal gong fu until I experienced the physical and emotional difficulty of two simple words, "Let go."

Ha! There's a sign-post for you! If your letting go is relaxing, then you're doing it wrong. If your letting go is difficult, then you're on the right track.)
* Some people are information gatherers. Rather than doing the exercise, they collect and read about the exercise. Reading about is not the same as doing. Talking or writing about what you heard or read and analyzed is not the same as doing and writing from your internal experience.

(I've read a lot about internal martial arts. The trouble with words is that I, the reader, tend to interpret others' words through my own frame of reference, wherever that frame happens to be. And my frame is probably not the author's frame.

The more I practice, the more I see how our verbal language, in trying to describe this pre-verbal process, lends itself to ambiguity.

Ultimately, the proof of anyone's internal skills is revealed in touching hands. Of course, you have to have developed some internal skills first to discern who has skills or not and to what level. A classic Catch-22...)
* I got exhausted from this exercise but gained a great insight! Finally, I asked my instructor how he deals with my thinking stuff week after week. He affirmed that the Question and Answer part of class is the most tiring because he works to feel what the "thinkers" are trying to ask through the filter of their thinking as well as his trying to formulate answers that respond to the "feeler" behind the thinker filter.

(This exercise in this class really opened me up to seeing and differentiating operating from "rule think" vs. operating from "feeling think" in both myself and others. This was a big step for me.

Transcribing these notes makes me think of poetry and the contradictory old man...)
Further reading:
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: Hiding Secrets in Plain Sight: Journal Notes #38
Next article in this series: My Introduction to NLP: Journal Notes #40

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