Thursday, January 14, 2016

Unknowingly Lucky: Journal Notes #140

Notes from my December 2015 Zhan Zhuang Training Journal. I train with The School of Cultivation and Practice which practices Wujifa.

Note: A final note on my ankles and knee. Regarding the Achilles tendinopathy in both ankles, this is a slow work in progress. The calf tightness is gone. The flexibility is returning. There remains some thickness on the tendon I hope will eventually reside. Regarding the knee problem, x-rays revealed  osteoarthritis (where the meniscus was removed) which is causing swelling which in turn is inhibiting range of motion and strength. It looks like ongoing physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen leg muscles as well as using an inexpensive knee brace to hold the knee cap in place are my new friends. And while these ailments received my attention last year at the expense of training, my new year's resolution is to get back into training.

* I only attended one class in December due to scheduling and holiday travel so this month's entry is shorter than most.

* Tight muscles are a form of resistance. Resistance slows down progress. How does this show up elsewhere? How and where are you resisting life?

* Question: It feels like the femur-hip movement I noticed last month seems to create a widening in the thorax and shoulders. Do you notice this too?
Answer: You're still forcing it; still taking the mechanistic approach. Need to practice allowing.

* I once again had the experience of "letting go", of achieving that "holy grail" feeling of being fully present. And then I got angry because I've now had this experience several times and I can never maintain it. I have to keep coming back to it over and over and over. To this, my instructor responded (paraphrasing), "How lucky you are to have this experience. Many people never get this experience even once in their lives!"

* "Double-weighted" means being locked-in and unable to move. It has nothing to do with a 50/50 weighting on both legs.

* Reflecting on my experience with my knee... I wonder.... when I injured my knee forty years ago, the body did what it naturally does and altered my structure to protect the injury. Over the past 15 years, I've been intentionally working on "relaxing and letting go". So I wonder if I've inadvertently undone the protection the body built-in which in turn has precipitated aggravating this old injury?

Further reading:
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: A Little More Pelvic Progress: Journal Notes #139

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