Standing on your heels

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2013 by marksun

One of the instructions in our practice, for example in the opening stance of the set before raising the hands is to stand straight, head up, shoulders dropped, tailbone pulling down.  Then, “You are standing on your heels.” I’ve puzzled over this instruction for a while now but I noticed recently when I consciously moved weight to my heels is that the tailbone dropped a bit while the knees bent to balance the weight   The effect is noticeable if you stand with your weight distributed evenly heel, toes,  ball of foot behind the toes, or more to the point standing weighting the  front of the foot standing on your toes.  (“On your toes! an English idiom for “be alert!”)  Now shift the weight slowly to the heel,  The knees have to bend a bit to keep the weight balanced and centered and the lower back will extend down – drop.  It runs counter to the “on your toes” training some of us have.   Interesting – is this the effect we are after?



Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2013 by marksun

tips and corrections – in raising the hands, the hands face each other  (vertical), rotate 90° inward, and drop to the side, (not in front).  In pressing down the sensation is pressing down on a baloon into the water, the balloon resists, we push against resistance down and to a final position with the hands to the side of the hips and not in front.

A feeling like an invisible power

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2013 by marksun

Limin suggested trying to practice taichi like we are going along with an invisible power – not the right word but it’s not energy.. take the mind trying to analyze it out of the picture and go along with it.

This is indeed difficult to describe but it is a common experience where once the body/mind knows the set, we can perform by allowing taichi to take over.   The surfing analogy is that practice is like surfing a break we know well.  The wave comes in and unfolds and we work it without thinking or controling it, just going with it each movement we make comes from within but in response to energy in time that has its own origin – in this case its the taichi set… to the dancer it’s the dance, the surfer the breaking wave … most human endeavor have a similar aspect and it’s beneficial to be go with it.

energy and breathing

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2011 by marksun

Do we focus on moving energy or on breathing a certain way while practicing?  No. In our practice we may focus on such things as where the weight is transferred through the feet, or the feeling of weight going down, or the feeling of the heavy tailbone.  We  let the energy take care of itself, and let breathing naturally occur.  We observe the effects but don’t try to force these effects, just let them occur naturally.

doo-doo / buddha

Posted in story on October 2, 2011 by marksun

A man visited a monk (for reasons I’m afraid I have forgotten – maybe he went to demand how to obtain Buddahood).   The conversation was not to the foolish man’s liking. The monk said,  answer this question:  “how do you see me?”  The man replied “you are dog doo-doo!   How do you see me?  The monk replied, “you are the Buddah!”  The man, surprised went home happy and related what happened to his sister, declaring “I won the argument with the Monk.”   She replied,  “Brother, you have to realize that you are what you say about others,  and not what they say about you!”

xin ping qi hua

Posted in words and concepts on September 4, 2011 by marksun

“Xin ping qi hua”  is a Chinese saying that is useful in understanding  how our state of  mind,  health, and well being are related.

xin – self, mind, our being,
ping – calm peaceful
qi  – energy
hua –  harmony

There is a cause an effect principle at work.   When our mind / inner being (xin) is calm and peaceful (ping), our inner “energy” and life force (qi) is in harmony (hua).  Health, the physical  and internal well being comes from a calm and peaceful mind.  If we are not healthy in mind, body and spirit, the saying suggests that the cause is dis-harmony in our Qi, and that we can influence this by being more calm, maybe less upset in our thoughts and inner being.

slowing down – image of a lake

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2011 by marksun

Slowing down the pace of practice helps slows not only the external movement but also the mind.

Imagine a lake on a day without a breeze .  The lake is as smooth as glass and a pebble dropped in the water will send ripples that can be easily seen.  If the wind comes up, the ripples from a stone would be hidden by the choppy surface stirred by the wind.

The rapid pace of normal activity is like wind blowing over a lake.  Slowing down is like  the wind slowing down over the lake  allow ing us to see the perfect surface of the water.

Notes from todays class.