I have been slacking on these entries ever since I hurt my right calf muscle last week. I had been feeling like my calves were getting a real workout from my attempted "bear" standing last week while really focusing on wrapping the big toe. My injury did not come from my standing practice, but while training a client. I had her performing 20 kettelbell swings followed by a shuttle run continuously for 20 minutes. Her workout partners left her hanging, so she asked if I would do that portion of the workout with her. I got too much into the workout and ended up with a less than great feeling in my right calf muscle. I decided to wait for it to subside rather than to practice and risk hurting something else.
Ive been wanting to make blog entries these last few days, but did not because they were not "gong-fu" related. I'm forgetting that really everything is gong-fu related from how we get out of bed, to carrying out our daily activities. Everything down to our thoughts relates to our development as martial artists and deepening our awareness.
I like that Sifu teaches that to be formless and neutral involve mental developments as well as the physical. I also wonder about the "spiritual" development, but I am sure Sifu will tell me to develop a good foundation before I start worrying about things above my pay grade. Hehe
One of the things I would like to write on is this mental struggle I've been having. When I joined the navy in 2004, one of my reasons for joining was that I wanted to study Chinese kungfu. It took 2 years and a lot of events working in my favor for me to go to San Diego, study at one of the best wushu schools in the country, and be exposed to internal kungfu, all kinds of external styles, and learn about real Taoist neigong.
Since I've been out, it's almost like something in me wants to go back now-- to learn more kungfu and everything else that I feel like I'm missing. I actually did make plans to go back into the military as a chaplain... The only problem is that I'm not a Christian. I was a 3.5 student at Seminary, but I had no emotional attachment to any of the material. I can write sermons, I can teach, and preach, but unless I was making a commentary on society, I really did not believe a word of what I was saying when it came down to Christian theology. What I did love about seminary was that I had the perfect environment to focus on meditation and practicing kungfu. My Taiji practices improved by leaps and bounds.
What I would really like to do is attend a Buddhist seminary and really learn what it means to be a Buddhist. This is difficult for me to say because I've grown up in the bible belt. In the African American community, a pastor/preacher/reverend is viewed as one of the community leaders. In some more rural areas, they are the top dog. I have been in a pulpit since I was 5 years old, but I'm not that person that people want me to be or expect me to be. I don't like telling people "how it is" or what "it" ought to be-- especially when I have not experienced "it." I'm more interested now in knowing what other people think or feel.
Lim more interested in establishing a mind-body connection that our society is missing. Everything I've been developing works together, but I need to figure out how to make the pieces fit. Exercise is medicine, so I have been studying how to heal with movement. Our food is our medicine, so I try to learn what I can when it comes to nutrition and supplementation...and this? Taiji saved my life when I got out of the navy as a disabled veteran 4 years ago. I feel that I Liq Chuan will really help my personal development as well as giving me a process and method to reach out to other people seeking the same thing as me.
Anyway, to comment on actual practice-- I am unsure if I am correctly doing bear standing, so I am going to do Wuxi standing until I get to the lesson in stage 2 covering bear standing. I have a goal of 100 hours, but I hope it does not take me 5 months to reach stage 2 training! 100 hours is just a number Ithink would be cool to reach, but the key is to be able to stand relaxed. 1 hour of relaxation is better than 1000 hours of tensed standing.