I have recently had an evolution in my view/thinking on The Mental Models. My previous approach was to try to approximate the feeling by moving or stretching. I would stretch my foot and along my ankle, knees, and pelvis in a way that would produce the sensations called for. I'm not saying this is not good practice. But, it is not working the Mental Models. It is body work. It will not lead to the transformation Sifu is pointing toward. It will only lead to a limited physcal skill that can't carry us forward to emptiness or the ability to "just move". The Mental Models are MENTAL! They are not sensations that arise as the result arranging the body in any certain way in a voluntary way. The Mental Models use what Sifu calls "concrete thought" because the thought/Yi/mental expectaion has a definite/concrete effect on the body and how it arranges ITSELF. I think this could also be called "body-thoughts". The kind of thought/intent that the body automatically responds to. Therefore, The Mental Models are MEDITATIONS. They are an attunement of the mind/body using the concrete body-thoughts. This transforms the mind/body over time. Sifu has said that the body/mind already knows what perfect posture is because of the gravity feedback mechanism between the body and the stabilizers. He then said that The Mental Models are meditations that help us to feel the sensations that this feedback mechanism produces in the body. They aren't exactly those things. They act as a direct bridge towards the body's own perfect posture. It is a process of shedding cultural, emotional, and personal artifacts from the body/mind by bathing in The Mental Model to the exclusion of any other thought, feeling, or action. This transforms our posture, our emotions, and our mental state over time. This process and the effects of it resonate deeply with my own interests in self cultivation/holistic spirituality. I'm very interested in finding, practicing, and demonstrating a complete system of personal cultivation that addresses as many if not all of the dimensions of what it means to be human and I see this process as encompassing many of those dimensions.
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