Tues. Jan. 24: Using previous class vids as practice sessions. At first thought this may not be adequate as some of the later videos/classes introduced newer exercises that perhaps I should be doing daily but Sifu says just follow along the classes for practice. I found that regardless of whether it was stage 1 week 3 or the last class of stage 2... we're simply working the principles, regardless of which exercises. Going back (as I and others have pointed out) always brings new lessons even though the class is literally 'exactly' the same as it was the first, second and third time I watched it, still get something new each time, something deeper.
First class of 'ongoing' training was awesome. It really is different being able to be involved with the live students (in-person, Tuscon students) because just as reading Paulo's and Jeff's blogs have helped my own practice, it helps to get to see the corrections Sifu shows them and hear and witness the questions they have.
I've journaled before that I made these entries for my own records to aid in my own training thinking that no one would read them anyway. It's become apparent that people do read them... so in that case I wanted to mention (for anyone who may read these entries) that many things have come to light in the short time (months) of the program about my own approach to the training. Initially, and even up until somewhat recently, there were many questions in my mind about this and that, and trying to make sense of the why's and how's of what we're doing and what will come of it, etc. I've said it before but I wanted to re-emphasize that there is nothing to figure out, this is what I'm finding, this is one of the keys I think. Quite literally, all that has to be done is whatever "Sifu Says"... exactly as he says it. I wasted a lot of time trying to make sense of things and getting in my own way, but again... as Sifu says, its all about the process. And this is something I am beginning to learn having completed the first 2 stages of our program. 'Beginner's Mind' is the only way. There's nothing that we have to 'do' or find out... Sifu has already done that and is giving it to us in the most efficient way possible. All there is to do is train. And along the course of training things just start to appear on their own, there really is nothing else to 'do'.
So if anyone reading this is a new student... quite simply, just train. Train in the manner that Sifu says verbatim, and the rest will reveal itself in time. There is a payoff, and I am only scratching the surface of these 'gifts' that arrive from putting in the time, and I look forward to ongoing training.