Sifu Kelley has asked me to expand here on a comment I made to him about ILC and the entanglement I am encountering with the Wild Goose system. A little background may help.
I’ve been involved in the internal arts since 1976. For the last five years I have been study and writing about the Wild Goose (Dayan) system of healing and martial arts. My information about this system comes from my coauthor Shane Lear who has studied in China, Chinese texts that we have translated and my own growth and experiences with the system. Although Shane studies directly with the Grand Master and lineage holder of the system, there are still gaps in my knowledge (distance/time/translation issues). To resolve these gaps I am looking to other sources of internal arts knowledge. I have always admired the compactness of the ILC system and the demonstrable abilities of GM Sam Chin and Kelley Graham tell me that they have the right principles in place. Filling those gaps has led me to ILC.
Here are some of the points of coherence / entanglement I’ve appreciated between the systems.
1. Open awareness – I was pleased to see the open awareness meditation at the start of Stage 1. This fell directly in line with the progression of meditation in Wild Goose (and with my concept of the importance of awareness). Kelley’s emphasis on open awareness brought me a greater appreciation of how it should be applied in Wild Goose. I see “open awareness” as a different animal than just “awareness”. It is easy to get caught up in the complexities of a system, without realizing that you aren’t supposed to “do” anything, but rather be aware of or realize what is already there. Using the Wild Goose meditation progressions from the point of open awareness, rather than “doing” a circulation for example, changes the impact of the work. Reflecting on the Chinese translation of the Wild Goose texts, I now see the concept of “open awareness” at the core of Wild Goose.
2. Structure – This was something I “knew” but was not implementing – the tucking of the ribs, i.e. not particularly a Wild Goose thing, but an important point I wasn’t doing correctly. The reference to the floating ribs was very helpful. I am still working my way through this one, trying to overcome previous habit. This also helped with suspending the crown and suction on the chest. This is an example of something that can easily be “lost in translation”.
3. Spherical energy – I was aware of the concept of spherical energy, but Kelley’s explanation resonated with me regarding a particular Wild Goose meditation that addresses energy flow in all three body planes. From that awareness in that particular meditation, it is easy to see how spherical energy impacts the rest of the system. This is an important issue on perspective and I can see that both systems provide a coherent approach.
4. Absorb and Project – While condense / expand are present in all closing and opening movements, there are some moves that are specifically focused on absorbing and projecting energy. The two core Wild Goose forms use 5 different postures with a total of 26 repetitions that are very specific to project and absorb. The ILC mechanics of absorb and project have been very helpful with these movements as has the emphasis in ILC on condense and expand.
5. Circulation / Macrocosmic orbit – The explanation of yin/yang muscle agrees with the coverage of macrocosmic orbit in the Wild Goose material. Seeing it in ILC in relation to wrapping helped clarify the Wild Goose practice and it was reassuring to see both systems doing the same thing.
Overall it’s been significant for me that the ILC pieces fit right into the Wild Goose puzzle. In one sense it should be a “no-brainer” that there would be common ground between effective systems. However, with all that seems to pass for internal arts training in various popular systems, there is little evidence of either effective systems or common ground. This experience with ILC is confirming for me that the principles of both systems are correct.