Archive for February 2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 9:01 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith
As students progress through their training, they become aware of stages and signals. These inner signals make us aware of the massaging and cultivation of chi that is occurring internally. The trembles and shakes are one such signal. With beginning students the shaking may begin in a basic posture, while the body is trying to open-up, and the meridian lines, tendon-lines strengthen, and the heart-mind-body connection is being made. I likened it to welding, when I used to repair cars, the sparks are flying while entities were being merged together. Later, in this same posture, their much less shaking and the heart-mind-body connection is in harmony.
Many times the shaking will occur when one area is out of harmony, too many thoughts, too many emotions, and the trembling occurs. The trembling can evolve into noticable shaking; Master Chin would refer to it as 'bacon frying in the pan'. As I encourage students, let it shake, you will not hurt yourself. It is a good sign. Do not encourage the shaking, yet do not avoid it.
When we test ourselves even slightly, by sitting just 1/4 inch deeper, or rounding the shoulders slightly, or process of calming the minds with a new thought exercise (yi-chuan), the shaking may begin again. Students are only encouraged to bring the shaking to a halt through mental command, if the practice becomes an exhibition of physical strength or tension, or if significant discomfort occurs. If you hang in there, often the shaking will settle down, and a new sensation circulates throughout the body. You have just improved.
Recently, a Taoist priest, Chantak Mia was being interviewed in how the standing meditation (zham zhuang) was helping cancer patients restore their health. He explained that this electro-magnetic force or chi would often create shaking while it was being cultivated. Mia went on to explain, "Shaking is not an unusual effect and is in fact, beneficial, serving as an internal exercise. Concentrating on just one thought has been known to stop it and if it becomes really violent you can end it simply by ordering it to stop. The author encourages everyone to shake for the benefits it provides. To stop this shaking, just order it to stop and breathe normally."
****From old post
One of our most basic training tools for all students is the working of putting the mind and body together. Most recently many students that have been practicing regularly have noticed new responses both in their body and their minds. Several of the new students have noticed that now the same movement exercises feel different because they are mindful with their practice. The ole saying that "Our thoughts are the magnetic force of our reality" is a powerful tool.
Some students are easily standing for half-hour and a few have now pushed to 45 minutes and one hour of non-movement training, and one hour of movement training. These are the same student whom 10-15 minutes of meditation was a struggle months ago. Practically every student we have, even the ones who have come to learn 'fighting kung fu' have told us (and we feel the same) that the greatest benefit and work is in the posting.
The real kung fu and tai chi is invisible, it is not how the practitioner moves that is the driving force, it is how his mind moves and expresses itself that makes the kung fu work.Edited on: Thursday, July 03, 2014 12:50 PM
Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 at 6:51 AM by Sifu TW Smith the site author">Sifu TW Smith
One of the most enjoyable parts of training and practice is gain ourselves and to see our students and classmates also gain. When you see the illumanation of understanding being translated to a physical reality, it is wonderful. Over the years I have recorded many questions from the beginner to very experienced, on why to learn, how to learn, why to practice particular pieces regularly, how to make it work, and probably most often 'how can it make me better'? Yet the one of greatest impact to a individual student is; 'where did my kung fu go'?
I am preparing a guidebook with those years of experiences, what students have done, how they changed and improved, and many of their comments and understandings on the other side. We used to hear the entertaining stories of Great Master Mar Sik, who would have his Kung-Fu-Repair-Shop. I was amazed many years ago to see the Repair-Shop at work with Master Chin. People who had spent many years of training, and lots of money learning styles and 'secret kung-fu', yet they found themselves at dead-end, or found that it didn't work when called upon, or worse of all, they couldn't find it. This happens regularly, someone spends their resources in training, one day they test it in a sparring match or more fluid situation, and find themselves frozen or they turned into a boxer because their wing-chun didn't come out or other problems.
They would ask the Master 'can it be fixed', the Master would have them pull the ole clunker in the garage, look under the hood, pull stuff out, streamline the flow, and almost everytime, replace and retrain the mechanism that fire. Training the understanding that all kung-fu must come from within. Get a higher octane fuel to drive your kung fu and then have some faith. The student would look perplexed and troubled as they were given direction to practice non-movement, every day. For some it would take a short year or two to understand, other's longer, yet eventually it would happen that they would realize that all movement starts in non-movement, if you are in chaos at non-movement, then your movement is nothing more than chaos.
Look for the manual coming up.
Posted in Style: Tai Chi