Raleigh Chinese Martial Arts

Standing Meditation and Shaking

Meditation Zham Zhaung

by Sifu TW Smith

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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.

Categories Posted in Mindfulness - Attention , Style: HsingYi - YiChuan
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