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Sword Form Qigong (preliminary) - internal cultivation through motion and presence [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

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Sword Form Qigong (preliminary) [Jun. 22nd, 2007|03:01 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence


In the (in my opinion, excellent) book, The Healing Promise of Qi, by Roger Jahnke, I read this small bit that stunned me for a moment with the beauty it evoked.

"There are between thirty and forty separate postures but just as she reaches the completion of one of the gestures, she gently shifts forward or drifts back into the next one. We begin to get a message from the hypnotic movements. The suggestion of her gestures is that she is using the sword to slay her own inner demons and cut away Qi that is not serving her. The sword is inner spirit and truth killing off doubt, fear, and ongoing anxiety.
It becomes apparent from the movements, and even more from an inner sense, that she has now turned her attention toward us. Just watching her, our breath shifts to become fuller, slower. Deep within, something changes - a door opens, a cord is cut, we begin to feel as if we are filling with warm, fragrant tea. We are aware of not caring too much about who we have been or who we might become."

After I read that once, twice, I called my teacher, and flat-out told him I wanted to learn this - as this deeply intrigued me.

His reply, as usual, was profound - he said that first off, he wasn't a big fan of Tai Chi, which the form described was. Second, he reminded me that energy follows intent - it's not the specific Tai Chi moves that do it, it's the intent behind the movements that speaks to me personally that does it.

I blinked, and a grin began to grow on my face as he broke this last part down. I told him that I felt the urge to go play with it, and he asked that I write about it when I was done.

I took the beginning stance of the Wu-Ji - legs together and bent slightly, arms slightly out from my body, head down.

I felt the energy in my hands, feet, arms, and lower legs already, as I thought about using a sword to cut away the things that I feared. I let my mind drift where I winced. Where it hurt a little to think about. Where it stung, where it made me cringe. I felt as if I were remembering something I forgot about until recently (kinda like how I've been forgetting one move of the Wu-Ji for about two weeks straight), and began to move.

I gathered earth Qi with a long breath, and exhaled it into my heart. I gathered heaven Qi with a long breath, and exhaled it into my heart. I began to weave an orb, a conjuration, wherein what made me wince about myself would gain form. Would gain claws, teeth, and at most other times in my life would have made my cringe, and shy away, hoping to not acknowledge it. Those times being past, I exhaled and opened my stance a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, hands over my lower Tan Tien.

I wove the orb to my left, spinning and gaining form of something I feared. My fear of women, how I'd never find the one that would complement me and feel in harmony with, how I shouldn't try, since I'm always attracted to the wrong ones, or don't recognize the right ones, it's no point to try anymore. This fear wove and gained form, looming over me like a frightening gigantic succubus, larger than the orb I wove it with. And I beheaded it with a strong exhale.

I wove the orb in front of me, my fear of never becoming organized, always being a mess, never seeming to have enough clean clothes to wear since I don't have time, and I won't have time, so just leave it as being messy forever. It gained form, it's shadow overtaking me, fragments of everything I owned swirling like a mad tornado. And it died, cut from shoulder to hip with a strong breath.

I wove the orb to my right, my last major fear surfacing. How I'd never be able to get out of debt, how I'd never be able to have enough money to deal with all my overdue bills and everything that needed replacing and repairing. It gained form, an enormous ghostly fat white cigar-smoking, smirking, greasy, huge-ring-having fatcat demanding I repay this huge bill I suddenly owe. He died, cut in half upward.

I felt lighter as I finished, and I almost felt awestruck at how it evoked my imagination and intent, tingly and a little fearful from those things coming to the surface. So I went through the exercise again, this time more slowly, but with no less intent.

It felt a bit choppy, as if when I show my teacher I know there should be quite a few "filler" moves that would make it flow right and move together more smoothly - but overall, that was fun, and I'm definitely doing that again.