Got down to my toes again this morning. Ow, that took a little doing. But it worked. I’m not sure there’s much else to say about today’s practice.
Oh, wait, yes there is. The last few days I’ve been getting up early and doing tai chi outside before the heat of the day really takes over. It’s been really nice. Today, I opened the door to go outside, and I was hit by a blast of warm air from a sauna. My glasses fogged up instantly.
It’s 8 in the morning here.
I did tai chi indoors. Given that one of the largest yarn stores in North America is a 20-minute car ride from where I’m presently sitting, I’m thinking I should go to the hardware store and to Webs, buy some wool, and build myself an orgone accumulator and a rain gun. (no not likely, but remember to follow Reich’s rules if you build one, recognizing that you may get interesting results (hat-tip to Gordon for these).
I haven’t said very much in this blog about chi, the nominal “energy” behind effective tai chi practice. When I first started out, I’d feel this flow of energy through myself, as though of electricity or fire. Gradually, I came to understand that what I was feeling was the pressure of the blockages in my body, which I was gradually removing. The more taichi I practiced, the less chi-sense I actually had. The channels opened wider and wider, and the blockages diminished: the result is, I can’t call up that sense of tingling energy flowing through me even when I try. It’s gone completely.
It’s a weird thing, I think. When we first start practicing a tradition with a theory and a history of an internal energetic tradition, like Reiki or Kabbalah/Cabala/Qabalah (JMGreer says a magical tradition is any three people who all spell Qabalah the same way), we feel that energy almost immediately, because we want to feel it. We almost fool ourselves into experiencing it. But in fact it’s the not-feeling-it sense which follows on the initial awareness of it that shows you’re developing the internal processes to handle that energy. (Maybe it’s the return of the energetic sense that shows mastery? I’ll let you know when and if I ever find out).
Anyway, the point of all of this is that you can be the sort of person who has trouble bending over and touching your toes, and still do the work every day. The newness and the splendor and the shininess and the energy wears off after a while, and sometimes your body doesn’t want to cooperate. But you’re still accumulating your own strength and power and capacity, even if — no, especially if — you think you aren’t.