Taij Day 203: Breathing, Horse Stance, and Jupiter

Today is Yom Kippur. I wish my Jewish friends and colleagues who read this, a safe, solemn and serene Day of Atonement — and I acknowledge and recognize the value in seeking forgiveness. If the words I’ve written in the past year have offended or annoyed you, and it displaced your calm or your work in an upsetting manner, please forgive me.

It’s also a day off from school. I have a fairly busy schedule for the day, with a lot of things to do. So I did myself two favors: I allowed myself to sleep in until 6:30 am (a whole hour and a half!) and I really slowed down my tai chi practice. The results were rather pleasing to both actions. I don’t usually get to sleep in, in the middle of the week, and this was much needed. The second thing was the slowing-down part. I won’t say that I “run” the forms, but I certainly don’t do them as slowly as they should be. They can always be done more slowly and more intentionally and more purposefully. Today I tried to strike a happy medium between doing the work, and doing the work at the preferred glacial pace.

The result was rather pleasing. First of all, after my painful post-recovery from doing Horse Stance all the way through both Five Golden Coins and Eight Pieces of Silk, I’m discovering that my legs have strengthened up nicely.  I’m now able to do Horse Stance for most of FGC and EPS without difficulty. The initiation is working, and taking, and I’m keeping the capability that I tested and then hurt from.  This is a good sign.

Second, I discover that after one of these slow sessions that any lingering sinus difficulties have a tendency to ease up or even vanish completely.  My body processes whatever it’s experiencing that is causing mucus build-up, and I breath clearly, and from my belly rather than my chest. Progress!  THis time of year, the sinus relief is especially nice.

Jovian Zentangle
a Jovian Zentangle

I spent some time yesterday evening at the hour of Jupiter crafting this little Zentangle square for a friend of mine, based on the astrological sign of the planet Jupiter. It’s not ideal conditions, but I’m developing some sort of relationship with this symbol and its resonances.  They immediately put it in their cash register at work.

I’m definitely feeling like my artwork is in greater demand and that my work is more highly respected since beginning the tai chi program (which I did largely as a result of something from RO’s hermetics course, and Jason Miller’s strategic sorcery course (of which I just received lesson 49 of 52; has it really been a year? Guess it has!)  No one asks you to help change their life if you aren’t obviously good at changing your own.

One of the things I really like about Zentangle is that it’s improving my artistic skills by improving my pen control and my line control, and my awareness of composition, while not wasting a lot of time in sketchbooks.  The result is artwork that is easily given away, and I’ve given away quite a few of them (I’m looking forward to emptying the box, actually… it’ll make a nice portable kit for something, probably pens, and more paper squares).

Update: In the course of posting this entry, I discovered that there was no entry for Day 199… and so I have revised the title to reflect the corrected day number, which was not 204 as originally posted, but day 203.

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