Taiji Day 263: Physical Stuff

Increasingly, as I move through the form, I can feel the various muscles and tendons pulling me in first one direction, and then the other.  It’s both disconcerting and pleasing.  It’s disconcerting because often I’m aware of individual muscles and their role in performing a particular move; pleasing, because there’s more muscle mass to perform the action now than there used to be.  It’s rather odd to experience a single muscle in tension, or a muscle group in tension, and know that six months ago I wouldn’t have even known those muscles were there; now I sense them as a matter of course, and it’s hard not to become aware of them at odd hours during the course of my day.

When the physical stuff is in the forefront, though, it’s hard to pay attention to the internal energies.  Which is more important? Where should the focus be? The solo practitioner winds up having to decide if their body is lying to them about what’s important at the moment, and try to force the awareness of the internal energy patterns; or if the body knows what it’s doing, and it slowing down the internal sensations in favor of the body awareness.

And the answer is…


I think this is what is meant by incommensurability.  There’s no standard answer for judging whether to treat the body’s awarenesses as a subjective experience, and a false flag; or if one should treat it as true knowledge. Accepting one judgement or the other closes off possibilities.  It’s a slightly odd thing to be at odds with the experiences one’s body presents, and yet it makes me happy rather than paranoid.  There’s a warm, cheerful glow about me this morning, even being aware of this differential between my experience and my knowledge, between my internal senses and the feeling of being in my own skin.

It’s like coming home for the holidays. They have to take you in, yes, but they also want to.

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