Yesterday brought an interesting email from a friend, Cole, who said that cloud hands was a great posture to play around with, when considering internal versus external energy. Given that it is off-center when stepping, the ball of chi one carries in the process of doing the movement can be expanded or contracted quite severely. There’s more to it than that, but I’ll save that for another morning.
Today brought up a reminder of the Francis DeSales quotation: “I always meditate for a half hour a day. Unless I am busy. Then I take an hour.” The two Qi Gong exercises went slowly enough, and smoothly enough, that the Tan Tien and solar plexus were both pushing breath out and pulling fresh air in. This is a complicated experience to describe in words, but it very much feels like the body overruling the brain on how breathing works; the alternating tension and relaxation of the nexus points forces breath out rapidly, and then draws it back in with surprising force.
Then came the main tai chi form. This is one of the keys of the day, and as a result, yesterday i did it more than once; today I repeated that practice. This is probably going to be the biggest change in routine: it appears to be the only way to slow down reliably. By doing it, and then doing it slower still, and then again even more slowly, one gradually trains the body to the intended speed. Gradually the mind follows.
After that, a time check revealed that the two qi gong forms are now taking around 15 minutes to complete. This is a lot slower than at the start of these practices. The Druid work is another 15 minutes. And then doing the tai chi form twice brought the whole morning routine to about an hour and fifteen minutes, including this writing.