My push-ups this morning were just a total disaster. Yesterday I did ten push-ups without any difficulty at all. Today, you’d have thought I was just starting instead of a couple of weeks into the effort. My arms were cooked noodle. Sigh. Try again tomorrow.
The two qi gong forms went fine. I knew I was starting my new breathwork effort today, so I made a special effort to slow down the qi gong forms a bit so that I got a better work-out. Indeed I did — I’d have to say that where both of them together usually take about 15 minutes, today they took about 22. This may be a problem moving forward — I don’t really have an extra seven minutes to throw into my morning routines unless I can train myself to get up at the same time reliably. But it’s a start.
The tai chi form. The new effort to work according to this new rule, of using a four-count breath to cycle from one movement to the next, was a great success. Beginner’s luck. I would say that I got it right the first time out. It took me about 20 minutes, which is ideal for tortoise speed. I’m lightly sweaty, which means I got a good workout for this sort of thing. All in all, a good start. As always, it’s more challenging to obey this insight, to use more breaths for each movement, ten or twenty days into the process than it is to do it right away. But we’ll see how it goes. I wouldn’t say I got to tortoise speed, but I was doing pretty well in terms of movement.
From the Archive: back on Day 95 in year one, I was … working the forms in the reverse order. These days, I do Five Golden Coins and Eight Pieces of Silk first, and then do the tai chi form. Here, I was doing the qi gong forms after the tai chi form. I was also discovering something that challenges me still, apparently — coming up with a great idea bout what to write about, and losing it somewhere in the middle of the practice. Oh well! If I don’t keep it, I must not need to hold on to it. Back in year two on day 95, I was … curiously enough, struggling with the question of “what counted?”. This should come as no surprise. When you’re beginning this sort of solo practice, a bad effort counts as much as a good effort — because you’re working towards completion, getting it done. Now, a few years in, what am I trying to manage? Establishing a routine of good effort rather than sufficient effort.
Update: Oh, one more thing. The head of my Druidic order(s), John Michael Greer, has started a new blog specifically to talk about magic. His “Peak Oil” blog, The Archdruid Report, has been on my weekly reading list for years, but this new blog is specifically about the traditional craft of causing changes in consciousness according to will.