First things first. The Novena of St. Cyprian began on the 17th of September. I’m now three days into it, and enjoying it as a complement to my druidic practice.  There’s a Call of Saint Cyprian that Jason Miller wrote, and Sam has a lot of resources on Saint Cyprian (He also writes movingly today on the difference between a problem, a predicament, and a crisis).  I’ve only made an icon, and a not very good one at that (although maybe this would be a good time to make, or re-make, a magical robe for yourself). I’m also beginning the process of working with my school’s debate club to prepare them for the spring’s Mock Trial competition, and the Spring Debate (last year’s question was “The United States should prevent travelers from countries with current outbreaks of highly infectious and lethal diseases from entering this country.” I don’t know this year’s question yet).  This morning, I’m posting from Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters because I’m away from home.  Across the street is the Haberdashery, a store I quite like for home brewing, cheese-making sewing and clothing repair, and other goods and services for modern homesteading.  I learned to sew at an allied store, Beehive Sewing, where you can rent sewing machines by the hour.

This morning, I did my druidic practice, followed by tai chi.  Today I was determined to make into a slow-down day. I don’t mean that I was trying to do less; I was trying to do the right amount, slowly.  As a result, I did one qi gong form, and one tai chi form. The qi gong form was Five Golden Coins.  I focused on breathwork through the qi gong, and specifically focused on the stretch inherent in each movement.

For the tai chi movement, I focused on breathwork as well.  My goal was to complete three full breath cycles for each movement — that is, breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out — for each named movement in my form.  There were some movements where this proved difficult: the Golden Pheasants, the low kicks, and the full and half-spins were not open to this kind of manipulation.  The other movements went fine, though. (The full poem referenced in the links in this paragraph can be found here).

As a result, this single iteration of the form took me about 14 minutes, which is about what it should take.  When I added in the time for the qi gong form, the whole took about 25 minutes.  If I did this every day, three iterations of the form should be enough to carry me past the 45-minutes-of-practice mark.

We’ll try it again tomorrow.