When the form transform.

When the form transform.

Postby ji » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:17 pm

Hi everybody, I just wanted to share something with you since I had somehow, an incident concerning my form and I am sure, many of you had something similar to this.

As the topic goes: "When the form transform"

When I started first, I learned basics, and wow, those basics were not that easy the first time around, hahaha, you get my point. Legs trembling, body sweating, tingling sensations in the hands (but that felt, good, no? hehe), the feeling of not knowing what you are doing, the sifu repeating over and over to be one with oneself when in fact, during those basics, you are more focus on the actual form, right? In fact, everything seems more external than internal makeover. Those hot summer days when I was repeating over and over ward off because that was the only thing I knew back then. People looking and wondering, "did he smoke or something?"

HA! I'd like to know how it was for you the first time.

Then, from the first lesson, 2 group of people are created; those who will practice only when lesson occurs, and those you will see in a garden somewhere, park or just in the courtyard practicing ALMOST everyday (even though their intention is "all the time", TAI CHI CHUAN has a very subtle way of rearranging your ways throughout space and time, I think)... and maybe those that use it only for medical purpose when symptom occurs, once in a while.

Now, the topic focus more on the second group then the 2 other, and that is because of self-discovery.

I use to go 1 time per week to sifu, practice practice practice, learn few interesting thing along the way, and I noticed its a more relaxing effect in a group of people than when I am alone outside, maybe that is because of lack of focus caused by the feeling of being observed OR that the sifu's words are like mantras that put be back into focus during lesson which in turn improve results (or energy is flowing more because more people swim the seas together.) In the long run, it is still me and myself for 6 days, and 1 day with sifu.

So to speak, there are days that I practice for long period of time without noticing it, repeating over and over, trying to make last at the same time that feeling of being there and not being there...(wow, until I thought about writing it down, I would never think it would be that hard to explain). And someday... something... and then...

When the form transform; it is hard to say how it happened and for what reason, it is not as if you would try to visualize, figure a serie of movements and their applications. But is more like something that teach you, or even force you to let somehow, energy flow in a different pattern which in return makes you move, not in a very different manner, but in a different fashion, and then................................ everything start making sense. You don't know who to thank yet, what to thank, it appears throughout practice as some kind of reward (or maybe I am being foolish saying that and at the same time something in me tells me that to perceive something as foolish, is maybe a misconception of what we think is not). It is like if 2 sifus exist. Mine and that one that I cannot see, the one that appears only when you are in some kind of perfect harmony (maybe being one with oneself).

You daily practitionner out there must at least have a clue for I don't consider myself more advanced than others, and those who are, should share this topic with me, with all of us.

From ward off to press, single whip... every movement seems to have turned into something more specific, more precise, maybe people would see it as being too much focus on external stuff, but I think thats because they analysed too much my form rather then asking me questions about what happens on the inside. Nothing changed, and at the same time everything on a more subtle plane did. Up to the point when:

After the normal seasonal break my sifu takes, lets say 4-5 months, I decide to go back for the beginning of session with one fact and one feeling I hold in myself.

1st fact: I did greatly improve, I think personnally, more endurance, more relax state of being, clear thoughts (except with those constant migraine, you can check other topic.) Better back posture, as for deeper breathing, I have work to do as it is only easy to do when nothing is on my mind, and for the last 7 months, I have been going through a lot of stress, so I forget many time about breathing correctly, back then I think that was mastered, now, just altered temporary, I went through hell and I keep going, thats what I say.

2nd is the emotion of achievement, I feel good about having gone through all this practice to a point that I feel almost bad to miss a day of practice. I'm really proud of myself, and I wish to do just that for the rest of my life, keeping on trying. Really one part of my ego has turned out for the best and in my mind I am more flexible now, not quite at a 100%, lets say 65%, I'd like to add to this that I am a METAL ROOSTER and AQUARIUS in the east for those who know what I am speaking about. Anywayz, to put it simple, I feel good about everything that I've accomplished.

NOW, when the form transform and meet with sifu, then the EGO takes a blast. I'm not doing anything really different as I am keeping all the key principles, I am being loyal. I just feel that it transformed to a certain point where sometimes I wonder; "what have I done wrong... I practice all this time only to be told to practice another way, and then I do just that and I'm still being told to do it another way afterward." I can take a comment like: "I've seen you do this, and this is not correct for x reason." But what is, is different, its more like: I AM A PERSONAL TARGET for him to hit on.

As roosters are good observers, I see people around in my class, and without saying or even thinking, I still show good judgment, and I realize lot of people did not practice at all, and some do it just because it makes them having an activity of not being alone once a week, so even find defeats saying "this yang form is so comlpicated to memorize", but all of you faithful practitionner should know by now its caused by lack of practice as 5 consecutive days of not practicing could make you skip one serie of movements without noticing. What shall I say for 5 months of absence from the sifu. See.

Some move like broken tree falling down, without fluidity, continious flow, should I say, without form? And they seem to repeat the same mistake over and over again, which make them not ready to take the next lesson in my opinion.

I show determination, perseverance, good intention, discipline, hard working. But why is it me, always me that the sifu come speak to. I appreciate the fact that he is actually focusing on me, at the same time, I feel bad, because he doesnt seem to realize how big the improvement is, both physical and spiritual (something that I am really aware of). And it feels like he's paying too much attention on me. I am the youngest in my class, I am 25 years old soon to turn out 26 on January 20. But not the least experienced. I had a friend coming with me at those lesson, and he quit after half a year. Lets say, its just not his thing. Still, why sifu did not invest his precious ways of training someone onto him. without bragging, it seems that he's attacking the good student, and not the bad student. And for that, I feel helpless in my comprehension.

The form transformed as many of you would know what I am talking about. Still, why do I feel that I am being targeted that much on every improvement I make, and not mistakes. I would rather fix problems, then just spend time questionning my improvements.

I don't know, I am clueless to this point. I need shaman treatment now, haha.

Oh I forgot about one emotion, anger. But why? Every time that happens, it makes me want go practice outside the group.

Anywayz, glad you could make it till the end. Bye all, may the chi be with you, hahah.
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:34 pm

If your teacher is focusing on you in class, it may be for an entirely different reason than you think.
Rather than look at it as, "Oh, no! I'm improving and they're not, why is he picking on me?", instead think, "I put in my time, I practiced diligently, I improved to the extent that the teacher wanted me to for this week, now he is going to show me more advanced things because I earned it."
Does that maybe put this into better perspective?
He's not picking on you, he's going to the student who put in the most practice time, has shown the most improvement, has perservered in his training when others were drinking sodas and watching television, and now he's giving him more of the system than he is the others because this student is showing remarkable improvement so has earned the right to go deeper into the art.

Think about it that way, and maybe you will begin to understand what is happening.

Bob Ashmore
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Postby Steveg219 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:26 am

I wasn't there so I can't say what is going on and the nature of the relationship with your teacher. I can share with you that I was for years the youngest and least experienced in my school and often felt that I was being singled out, almost picked on in a way. I practised consitently and intently but always felt that I was lacking in inner principle and understanding and never quite being recognized for what I was accomplishing.

However, I persisted and now after 20 years or so the principles are coming alive for me. It was a long process of hard work and I am still working hard.

What I would like to share is that real progress in Tai Chi is often measured in decades, not months or even years. Traditional teaching is rigorous and can be very harsh physically and emotionally. If this is where your teacher is coming from then you are truly blessed!

Many attributes of Tai Chi principle become more accessible with age and long term practise. If you persist from your 20's through the rest of your life you will have a longer time than many of the great master had who started later in life.

Invest in loss and rejoice in the opportunity to be on this path!

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