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Practicing for one’s pleasure

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When you enter into a serious practice, normally as soon as the 2nd month you have too much exercises to perform. The teacher must have the means to confront you to the work you have to do in many forms. The accumulation of exercises allows to check for yourself your evolution. It is important to keep practicing all these exercises for some time.

The key is to train without searching for a logic in the exercises. At each period of one’s evolution in the Way, you should be going in the direction of the exercises. You can, at times, discuss the Way and what is researched, but at other times one must know how to be in the practice, and nothing but the practice.

Quickly, you need to install in your practice an equal share of the three facets of the Way:

– A physical aspect, for the body,
 – A energetic facet that nourishes the Qi (energy),
 – A meditative component that seeks to know the Shen (spirit).

Without this equal distribution between the three elements of the human being, we create an imbalance. It is obvious that when starting the practice, this imbalance is already present, which is why it is important to correct it as soon as possible, before going further. Most of the time, the pains and weaknesses of the body require a more physical start. Our mind, foggy  and overflowing with sticky stigma for most of us, requires Shen gong exercises (work of the mind). Loss of desire and enthusiasm, unfortunately common in our soft society with a depressive tendency, demands to awaken the energy in us.

After a year of training, we must be able to introduce two phases in our time of practice: learning (which we add stuff, refine and think) and the practice itself (which is in the “feeling” without thinking). Indeed, without continuity in education, without a constant relationship with the Way and the discovery of what it is, we can regress or even forget it. Thus it is good to refine one’s practice by always going deeper into learning.

On the other hand, it is necessary to have a phase of free action, melting into the feeling of what is best known. At first, a simple gesture that one understands is sufficient. But without this time where the focus is placed on what is sensed, forgetting the imperfections of what is known, the Way does not exist.

If the training is only an apprenticeship, you end up correcting yourself for decades without making progress on the Way. It’s like inspecting one’s car before a long trip, arranging the interior and checking the tire pressure for 20 years … and in the end, not having made any trip. There are modern ways all the training time (group or individual) is based on a maniacal correction of everything that goes wrong. In neurotic focus, there is no practice, there is no evolution, it is a waste of time.

If in the illusion of practice, you get lost in the movements then the learning is not sufficiently respected and that this false practice is useless. It is possible to claim to be in the “feeling” immersed in astral limbo, but the truth is that one is lost in the welter of one’s mind. Feeling, simple presence to the body and energy, but presence still, enables us to be in the right gesture, in the known. If one fails to do so, it is that the learning is not enough, that the work is incomplete, as one does not work in the right spirit. Under no circumstances should the “feeling” make us lose sight of the form of the movements.  On the contrary, it is an integral part of them. 

If you do not have this problem, then  you have to begin to “sort” the practice. In an effort to balance the three phases of practice, and a good time management of learning and practice, we must go further: it must be fun, we must have fun. 

Only those who plan to teach must know all the aspects of education. The practitioner only needs a path that suits him and that is in line with his needs. Learning must remain learning, however the practice, to be considered as such, must sooner or later,take  a pleasant form.Across everything that is known, with the agreement of the teacher so as to not do anything stupid, we must shape the practice in order to have fun. The qualities work, the substance, can be expressed in different forms. It is therefore possible to articulate the practice, while respecting the Way, in an expression that we like, that is pleasant.

Whether you choose one style over another (Taijiquan, Baguazhang, xingyiquan ….), whether you prefer working on the basics rather than advanced forms (simple qi gong, nei gong …), whether we decided to do everything with the same form rather than various forms, and vice versa … Everything is good from the point where the bases are met (this is why the approval of the teacher is important and that you must not indulge in selective creativity ).

“The teaching is broad enough to express the Way in pleasant forms”

It is useless to have a “painful” practice, the “no pain, no gain” is useless.