Sunday, February 10, 2013

Transition with The Water Snake

Welcome to the year of The Water Snake.  It is said that the Year of the Snake is the Yin to the Year of the Dragon's Yang.  So, if one follows these things, one can expect quite a different experience upcoming.  Personally, I expect quite a different experience anyway, if for no other reason than life is itself change.  For me, rather than getting too deep in the astrological predictions of the new year, I note the mythological characteristics for what they are and approach life with an empty cup, dealing with the changes that happen, whatever the characteristic.  At least that is my philosophical intention, and a major reason for training in the first place.

As we have for the past few years, my Taiji friends and I will accept the 100 Day Challenge and work on specific practices each day for 100 days.  Personally, I have tossed this around and have had lots of lofty goals, but am going to revert once again to the basics.  Last year my intention was to practice Zhan Zhuang, standing Qigong, for my challenge.  However, one month in and my father died.  This came on the heels of my mother passing some four months earlier.  So, pretty much all discipline went out the window till I regained my grounding and composure.  But in the spirit of stubbornness and determination, I will begin again: 100 days of various standing practices.

As I age and progress in my training, I more and more appreciate the basics.  It is often difficult to see how the most obscure Kung Fu practices reward us in unexpected ways.  It is frankly tempting to put off meditation, Qigong, standing, and the basic exercises and spend time at the gym, or with form, push hands, sparring, or just reading.  But we all know, just the same, that the foundation for transformation is in these obscure practices.  The 100 Day Challenge should hopefully give us a format for strengthening this foundation.

As far as snakes go, I have never been a fan.  I do respect them and admire their beauty from afar, but I like to keep my distance.  Apparently, Chinese wisdom has it that a snake in the house is a good omen.  I'm afraid I would likely blow that omen should it appear in my life.  I would prefer another sign.

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