Saturday, August 22, 2009

Benefits of Zhan Zhuang

Benefits of Zhan Zhuang (Standing Meditation):
I have noticed a TON of benefits from exploring this simple exercise, which is the core of my wujifa practice.

Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National and S...Image via Wikipedia

I'm a bit of a Zhan Zhuang fiend, I'm all about it. My friends and I get together about once a week to help motivate each other and give each other help on whatever we're working on in our lives, and whatever issue a friend of mine brings up, I find myself drawn to say "Stance practice would help with that"

"I'm having trouble focusing" - practice stance
"I get so angry I can't deal with it in a positive way" - practice stance
"I can't poop" - practice stance

whatever... I pretty much think that if it's practiced with the right mindset, stance can do anything you need it to do for you.... that's why they call it the million dollar secret of qigong. It's so simple too!

There's plenty of information on specifics in training in these few posts by Rick, which I would recommend checking out:
The Concept of Sit Down in Wujifa Training
Basic Tips for Zhan Zhuang and the Pelvis
More on Zhan Zhuang and Movement

I'd actually recommend reading and following Rick's blog, since he's always putting out top shelf information on internal martial arts. He may be one of the best IMA teachers in the united states today, definitely one of the best whities.

So returning to my recommending stance practice for anyone for anything, this just comes from my experience, that whenever I've had a problem and I've gone to my Zhan Zhuang practice for answers , I've tended to find them. I believe in the spiritual truths inherent in a wide variety of religions, and I'm a christian, or maybe a bit buddhist, but not really any of these things - however, my religion is pretty much standing meditation.

Sometimes you meet those fanatics who are all about "the answers you need are in the bible/quran/talmud/sutras/gitas/whatever" I'm kind of nutty in the same way for stance, but the cool thing about stance is that it's INTERNAL... which means that you're exploring yourself and looking for the truth there instead of going on someone else's word. In Christianity, they say "The kingdom of Heaven is within you" and the Buddha said (and this is paraphrased) "Don't take my word for it" so I figure stance kind of fits both of these ideologies.

At any rate, try it for yourself. There's a lot of good information out there, especially on the blog I suggested. You're the only person who can see how great stance can be for you and how many benefits you will find in it.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Will and Willingness

What will you do?

What are you willing to do?

There is certain power in making a decision - in setting an intention. When you are willing to follow an intention - through all doubt and uncertainty - with faith that what you have decided will be, you get to discover something new about yourself.

Now, we can fight through it - we can beat our doubts or fears, facing our "wills" against theirs, OR...

We can be willing to follow our intention - to say, "this is the face and voice of fear and doubt, and it is my choice whether I will follow its path or the path I have set before myself." - and we can make that choice to follow the path we have intended.

We can become great fighters, but in my life it seems that fighting is hard on the heart, even when you "win".

So just being willing... willing to follow through an intention, even if it's as simple as to stand for one hour - not fighting to stand, but choosing to stand - can show us so much.

Willingness, Noticing, Intention, Openness... just a few words at the foundation of Wujifa. Are you willing to explore what they can show you?

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