After Practice.

May 13, 2015 0 Comments
Ogami Stone Jornal and my favorite pen.

Ogami Stone Journal and my favorite pen.

I practice or train Tai Chi almost every day, many days in the beautiful Healthy Living Center YMCA Mind Body Studio.  The HLC is my home Y and the studio is often unused. It has a great floor, has floor to ceiling mirrors and is quiet.  A perfect sanctuary for me to drop in and practice my forms.

Aside from teaching and training, I have the luxury of filling my days with soul nourishing activities–After Practice.

  1. I Read.  I follow several Facebook groups.  My two favorites now are at opposite ends of a spectrum.  For Tai Chi I follow Slanted Flying, a Facebook page dedicated to educate Tai Chi enthusiasts.  For enjoyment, I follow and post photos to Dark & Dreamy Cemetaries.  My cemetary posts are never dark or dreary, I make them reverent and interesting.
  2. I Watch.  I supplement my Tai Chi practice and training with YouTube videos.  I am learning Wu Style 108 form on Tuesdays with a few friends.  Traditional Wu3 Style Tai Chi Chuan Form: Zhong Zhenshan is demonstrated here by my teacher’s Master.  I also watch tutorials presented by Bruce Frantzis of Energy Arts.  Bruce breaks Tai Chi forms and meditation tips down into small bytes that help the Tai Chi practitioner better understand fundamentals.
  3. I do.  I keep my back healthy by practicing Spinal Qigong as demonstrated by John G. Murray, Jr.  I meditate most days using my Headspace App on my iPad.  I chose Headspace because it slowly introduces the student to meditation through short guided sessions progressing to longer, less guided and more silent sessions.
  4. I think.  Inspiration is everywhere, yet I find myself coming back to books and articles by my favorite thinkers.  I read works by Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra and the Dali Lama.  I think David Foster Wallace was a brilliant mind so I reread his essays from time to time.   I always come back to The Untethered Soul, The Journey Beyond Oneself by Michael Singer when I need inspiration and grounding.
  5. I write.  A long time ago, my mentor gave me a beautiful Mont Blanc Pen.  I treasure that pen.  It reminds me of her and the thrill I had when I got the job of my dreams.  I use it when I journal in lovely Ogami Professional Notebooks.  I get the notebooks from Jenni Bick Bookbinding, but you can get them from Amazon. Ogami stone paper notebooks are made from REPAP, which is a paper that is formed from limestone and other ecological resins. The smooth, easy to write on pages of a stone paper notebook are unlike any other writing experience.
  6. I get aerobic exercise.  My Fitbit counts my steps.  Based on my small but mighty group of Fitbit friends, I’ve concluded that women 20-30 years younger than me can put in a whole lot more steps each day.  Yes, I’m talking about you D, K and S.  And, in full disclosure my sister is also lapping me.
  7. I take pictures.  I love capturing daily life and special events with my camera.  Looking through a lens and then publishing my work on Instagram or Facebook,makes my soul soar.
  8. I listen.  I have always had a gift for listening and truly hearing what’s been said.  I’m not in the work environment anymore and my exposure to people is much less than before I retired.  Still, I listen.  I listen to the birds outside my home.  I listen to my cats galloping across the living room floor.  I listen to music.  Right now I’m playing Gavin James, Live at Whelans, over and over.  I listen to audio books.  I listen to the rain on the roof late at night.  I listen to my husband’s breath as he sleeps.  I listen to my students.  I listen to my family.  I listen to my neighbors.  I listen.  I listen closely. And sometimes, I can hear the anguish of the lonely, the lost, and the fearful.
  9. And then, I pray — during and after practice.

 

Filed in: Alan Watts, Qigong, Tai Chi

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