Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm playing in the rain ...

A borderland experience.

In Ithaca NY we are in that strange weather time as spring tries to break through. A hot day, a cold day, a wet day, a windy day. You never quite know what is coming. Yesterday, we had a sprinkling of snow. On Saturday is will be in the high 70s. The other morning it was raining. Not a heavy deluge, just a constant drizzle. It wasn't cold so I did my morning practice outside in the rain, partly shaded by our beautiful magnolia tree in full bloom. In Celtic spirituality this would be a borderland experience—doing something you would not do normally. Something on the edge of your regular routine. When it rains, we usually come inside. On the borderland, when it rains you go outside and experience it. You connect with nature. You breath the air you usually don't. You feel the tingling of rain drops on exposed skin. Practice in the rain is fun.

Body follows mind.

I am fortunate that our daughter Bekah is a trained and licensed massage therapist. She knows all about bodies. I explained to her my issues with posture and she helped me find the centerline. This is a line from the top of the head through the wuji point (slightly back from dantien area toward the spine) and through the midpoint of the stance into the ground. Weight is evenly distributed left to right, but on the "bubbling well" points of the feet. The bubbling well is slightly forward of the arch, roughly between the two balls at the front of the feet. The feet generally are like suction cups grabbing the earth. When Bekah said I was centered in the correct posture, it felt to me that I was leaning slightly backward. Too many years standing with bad posture is the verdict. It helped greatly. I can now feel in my body what it is like to be centered. It time it will become the new normal.

I am also learning that body follows mind. During practice sinking qi is to place intention at the dantien area. "Raising the spirit" is to have the intention of the head suspended from above by a chord. The waist and below is substantial, above the waist insubstantial. In practice, body follows the intention. Body follows mind.


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