It’s been a bit of a rough week; I’m mentally drafting a blog post about it, as it’s required lots of soul-searching. Not sure if I’ll publish it, though.
Anyway, I’ve been feeling bad about how my practice in both martial arts and meditation has been kind of sidelined in the months since I came to Beijing – which wasn’t entirely unexpected, but I didn’t expect the extent of it! So this week I’ve been trying to change conditions to let me get back into the groove.
Buying a bike was a good, and much overdue, idea. I’ve been able to explore parts of the campus I couldn’t easily get to before, and it’s helped me to find a place to practice. Previously, the only place I could find was on the edge of the sports field, surrounded by large areas of concrete. The qi felt really bad there, plus I was in full view of the crowds of students hanging out there, which was a bit awkward. On the bike, I’ve found a courtyard park area in the midst of the older staff apartments. It’s private, shady, and the air is really good. Lots of birds singing in the trees above, and a few old people doing qigong in the morning. It only takes a few minutes to get there by bike – although, going by bike means I have to use a shoulderstrap on my sabre’s scabbard, and sling it over my back. I look like some sort of demented bicycle cavalryman as I whizz around campus; it’s surely only a matter of time before I get arrested 🙂
So, I went there this morning – first morning practice for a few weeks, made easier by the new timetable. (I’m able to re-use stuff from last semester now, rather than getting up at 6am every day to start researching & writing on the day’s new lecture material). I started with 15 min or so of zhan zhuang, then went into a couple of sets of CMC-37 taiji. After that, I tried the xuan xuan broadsword set for the first time in ages, but got a mental block halfway through. Now worries, that happened from time to time even back in Singapore, when I was doing it regularly. Experience has taught me that when this happens, it’s best to just stop, rather than keep banging away at it. Next, a few reps of the moves I’ve learned so far of the ba da zhang, working on some details that I’m finding tricky. I followed that with a first attempt in ages of Master Zhou’s wuji long xing baguazhang set; I’m very rusty, but I really need to get back into it. Not sure why yet – I’m sure it’ll bubble up from the subconscious at some point – but having started a bit of zhang zhuang, I think there’s some sort of strong connection with the wuji set. Anyhow, I finished up with a couple of sets of the bagua needles form, before cycling back home through the crowds of students who were by then on their way to the day’s first lectures.
Back home, a met a technician who’d come to fix my computer, which was getting badly clogged up by a couple of years’ worth of Singapore and Chinese dust; it’s now running much cooler and faster. Hooray!