At the risk of repeatedly linking to the same sources of wisdom, Dave Pollard has written a nice post about being able to visualize how we breathe . I can’t meditate – I am the most unrelaxed person I know (with one very exception, a lovely friend in the UK who lives on the south coast). For years people around me have tried to get me to relax – I feel like I came out at birth supercharged and live as if I am continually on the wrong voltage – I have tried meditation – once it worked but for me, relaxation has to involve some form of motion. I will keep trying, some very kind people have sent links to podcasts and others – I will dig out wherever I have stored them. I understand some basics of slowing my breathing and this is always easier in a natural, quieter environment.
One of my instructors has also been teaching tai chi and qigong for over 30 years too – he introduced us to Qigong a couple of months ago during a special training week – some of the movements were the same as the ones in the Larry Wong video in the previous post. We also learnt some different ones. It is difficult to remember now but occasionally now I can visualize the natural scenery, the tiny sound of some flags gently blowing, the calm tones of the instructor’s voice – and I can breathe in a relaxed way.
But in terms of learning Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Taekwondo – I am like an infant at this stage. Contrary to some beliefs, when you achieve a Dan (Black Belt) grading, it means you are just beginning and I am nowhere near a black belt. It is not a miraculous, mystic journey – it is painful – after my first fight, partly due to physical exhaustion, I couldn’t stop crying for an hour afterwards – mostly because I realised that taekwondo itself wasn’t going to help me sort out my life problems that I had been trying to battle and had nearly completely broken me, I had to dig a lot deeper. But after my second fight in March this year, I realised that I have turned some kind of corner – that I have a tiny foundation from which I can keep building on, getting stronger. Its a discipline, hard work but a healthier way to live life.