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22 November 2000

Class was very interesting last night. We started with some Qigong. "Standing Post" or "Hugging the Tree" this particular exercise is called. You stand, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms out in front heart high, as if you've got them wrapped around a big ol' tree, middle fingertips just barely touching. It's a very powerful stance. Generates a lot of chi. I haven't been able to do it for more than two minutes since weeks ago when my shoulder started bothering me again.

But, last night, standing in that circle with everyone else, I could do it. And David held us to it for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes! I wouldn't've believed it possible. I thought as we began that I would be the first to drop out; but, though I could sense that my shoulder still wasn't quite right, I found I could hold the stance. All my concentration focused down to my breathing (from my tantien), and to the music, and then to one small point in a field of white...

A couple of times I caught myself feeling as if I was falling asleep, but I'd blink and I'd be back, and then I'd concentrate on the breathing and sink into the concentration again...

Towards the end I could feel some shaking in my arms and legs— it wasn't easy to hold that posture after a while. And I remember thinking I would try to hold it as long as I could, just to see if I could, and I'd only stop if my shoulder started up...

All I can figure is that everyone else's chi was bolstering me up. When we were done and David said we should move around— slowly!— I felt as if my feet had been glued to the floor, and I had to make an effort to unstick them.

When we broke the circle, I heard Ma asking David, "Were you pushing at me?" as if he'd been doing something overt. And I heard him telling her that it was the chi of the circle that she felt. Ma's a pip. Always has had strong chi, I guess. We just didn't know what to call it.

The rest of the class went well. I felt good. But after class I had to walk all over town to dissipate the excess energy. It wasn't the usual feel-good high. This was different... In spite of having been so wound up, I slept well. My shoulder isn't bothering me as it usually does. But I haven't been able to concentrate. Not on anything practical. There's still a lot of excess energy. I tried taking it out on the piano (polkas and other lively pieces), but... I'll have to rewrite all of this, too...

I don't know. It didn't worry me at the time, but now I keep thinking that much energy, that kind of energy, well, it should be getting managed or channeled or— or something.

I think I should mention all this to David...

This and a hundred other questions...

But I don't think I can.

I'll just have to be more careful.


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