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FaXin

Musing of Meditation & Martial Arts Parallels

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Four months ago I was lucky enough to meet someone who teaches a rare internal martial art, called Xinyiliuhequan.  This practice doesn't find it's way out of the Chinese Muslim communities often, so I jumped at the chance to study.

 

I couldn't help but notice the parallels between the Xinyiliuhe methods of training the body, and the meditation work I've been doing.  Let me try to explain.

 

The principals of training the body in Xinyiliuhequan are to first engage the body.  This is done by taking on low, awkward stances and really twisting the body.  Think of squatting very low and twisting your upper body as far as it will go.  It's a lot like holding an awkward yoga pose, but instead of stretching outwards, we stretch inwards.

 

At first, my legs were shaking, and my muscles were sore.  After a while, the muscles of my quads got used to the load and started to relax.  Once this happened, it would reveal new muscles in the legs - things that I was not previously aware of.  The next task was to engage these new parts - let's say hamstrings and inner thighs - I had new control over my body.   Once this part of the body relaxed, it revealed new parts of the legs - maybe the hips or glutes.  With every part that relaxed, a new piece of the puzzle was shown to me, yet I was standing in the same stance.  This process is called "Opening up the body".  As we make progress, it reveals new things to work on.  It is the attempt to perfect the form - yet it is (seemingly) unachievable. 

 

It reminds me of some cultivation practices.  We must engage certain fears or hangups/issues, before they can release.  Once it releases, it shows new layers, which we previously were unaware existed.  As all this tension releases, it creates more "emptiness" inside, freeing up the flow of energy.  As we become aware of more of ourselves, the control we have expands. Yet at the same time, the effort of trying to control diminishes, because we experience more freedom and openness.

 

It's been a fun journey so far, and I've learned more in the last 4 months than I had in previous years of martial arts.  It's also cool to see the similarities with other aspects of cultivation.

Edited by FaXin
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On 3/15/2020 at 6:30 AM, FaXin said:

Four months ago I was lucky enough to meet someone who teaches a rare internal martial art, called Xinyiliuhequan.  This practice doesn't find it's way out of the Chinese Muslim communities often, so I jumped at the chance to study.

 

I couldn't help but notice the parallels between the Xinyiliuhe methods of training the body, and the meditation work I've been doing.  Let me try to explain.

 

The principals of training the body in Xinyiliuhequan are to first engage the body.  This is done by taking on low, awkward stances and really twisting the body.  Think of squatting very low and twisting your upper body as far as it will go.  It's a lot like holding an awkward yoga pose, but instead of stretching outwards, we stretch inwards.

 

At first, my legs were shaking, and my muscles were sore.  After a while, the muscles of my quads got used to the load and started to relax.  Once this happened, it would reveal new muscles in the legs - things that I was not previously aware of.  The next task was to engage these new parts - let's say hamstrings and inner thighs - I had new control over my body.   Once this part of the body relaxed, it revealed new parts of the legs - maybe the hips or glutes.  With every part that relaxed, a new piece of the puzzle was shown to me, yet I was standing in the same stance.  This process is called "Opening up the body".  As we make progress, it reveals new things to work on.  It is the attempt to perfect the form - yet it is (seemingly) unachievable. 

 

It reminds me of some cultivation practices.  We must engage certain fears or hangups/issues, before they can release.  Once it releases, it shows new layers, which we previously were unaware existed.  As all this tension releases, it creates more "emptiness" inside, freeing up the flow of energy.  As we become aware of more of ourselves, the control we have expands. Yet at the same time, the effort of trying to control diminishes, because we experience more freedom and openness.

 

It's been a fun journey so far, and I've learned more in the last 4 months than I had in previous years of martial arts.  It's also cool to see the similarities with other aspects of cultivation.

Very eloquently explained! Thanks for sharing :)

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