22 December 2007



I've now made it through 10 36-day cycles of practice! When I started, I wasn't sure that I'd make it through the first 36 days, let alone 9 more. I have to say that it was an effective means of dealing with my depression of last year. It didn't make it go away, but it made it bearable. Over Thanksgiving break, a tiny bit of it tried to come back. Two observations: (1) it was such a pale echo of how I felt last year that, even as I felt the depression coming on, it was almost amusing; (2) 10 minutes of qigong practice are nearly always enough to make it vanish. I don't know if (2) would have worked as well last year, as the depression was rather severe. I have no real clue how obvious it was on the blog, as I did make an effort to put a good face on things. However, this year I'm feeling much, much better.

Incidentally, just 36 days with a 10-minute qigong regimen seems to have had a noticeable effect on my push-hands. I'm better able to sink into my root if nothing else. Don again commented today that I might soon be better than he is... The last time he said that, I felt like laughing; it seemed incredibly ridiculous. This time, I felt like there might be some truth to it. Maybe. I prefer not to think in those terms, though, as the last thing I need is to bring ego into it.

And on that topic, we've made it through the end of the second section of the long form. In sense, that means were 2/3 through... In another, it's more like halfway, as both the first and second sections get repeated in the third. There are some things I really like about the long form, and some that just annoy me. Still, it's been good practice to learn it. I particularly like the move "Cold Wind Strikes Both Ears." It's a quick turn on the heel, a slap down, and bring both fists up to clap someone on the ears. Still, I look forward to getting through the long form so we can get back to the CMC form. Mark, I think, will be even happier about that than I am. I'm not sure why, but he's had a tougher time picking up the long form than I have. Admittedly, I've had several lone sessions with Don on it (including today), but Mark sees Don during the week, so he ought to have time to ask questions if need be. Anyway, time to go make it to 361 days.

Final thought: it's rather nice not to be depressed. It really is.

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