Sunday, February 12, 2012
Arising at 7am, I noticed that not much more snow had accumulated since I had last looked out. An internal debate ensued about should I stay home, anticipating that the instructor may not be there. The temperature was cold outside, 24 F to be exact, yet we decided to go to the park. Anticipating the cold we were well layered. The sun was shining as we arrived at the park and as I walked over the bridge I recognized one of the shapes jogging around with someone else. Moving closer I saw that the other person was Nianzu Li, our Qi Gong instructor. We joined in the jogging to warm up a bit and then when another brave woman arrived we began our class.
Nianzu faced the wind so that we had the wind to our backs as he led us through some gentle Qi Gong breathing exercises. The snow had grass, and dried leaves poking through, and was delightful to behold as the sun danced across the ground. Then onto the Man Dong animal walking forms, occasionally punctuated with some "monkey jogging," to help keep us warm. My attention wavered between the cold and the movements, until the Qi began to flow and I felt energized.
Arriving back home I felt strong and happy. Practicing like this outside for an hour is invigorating. My usual 10-20 minutes of Qi Gong in the morning certainly improves my life, but I yearn for the day when I can devote an hour to this more often. After breakfast, I moved to doing an AT lie down. Smiling as I noticed how relaxed my back was as I hit the floor. All of the gentle Qi Gong movements had already aligned my body and mind. After practicing gently for 25 minutes I paused and did another lie down.
As I was ready to get up from this lie down I noticed an anticipation about getting back to playing. I was excited, my right arm feeling good after recent issues. Excited about playing from this good place, I paused and inhibited myself from getting up. Is anticipation a form of expectation I wondered? As I let go of the anticipation, I saw that anticipation takes me out of the present moment. This morning the anticipation of the cold almost kept me from a delightful and nourishing experience. If I aim to be in the moment when I play, then each moment of awareness is precious and informs all others. Can I embrace each moment as an act of music? Can I just be the musician?