My advice for those who want to go beyond, form, wushu, martial arts, the EGO, everything you have accumulated lifetime after lifetime (if there is such a thing as many lifetimes, it just a repeated pattern that keeps flaring up in form, substance, one long continuum that doesn't seem to end); in other words 'peel off' all those mental layers and reveal your true nature:
1. Practice near the element that is the mother of the organ that is causing you all the trouble, i.e. if someone is an angry person, resentful, with repressed emotions, suffering from depression, insomnia or excessive dreaming, etc. This is a pattern typical of someone suffering from liver qi stagnation. In order to heal this organ we need to work with the 'mother' element: kidney. This element is associated with water.
2. Walk slowly and very softly....FEEL everything that is happening while you walk. Form is not the main focus, the mind and all its processes is. Usually you start to feel the inner workings of the body (muscles, connective tissue, bones, pulsing of the internal organs pulsing, their colours, association with the macrocosm) and from there you advance to a deeper level (emotions, sensual desire in various forms, ill will, lust, conceit, etc.). Everything must go.
3. If there is a point of tension (there will be lots) dissolve it (it takes time) using visualisation techniques (imagine tension being as ice that is slowly melting down; as butter that is also also melting down with the good heat generated with circle walking; or as something hard but that is turning into something elastic that is slowly losing its tension) and also exhale while you feel the point during an specific portion of the stepping in the circle. Spend months working in all those knots that could be located anywhere in your body. These are actually parts of your mind, unresolved emotional issues, patterns of thinking or habits that have become stiff, rigid, which you have been carrying since...immemorial times. If you feel pain while you work with those painful knots, you need to keep going, don't make your practice easy because opening the mind is a very painful process. We are dealing with sankharas (mental dispositions, the builders of lives) in here. This is very serious stuff and should not be taken lightly.
One should spend a considerable amount of time (months, years) working in those knots until they are all resolved.
4. Don't practice on an easy, smooth surface, rough and uneven surfaces are more challenging and will quickly reveal those hidden blockages of the mind.
5. Ensure your circle is no more than 8-9 steps big in diameter.
6. Make sure your stepping is perfect. Use chalk to draw a line (if the surface allows for it) on the ground that will help you tracing a correct stepping pattern.
7. Practice between 5-7pm (kidney qi is activated at that time) if you are working on the water element to heal the sick child (liver).
8. Use Vipassana or Samatha techniques in order to calm the mind and ensure correct concentration and mindfulness. In my experience, the sound of water running is very soothing and is an excellent aid to tame the mind.
9. Don't change direction too frequently or you never develop a serious concentration skill. Start with a minimum of 10 circles and work your way up to 100 (or more if you can)...each side.
10. Practice in the dark. This will hone your stepping skill and also increase your awareness.
11. One palm at the time. Experiment with one palm for an extended period of time and record any mind changes.
12. Walk low, don't force yourself to go into a low stance. Allow for it to happen naturally. When you walk the circle slowly and to totally relaxed you'll naturally drop your stance. The benefits of walking low are immense.
Edited by Gerard, 11 September 2014 - 01:47 PM.