If you study Jiulong you will be transformed. Of course it doesn’t happen all at once and if you’re really diligent in your practice you’ll just keep on transforming. It’s sort of inevitable
This was driven home in a particularly fitting fashion while I was visiting the Gompa this past weekend to study Water Palm with Shigong Painter. Those of you who have been to the Gompa are familiar with how lessons are structured (and those of you who aren’t – come and try a class!).
They began with some talk about images and feelings related to water and then sitting and imagining those things. The lessons progressed to carrying those mental images/feelings that one conjures, into standing, shifting, stepping, circling and applying them in combat situations. This is our standard way of learning the art and quite simple.
But as simple as it is, learning this way makes me focus inside myself in order to “feel” what is necessary so that I can move in the way Water Palm requires. This internal focus involves not just an intellectual analysis of how water works or the meaning of Water in the Yijing or a visual/tactile image of water. It certainly does involve those, but also the emotional feelings I personally relate to water.
This may be easy to write about but is difficult to do. Having wise guidance from a patient and generous teacher can make all the difference and for me it has been Shigong Painter who has helped ease the way, for which I am very grateful. I believe we all learn by imitation and his actions toward me were also part of the lessons, giving me more material to digest and practice.
And so, for a significant part of my lessons there (and for what will continue to be a significant part of my personal practice) this intellectual, emotional and imaginative exploration started changing my thoughts, my feelings, my movements, and my actions, i.e. me.
This is what I mean when I say studying Jiulong will inevitably transform you.