Week 8 update

Weight still steady at 345. Not surprising; this is a well-known setpoint and I am glad not to have drifted higher, as I have been eating a substantial amount of empty calories. And bread, my nemesis. The opiate analogs in wheat are serious impediments. Having a stand mixer now enables me to knead bread, so I bake for Nettie, who lives for fresh hot bread, and I have to test it before giving it to her…

But I’m pumped by the recent changes in my standing routine. It is now just 5 months I have been doing this, and I have broken the 30-minute milestone. I am thrilled to discover that while increasing my standing time early on only let me add a minute at a time, I graduated to adding on time in larger increments. I’ll reprint my email to my teacher Judy, which tells the whole story:

Hi Judy,

I had a really startling experience last night after standing, so I thought I would tell you about it and catch up on my practice in general.

After hitting a wall in trying to do the Dragon and Tiger movements all at once, I intuited that I needed to go slowly and gradually – not my usual approach, but it seems right in this case.

I have been standing now for five months. I got up to 10 minutes in early March and stayed there for some time. When I tried to do more I discovered to my surprise that I could easily stand for 15 minutes or longer. Then about two weeks ago I tried 18-20 minutes and that felt fine.

After a half-dozen 20-minute stands, one day I had to go to the local Social Security office to resolve some problems, and there were about 50 seats for 60 people, some of whom were using oxygen or in wheelchairs. A good opportunity to stand! So I did; I am no longer bashful about standing in public, and I stood for a half hour before the crowd thinned enough to make a dozen or so seats free.

I was tired, but had no ill effects the next day, but definitely more energy. I have since done two more 30-minute stands, including some of D&T movement 1, some Brocade postures, and the heart-level “balloon” posture, as well as the basic Wu Chi stand. Adding the D&T #1 proved quite exhilarating.

I have not been trying to sink chi at all since the attempt I made back about the time I was going to the elder class, so last night at the end of the stand I tried to sink, and I was amazed at the feeling of weight draining into my lower body. It felt massive. And unmistakable. Something was definitely happening. And when I sat down a minute later, for at least ten minutes I felt as if a huge river was pouring through my entire body, from my head to my feet. Needless to say, this is VERY motivating.

The combination of standing for a half hour and walking for a half hour seems quite productive. I have also lost about 20 pounds in the last several months. I have also been drinking my raw foods mixture now for nine months and it has helped a great deal with allergies and tendonitis. So, all in all, good news.

In some of Dan’s writings on the web he talks about moving to new levels and change at 20 minutes, one hour, and two hours of standing. Do you know what he is referring to? Am I crossing over the 20 minute milestone now? All I know is that I feel more like 30 than 60. Have you any other comment or advice?

Probably the weakest point in my practice is breathing. Lying down is not so bad, but dropping my diaphragm to inhale, in my case, means dropping about 100 pounds of fat, guts, and muscle. It really jerks the air in and encourages me to breathe out more rapidly and forcefully as well, so it makes smooth and gradual breathing hard.

Thanks for your advice and support.

Mike

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About Mike MacLeod

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