Saturday, November 21, 2020

100-Day Practice! Day 1

 At about 5:45 this morning, I sent the following email invitation to my network of family, friends and students:Good morning!

"Today is the first day of my 100-Day Practice which concludes on Sunday, February 28, 2021! I will be doing a sitting meditation from 6:00am until 6:30am (1/2 hour) and then a moving meditation (Taijiquan/Qigong) from between 6:45/7:00am until 7:15/7:30am (1/2 hour) for a total of one hour. The duration of either may increase over the 100 days. I will chronicle my experiences in my Blog: Will you join me?

Thirty-six years ago, in January 1985, I started training Qigong and Taijiquan with Master Mantak Chia in Braintree, Massachusetts. Both he and all of the other teachers I’ve studied with since, emphasized the value of practicing 100 Days in succession in order to “own” and experience the nuances of any discipline. In fact, the 100 Days itself is the discipline. Once you create that foundation of diligence and tenacity, there is an inner momentum that carries you forward with all endeavors regardless of the inevitable distractions that occur in life. Your courage grows and you learn to improvise and adapt emotionally and mentally. Ultimately, this results in a quality of resilience that makes living more sweet.

As the world we live in continues to change and evolve, we must be as prepared as possible to not only survive, but rather thrive. Daily meditation (mentally, physically, psychically, emotionally, and spiritually) is a self-referenced, internal practice that cannot be taken from you, requires no gym membership, and can be done anywhere at any time. You just have to do it! Let me now if you’ll join me on this journey.

I’m off to sit now…"

I'm happy to note I received several enthusiastic responses later in the morning and in the afternoon. That's great! While each of us will exercise our individual commitment physically apart from each other, it is my intention that we begin together at the same time every day for the next 99 days. Although I have not set a specific focus of intention, I believe it suffices to acknowledge that we are behaving synergistically.The universe will take care of the remainder to create resonance and appropriate entrainment. As the days pass, I may be inspired to suggest a topic or two, but for now let's keep it simple: sit and breathe...

Choose whichever form of sitting meditation you gravitate to. In future posts, I will write about different meditation options to consider. For now, the power of this is in the doing of "it. The best "it" is the one you'll do when no one knows you're doing it and is void of accolades. 

For the second part of the 100-Day practice, I am doing a moving meditation. I'm refining my Yang Family Style Taijiquan Long Form, but may include other interests. I have every intention of practicing outdoors every morning. And, yes, I know it is getting colder as winter approaches. That's alright. In some ways, I welcome it because of the familiarity (training every day on the mountain at Dr Yang's Retreat Center regardless of weather; running in the rain and snow when I was a x-country and long distance runner). 

If you want to join me, let me know and I'll share where I'll be (near or in Central Park or Morningside Park). If you choose to join me, I won't be teaching the form. I'll just be doing the form and working out the kinks in my movements, etc. So, don't be disappointed if I don't spend time offering you corrections. Otherwise, you choose the movement meditation of your choice to do every morning for the next 99 days. It doesn't have to be Taijiquan.

I am strongly recommending that you journal your experiences (thoughts, feelings, etc.) throughout this journey. Choose a rhythm that works best for you. I plan to write daily even if it's just one or two sentences. Feel free to comment or ask questions on anything I post. I'll do my best to get back to you. It will be interesting to see how we each progress through the process. 

I think it's a great idea to consider the possibility of reaching out to one another to exchange thoughts and experiences. It isn't mandatory or expected. If you're interested, let me know and I'll post your name and contact info for those who may want to share with you.


Getting back into my rhythm with sitting and moving in more predictable ways to be better prepared for 2021. My knees rebelled a little and my right ankle when I sat this morning. It's been a minute since I sat every single day from 6:00am - 7:00am. The transition from being on the mountain has been longer than I anticipated; especially with having to accommodate to the COVID-19 paradigm. And, actually precisely in large measure due to COVID-19, I've been motivated to act NOW rather than later. 

It felt good emotionally to just sit and be the observer- breathing, letting go.

Doing the form was not as uncomfortable as I thought it might be given my challenge with my lower back and hip. The physical therapy and the exercises I learned have really helped to strengthen my back and make me more limber. I'm stronger, just a little rusty. That will improve quickly now that I'm focused on training every morning at least. 

So, so far so good for the first day! Let's see what tomorrow provides. I'm also excited that several people have agreed to join me on this trek. I look forward to February 28, 2021 when we'll be celebrating our accomplishment together


"To be great, get it done!"

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