Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is your stance practice like a dead post?

What is your zhan zhuang practice becoming? The number one problem people have practicing zhan zhuang is dead-post standing. This means being rigid and non-living, doing the practice as if one has a stick stuck you know where.

The second big mistake in dead post standing is when the mind over thinks and over controls instead of simply guiding growth, development, and understanding as one practices.

The post turtle could be a symbol for both of these problems. Just look at the picture above. A stiff rigid pole with all the life stuck on top, over thinking and trying to figure it out. As we say in Wujifa, "the method is not the truth."

Like the punch line to the joke about the post turtle:

The old man says, "When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down."

The post-turtle is further explained: He did not get there by himself. He cannot get down. And he can only see in the direction he has been turned.


  1. Hi Rick,

    Nice post.

    I notice while doing my Zan Zhuang training, that my mind sets the intentions.

    There is an intention to stand in a specific position.

    There is an intention to stand with a few very specific alignments in mind.

    There is an intention to notice - follow the waves. I notice a somatic wave and a respiratory wave. The first is based in the spine, the second in the breath.

    Actually, they "intertwine", like two lovers.

    So it's hardly "a post", and more of "a copulation".

    Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Your friend, and junior Wuji Fa brother,

    Mr Twenty Twenty

  2. Very Nice Twenty,

    Your right "The method is not the truth" it's more like a medicine in a way... When you talk about the natural connection showing up this is a wonderful place to notice showing up. Imagine now bring those connections to other practices... Nice right!

    The aspect I enjoy about Zhan Zhuang is how it keeps showing us more and more depth... If I could say "It's even more than that" and at the same time very simple and direct.. Alive!

    Hope this is helpful... Keep on rock'in

  3. Interesting post Rick...

    How does the turtle get down from the post? In practice like zhan zhuang of course consistent practice on one's own is needed, and yet proper guidance is also necessary.

    Is "rigid" and "non-living" equivalent to "lacking connection", or can this be further expanded to lacking overall awareness?

    How can we differentiate between rigid and non-rigid? For example, in stance one's arm might feel dull or stagnant (or is this incorrect positioning to begin with?)...

    As I continue practicing stance/zhan zhuang, things have been coming more "alive" for me, sensations here and there, but in particular, the burn in my legs...

    Just a few random thoughts from one such "turtle"...

  4. Hey Rick,

    I just want you to know that I read your posts voraciously. I go back and read old ones, and I even frequently search through your other sites for relevant postings.

    Keep these posts coming, and the vids, and any audio you might wish to post. I can't get enough!


  5. Rick,

    Had a follow-up question to an adjustment you made in class. The suggestion was to slightly lower my hands and then slightly retract them as if dipping in quicksand for a couple of repitions and then stop. Was in exhale in the dipping and inhale in the pulling up or the opposite?


  6. Hello Amy,

    It was nice seeing you again over at Mr D's class at Donna's. The simple answer is "Yes" your understand is correct. I does take a while to understand the feeling. You can also kind think how the laying down "stance" is done, inhale floating up... Exhale lightly pushing... Hope this helps! Nice to see you here reading the Wujifaliangong Blogspot. I will look forward to reading more of you comments here too.

  7. Gratzi Rick. You inspired me to tackle the rolling pin of heart openers with Donna. Now I am focusing on inviting the energy to continue up past the heart chakra and up to higher levels for some healing in my laying down stance practice. I am grateful for the practice and hope to see you again at Dan's class.

  8. You are welcome Amy!

    Inspired is wonderful motivation... I also enjoy curiousity... curious and noticing these oppertunities. Working with Donna is a great idea. Hopefully I stop by Mr D's class again soon... I love seeing more people showing up there!

  9. "...instead of simply guiding growth, development, and understanding as one practices."

    Wow, this quote on the mind is a real gem...I'm really in contention with these two "dead post" standing issues now...