Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wujifa: Mental and Physical Means for Discovery and Growth

“Different people learn different ways.” This is one of the most important sayings my teacher shared with me early on in my practice. Over the years, I’ve understood this to mean many different things. Working with other people, I’ve noticed how true this actually is.

Continuing on with this concept, one should learn to be open and develop the skill in exploring both practical methods and the meta aspects to paying conscious attention to input and how one engages with opportunities for input as well as managing input as one discovers how to focus one’s attention in connection with the targets aimed for.
In the beginning before 10,000 things

By “practical methods” I mean practicing repeated forms, or what we like to call “medicine” in Wujifa over and over again (whether they be standing, movements, working with tools or training aids, etc.) to develop a sense of feeling and connection. As we say in Wujifa, “the method is not the truth, once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.” We must have these practical methods though, because “we are where we are” and the methods give us a place to start practicing feeling and connecting more.

“Meta aspects” are noticing how you notice. The reasons you want to notice this are:

1. To notice and develop what you tend not to notice

2. To notice what ways of noticing work really well for you

What I mean by “input” is the way information comes into your conscious and subconscious experience, and the way we recognize it. For example, we have fingers with nerve endings that send signals to our brains. We have ears that pick up on the sounds of the voices of our teachers as we are taught. We have eyes to see the effects of what we are doing in the world. I say “input” to encompass all of these ways and the many others that exist though which we experience.

The reason I use the word “opportunities” is that it reframes the way we look at the world and how we engage with the world. Hence, it makes it possible to notice the information that’s coming to us in its various forms. What happens when we look at things in a frame other than opportunity is that there tends to be a lot of disconnection and forcing or manipulation of data, or even missing it all together. The reason I talk about how one engages with opportunities is more about “how”. If you can notice how you engage with opportunities, it takes you back to noticing the surface and meta levels of input. The learner learns about the way they learn.

What I mean by managing input is that people can become under or overwhelmed, and so understanding both the surface ways we learn and the deeper meta ways we learn can help us to relate to the input we’re receiving in a way that can be optimally explored, even if unfamiliar or uncomfortable and best facilitates our integration of that input. This is why in Wujifa we do certain exercises like side to side. Seemingly simple, but there’s lots of information to be integrated first before we can begin to notice deeper levels.

Noticing is seen as a complex process; how Wujifa enthusiasts and practitioners take in both the meaning and the form of the process. It takes time for those who engage with a practice to progress from first learning to recognize what it means and what it feels and looks like, to understanding and internalizing the basic underlying rules and methods, to subconsciously embodying the principles and philosophy.

Being willing, as a learner, to repeatedly explore the opportunities recurring with practice by noticing the types of questions asked and the types of results noticed, and to explore deeper what these practices mean and how they contribute functionally to the results expected at each level of practice helps in developing other and more effective means of noticing as one continues to evolve.

At the same time it’s important to keep these methods simple enough so the deeper understandings are not overlooked by the practitioner who would otherwise become overloaded with the intake of data.

For many people, understanding the meaning or result aimed for on a simple and basic level is useful before one can recognize and make sense of the different definitions various forms can take on.

It is important that one understand the difference between, on the one hand, methods used to define meaning of a practice and those that help one make sense of the connection and forms of the practice, and on the other hand, to cognitively understand what, why, and how at different levels of practice clearly as they begin and proceed with any Wujifa practice and developing the desired kinesthetic result. The reason it’s important to understand this difference is otherwise one may gloss over what it is that they are aiming to develop at any given stage. Understanding the difference creates a foundation for receiving and noticing, being receptive to processing the opportunities for growth with clear and defined mental and physical means for discovery and growth by process of engaging in these methods and practices.


  1. It is nice to notice that someone actually pays attention to the fact that all the students are different. Bravo to you sir! Bravo!

  2. Noticing changes everything. I sense that you've got a lot of goodies in this article AND I'm having a hard time logically processing it in the way I usually think.

    So, I'll go with the feeling and say, Nice article! though logically my brain is fizzling....