Not-quite-so-supernatural candle meditations

129.5 tonight on the scale. I didn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner per se, but this week I did make a batch of mac and cheese- which I haven’t had in months. I also had some sugar cookies. Watching the cause-and-effect on the scale. Those two indulgences alone bumped me up two pounds from 127 this week. It is obvious that I can’t return to my former eating habits. I’m determined to keep it below 130.

Women’s Self Defense: Lindsey got caught in traffic, so we didn’t get started till late- we only rolled for about 2 min to warm up. Sigh. Then working basic armbar from guard. I worked with one of the new women, and hope I was able to help her with a little technique advice. She had nice LONG legs, lucky wench- so it was a good technique for her. I did some reps myself, but it was of limited use for me since I was trying to be much slower and gentler with her than I would be with a fellow BJJ’er. I would’ve felt really bad if I’d kicked her in the head.

Kung fu: It was the Cripples’ Gallery in there tonight. Nemesis was out with a knee injury. It is always weird on the rare occasions when Nemesis isn’t there, because he is ALWAYS there. JoE had slipped on the ice and hurt his back. JM has been having a lot of back pain lately. JaE walked in with his right arm in a sling… he had a muscle tear right off the bone while he was trying to move a tree. He is having surgery Wednesday, and then he is going to be benched for up to six months! ("Thank Rickson Gracie it happened on the job" he says) And SK with his wrist brace. I was probably the most functional person in the room tonight!

A few reps of Leopard Fist. It was blackly humorous to watch JaE trying to do forms with one arm. I suggested he try doing just footwork.

More Kiu Two. Review of all the little details we’d worked on last week, and more practice on the sweep. I’m still not there yet, sigh.

We got the last little bit of Part A.

After the two Snake strikes, a mid-level bong sau right arm flowing into a "holding the energy ball" sort of arm/hand position at the left hip. Continue the motion directly into a double Snake Strike forward, palms facing each other, left on top. I want to lean my torso to the right, since this reminds me of the double Leopard Fist "hoppy spinny bits" (colloquial reference predating my entry into this group, not my description) in the Leopard Fist form (where I lean to the right). No leaning in this one! Also, no foot movement (or for that matter, any movement of the lower body whatsoever) during this entire piece.

After that double strike, hop back slightly into a right cat stance. Chamber left hand, Right hand curliques into an axe hand strike at waist level.

Closing- right foot steps back, same Snake closing as in Snake Versus Five Animals.

I was surprised to find that we are at the end already… I remember the form seeming a lot longer when I last saw it demo’ed (which was over two years ago). We were warned that the last little bit of Part B is a little more complicated, though.

In the next couple of weeks, besides continuing to work on this, we will be revisiting Sil Lum Dao. SK asked if we had any questions about that form, and I announced that the most confusing part of that form is the question of *which* of the eleventy-three versions we are supposed to be doing when we go through it in class. The next ten minutes were quite amusing, as SK valiantly attempted to pin DD down to taking a stand and telling us which variations he wanted us to be doing…. every time SK repeated the question, DD went off on some tangent about the history or merits of one or another of the versions, or started to compare and contrast them- without stating which ones he wanted us to do. I waited for the infamous mention of "This was the version that RS taught at a seminar in 1992…" and sure enough that reference came up. I couldn’t look at SK… every time he re-posed the query, and DD verbally dodged it and wandered off again, SK was smirking at me out of the corner of his eye, and I had to look away and carefully school my expression to keep from cracking up in DD’s face.

Candle meditation…. I noticed that as soon as I got focussed, everything started to grey out. This happened several times, and I was thinking, "Okay, this is a new and strange psychic phenomenon…. what’s going on here, and what does it mean…?"

Finally I figured out that because I was wearing my contacts (since I’d come straight from Gracie’s), if I stared at the candle flame without blinking, after about fifteen seconds my contacts started to dry out and a grey film came over everything. Not as mystical as I’d thought. Ha!

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