Lately, I’ve been getting up before anyone in the house and spending an hour doing very unstructured wuji. Giving that time to just feel what wants to come up as a way to frame my life and my day.
It is a time to explore, to be honest, to see what is real. To engage with what is happening, and see what unfolds. I don’t know how each morning will go. I value this unstructured time with no goal or plan. I’ll have plenty of agenda later when everyone wakes up, or working with clients, or even doing QiGong, Zhan Zhuang, or zazen. We spend so much of our lives in a goal oriented state of mind. This is a time, like an open field or a sandbox, a canvas of possibility.
I go out into the living room, turn on some soft light, and just stand there with no agenda. Within a minute, like a muscle memory, my body begins to activate. My hands warm up, I feel my spine lengthen with what I call the Second Breath. I start to feel how my body is trying to unify. Trying to integrate and gel up. Where I am blocked or stuck, I play the line of internal pushing and pulling, letting go and allowing myself to gently open up that unknown kinked part of the balloon that is my body. I feel my tanden. I feel the soles of me feet and the top of my head stretching naturally apart.
Often it is a physical thing that begins to unwind. An old hip issue probably from a traumatic birth. Or my neck begins to unravel from that whiplash a few years ago. I don’t know why and I don’t give it too much story. I am happy to have no understanding of what is going on. Happy to stay in the mystery of it. I know it feels right. After many years of zazen, I know how it feels unmistakably right to meld and align with reality.
Sometimes, if I am feeling stagnant or cloudy or I am not able to release something in my system, I bring my awareness to a place of questioning. What is real? How am I not meeting what is happening? Not being honest enough to face it? How can I truly feel what I am feeling? Where does the room begin and I end? What is trying to happen? How am I in the way? And in that open inquiry, something awakens within, and some long held mystery flushes out, and I am flooded with a light like pure sincerity. This purity washes, saturates and clarifies, and dissolves. I am left with nothing. Just that sincerity. A ghost standing there as dawn begins to come alive. Can’t find any Corey or Ichigen. Not talented or special or gifted or enlightened. None of that needs to show up. Nothing needs naming. Just experiencing a source, breathing, about to make the morning warm lemon water and get the coffee going.
After that standing, what I do that day will come from this baseline place of unity. If I connect with that, I feel I’m springing from a true place.
During the standing, I might even move about a little, walk around a bit. Explore how to lift my arm with the least amount of tension. Stroll a bit to find the plumb line through my body and try to stand through it. Or just change things up if I start to tense up. Again, feeling into what is real. But I don’t want it to be programmed. Or choreographed. I’ve been forged by this process enough to know my job is to allow the internal alchemy to work its magic. Not to get in the way. I have deep faith in this, that a greater process is moving through me. And that if I am trying to do it, it will not be as deep as allowing it to guide me.
Sometimes emotions surface from a far off place. But they are not usually very sticky. They move through if I’m able to be honest with that feeling.
I spend an hour each morning, standing empty handed. Waiting for the birds to wake up outside my window. Waiting to hear the stomp of a four year old rushing out to play. This practice has shaped who I am over the last twenty years I have been doing it. From someone afraid and trying to find control and meaning, to something life is lived through. I spent my life trying to be an artist, only to find this internal process to be my true art form. Walking into the unknown, further and further. A fool, blissed out, no need to understand anything.
For those interested, I will do a separate post on particulars of the Wuji practice itself. Thanks for reading. Take good care!
Many Thanks Corey , I’m definitely interested to hear about the wuji practice 🙏
Great, Robert! I’ll get on that next article. Thanks!
Lovely, Corey. I’m going to start with 15 minutes!
Awesome man, please continue sharing you are a truly inspiration.
Thanks so much! Will do!