Answering comments about the Pa Kua I got inspired by one from someone who’s been working with my material for years asking why it had taken me this long to produce a Pa Kua training considering how important it is and that I’ve been practicing it for over 40 years myself, to which I responded as follows – if you’ve not seen any of the emails about it and don’t know what I’m on about, it’s the new Practically Perfect Pa Kua Primer – here’s the info and here’s my answer, and I quote (albeit with a slight tidy-up of the hastily scribbled original):
I do everything in accord with what I experience as an inner voice derived from a conglomerate of presences including various past masters in the various arts, presumably ones who mastered the immortal spirit body technique and are therefore still able to be present in or through me when they desire or need to be – and though I’ve had both Pa Kua and Hsing I, and also White Crane on the list for many years now, firstly there’s only one of me yet the various items comprising my production logjam are legion and though that presents a very real practical logistics challenge and one I’m almost constantly grappling with in a Pa Kua sort of way, but it’s really because every time I’ve thought let’s do it, some ancient Taoist geezer or other pops up in the midbrain and says ‘you’re not ready yet’.
And that’s actually been true till now for a couple of reasons. While Pa Kua looks like the simplest of the three main Taoist martial arts to practice this is deceptive. It’s by far the most esoteric, and the most laden with complex information and so is notoriously hard to teach – by far the most difficult to transmit of all the Taoist martial arts.
Tai Chi is the easiest because it’s the most relatively recently developed, so tends to be easier to break down and demonstrate in chunks, and hence why it’s the most popular and widely practiced. Hsing I is the second hardest for reasons I’ll discuss once I get round to producing the training on that in the near future.
Pa Kua is well tricky on a few counts. It’s difficult talking while you’re walking in circles as it can easily make you super-dizzy. It’s hard dissecting the moves because they’re so circular by nature they don’t come in chunks and the very practice itself encourages flow rather than dissection, so with over 40 years of daily practice the individual segments become increasingly difficult to discern, let alone talk about.
Pa Kua takes you into a deep state of consciousness – I’ve never measured it but fancy there’s a strong element of theta in it – so it’s bloody difficult simultaneously remaining in communicational mode
And Pa Kua is anyway such a mercurial ‘substance’ if I don’t practice every day (this after over 40 years of it), or even if I do but don’t bring my full cognizance to bear on it, moves and even whole sequences suddenly vanish altogether and it often can take days to retrieve them or until they return of themselves, hence talking about them risks diverting my cognition and losing them even as I’m describing what to do; then there was the figuring out of the best way of overcoming all that and that took a while to get to.
That’s one reason-conglomeration but the other and I realized this with some intensity as I was just about to begin filming the first move, is that Pa Kua comprises perhaps the most powerful set of keys to Taoist magic of all Taoist practice – it’s an arguable point if you like an interesting argument – and if not the most powerful it’s certainly as powerful as any of them, and because of the implications of that, whoever these ancient entities are that guide me in this, they are not wanting this highly volatile and potentially dangerous ‘substance’ thrown about willy nilly; and that though they know full-well this is the epoch of rapid transmission in order to produce rapid evolution of the species at a time of unprecedented survival challenge, it seemed it was necessary for me to have reached a state of sufficient universal cognizance in respect of what we’re playing with here and why, to be able to naturally transmit that in any sort of viable training.
Long answer to a simple question, which could have simply been answered with ‘I wasn’t ready yet’ but I valued and relished the opportunity to share all this – not least as I hope you’ll check out the Pa Ku training for yourself – there’s truly nothing like it.
With love, B