When people started falling to the floor during Damo Mitchell’s Dragon Dao-Yins seminar (about which I wrote last week), I was not alarmed.
I’d read about spontaneous energetic movement in Damo’s and other people’s books, so I knew that people did sometimes fall or spin or twitch or jerk or laugh uncontrollably as they worked the kinks out of their energy systems.
The falling would occur during the period of standing meditation that followed each of the Dragon Dao-Yin exercises. I never actually saw anyone collapse because I was in the front row with my eyes closed, busy focusing on my dantian, but I would hear a gentle thud and several times opened my eyes and looked toward the sound. One of those times, I saw a woman lurching in circles around her partner, who was on the floor, and both of them were laughing. Another time I peeked I saw a woman twitching and jerking as she stood otherwise still.
I don’t know how many of the 25-some participants eventually fell to the floor, but I did not. I did a bit of circling with feet together in one spot, like a very slow top, but I did not collapse.
Part of me wanted to. I would think, “Oooh, that would be interesting, that would be progress.” But then another part of me would think, “Oooh, I’m 72 and I wear glasses, I might break something.”
People can get into spontaneous energetic movement on their own, but some if not all of the people at the seminar were getting a little help from Damo in the form of energy transmission. One of the times I opened my eyes, I saw Damo standing with both hands pointed towards someone, clearly sending energy their way.
During one of our breaks, Damo said that people fall because so much yang energy builds up in opening up the du meridian (the one that runs up the center of the back), that the body seeks yin energy by going to ground. He also said that sooner or later, everyone will go to the ground.
I don’t know why I didn’t fall. Perhaps I was doing too much thinking. Or maybe at 72, my body can’t accommodate that much energy at any one time. Or maybe I’ve done enough taiji and qigong that I’ve already gotten out the worst of the kinks.
I would feel pressure building in my lower abdomen, and one time as Damo walked past me I told him I felt like the energy wanted to go up into the small universe, and he said let it—and I did let it go up, although it didn’t feel much different than usual.
Another time when Damo walked past me, he asked if I was feeling OK. I nodded yes. “You’re not nauseous or anything?” I nodded no. Later, of course, I wondered why he had asked me those questions.
Had he tried to send me enough energy to get me to go to the ground? Was he wondering if I’d felt it at all? I don’t know and never will because I didn’t think to ask when I had the chance.
Nor do I know if I will fall over if I practice the Dragon Dao-Yins on my own. The times I’ve done them, I’ve taken care to stand well back from sharp corners and to remove my glasses, just in case. At this point, however, I’m neither worried not eager.
Dr. Sun also does energy transmission, although his version seems more gentle, an infusing of energy rather than a zap. When he’s done it for me, he’s been standing close to me, although generally not touching me, and I’ve felt a gradual building of energy in my body. I have seen him send energy to other people, too, and I’ve never seen anyone go to the ground. Nor, in fact, can I even imagine that. I have the feeling that Dr. Sun would consider it unhelpful in the long run, and perhaps energetically unsafe, to do something so drastic.
Of course, I don’t know what the people who went to the ground at Damo’s seminar felt. Maybe they felt a gradual infusing of energy, too, only it somehow pushed them over the edge.
And so, as in my last post, I’ve quickly come to the limits of my knowledge and understanding.
I am glad, however, and do want to share, that Damo has written a book and produced a set of DVDs on the subject of the Dragon Dao-Yin exercises. The book, “The Four Dragons,” is supposed to be available at amazon.com on Sept. 21; the DVD set, “The Dragon Dao-Yin Exercises,” will be released in July, although you couldn’t pre-order it from amazon the last time I checked.
For now, here’s a link to a trailer from the DVDs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol5RF8QVxqI&feature=em-subs_digest-ctrl.
I will most certainly purchase both the book and the DVD set, although at the moment I am feeling uncertain about doing the Dragon Dao-Yins. I like the exercises, but when I do the standing practice after each exercise, I feel a lot of pressure on my bladder and other lower organs, and the discomfort can linger when I stop. I’m not sure this is a good thing. And like I said above, perhaps my doing taiji serves the same purpose as the Dragon Dao-Yins.
But we shall see…. The existence of a book and a set of DVDs means I don’t have to worry about the exercises slip-sliding out of my memory banks; I can always try them again. Who knows what may happen….