Re: 6 Directions
Thank you all for the great resources and food for thought so far! I've sat down to try and engage the topic more, but what I've had so far hasn't felt very well-formed and has generally been better said by others. However, in an effort to offer something rather than nothing:
Last night while practicing my evening solo work, I tried to remember anything that seemed to fit with the idea of generating intent and 6 directions. I had a lot of little half-formed ideas, but the main thing that came to my mind is what I've heard described as being between the moment of action and inaction.
I almost always begin whatever I do by trying to activate/induce tate musubi ("strong" vertical alignment/connection) in shizentai. I started deep breathing, channeling it as far down as I could muster, which caused a sense of stretching in the areas just above my hips...which is hard to maintain unless I'm breathing in, but I try. After a while this created a sense of an inner tube sitting on my hips. I was going for the creation of a distinct (more or less) ring to get a sense of being "full" in 360 degrees. I will then often raise (stretch/expand) and lower (release/settle) my tegatana(s) in an effort to settle my arms and torso before moving into kamae and starting over.
In between any movement though, I am always trying to generate intent by becoming familiar with the "space between action and inaction." It's a feeling of being on edge, but I'm as relaxed as I can muster.
Anyhow...my quick effort before going to practice the ancient art of Osoji! Have a great day everyone!