Understanding Tai Chi: It Is Like Watching A River Flow
Tai Chi is the most mis-understood system in the world and if you get into it then you will uncover a path that will lead you to many treasures.
All well and good but why? why is TaiChi so tantalizing yet so obscure? Wrapped in enigma, steeped in lore, frustratingly complex and so fun to do. Here is why....
Understanding the movement of TaiChi is rather similar to watching a river flow. All we see is the moment the river passes our eyes, we imagine the moment and want to paddle in it's flow (Or not cos we have on our best shoes!) The real magic of TaiChi, like the river lies in a realisation that the river started a long time ago and continues a long time after. Here is the secret, TaiChi is a starting point and an end. It is, in truth the center of our journey. TaiChi leads us to other things and can allow us to access areas of experience that we would usually dismiss.
The human body needs only a few things to be well but the mind demands many things. A body needs a place to be, air to breathe and food to sustain it. Thats it! A mind needs all the above but also so much more, in fact the mind can never be forfilled. So, we return to the body.
TaiChi teaches us to move all parts as one. My hand moves and all of me moves with it. My mind is in that movement, this alone will distract the mind from it's never-ending quest for external stimulus. Mind and body are one. My breath, which is my power is linked to the movement so places all my power in the motion and. Bang! I am centered in the now. I feel power now, I am centered now. TaiChi leads us to be strong through continued practice, it opens a door to the possibility of healing because as we think we will be and it hints at a energy above the everyday "reality" The heat we experience in the hands, the pulsing through the body. it is all there in our movement.
Imagine a empty page with you at the center. What do you seek to become part of your life? In truth it is all around you and the act of moving, breathing and thinking as one will open the doors to having it. This is TaiChi, it means "Grand ultimate" All of us experience this grand ultimate by the awareness of, "I want this but I only have that." The movement is only a prop, a metaphor, when moving as one (Just as the universe does) we line up with the energy and intelligence of creation. Now, I like to prove all this lofty wordplay with experience, here is an experiment;
Sit still and think about something that stresses you out, really focus on it. I know the accepted thought is to run from the stress and distract yourself with prodding, unicorns or assended beings or...Vodka but just focus on the breath (Its the eternal part of you) and as you breath in let your hands lift in front of you. breathing out, let them fall. Now, repeat. Each time the stress pops up gather it up with the breath and push it out as you breathe out. 3 minutes later, assess yourself and see how you are calm.
If you found this little exercise of use come back next time and we can work somemore, for now;
Be calm, be bright and above all...Be you.
Image from Britainglishman on Flickr
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