Tai Chi: inner space as starting point

May 27, 2012

The longer I do Tai Chi the more I value it.  I love that you can keep going deeper and deeper, forever discovering new things.

In the beginning, 15 years ago,  the focus was on externals, mastering the basic  movements in the form (I do Yang form)  and being concerned about how good they looked-  how good I looked doing them!

But eventually you get over that and Tai Chi becomes your discipline, something private and priceless, and it is down to you and your practice and no one else, except maybe your teacher.

The 15 minutes a day I devote to my practice are precious because they focus me on essential things that tend to get lost in the everyday rush. Maybe I’m impatient before I start because I want to get going with my lists, plans, tasks.  But just the act of stopping, consecrating the space and time needed to go through the slow, meditative movements already calms me down.

I become aware of my breathing, my body, my feet standing on the ground. I move the energy down to my legs and feet and breathe deeper down in my belly. I come into my body and get out of my head. I am aware of how I am standing, how my weight is distributed, I feel the soles of my feet on this holy earth, anchored here, receiving. And I feel my upper body opening to energies coming from the sun and other cosmic forces.

As I start on the familiar, graceful sequence of movements, I feel whether my body is in balance or not, I sense my connection to the space and place around me, I feel my joints, I feel tension flow away as I take steps and move my arms in slow circular arc and dips.  I feel this moment of being in a body, in life, on earth  under the sky and concentrate on how the weight shifts, how a single movement can be a strain or effortless depending on your awareness. How some movements torque my body into uncomfortable poses, and how the next move releases the twist in a powerful but controlled counter movement.

Gathering energy, releasing it, dancing and fighting in slow motion. Tai Chi has its basis in martial arts. So while it looks like a gentle prayer in motion, engaging with a well executed movement could throw an opponent across the room.

I emerge from the continuous undulating rhythm of movements, come to rest and breathe.

I am in a completely new ‘place’ physically and mentally, ready to start the day rooted in the things that count. Hoping to bring that quietness and powerful intention of internals into the external world of things and doing.

4 Responses to “Tai Chi: inner space as starting point”

  1. what a beautiful writing about the power of movement and awareness. the act of stopping is a discipline so commonly neglected. thank you for reminding me to do this today!

  2. Michael Davidson "Mon " aka Monocle Says:

    Balance to life is such personal jopurney and if we are all the lucky enough to discover our sovereign self through the yoga and flow of Tai Chi ” ; we have a better understanding how we can find the power of our neautrality when there is upsets and misunderstndings .
    To discover and work with our Chi ;or Prana (vedic)
    with such grace and balance allows us to consciously put our chakras in balance and its there fore then we are in coonection to higherself and our connection to God (as we understand him )
    Chi is our universal source ; and that source is Love ; the power and the intelligence of a universal vibration and resonance that exists throughout all life .
    When we practice tai chi we practice the yoga of that flow within ; ; when we practice Polarity healing we restore that flow of (Tai chi )to specific areas in conflict
    Its amazing what doors open up for you with this practice ; you gain heart wisdom and heart guidence
    and your real work as artist and healer comes through and is made manifest in your higher self .

    en we experience flow and abundance in our work .
    Dpputs us in alignment not just the bodys energy but the universal energy that we are all connected to ; as above so below ;so to speak
    thats within the solar system and every living thiing

    • szoutewelle Says:

      Good thoughts, Michael. Heart wisdom indeeed, and body wisdom. Actually I started doing Tai Chi when I felt a strong calling towards the healing professions. It was only later that my art and healing came together in my art healthcare work. But there are so many parallels between the two disciplines, and I think you have pinpointed the things that both the practice of art and the practice of Tai Chi (as well as various types of healing arts) have in common. cheers, Sarah

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