Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 19, 2009

Tai Chi Chuan: Zen in Motion

The practice of tai chi chuan is zen in motion. Centered. Rooted. Flowing. Connected. Creative. Spontaneous. Adaptive. In the beginning tai chi movement, we go from wuji, the stillness, to tai chi, the balanced interplay of yin/yang. When one hand goes up, the other goes down. The entire body is connected as if by a string of pearls. Imagine the planets orbiting in space around the sun, orderly, grand, substantial, and you have a sense of tai chi.

The way is of going and coming, of folding and unfolding, of contraction and expansion. The way is the way of seasons. Everything comes of the tao, everything returns to the tao. When we finish the tai chi form, we seamlessly return to wuji as if we had never moved. The tai chi form is like waves breaking in from the ocean.

The tai chi chuan player discovers the way. There is understanding. Soft overcomes the hard. We must bend like a reed in the wind. The events of life come and go. In tai chi, we stay to the center of the whirlwind. In tai chi chuan, we become calm and remain calm. We are unfazed by the changes that come every day. The sun rises in the morning and sets at night. The seasons change. The tai chi master is in harmony with it all.

From space, the earth looks beautiful and grand and awe-inspiring. On the ground, 7 billion people scream and shout and fight and scratch adn scream. Their eyes aren’t open. The call to humanity is to wake up! Open your eyes. See where you are, who you are, enjoy the ride.

Tai chi shows us the gentle way. Be gentle. Be humble. Be loving. Be compassionate. Stop already with all the nonsense. Do you only understand the sword? Are you like misbehaving children who need to be disciplined? Why do you have to control everything, everyone. Let people alone. Let people live. Let it be.

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