Greetings. I have decided to switch to a once a week format. I have had some wonderful feedback, and some comments that said the tips were sometimes too elementary, sometimes too complicated, sometimes too advanced, and sometimes too frequent. This email is read by people all over the world, and some are teachers, some advanced players, some beginners, and some people who have never tried Tai Chi before, but are interested. I understand that not every tip will appeal to you. I just hope that one will catch your attention and stimulate to practice more frequently and at a deeper level. I remind you that a philosophical understanding of Tai Chi has little value if you are seeking a meditative fitness program and you practice infrequently. The more you practice, the more rewards will come your way. I see so many Tai Chi players in their 60s, 70s, and 80s that look and act so much younger than their biological age. This art will improve your life. I promise. Just do it.
Our group met for its morning practice in Chetzemoka Park. The weather was calm and warm for the dead of winter. As I waited for the others to arrive (I’m usually early), I stood overlooking the Strait. It was high tide. Near our practice spot, there is a trail that leads down to the beach. On low tide, one can walk for miles on this beach, but this morning, the beach was gone due to the high tide.
I started musing on tides, and feeling how energy moves similarly in my body. As I stood there, I could experience a feeling of warm water rising and falling from place to place, from one side of my torso to the other, from one leg to the other. It was enjoyable, and put me in synch with our environment.
So as you practice your forms, start with a bow and sit warm up and feel the water slosh around, in tune with your movement. If you imagine your body as a closed system, as this water moves to one side, it must diminish in another. It is a fun and interesting game to play with your mind and body.
This high tide also set me to wondering. If it is high tide in Port Townsend, WA, where is the closest place that is in low tide? Is it on the other side of the planet, or some place much closer? When I got home, I Googled it, but couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. Can you enlighten me on this?
Also a note on practicing out of doors. Master Choy always said that we should not practice outdoors when it is cold and windy. When we play our Tai Chi or Chi Kung, we open ourselves to the elements. If there is a cold wind, it is possible for that coldness to enter and bring unwanted reactions to our internal organs. Personally, cold and windy conditions are the only time I stay indoors.