Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 446
In the Summer, I had a call from a woman in Illinois. She wanted to order some DVDs. In chatting, she shared that the temperatures were in the 90’s and quite humid. I told her it was in the 60’s here, and she said,””Sounds like heaven”.” She is correct. This year will start my 51st year of offering free Tai Chi classes on Saturday in the Park. We had a visit this week from a fellow who practices Chen Style in Washington D.C. At the end of the class, he demonstrated his form, as many of our group have never seen another form. It is always interesting to see how the different branches, growing from the same roots, have such diverse fruits and flowers. Please do come and join us if you have a different form or have never practiced before.
I have several very beautiful rose bushes in my garden. The other day I was looking at one particularly lovely specimen when I had one of those powerful insights when one seemingly unrelated thing leads to something else. On this bush were many roses in various stages of opening, from tight bud to naked rose hip devoid of petals. Taking this all in, the thought that Internal Arts forms are like these roses – petals that open, one at a time until the flower stands in all its glory. The beauty of the forms, and the rose, is not at one specific moment, but in each and every stage of its growth from start to finish. Just as the fallen petals and naked rose hip signal not an end, but a feeling of possible futures, my ending a form is just compost for creating the rest of my life.
As a general rule, body tissue flourishes with activity and atrophies with inactivity. I remember breaking my wrist as a 13 year old boy, having it in a cast for some time, and then, when the cast was removed, being amazed how much my arm had shrunk in relation to the other arm. Astronauts lose bone density in space. This is certainly one of the main reasons for us to practice internal arts, since most of us in developed countries aren’t as active as those in so called underdeveloped countries. So do as much varied activity as you can, and thank the Powers that Be that you found Tai Chi.