Face the Future
We probably don’t want to give too much energy to the idea of healing the body through the internal arts. The word healing is backward looking, healing something from the past. I think we can replace this concept with the idea of working toward a goal or ideal. See yourself as whole and healthy, and practice exercises that aid in achieving that goal. Let go of the past and put your energies on the here and now, and the path ahead. If you walk backwards you will only see where you have been. Turn around and enjoy the view of where you are going.
Making Corrections
Learning Tai Chi Chuan involves the study of the principles – what makes Tai Chi unique. We then translate these principles into forms so we can incorporate this study into the body. After a student has learned a movement or sequence of moves, there is then a process of refining what the mind and body are doing.
When I give a student suggestions about how a move can be improved, I work with them until it is ingrained into their body. What most students want to do, after doing the move more correctly, is move right ahead with the next move in the sequence. What I suggest, and this is especially true with partner forms, is to do the move at least three times correctly before moving on. It is very important to incorporate this new learning deeply into the mind/body.
So don’t be in a hurry. Remember, at least three times correctly, and it should be there.