Focus on Tai Chi

Greetings. A nice week here in Port Townsend. Clear, cool, but no frost in my garden. Still have many annuals still growing. Global Warming?

I never know where the stimulus for a training tip will come from. Most of the time it comes from practice, or teaching, or just being in nature, or a combination of those. Less so in reading, especially the AARP Bulletin. But this months (December) Bulletin has as its main topic “Boost Your Brain Power”. The Bulletin usually has something of value, but not usually helpful to Tai Chi practice. This month was different.

We all know that practicing Tai Chi results in an increase in the ability to focus the mind. That is beyond dispute. What is important about that, is that this increased focus also translates into other activities, into other aspects of one’s life. Less accidents, less mistakes, more enjoyment in life’s adventurers and tasks. So, the more you use (focus ) the mind, the more mind there is to focus with.

My wife and I are “early to bed, early to rise” people. We don’t have TV so there is less temptation to stay up late. What most brain studies suggest is that sleep is one of the most valuable ways to increase focus. Lack of sleep wrecks havoc on the body/mind. And what I find most interesting is that studies show that people did much better on cognitive tasks in the morning as opposed to the afternoon. I always enjoy my early morning practice and seem to gain more benefit from it than afternoon practice.

We just got a new neighbor, and I have been getting to know them. Turns out they are quite different from us. They are late to bed, late to rise sorts. Up till 1 or 2, sleep until noon or so. It is so hard for me to understand this pattern. It will be interesting to see, as time goes by, how we end up relating to each other.

So, as always, I encourage you to practice, especially in the early morning. Try to get outdoors, be careful of cold winds, enjoy the company of fellow seekers, live your life with truth and righteousness.