Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 380
More on Kan and Li
Kan and Li decided to cook dinner together. They agreed on rice and veggies.
“Let’s cook up a pot of rice, and while that is cooking, we can prep up the veggies,” suggested Li.
Kan put two cups of water in a small pot and emptied in the cup of rice with a touch of salt. Li turned the burner on high under the pot, and they waited for this to boil and cook.
Kan’s dog, Wiley, started barking in the backyard. Kan being the cool guy he is, went out to calm Wiley down. Kan couldn’t figure out what the problem was, but decided that Wiley needed a walk to calm him down.
“Hey, Li,” Kan said, “let’s take Wiley for a walk while the rice cooks.”, so off they went. They had a regular walk down to Chetzemoka Park, and around the edge, then down to the beach, and let Wiley enjoy splashing in the shallows. It was a nice afternoon and all three enjoyed being in the warmish, but not too hot, sunlight.
Wiley was so enjoying himself that they hated to spoil it by heading right back home, so they decided to take him the long route back. They passed by Jimmy’s house. He was sitting on his front porch, so they enjoyed a brief chat about the weather and how his latest sculpture project was progressing.
Arriving home, they left Wiley in the backyard and went into the house. A strange smell filled the room. “Oh no,” said Li. “I forgot to turn the burner down before we left.”
The water in the pot had all boiled away, resulting in mostly charred rice.
“What a mess,” Kan said. “I’ll clean this up and we can go to Aldrich’s and get some Sushi.” That they did, and enjoyed their meal in the backyard, with Wiley begging and receiving his fair share.
The Tai Chi Lesson: Kan and Li (Water and Fire) have a special relationship, yet both must contribute the correct amount. The two cups of water to one cup of rice was correct, and if it was gently simmered, it would lead to perfectly cooked rice.
But in this case, there was heat (Li) that was too hot for too long, and the heat overcame the water (Kan). If Li had been aware of what was happening with the rice, Kan could have added more water or Li could have used less heat. This is the basis for Push Hands. Each partner can adjust for the correct balance. Experience shows the way.
P.S. Wiley happens to like charred rice which he gets on occasion, as Kan and Li are busy practicing their Tai Chi forms, and food often gets overcooked.