Tai Chi Chuan as Moving Meditation
Nothing of true enduring value can be obtained quickly, without significant effort. This is the first thing to grasp; patient, persistence, practice pays off. Reading what I wrote here serves only as an introduction. We learn more as we go along. It is experience that clarifies. Study gathers knowledge that fuels our daily practice, leading step by step to greater competency. Practice explores our comprehension of study. Along this duel path, questions must arise. If not, doing the same thing over and over will not yield a different result. Our misunderstandings and mistakes lead to clarifying explanations and corrections.
Being fully in the moment is the seamless practice. If the mind drifts to past events (memories) or future plans (dreams) like a frantic monkey jumping here, there, and everywhere, rein it in like a horse pulling a plow, by giving your mind a clear intent as a single point of concentration. Just like a muscle can get stronger by repetition, so can the mind (the brain is an organ of the body). We can only practice in the moment; directing with the mind, and feeling what is happening at that very second. Thinking about it later, is totally yet another experience in the mind alone. Sight is in the eye. Sound in the ear. Smell in the nose. Taste in the tongue, Feeling in the body. As thought, they are all in the mind.
Yi – Intent
There is a big difference learning something from someone else and doing as we are told, and fully understanding how it functions and why we do it this way, and not that way, by making our own decisions ourselves. We don’t want knowledge, that lack its comprehension. This becomes nothing more than the blind leading the blind. Competency becomes limited. We lack critical thinking and decision making abilities. First, we must study to gather knowledge, then we must ask many questions to comprehend, and finally through the process of experimental practice; trial and error proves it to us, and become competent. We have to gain the ability to realize our own weakness and flaws ourselves, if we ever hope to refine past our teacher’s corrections of appropriateness and approximate performance. We must stand on our own two feet.
A dog uses its heightened sense of smell to find and identify what we cannot. We use our heightened* internal sense of feeling of the unseen landscape inside our body, to take what we learn dogmatically from others, as a concept in the mind, and pragmatically feel to discriminate substantial from insubstantial stability and agility in motion. Sensation is a feedback loop from body to mind. The mind may direct, but this does not mean like a general commanding his troops, his orders will be accomplished correctly. What we think and what we feel must be one reality.
*Practice makes us more Qi sensitive.