Thursday, January 28, 2010

Retreat into Silence

It snowed all day yesterday and will likely continue today. Our outside temperature gauge is stuck at 20+ degrees. I'm grateful. When I'm blissfully unaware of the actual below-zero temperatures outdoors, I'm not intimidated by the extreme cold. I take every necessary precaution and dress warmly when I go out and I tend to spend more time in this moment without anticipating the next--colder--one.

Two months ago today--Thansgiving Day 2009--I began this daily t'ai chi chih practice and blog. I realize now that combining my t'ai chi chih moving meditation with my writing gave me an unexpected gift: each day I'm inspired, energized, motivated. Calmer, quieter, happier, more peaceful. When I arise, I immerse myself in these wonderful moments of quiet contemplation. And I know that for this hour--maybe two--I am blessed.

I lit six tea candles on my mantle this morning before I began practice. What a wonderful, special, celebratory effect these flickering flames had on my mind/body! For the moment, at least, these were my practice partners. I thought of my students as I moved and how they, too, are like lighted candles who burn, glow, share their light, and sometimes, perhaps, hide it a bit too.... (Don't we all??)

I look forward to several continuing TCC classes which begin again next week. There is nothing better than the gift of silence and Chi shared among many. Sure, I have my own experience with Chi every day as I practice, but Chi shared is Chi multiplied. And, as Justin Stone reminds us, if we all do t'ai chi chih practice, we will have peace in the world....

In several hours I drive to the Benedictine Center in St. Paul for a t'ai chi chih practice and retreat with Sr. Antonia, t'ai chi chih guide. It's entitled Sewing the Seeds of T'ai Chi Chih: *Self Compassion *Loving Kindness *Grounding *Letting Go. I'll be back home on Sunday. Again, I'm unsure whether I'll have access to a computer at the monastery. If not, I'll write notes in my journal and record my Chi-full experiences of learning, sharing, moving, slowing, and quieting when I return. I'm off!! to fill myself with silence.

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