Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Mystery

Today began with a totally unexpected and wonder-filled realization: My injured knee seems to be improving! Something clicked. I suddenly understood that while I've practiced TCC outdoors this past week I haven't used a knee brace and ... my knee feels fine. No pain. No swelling. It doesn't exactly feel normal but it does feel better.

I remembered my conversation with Ed Altman during my Seijaku training and certification in 1999. One of my ankles was stiff, sore, and painful so I asked for Ed's input on how I should/could move. In response he asked me whether there was any chance that I anticipated the pain and modified my movement before I shifted my weight forward. Sure enough, when I checked it out, I realized that I was making subconscious adjustments to my practice.

My recent experiences with my knee lead me to believe that yes, I've done it again. Since the January TCC retreat, though, I've pushed myself to readjust my stance and concentrate on fully shifting my weight. Could I truly be improving? After all the stories I've heard from other t'ai chi chih teachers about positive changes in their health and well-being, I shouldn't be surprised.

Tonight's TCC classes were a tremendous pause in the busyness of daily life. Prior to class students discussed what they think Chi is and how they envision it moving and working in their bodies. It was evident during the discussion that each person had a slightly different way of expressing what Chi is to them. Though they may not understand it exactly they can still feel it and know that it impacts the mind-body. Clearly, Chi is a mystery. And, so, for that matter, is my knee....

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