Sun rise to sun disappear all happened in the space of about 10 minutes during this morning's T'ai Chi Chih practice. Let me set the scene: Rosy red skies that glowed and brightened, then ... pop, a huge golden sun emerged from the distant horizon over Lake Superior. I gazed directly into its bright, shining orb as I moved until ... zip, a ceiling of heavy dark blue clouds swallowed it whole. Sunlight gone. Vamoose. Finis.
Thankfully, its memory lingers....
During today's TCC practice I sensed immediately that I felt less soft and relaxed when compared to yesterday's practice. It made sense, I suppose. I worked at the library yesterday. It was busy and I was on my feet moving for six hours straight. And ... I anticipate more of the same today.
Meanwhile, sandwiched between the busyness I enter into my TCC practice. (Yesterday's softness may be related to the fact that the day before I spent a good portion of the day writing which is a passion of mine; it feeds and comforts me.)
Maintaining softness in body AND mind is a challenging, never-ending pursuit. I read a wonderful blog from the Harvard Business Review this morning titled Not Enough Time? Try Doing Nothing. (See http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2010/09/meditation-a-best-practice-for.html.)
This blog's author, Peter Bregman, writes about the variations of thought and mood he experienced while taking a bike ride in Central Park, NYC. He quickly realized that it was far too easy for his thoughts to swerve in an up, down, and all around direction based on what was happening in the moment. He notes: I thought I was taking my bike on a ride. But really? My bike took me on one.
Bregman postulates that we're all a bit insane because we're so affected--often in unhelpful ways--by the ramblings of our minds. The solution? Spend a few minutes each day in meditation; watch the breath, notice the mind, and pull your attention back into the present moment. Bregman recommends meditation for business reasons because, when we lose awareness of what we think or how we feel it "affects our relationships, our decisions, and our actions."
A regular T'ai Chi Chih moving meditation practice helps tremendously in this regard. I'm reminded, though, that Justin Stone, its founder and creator taught not only TCC but also seated meditation practice.
Since I've been an on-again, off-again seated meditation practitioner I think it's time to add a few minutes of quiet nothing to my days. The worst that can happen? I'll feel better, calmer, and more relaxed, and I'll be prepared to handle life's ups and downs with even more focus and equanimity.