Thursday, January 20, 2011

Move, Think & Live like Water

It's a cold, dark day with cooler temperatures set to arrive this evening. Weather reports indicate that tonight's low could be -20 with windchills down to 30 or 40 below zero.

It takes more energy to be out and about in such extreme temperatures, more energy to heat buildings, and more energy to keep one's body warm. Insulated pants and layers of fleece barely manage to cut the chill. But ... those of us who live in the north know just what to do. We keep on going (at least as long as our cars do).

Today's T'ai Chi Chih class was a semi-private affair with two students present. It's wonderful to occasionally teach a smaller class which allows more time to answer individual questions and address personal idiosyncrasies (we all have some of those now don't we?).

Today's discussion of the Tao focused on Verse 78, Living like Water (per Wayne Dyer). The verse begins:
Nothing in the world is softer
and weaker than water.
But for attacking the hard, the unyielding,
nothing can surpass it.
There is nothing like it.

The weak overcomes the strong;
the soft surpasses the hard.
In all the world, there is no one who does not know this,
but no one can master the practice.
And, yet, my friends, this is what we continue to practice with our daily T'ai Chi Chih rehearsals. Not only do we "go with the flow," shifting our weight and moving our hands and arms softly and smoothly--like water--but we also allow our minds to yield, letting go of rigid thought and habit patterns that no longer serve us.

One example of how TCC has helped me to gain the ability to let go of thoughts and expectations occurred last night as I prepared for today's class. I couldn't find a book from which I wished to make copies for class. I quickly realized that, in the past, I'd agonize and search endlessly for the missing book. Last night I easily switched to another version of the Tao, made copies, and let it go. Of course, as soon as I decided to use a different book, the desired book was found. No matter. My work was done....

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