Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finding The Way

Tonight's T'ai Chi Chih classes were 1) supremely quiet and 2) incredibly relaxing to the point that I thought one of my students might fall asleep while standing and moving! There is so much political turmoil in this state right now which isn't being resolved. Consequently, it's imperative that residents experience some stress-free time in order to balance high levels of anxiety along with feelings of disenfranchisement.

The continuing class practice was quiet to the point where I could hear the swish and swipe of pants leg rubbing against pants leg. During the beginning class my two students were exceedingly focused and relaxed as well. Actually, it's relatively easy to teach when students truly relax and let go.

I read an excerpt from The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher to my continuing class. Dreher's words explore the meaning of Tao Te Ching, verse 48, which reads, in part,
When seeking knowledge,
Much is acquired.
When seeking Tao,
Much is discarded.
Dreher explains (p. 84):
    The Tao teaches openmindedness, freedom from the tyranny of custom and authority. Much of what passes in the world for knowledge is intellectual clutter that keeps us from thinking for ourselves. The knowledge we find in the classroom, in books, newspapers, or on television is mainly the experience and opinion of others. Some of this knowledge may be true, but we forfeit our intellectual independence if we accept it at face value. The Tao says not to let anyone else do our thinking for us.
     Tao people study life. They listen to others and weigh their opinions. But they make their own decisions, follow inner guidance and the cycles of Tao.
After several days (or more!) of intense busyness it was indeed wonderful to experience slowness, quiet, and space. It's my hope that the deep quiet of practice allows TCC practitioners to listen, weigh, follow their inner guidance, and make their own decisions. That's the beauty, power, and lasting benefit of reading the Tao and practicing T'ai Chi Chih. Each one, philosophy and practice, is intertwined with the other and both allow us to use our intellect, experience, and intuition to find The Way.

No comments: