Saturday, May 7, 2011:
The day sped by. Before I knew it friends were cruising up our driveway to eat Curried Potato Kale soup and to join us for movie night. After dinner we watched Fair Game (based on the true experiences of CIA agent, Valerie Plame whose undercover identity was leaked by the White House after her husband wrote an article challenging the government's basis for the U.S. war on Iraq).
It wasn't until after our friends' late night departure that I realized I hadn't yet done my Saturday T'ai Chi Chih practice. And, yes, despite the lateness of the hour I launched right in. By the time I finished--around 11:00 p.m.--I was too tired to put my experience into words.
Let's just say one day after the fact that I felt good and tired (interpret that phrase however you like).
Sunday, May 8, 2011 (Mothers' Day):
Mothers are the theme of the day and even though my own mother died six years ago I still think about her. Often. Particularly today since this day more than any other of the year is specifically about mothers. I listened to an interview with Sylvia Boorstein on the radio program "On Being" this morning. Boorstein founded Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA and spoke as a mother, grandmother, psychotherapist, and Jewish-Buddhist teacher on the topic, "What We Nurture."
Many of Boorstein's words were appropriate for the journey my T'ai Chi Chih class is taking through Buddha's Brain but several comments in the interview spoke directly to me. In one instance Boorstein mentioned the importance of paying attention: "... when we are really paying attention which is what mindfulness is, we really connect with other people."
Krista Tippett, the host for the show, mentioned that it would help to focus on positive items and peoples' beautiful lives in the news as she commented, "It's the stuff of moments, but it can be absolutely transformative in moments and these beautiful lives are transformative in moments. But we have to train ourselves to look for them."
That's what T'ai Chi Chih practice does ... it trains us to look for the moments and to find meaning in them. That is why I pay attention to the natural world that surrounds me while I practice TCC. It soothes and comforts me, yes. It also feeds my spirit and brings me more deeply into the moment.
Today I practiced T'ai Chi Chih on the deck. The chicken perched under a rhododendron bush on the south side of the house while the goose pecked at the dirt on the east side. Meanwhile I happily glided through my practice enamored by the silence of a semi-sunny mothers' day in the middle of the forest.