Saturday, June 4, 2011

Straight Line or Sphere?

Distance in a straight line has no mystery.
     The mystery is in the sphere.
          --Thomas Mann, Joseph and His Brothers
          From: The Lake of Dreams, Kim Edwards
To me, this quote describes T'ai Chi Chih practice. We carry balls of energy throughout our T'ai Chi Chih practice. We move in a circular fashion as we shift weight forward and back, side to side. We set our hands and arms into motion before us, beside us, and around us, all movements based upon a sphere.

Do we understand why we move in this fashion? Not necessarily. What we do know is that this pattern of movement relaxes and calms us and quiets and unifies us with All That Is....

How was it possible, after one heavy rainfall yesterday, for our forest to pop to life? Vegetation, leaves, plants and flowers are suddenly abundant. Ferns next to the house grew a foot taller overnight. How could this happen? It's a mystery.

Chickie's feathers returned on her neck and rear where they were pulled out by her sister hens and the rooster. One day she was virtually bald. Today she is close to her perfect state of chickenhood. I barely noticed it occurring. Why? Because it's a mystery.

During today's T'ai Chi Chih practice the cat, Chiripa, walked up behind me, sat down, and stayed. Why? I don't have a clue. Also, the bugs were worse on one side of the house than on another (I moved my practice). Is there a reason? Probably. Do I need to know it? No.

How does our T'ai Chi Chih practice make us feel better, calmer, more at peace? What is the chi, really? To describe it, to put our experience into words relegates it to a smaller, less significant place in our lives. Which, I believe is a mistake.

Can I trust in the mystery and simply believe that everything is as it is meant to be?

That is the question: Straight line or sphere? How do you choose to move through your life?

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