When I arrived at my T'ai Chi Chih classroom tonight, it was in complete disarray. That was despite the fact that I'd been promised a cleaner, more organized, and roomier space for this week's class.
I remained calm and didn't panic. First I told a man laying carpet at one end of the room that my class started in half an hour and he readily agree to leave within several minutes. Then a friend of the building owner helped move chairs and pieces of carpet to open up the practice space. By class time there was adequate space to move in despite the clutter and chaos.
And so it goes.... When I thought about it, I realized that T'ai Chi Chih practice infiltrates my life in a variety of ways: instead of panic, calm and rather than frustration, understanding. Perhaps it helped me to know that I would soon join with my class in a slow, quiet, restorative meditative practice. Or, perhaps, my days and weeks, months and years, of previous practices oriented me toward a kinder, gentler approach to the problem. I do think it will be interesting to see what unfolds for next week's class....
At tonight's class session we focused on moving from t'an tien (dantienne) as we placed our hands on our centers and felt our movements originate from there. I encouraged students to really turn from side to side as we tried the Basic Taffy Pull, Passing Clouds, and Working the Pulley without using our hands and arms to distract from the twisting and turning of t'an tien.
After we dived into practice, the entire group gradually became more deeply relaxed as tension drained from our bodies and minds. By practice end the room--and our spirits--were filled with silence.