Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's Wrong? What Can We Do?

Why is it that some days seem boring and other days are filled with thoughts, emotions, energy, and action?

Of course, any time I begin preparations for a new T'ai Chi Chih beginners' class I overflow with examples of what to do and what to say. There are so many ideas to express about this practice, so many benefits to share, that I sometimes feel as though I'm at a loss for words. Where do I begin?

I did this morning's T'ai Chi Chih practice with the teachers from Albuquerque, NM (at the end of Justin Stone's DVD). It's the first time I've practiced using our DVD player/projector/five-by-seven foot screen. It was fabulous! I didn't have to imagine that I was part of this group of four because the teachers were, quite literally, almost as tall as me.

It's been some time since I practiced with Stone's DVD and it's always good to return to it to clarify timing, movements, and other particulars of the practice. I realized, for instance, that I tend to move more slowly between movements to allow my students time to transition from Resting Position into whichever movement comes next. I'm guessing that the videotaped teachers move more slowly, too, when they teach a class.

Interestingly, Frances and I watched a new library DVD last night: I Am. It follows the journey of Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac (he directed Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty, to name a few of his films). After Shadyac was in a bicycle accident and experienced a life threatening head injury, he began a journey of self-discovery that resulted in this film. He asked leading authors, scientists, religious leaders, teachers, and writers two questions: What's wrong with our world? and What can we do about it?

The discussions, explorations, and information that flowed from this movie are inspiring and thought-provoking. And much of what I saw and heard in I Am reminded me of what I and my students are striving to accomplish through our practice of T'ai Chi Chih moving meditation: to open our hearts to love, compassion, and acceptance. This movie shows that what we do makes a difference in our own lives and the lives of others; that is why I teach T'ai Chi Chih ... I want to be a part of a healthier, happier, more peaceful world.

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