I began the day with a T'ai Chi Chih beginners' class and ended the day with a T'ai Chi Chih beginners' class. Between the two sessions I organized my 2011 taxes, logged on to a wireless connection at a public library to learn how to use a Kindle Fire (required for my Bayfield Library job in order to assist patrons when they eventually check out the Fire), bought groceries and gas, and taught another (continuing) TCC class.
When I arrived home from teaching, I went to bed immediately. Taking time to write my blog was beyond my capabilities because I was flat-out tired.
At the T'ai Chi Chih continuing class I mentioned Sr. Antonia's February 2012 Newsletter. In it she included a reprint of an email exchange between a TCC teacher candidate and a certified teacher following a training session for teacher candidates who wished to learn how to refine and improve their TCC form.
The aforementioned teacher candidate cited several suggestions and instructions from the training that spoke to her and helped her to move forward in her own practice. She wrote:
The feeling of a free floating Ferris wheel, in Bass Drum, is lightening, loosening and smoothing my practice! There are very light dear ones in my airy Ferris wheel, helping to soften and even the pace and level. I've noticed for awhile that there was a bit of wasted energy on Bird Flaps its Wings, but couldn't put my finger on where. Now, thanks to Bill, I know there was unnecessary pulling up of my wrists, as coming back together, and it also applies to the circles of Wrist Circles Taffy.... Working the Pulley ... the discovery of how shifting just a bit further forward, gets me more grounded, and makes for an easier ride forward and back, with fuller, lighter and evenly sized circles on each end.There have been many times in my own TCC practice when one small refinement or correction makes all the difference in the level of ease and relaxation with which I can now perform the movement. I've said it before and I'll say it again: That's what I appreciate about TCC practice. No matter how many years you practice, there are always opportunities for new learning and growth. As Sr. Antonia noted in her newsletter:
The evolutionary character of Chi continues to amaze, transform, deepen, enlighten, etc. those who delve into its mystery through their total presence in the form of awareness in their practice. The level of understanding, both on the part of the candidate and of the teacher, accounts for change on many levels.Thursday, February 23, 2012:
This morning's TCC class--the last one of the week--felt as though it was an inadvertent continuation of last night's Continuing TCC class discussion. Today, though, we talked about Buddha's Brain, Chapter 12, under the section entitled "Rapture and Joy."
As our group discussed how or when we experience Rapture and Joy during our T'ai Chi Chih practices we segued into a discussion about specific movements in the form. Each of us has our own favorite movements as well as others that we consider to be hard to relate to and/or simply don't understand.
Based on my experiences with my own TCC practice, I believe that after years of repetition we grow to love and appreciate each and every one of these movements. To me, that's an indication that we are mastering the form and learning how to let go of resistance and/or blockages that heretofore stood in our way.
I can no longer remember how many TCC movements I struggled with over the years. Still, I continued to practice. And, as one class member explained, now the finger that once hurt works perfectly and you've forgotten that it ever was injured.
T'ai Chi Chih inspires healing on all levels of the mind, body, and spirit until you have no recollection of the struggles that once existed in your bodymind with regard to one (or many) of the TCC movements (and much else in your life!). Now each and every movement becomes part of the great Universal Dance. And that is true letting go....