This morning's T'ai Chi Chih class began with only three of the 13 enrolled students. And, as practice continued, additional unexpected elements came to the fore. One student brought an out-of-town friend to class who had never experienced T'ai Chi (Chih), the circle grew to include eight students, and then, twenty minutes after start time, the final student arrived.
Of course, the benefits of T'ai Chi Chih practice include learning to 'go with the flow.' And so, with each latecomer, each opening and closing of the classroom door, we were all challenged to stay present to our practice. The point of practice is to stay calm, peaceful, focused, and centered regardless of what occurs around you. And, it was wonderful for me to see the class size grow as members of our circle moved and breathed, shifted weight, and settled into 'Resting.'
It truly did seem as if the fact that we'd recently completed our TCC practice aided us all in remaining calm and focused. Eventually the EMTs arrived and our classmate was transported to the ER in Ashland some 40 minutes away. One of the EMTs commented to a class member that he was impressed with the fact that we all stayed and offered support.
I suppose that Justin Stone might say that that is what T'ai Chi Chih practice is all about ... opening our hearts and minds to a greater love and compassion.