Tai chi as a practice to train the mind

Renown Zen master DT Suzuki writes in the introduction to the little book entitled Zen in the Art of Archery that describes something that I’ve discovered about tai chi. He writes that a significant feature of the practice of archery is not “… for utilitarian purposes only or for purely aesthetic enjoyments, but … meant to train the mind; indeed, to bring it into contact with the ultimate reality.” This is la Read More …

The irony in seeking silence in tai chi practice

Tai chi is getting in touch with your own silence. Your inner place of peace. “Quiet mind,” as the teacher says. Quiet, not inactive, or complacent. The irony is that the ultimate goal of tai chi is to see beyond one’s self. Not just to look inward and find silence, but to go outside of one’s self from a place of silence within. You could argue that you must first find silence Read More …

A goal in tai chi

There is a progression to tai chi. First is to relax places where we’re tight (often painful, too). Often it can be described as “clenching.” For most of us that is true. The next step in the progression is to move. Move around and through the tight places with a mindful intention to dissolve the tension. The moves are designed to help you to relax. Moving changes the body. We use different Read More …

Tai Chi movement, qi and yin-yang equilibrium

The word Qi (pronounced “chee”) in Chinese refers to vital energy and is found everywhere in nature. The Chinese refer to Heaven Qi, Earth Qi, and Human Qi. In learning tai chi, when we talk about Qi, we often talk about Yin and Yang— two opposing, but complementary, forces that are seen in endless variations. Taijiquan and Qigong are activities that you could think of as exercises, or methods, for working towards Read More …

Watch for gaps in your practice

I’ve noticed that, while I received some basics in the beginning, much was skipped over and I’ve felt a gap in my learning progress that I became aware of some years ago. This was from a lack of organization in the presentation of information. The sequence of learning had gaps that I would have to fill in years later. I would have to practice regularly for a long enough time to discover Read More …