“Knowing yourself” in tai chi

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What you don’t know about yourself is what you seek in practicing tai chi. That’s why I say not to be yourself when you practice. We choose to learn tai chi to change that part of ourselves that resists change and holds us back from accessing our fullest potential as human beings. Lofty ideal? Maybe. Many practitioners who choose to delve into tai chi are acting on intuition, perhaps an outright conviction, to wake up the stagnant parts of ourselves.

Old martial arts saying: “Know yourself to know your enemy.” I like this with a twist; i.e., we are our own enemies because we don’t know ourselves. We fight against ourselves. I’ve seen this during practice in myself and others. When we realize this is happening, we have reached a new level of awareness. We may never realize it without training. It is an unsavory feeling. We don’t like it. We want to change it.

Often, we don’t know how.

I say just keep doing the moves, practice. They will show you. Tai chi is like opening a door, except it is a door that is very difficult to open due to its massive size and the strange materials out of which it is made. It will open only very slowly and only with great, conscious effort, but once it begins to open it will not close again.

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4 thoughts on ““Knowing yourself” in tai chi

  1. Hi Tim, Enjoyed your post.  I will be passing it on to my students.  Just started reading Stuart Olson, “Tai Chi Sensing-Hands”.  In one of my classes I am just beginning to introduce ‘push hands’.  So all this information coming my way has been very useful!  Stay warm! Tamalyn   From: Dragon Journal of Taijiquan To: tamalynstaylor@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, January 16, 2015 8:31 AM Subject: [New post] “Knowing yourself” in tai chi #yiv5844397763 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5844397763 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5844397763 a.yiv5844397763primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5844397763 a.yiv5844397763primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5844397763 a.yiv5844397763primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5844397763 a.yiv5844397763primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5844397763 WordPress.com | Paul Tim Richard posted: “What you don’t know about yourself is what you seek in practicing tai chi. That’s why I say not to be yourself when you practice. We choose to learn tai chi to change that part of ourselves that resists change and holds us back from accessing our fulles” | |

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