Five years of blogging about taijiquan

This week marks the fifth year of venturing into blogging about taijiquan and its internal mysteries. My first post on December 5, 2011 is entitled “What is Tai Chi?”. I’m sure I will be trying to answer that question for the rest of my life. I may have wanted to quit at times, but I haven’t yet. Those peculiar dark slumps into the soul pit of delusion don’t last, and I emerge with renewed hope and insight. Now the sixth year of blogging begins.

I’ve struggled, as other bloggers must have, with whether I should blog. I’ve never been quite sure why I do. Some urge to write just happens. Why ask, then? One thing does come through the mind clutter—writing, just as taiji is, is an effort to extend awareness beyond self. Writing about it is a way of claiming the knowledge that I have amassed. Not that I am very knowledgeable, just happy to have overcome enough barriers to claim a semblance of victory over attachment to self. To savor my growth in some little way.

I’ve learned from practicing taiji that one must seek to eschew cliché and conventional thought if one wishes to exceed one’s limitations. That goes for practice, as well as for writing about practice.

I still struggle to craft words, sentences and paragraphs that help clarify my view and help others discover and organize their own views of the mystery of movement arts. In my case, it’s been taijiquan and qigong; but it could also be other forms, such as yoga, dance, and athletics, like running, skiing, swimming, bicycling, and so on.

When you’re at your best, you’re in nearly perfect yin and yang balance, the essential dynamic of taijiquan. Without perceiving these two points of taiji, you’re wouldn’t quite be doing taiji—the supreme ultimate expression of anything. In my mind, the greatest yogi is doing taiji—expressing taiji, manifesting it, giving it form and substance. As is the most masterful practitioner of internal martial arts that originated in China so long ago.

Thank you reader for your gift of attention. I hope to have been useful in your journey. To risk a little cliché— despite the distances, knowing you makes the world a little less lonely.

As I go forward, probably with the usual oscillation of forward-backwards-forwards again, I jot down an informal invocation for inspiration.

In your practice,
you have to be ready
to see something you’ve never seen before,
to do something you’ve never done before,
and to feel something you’ve never felt before.
And not get too surprised or overwhelmed
because of whatever might throw you off course,
and lose the concentration that got you this far.
You have to be ready for what you want.
That’s what you do this for.

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5 thoughts on “Five years of blogging about taijiquan

  1. well I can empathise so much with your thoughts, about why blog, why practise, why continue… I loved your inspirational invocation — it landed really well for me today! thank you for sharing your insights — I hope you continue happily into another year. Here’s to a less lonely journey (cliche and all!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to remind myself that while the why is important, my attention on the how of practice is much more practical. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy to have discovered your tai chi post! I find it somewhat difficult to find articles relating to tai chi. For yoga – the market is saturated! And I feel blessed in that – but your blog fills an important gap. I wish more yoga asana practitioners had the chance to study tai chi with a good teacher. It would transform their practice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So good to read your remarks. It helps to see my motivation and methods more clearly. I describe taijiquan based on what I can discern through my practice and what I interpret from my teachers’ lessons. That’s the “what is tai chi” question. I also argue for tai chi as a powerful tool for achieving many kinds of goals. Health, longevity, freedom of movement and powerful movement. I sometimes call it “sculpting the mind-body-energy connections.” Tai chi and yoga have a few similar such goals, but perhaps take different approaches to journey in their direction. They overlap, too. A couple of learners in our practice are long-time yoga practitioners, and they say occasionally, “Oh, this reminds me of a yoga posture!” Enjoyed hearing from you!

      Liked by 2 people

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