Tai chi and living a good life

To live a good life, you need a good body. To live a long life, you also need a good mind. This is common knowledge, but people don’t heed the wisdom of it. We beat up our bodies and minds through the process of living and making a living.

You also need energy, and we are all born with only so much of it. If we misuse it, we live shorter lives, possibly defined by weakness and illness.

In tai chi, we practice bringing our minds, bodies, and energy into alignment so that we may function more closely to the fullest capabilities of all three as a single, integrated unit. When all three are in harmony, our whole being resonates with vitality, agility, and power. We are more sensitive to changes in our surroundings and we can respond to actions around us with more clarity, patience, and precision.

It’s kind of like we, in our totality–mind, body, energy–are both musical instruments and the music itself. We play ourselves, on one hand, but we can also be played by the wind as it blows through us, or by the sun as it shines on us, or by ocean waves as they move us. On an even greater scale, we can be moved by distant sources of energy far in space, like stars and planets or the vast, infinite spaces between them. We can at least imagine such possibilities, anyway. We certainly can be affected by each other as we pass in and out of each other’s fields of energy. If we looked at our total beings in such ways, life would be better because we would feel more energetic and alive. We would live longer and if it turned out not to be a long life, then we would live more fully with the time we do have.