Saturday, 1 November 2014

The form is not Taiji!

That sounds like an outlandish statement but I read something by Michael Gilman the other week that said just that. I read this to my students before we headed off for coffee and cake at a local cafe and asked for their comments and thoughts. I can't recall specifics but the conversation that took place around the table was incredible and for me very spiritual. So before I give my take on the form not being Taiji can I just say that giving people time to talk about their Taiji has been a really good move. I remember watching a video about a Taiji master and after each session he and his students would go and have tea and talk about what they had been practising and although it is essential to physically practice, it is also essential to analyse and discuss experiences that occur in Taiji. I am loving our conversations just as much as the practice.
To go back to the title of this post. I agree with this statement if the form is just a sequence of moves performed or copied in a ritualised way. There is so much more to Taiji and without the intention and focus of the mind and movement of the Qi then the form is just a set of movements. Nothing different from doing an exercise class. However that is where we all start and although at times it is difficult to grasp a move it is actually the easiest bit of Taiji to learn. How far we take our Taiji is a personal choice and for some doing the form is Taiji and it goes no further but there is so much more out there to discover if we want to take the trouble and we have the time and commitment to do so.
For me it is so important to keep pushing myself. I love exploring what this art has to offer and I am so satisfied with the fact that I will never know it all but that I can keep trying and digging deeper. I find the whole thing exhilarating and exciting. I've done lots of types of exercise in my time and nothing comes close to what Taiji has to offer. I am so lucky to have found Taiji and to have the opportunity to share it with so many wonderful people. It would be great to see your comments about Taiji and the forms so please share your thoughts and lets keep the conversation going!

No comments:

Post a Comment