Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Strive for continuous movement in your practice.
Tonight I reminded students to try to perform the sequence of t'ai chi ch'uan postures as continuous movement. This is challenging. Each move has it's individual qualities but when the moves are "strung together", they appear to be one continuous movement. We are challenged to stay with each move to it's completion, before starting the next move. If you are performing "Ward Off Right" but you are thinking ahead to the next move, "Ward Off Left", the tendency is to blur one move into the other. By not being fully present, it's easy to miss the distinct qualities of each move. After completing a move, we don't stop or pause before starting the next move. A master teacher wrote (and I paraphrase), "The t'ai chi ch'uan form, made up of individual moves, is like a string of pearls. When you look at a string of pearls, you don't think, 'What a beautiful pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl.' You see it as a whole, beautiful string of pearls." Your practice will have more "flow" if you strive to stay fully present throughout each move.