Saturday, April 12, 2014

What Happens When You Practice in the Wrong Place?

I usually practice my tai chi in the same space at home. I always face the same direction. I recently learned that this practice places limits on my practice.
 
One day recently I faced the opposite direction to start my forms. Sometime during the forms practice, I lost track of where I was. I stopped and tried to figure out where I was and how I had gotten there. It took a little time, but I finally figured out that I had made a wrong move somewhere along the line and ended up facing the wrong direction.  
 
Tai chi sets often contain the same forms repeated several times but they move through those forms into something different. Somehow my mind had realized that I was facing the "wrong" way. I ended up moving into the wrong form after one of the repetitions so that I was facing the "right" way.
 
Maybe I need to change things up more often. How do you deal with this?
 
© 2014  by Eric Borreson

Friday, April 4, 2014

Understanding Too Soon

Have you ever thought about your teacher, "Why does he keep teaching this stuff? I already know it." Maybe you need to rethink your position.

One of the most famous and quotable writers to ever use the English language was William Shakespeare. The things he wrote in his plays are often quoted and have become part of the language. If Shakespeare had never lived, the most famous author would likely be Alexander Pope.

"Some people will never learn anything because they understand everything too soon." ~Alexander Pope*

I think children are better at this. They know they don't know anything (at least until they become teenagers when they think they know everything). We are often unwilling to admit that we don't know something. This brings us back from the edge of true understanding. It keeps us from the breakthroughs in understanding that make learning truly enjoyable.

Think about it. Have you ever thought that you knew more than your teacher? How has that prevented you from learning?

© 2014 by Eric Borreson

*This quote is widely attributed to Alexander Pope. However, I can't find where it originally came from. Does anyone know? Leave a comment.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Keeping Track of Time


Have you ever been engrossed in something interesting and lost track of time? Sure you have. It happens to all of us. Our conscious awareness of the flow of time keeps changing.

When I am sitting and not paying much attention, I breathe about 15 times a minute. When I am practicing my tai chi, I usually focus on my breath (among other things). I usually breathe slower, about 10 times a minute.

If I don't focus on my breathing, an interesting thing sometimes happens. I completely lose track of time. I don't know if my forms take 7 minutes or 12 minutes. And I never know the difference until I am done and look at the clock. It seems like time moves at a different speed at different times.  
 “I avoid looking at the clock, fearing the slow passing of time that will only seem slower if I watch its progress.” ~Michelle Zink, Prophecy of the Sisters
 Has this ever happened to you? Please leave a comment and tell me what you think about this. ©

© 2014 by Eric Borreson
Photo © Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos