Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tai Chi for the 21st Century


What happens when a poet also practices tai chi? These are not my words. They are from a video by my friend, Paul Read, the Teapotmonk. He kindly allowed me to share this here. 


 Grace & Strength
In the Tai Chi Form

Space
Just as the space between words shape the phrase...
Just as the space between musical notes shape the song...
So too, we crave the presence of space

In time, we learn that it is the emptiness between the postures that defines them.
So... before you begin...
Before anything else...Feel
o Feel the air circulate between your fingers
o Feel your weight fall to the soles of your feet
o Feel your joints open
o Feel your muscles soften
o Feel your breath move...

Then, and only then...Let
o Let the outside step in, and let the movement begin by itself
o Let what is inside reach out
o Let your arms ride the waves...

Night and Day
o Enjoy the Yang
o But remember the sweet taste of Yin
o For in nature...

... in nature there are no straight lines
o They serve no purpose here...
o Where everything is circular
o So... Find the curve and join with your breath

Follow the cycles of your breath
o Follow the curves of nature
o Follow the breeze
o Follow, follow, follow
o ... and learn that...

When you rise up, sink down first...
o Turn left before moving right
o Step back before moving forward
o Let your body do the work...

Then...
o When you really need to be hard
o When softness has completed its turn
o When the Yang in you surges to the surface...

Look Deeper...
o For strength comes not from tension
o But from the interplay of opposites
o The embracing of contrasts
o From silence and space and ...

Balance & Breath
... there is tremendous strength in grace

You can see the video directly on YouTube. Click here.