When is the body ever completely still? Only in death is there no movement. If you are living, you are breathing. If you are breathing, you are moving. The movements of tai chi ride upon the breath wave like flotsam following an ocean current. The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone. The thigh … Continue reading Stillness Is Death
While practicing, you are relaxed, aligned, your movements are smooth, deliberate. In other words, you are actively maintaining your tai chi composure. The question is, when do you stop? Do you turn your tai chi on when you practice the form, and turn it off when you stop? Do you turn it off when class … Continue reading When Do You Turn Your Tai Chi Off?
How we use our bodies has a lot to do with determining how we feel. Generally, the more sick you act the more sick you will feel. When you are sick, do you allow your posture to slouch, your feet to shuffle, and your breath to become rapid and shallow? Or do you hold yourself … Continue reading Acting Sick
Thinking is like breathing. We do it pretty much all the time, automatically. We can only exert so much conscious control over it. We can put it on hold for a short time, but the moment we stop paying attention it starts to happen again. Its quality and rhythm are influenced by our habits and … Continue reading Thinking And Breathing
An odd thing about humans is that we tend to hold our breath in moments whenever we are attached to a particular outcome. Just after we've rolled the ball down the lane, hoping for a strike. Just after we've asked an important question, hoping for the answer we want. When we're watching our child try … Continue reading Breath Hitches (And Other Superstitions)
Because the body and the mind are not only connected, they are different facets of the same thing. Every aspect of one is reflected in the other. In tai chi, we say that everything physical has psychological analogues, and everything psychological has physical analogs. What shows up in your practice shows up in your life, … Continue reading Why Meditation Should Engage The Body As Well As The Mind
Tai chi is a form of qigong (energy work). The practice of qigong, including tai chi, involves the engagement of three ongoing regulations, which are the elements of what I refer to as tai chi composure. The Three Regulations are body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation. Body is the physical aspect of our experience, … Continue reading The Three Regulations of Qigong
Excerpted from Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment, by Jed McKenna: In the movie The Matrix, there's a scene where the adept Morpheus effortlessly glides through throngs of people on a bustling city sidewalk while inept Neo bumbles and collides and apologizes. Flow and non-flow. Having no preferences, having no ego that requires constant monitoring and reinforcing, having … Continue reading McKenna on Flow