Triond Articles

Aug 3, 2010

Of Leaves, Air, Mountains & Rivers

Last night, Lao Shi seemed to be in the lecturing mood.  That is a nice break after doing Tai ji Chuan 68 steps twice.  I just realized that it's a 30-minute drill! No wonder most of us were tired after that.  Tiredness doesn't come to me during class, but rather when I am already half way travelling home.  I feel sleepy and ready for bed and sometimes, I do fall asleep.

Photo by cogdogblog

Lao Shi lectured us on the importance of practice.  He says he does his best to teach us because that is his job.  But learning and getting better at tai ji requires that we practice outside class.  He encouraged us to give it time so that we can really improve more.  He said that our hand movements, when done right should be like slicing the air.  How could you possibly do that?  And then he goes on to say that we should be like the leaves being blown by the wind.  Try to punch that leaf or hit it with your hand, it doesn't shatter to pieces.  It moves, yes, but it just goes in the other direction, seemingly unharmed.  That should be like us.  He said that we should be like the leaf, absorbing the power but not succumbing to the force.  In previous classes he said that during our horse stance exercises, we should be as firm and rooted as a mountain...unmovable, and strong.  But when we move, our power should be like that of a mighty river flowing. 

I like his analogies and as he was talking I was imagining the leaf, air, mountain and river.  But to really grasp the concept, we should practice.  I should practice and understand each move.  I plan to do that.  I just hope I have enough space for practice.  Hmmm...I have to find a place to concentrate, practice undisturbed.  I like to grasp the ideas somehow.


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