For those in search of calm and tranquillity, Tai Chi has much to offer. The graceful flow of movements brings a sense of inner peace and clarity. At first the movements of Tai Chi feel awkward and clumsy but with concentration, practice and dedication a new inner calm can be achieved.
Tai Chi and its stillness is a wonderful means of meditation. Its moves are fluid and strong, toning muscles and bringing suppleness to the joints. Its power in healing comes like a spark in a vacuum when all thought and concentration are gone and all that remains is a void. Then chi – which means life force energy – begins to flow. Chi, the essence of life, flows through the movements filling the body with energy and bringing about a quiet self awareness.
Masters of Tai Chi describe the need for 21days of repetition for a move to become ingrained into your mind. No longer engrossed in “what comes next” the mind can linger on calmer introspection.
A focus on breathing is what allows the energy to change. Initially a Tai Chi novice begins to learn belly breathing. Taking air right to the root of the lungs, just as a baby breathes naturally. As we relearn this waking breath (it is our natural way as we sleep) our whole body regenerates and becomes more invigorated. In our quiet work our thoughts become peaceful.
Once mastered, the novice further develops the technique to whole body breathing. Air is taken to the base of the lungs then purged through each and every vein in the body. As each cell is suffused with oxygen our entire body becomes filled with vital energy and chi is ignited.
At daybreak, in China every day, parks are filled with followers of the ancient art of Tai Chi. Standing as still as the blade of grass holding the droplet, their minds can start to reflect from whence it came. In that silence they are able to become who they truly are. The morning routines help help them stay calm and focused throughout the day.
Tai Chi seems to mirror the duality of personality somehow. As the prism of the water dissects the sunlight into its many colours, it reflects the beauty of each of the differing aspects of the being. The peaceful hand Tai Chi with its fluid quietude matched against the might of Tai Chi martial arts. The two live happily together in the same ways of the serene warriors. Silent but oh, so powerful.
The need for quiet, of true clarity of who we are and where we want to be, all these are part of our essential make up. Tai Chi with its tranquil power, helps us to still our minds and uncover this primordial knowledge of who we are.