Tai chi when performed with slow movements in a rhythmic flow calms the mind and body; therefore, it has been referred to as fluid meditation or meditation in motion. A fellow tai chi teacher calls it open eye meditation. The point of meditation is not about sitting in a certain posture with our eyes closed rather it is about where we put our attention. Our busy minds, referred to as “monkey minds”, can be scattered and pulled in so many directions. We might not even be aware of our bodies, our surroundings, or our interactions with others. This continuous scattered state from which we live can leave us feeling depleted energetically, mentally and physically. When we are exhausted our immune systems weaken and our quality of life becomes questionable.
Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on page 102 of How to Relax wrote “When we leave the television set on for a long time, it becomes hot. Our head also gets hot from all our thinking. When we can’t stop, we may be unable to sleep well. Even if we take a sleeping pill, we continue to run, think, and worry in our dreams.”
The slow and flowing movements of tai chi can wash away our endless and worrisome thoughts. Doing just one posture can support our work day or our nightly rest. By refocusing our attention and our breath on what our bodies are doing, instead of allowing our minds to run wild, we can return to our center or place of inner tranquility. We can feel more present in the moment.
In my 4 YouTube videos you can see the slow and repetitive nature of the postures. My upcoming blog will have directions to go with the postures. I invite you to try a posture that appeals to you.
I am filled with wonder, gratitude and awe for the journeys we travel and for the teachers we meet along the way.