What is Tai Chi?
First there was the Tao
According to ancient Chinese thought, the universe is a vast Oneness, a great unity.
Everything depends on everything else. The cow needs the grass to eat, the grass needs the soil, air and the rain to nourish and feed the soil for the grass to grow. In turn, the faeces of the cow fertilises the soil and surrounding vegetation. There is no dependence for independence in the universe only interdependence.
The universe is a vast tapestry in which every star, every creature, every tree, every rock,every drop of water, is an essential thread in helping to hold all the other threads together.
This oneness of all that exists is called the Tao
The threads are all connected and cannot be separated, but the threads are always moving, changing and adjusting their relationships
The human body is the same. Like the Tao, the body is also a totality, a unit. If the parts co-operate with one another, then the body will be healthy.
The Tao cannot be divided into you-me, us-them, good-evil, Jewish-Christian etc.
The movement of the Tao is continuos, cyclical:
Day becomes night
Death follows life
The tree’s leaves die in autumn and are ‘re born’ in spring.
Winter follows summer
Spring follows winter
In the process of moving , the Tao divides into Yin and Yang Chi or vital energy.
These 2 energies flow through the universe like 2 might rivers.
Yang: male energy. Strong, aggressive and outgoing.
Yin: female energy. non aggressive, yielding and receptive.
Everything is made from Yin and Yang energies.
The mind always separates. If we approach our lives rationally, we will not be able to see the oneness of the universe, but only its separate parts.
We often separate our minds and body. We care for our minds but forget our bodies
Tai Chi = Vital Energy
In looking at the separation and conflict in which humanity finds itself, the Chinese developed a set of exercises for physical and spiritual self development.
The aim being to follow intuition rather than a rational understanding the Tao and oneness.
This is Tai Chi
Our rational minds will try and separate it into its parts. Tai Chi cannot be explained with the rational mind. It should be experienced and lived. Tai Chi becomes a way of life as we experience the oneness of all that is.
The movements of Tai Chi are an imitation of the movement of the Tao.
By imitating the Tao, the Tai Chi student becomes one with it and harmonises himself with all things.
Tai Chi is an unending journey towards oneself and towards oneness
It is a way of life.
Learning Tai Chi
I run classes close to Grange Over Sands.
Learn about Tai Chi and the form, and practice some Chi Gung.
Classes are 1 1/2hrs long and are suitable for all ages and ability. The Tai Chi form and Chi Gung can be adapted if you need to sit at any time.
Please contact me if you need to discuss further.