Thursday, November 19, 2009

T'ai-Chi Paradise

Sometimes we do things we don't want to do. Drag ourselves to work. Drudge to the gym. Pick up after the dog, clean the fuzz off the back of the toilet seat. Life is full of it. And I'll be honest, last night I didn't even want to go to T'ai-Chi. I wanted to curl up in the ol' Snuggie, pop in a movie and chow down popcorn. But since I hadn't been to class all week and knew I would not have time to go again until after the weekend, I stepped one foot in front of the other and managed to get to the Studio.

It was a multi-level solo form class, where sometimes I am asked to tutor, sometimes we have a lesson, and sometimes we simply practice the form. Last night was one of the latter, and it didn't take long for me to be grateful I had made it out the door. Sure, I could have done the solo form in my living room, but there is something about the group energy generated when you have a group of folks doing the form together that can't be done alone. This energy, coupled with my own need to mentally get away from life and focus on everything and nothing all at once, brought me to a whole new world that, in my experience, can only be realized in a group form.

As I went through the postures with my classmates, each shift and turn was its own focal point. Brought together, these focal points became a mecca of sensations that relax the body and calm the mind in a way no other exercise that I have done can do. I was both alone and among others: content in the journey to nowhere taking place only inside of me all the while sharing the feeling with those around me. When I get to this place, this T'ai-Chi paradise for lack of better way of putting it, there is nothing else. There is no job to hate, no house to clean, nothing to worry about. I have no name, no needs, and no faults. Everything is perfect.

When class is over and I need to step out of that space, into my aging vehicle and back to my messy house, none of that is important. Yes, the brakes need to be fixed. Yes, the dust needs to be wiped from behind the toliet seat. And those things will not go unattended, in fact rather the opposite. T'ai-Chi paradise is with me for all those tasks and other motions of life, bringing a calm to daily living not even Yoga can match.

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