Last Saturday in Tai Chi class my teacher was instructing all of us to relax and pay attention to what we were doing, to allow ourselves to relax and let go. “If you do,” he said, “you will feel the rhythm of Tai Chi.” Sometimes when he talks, I feel as though he’s talking directly to me as though he knows what I’m dealing with in my personal life. “Allow yourself to let go . . . feel the rhythm” Yeah, that’s me.
We also have class on Wednesday nights. Last night he spoke about how he’s writing a book tentatively called Tai Chi and Enlightenment. He’s trying to figure out why it’s so hard for people to learn it. Other arts like Judo, Karate, Aikido are all easier to learn. “You can take Cha, Cha, Cha lessons and be pretty good in a few months.” he said. “Tai Chi should be easier to learn because you’re using less effort. It’s a mystery.”
“Tai Chi can be as easy to learn as taking a deep breath or as difficult as trying to learn Chinese. The choice is up to you.” he added.
Other students all had their own ideas and opinions on why it takes longer to learn the art. We’re used to using strength & it’s hard to give that up, we’re too full of opinions on what we ‘think’ it should be, etc. He didn’t so much disagree with what we said but he added that he thought people brought too much emotion to the art. “Why would you go on vacation to Mexico and carry your baggage down to the beach? It’s pretty hard to swim carrying all that. Why not leave it in your hotel room?”
Tai Chi is very simple if you don’t have a mind full of thoughts and emotions. When you raise your hand, just think/be aware of “I’m raising my hand.” and that’s it. Let go of whether you’re upset, jealous, sad, angry, etc. Those things don’t matter and only get in the way of the flow.
My man, he knows me pretty well.
Here’s a little exercise I’m working on. Whenever I notice myself being angry, sad or whatever - I consciously tell myself “Okay, I’m feeling tense because I’m angry at the guy who cut me off in traffic. I make the choice now to let go of that feeling and those thoughts.” then I breath deeply and slowly for a while and move on. With enough practice it will become easier and who knows, maybe you’ll feel the rhythm of life.