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TJ Nov. 18


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Fri. Nov. 18:  Some pretty good training the last few days.  I can definitely feel what the body is "trying" to do... there's a certain way that it wants to move, and very specific alignments and shapes it's wanting to make.... but... it's not quite ready, or in at the level of opening or experience to completely make them.  For instance, from the mingmen area everything wants to spread, and stretch with a very bouncy, rubbery quality all the way out in all directions to the tips of the limbs, it creates the 'up the back' and allows for the '2 become 1' quality when taking force, etc. Also, when transitioning into movements in exercises, or postures, etc. the joints and the relationships between the positions of the parts of the body, the joints between the parts, the degree to which this and that articulate and the dynamic between yin and yang in specific areas as well as how the muscles are dealing with or morphing in order to compensate are starting to gel a little, and i can 'sense' what the body is 'trying' to do and when it comes close to getting there everything feels great, and really clicks.  But there is obviously a lot of opening and loosening to go.  Little places here and there still want to 'hang on' and not allow the body to completely go where it's trying to go, and it is obvious that many of those areas are going to take a looooonnnnggg time to knead into something pliable or soft enough to release and go with the rest of the body. 

Sifu commented that this takes a lot of time and is cultivated through dedicated work.  I believe this is why, because even if the concepts or techniques or exercises are spot on, the body may not yet be able to accomodate them, and especially the mind has to take lots of time to transform into clarity further releasing the body.  I typically get frustrated when on a certain day everything falls into place taking somewhere I haven't been yet, like a discovery or an epiphany... and then I spend the next two weeks wondering why I can't even get close to being back there.  Maybe it's just a glimpse of what's ahead, something of a taste of the fruits of the work and effort to be done?


each student must develop the ability to train for the joy of training. embrace the process. moment by moment - through success and failure - to embody tai chi principles. this way you never stop the work.

in my case, i have exceeded every expectation and skill i ever imagined was possible. the last 7 years have been totally unexpected. the training reveals more every day, always bitter, always sweet. i look forward to the next 30 years.

what would i have done if my measure of success rested on some imagined outcome? when i acquired those skills, i would have stopped training since i was 'done'. what a shame that would have been. i would have missed out on so much. now, who knows where the principles will lead. what an adventure.