Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why tai chi?

I suppose the answers are as varied as those who practice. For me, tai chi is part of a larger world—the direction of a life. At 52 you have the luxury of being able to look back and find patterns. The thread running though my life, personal and professional, has been a quest to become a certain kind of person. I was asked by a colleague a few years ago what I wanted in life. I replied that I want to be a person of peace. My writing—books, articles, blogs and sermons—have focussed most on nonviolence and peacemaking and increasingly on love. A person of peace. A person who loves.

To become such a person is to see life as a practice: the practice of peace, the practice of love. A practice is rooted in a long historical tradition, and to become adept at a practice requires the daily learning of virtues that make up the practice.

For many years I had assumed that this was mostly about the life of the mind or spirit. More recently, I have realized that the life of the mind needs to be in harmony with the body. Mind and body harmonized through spirit, chi, ki, energy, the divine.

In eastern traditions there is a greater sense of the unity of mind and body than in the west, where we have generally denigrated bodily experiences. So, some eleven years ago I began an exploration of eastern philosophies, the practice of breathing meditation, and walking meditation. The journey led me a few years ago to tai chi. I practiced for a while, but then left it. In 2010, I returned with more seriousness. Meditation in motion. Conscious movement. Unity of body, mind and spirit. Bodily virtue of the life practice of nonviolence.


No comments:

Post a Comment