Monday, March 22, 2010

The Purpose of T'ai Chi

OK, so now I have been practicing/playing T'ai Chi for 38 years. Wow. Time flies when one has fun. So I am coming in my mind to the deepest purpose of T'ai Chi - to feel good, to feel good in the way that Abraham Hicks talks about feeling good; feeling so good that you attract to you all the things you desire to have in your life.

You prepare, structure, arrange, clean up the vibration of your being-ness in such a way that you are in harmony with Source, or what I remember calling, even as long as 30 years ago, your "You." The ultimate purpose of practicing T'ai Chi is that is gives you a very practical, no-nonsense way of feeling good. This goes beyond health and healing although it certainly encompasses both. There is a literal "Thrill" that passes through my body over and over again as I play the form; (yes, "Play!" That is the literal translation of the Chinese word for "Doing" T'ai Chi. You are asked by the Chinese, "Do you play T'ai Chi?"). And the more 'Play' I put into my practice, the greater the Thrill I experience.

T'ai Chi works on a very deep level, touching, tickling, stroking and exercising the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual 'bodies' all at the same time. It often feels as powerful as making love in terms of the melting nature of the feeling while playing.

Very often, during T'ai Chi I will also have insights into the nature of the universe - as a matter of fact, most of my "Aha" spiritual experiences have come during T'ai Chi; the rest while high on some other more immediate, EZ and reliable a drug. T'ai Chi is free (after a while:) and a better friend than those other substances.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

About practices (meditative or not) that progress to being able to do something that you can't initially do (yoga, T'ai Chi, Triathalons, 100 push-ups, etc): This is from my own experience of pushing myself to extremes and beyond in search of the effortless: Make it effortless the entire way! I still 'push' myself but only little pushes - once it starts to feel onerous I just stop - not worth it - if it doesn't feel good I don't do it - I do it up until it stops feeling good, then I go just a little bit further and stop. Each day I do the same thing and little by little I get up to my desired goal (Stand for an entire hour in one position, or whatever) effortlessly - I make the process effortless as well as the intended goal (1 hour); To me that is the only sane way of doing these things. whether yoga, t'ai chi, push-ups, bike riding, jogging, with ANYTHING that I am trying to increase my 'endurance.' All it takes is patience and allowing/letting go, and the result is achieved with a whole lot more pleasure, less ego, and not a whole lot more time.

I see people in yoga classes injuring themselves because they try to do what the teacher is effortlessly doing, even though the teacher tells them to take it at their own pace (Right!). Come on! I see the teacher with her foot wrapped around her neck and the guy next to me is doing it too, so naturally I am going to tear a muscle trying to get as close to the position as possible.


To push for the extreme as fast as possible means I am not being in the Now moment during the process and the end becomes more important than the feel-good of the process. I never could see much spiritual in spiritual practices where the goal is to achieve some seemingly impossible feat of strength, endurance, etc, but I pushed myself anyway.

I don't do that anymore. It is possible to learn as I age. The goal always seems to be able to do it effortlessly, so why not release the ego right away and make the process effortless and fun and feel-good.

My most valued spiritual-guide book has always been: "The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment." Nothing else makes any sense to me since everything we need in order to wake up fully is always available to us right now and only right now - never in the future.

Now, rather than feeling as if I am lacking something when I see someone doing something I cannot yet do, I just appreciate their effortlessness. When I see someone struggling to do the same thing - I wince.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On Transparency, Power and Control

I haven't read Warren's Bennis' book on transparency yet but it seems right up my alley. My spiritual take on transparency is that as long as I am protecting any information, ANYTHIIIIIIIINNNNGGG about myself - that information has a certain power over me and binds me because I somehow fear other people finding out about it. The more transparent I am the more powerful I am. small hiding - small power loss; BIG hiding - BIG power drain.

It is all connected to vulnerability - the more vulnerable I am the more powerful I am because there is NOTHING for anybody else to grab onto to hold over my head as a threat. I cannot be controlled if I have nothing to hide. A group cannot be controlled if they have nothing hidden, an organization cannot be controlled if they are completely open. Information is power, well............ protected information is power ......... well, actually .... priviledged information is control.

This may sound Pie-in-the Sky and it IS! AAAANND the Pie and the Sky are real. This hiding stuff and organizational (any organization or company) game playing is just that - a game. A VERY fun game that I also LOVE playing, but I think the point of the game is to wake up from it - it becomes a much more fun game once it is only a game and I no longer take it so seriously.

In truth nothing is hidden anyway - all is transparency - I only think I am hiding stuff and so I blind/blind myself. I give away my power by hiding anything about who I am, what I think or believe, and how I have acted. I speak of personal power here, not power in terms of controlling someone else. Real power has no need to control. Only scared people need to control... OK so I am scared sometimes too - but I am working on it.

FREEEEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!! as short but powerful Mel Gibson says.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

IT's only and always a Game!

First of all, this whole thing we call life is really just a game. We are all playing it and some of the time I actually remember that it IS a game and then all my problems disappear. It is not so EZ to see backstage in the game of life. We take it all too seriously. Why should a mere game cause someone a heart attack? And yet it does - it almost did to me.

I am NOT talking about the game of life here - talking about Football - NHL football. Specifically the Superbowl game of 2009. I am not even a football fan but the Patriots, were playing and when I am a fan I am a Patriot's fan. This game was one of the most exciting I have ever watched and the Giants pulled off an almost impossible comeback win.

One one of the touchdown runs I cheered so hard, jumping up from the couch and high-fiving Tim VanNess, that my heart pumped sand started o violently that I had to sit down hard and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Wow! Over a game 'game,' not even the game of 'real life.'

I used to watch my daughter get sooooooooo upset over getting behind in Chutes&Ladders. "It's only a game sweetheart" didn't seem to help.

So, if we can get so invested in actual games, letting them have such emotional/physical/mental effects on us - how much more difficult is it to stand back from the game of RL (Real Life) and not take it so seriously? In my darkest most despairing, desparate moments my great desire is to be able to step back, breathe and remind myself, "It's only a game."