Wonderful seeing those of you who showed up yesterday! Here's a brief list of highlights and followups, and at the end (bullet point no. 4) you will find next week's topic and zoom link (same link).
1. What is Taiji and how have I benefited? I will simply share Angela and Kathleen's reflections below (which they had sent me via email and graciously agreed to shared with the group). Many of us resonated with what they said.
a) What is taiji and what is taiji TO YOU?
A beautiful way of moving
A pathway inside
b) How have you benefited from Taiji?
Inspires me to meditate more
Improved my alignment, preserved my joints from surgery and drugs. Used to eat Ibuprofen every day. Now I check my alignment
c) What have you discovered through Taiji, about the art itself, other arts/cultures, yourself? What is one piece of wisdom Taiji has brought you?
A different way to interact with gravity. Embrace gravity, don't fight it.
Chinese culture seems so practical. I like that approach; what works.
Feel very lucky that in this time, though my last name not Chen, not even Chinese! but I can learn this beautiful art with such practical benefits
Everything depends on your alignment to make this body work for you
d) Have you been applying Taiji principles to other activities or areas of your life? If so, how?
Check alignment when knees, hips hurt.
Used TJ principles to ski powder, my nemesis! Check alignment, relax the kua, GO!
2. A safe space to talk about qi. Our discussion somehow pivoted toward qi and several people shared their experience of feeling qi. Let's keep this discussion forum a safe place where we can share and learn more about this seemingly mystical (but not really) phenomenon. For those of you who loves reading and want to know more about qi, I recommend these books (2 on TCM, 1 on martial arts):
a) Taiji is a philosophy that comes from the theory of Change. It recognizes the Big Extremes in all things that evolve around a cycle. It is then manifested physically in the Taiji forms as a martial art...
b) Benefit of Taiji practice: Taiji is a good exercise for me unlike team games or sports game like badminton or volleyball which I have enjoyed. It slowly builds strength for health, and it also builds friendship within a community such as ACTS.
c) Wisdom of Taiji: I now apply the Taiji principles of duality in my forms and calligraphy, hard/soft, quick/slow, tense and relax... Relax is the biggest element that I got from Taiji, how it rejuvenates and replenishes our energy before we tackle anything!
d) Application of Taiji in life: I recognize that things happen in cycles and in a spectrum from one extreme to the other; so it makes me relax and hopeful for the better whenever I am down and troubled; at the same time, not be vain and complacent when things are too easy for me :-)
3. Organs and emotions. We also briefly touched upon the TCM theory of internal organs and emotions. For those of you who are curious and want to learn more, there are a number of resources (e.g., two of the books above), but I found our friend Chris Shelton's 30-day qigong series very succinct and practical, as he teaches specific qigong exercises that address each organ (see Days 7-11):
- Kaptchuk, The Web That Has No Weaver (TCM)
- Keown, The Spark in the Machine (TCM)
- Frantzis, The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi (Martial Arts)
4. Next Thursday, March 4, 7-8pm, we will continue our Meditation (7-7:30 pm) and Taiji Chat (7:30-8 pm). We will be talking about: shortcuts to improve your taiji skills. Some questions to ponder: 1) what are taiji skills? 2) what shortcuts/detours have you taken?
Zoom link is the same:
Topic: Taiji Meditation and Chats
Time: March 4, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 842 2183 7967
*** You are welcome to join either the meditation or the chat, or both! ***
Again, join only if you are free, and feel free to email me which your thoughts on the topic of the day or suggestions for topics (be selfish, tell me what would benefit you; you never know - there may be many others who have the same needs and wants! :).
Have a great weekend,
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