Prepare to Be Surprised

Sharry Flaherty / 2022/05

Many of us don’t like surprises. As humans we tend to want and cling to/grasp at certainty. That’s understandable. When we’re learning, whether something simple or complex, most of us want assurance that we are indeed learning; and most of us want to know we’re learning well. What we can be assured of is that our Tai Chi journey will bring us surprises–some we like, some less so. But they will all have value, though it may take a looooong time to realize this. Many of us have been practicing long enough to know that our learning of Tai Chi Chuan is on a continuum and that there is NO end to learning and deepening our understanding.

Prepare to be surprised…

  • To know the continuum is never ending and is NOT in a straight line.
  • That some days your patience/focus/form/energy is better than others.
  • That what you thought you were doing “correctly” still needs to be refined–again and again.
  • To find that when you think you’re relaxed, there’s more to release.
  • With a growing understanding that when there’s more, it’s because there’s less.
  • Realizing the words you heard in class may have been heard differently by someone else.
  • Knowing that following someone else’s form can be both instructive and a trap.
  • To realize that some aspect of your form/practice has improved, without you quite noticing.
  • To have “Aha” moments that can recharge your efforts and confidence.
  • At feeling discouraged at times–we ALL do!
  • To know that we ALL wonder if we’re “getting it” and why, sometimes, “it” feels like it’s coming so slowly for us, or that others seem to be “getting it” more quickly.
  • That what we thought was a confusing, unclear explanation from our teacher was really our inability to grasp it at that point in our training.
  • At finding on re-reading resources, like Grandmaster Wu’s Tao Tai Chi Health, that it all seems like new information and to know that this comes from being in a different place in your development.
  • To find that after a brief time away from classes, you’ve actually continued to move forward.
  • That what we heard a year or two or ten years ago is just as true then as it is now, even though our personal understanding will have changed and grown.

This Tai Chi journey is experiential and entirely unique to each practitioner. Prepare to be surprised!

刊登於 2022 年《原幾》雜誌第六期

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