Remaining Calm

Remaining calm

Remaining calm is a central tenant of taiji practice. The effort is within. The outward appearance should always be relaxed and flowing. The inner work requires strength and concentration. 内固精神,外是安逸 Nei gu jing shen, wai shi an yi. Strengthen the…

To Do Nothing

To Do Nothing

To do nothing is far more difficult than to do something. Doing nothing requires the ability to embrace stillness, to be able to quiet the mind and calm the body -- even when there is the overwhelming urge to fight.…

Each In Their Own Time

Each in their own time

In what I call developmental learning, each person will grasp a piece of the puzzle in their own time. Developmental learning builds on whatever is being done. It's different than conceptual learning. In conceptual learning, once a person understands the…

What Is Xin (心)?

What is Xin (心)?

What is xin (心)? Literally, it means heart. It can refer to the physical organ (心脏) or to the center of being that is most attuned to feelings and emotions. I'm not referring to sentimentality, but to those sincere, often…

Being Here Now

Being here now

Most anyone who has studied any art that requires focus, be it rock climbing or theatre or martial arts, has heard some version of the phrase "being here now." It may have been in the context of keeping your mind…

Sustaining Practice Long-Term

Sustaining Practice Long-Term

Most adults who start training in one or another of the arts continue for a few weeks or a few years, depending on what they are doing, what they want to do, and the opportunities the art, the teacher, or…

Old Ghosts

Old Ghosts

Taiji and forms solo practice is sometimes called shadowboxing - fighting an imaginary opponent or your own shadow. It's how we develop ourselves, learn how to move, and engage qi through the movements. But the fight with an imaginary opponent…

Sunrise And Stillness

Sunrise and Stillness

Sunrise this morning was impressive. The image doesn't do the colors justice. The clouds were more pink and the blue was so much more vibrant. Its one of the things I enjoy most about getting up early to practice or…

Early morning, just before sunrise

I cannot remember how many times over how many years I've been up before sunrise to practice. So very many stories to tell about early mornings in China. Today, going out on the patio, it was chilly. Not too cold,…

2019 Milestones and Changes

I've been doing some housekeeping and cleaning. Trying to decide what to keep or not. Do I really need to keep that ancient laser printer that was top-of-the line when I bought it, but for which I can't get parts…