Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tai Chi as a Moving Meditation.

Taiji (Tai Chi) is a martial art, often referred to as an internal martial art, as the primary purpose of it’s study is health and longevity.

The movements of the various Taiji forms, all rooted in combative techniques, help increase qi-or chi-(i.e. energy, life force, etc.) circulation, balance, coordination, and posture. When performed correctly, and with synchronized breathing, the Taiji forms become a moving meditation.

The purpose of meditation is to bring our awareness into the present moment. Often this is accomplished through the practice of seated meditation, also referred to as zazen. When practicing seated meditation we attempt to detach from thoughts of the past and future, or to gain control of our “monkey mind”.

One of the best ways to calm down the mind and detach from thought is by focusing on the breath. When we use our breath as an anchor it is much easier to become totally engaged into the present moment.

The movements of Taiji function in a very similar capacity. By focusing totally on the movement, by synchronizing the breath, usually inhaling on the pull and exhaling on the push, the form becomes our anchor into the present moment. The Taiji practitioner becomes totally engaged in the form and the awareness is 100% in the present. This brings about a state of relaxed energy flow, calmness, and serenity.

I find that by performing my Taiji practice prior to seated meditation it is much easier for me to avoid letting my monkey mind take over the meditation practice.

If you practice Taiji, go about your practice as a form of moving meditation. As you are performing the movements of the form allow yourself to become totally engaged in that moment. Feel every inch of the movement as if your breath and your xi are moving your body through the form and not your muscles.

To learn more about my approach to developing the mind, body, and spirit, click here!

In Abundant Health,