Monday, February 05, 2007

Tai Chi "on the brain"
I read recently that it takes about two years to learn all of the 108 tai chi moves (ie. the "precision" and balance). This is like following a schematic or blueprint.

A tai chi master will execute the form in a precise & identical manner every time. A new student uses left brain functions to "compare" their moves to the instructor, "analysing & memorizing" through repetition. (The words in quotations are all left brain functions.)

After learning these moves, we can experience the energy flow as it is happening to us at every movement of the form. This is not easy to do, as we can easily go into "auto pilot" and do an unfelt, “robotic” version of tai chi that stays true to the blueprint, but is missing the spirit (shen) & spontaneity of the moment. Spontaneity or "going with the flow" is a right brain attribute.

When we do tai chi, if we are “in the now”, we respond to our environment...the fresh air, the fragrances of the flowers & trees. Our awareness is heightened by these factors. If we fully internalize (a right brain function) these aspects of the moment, tai chi is less likely to become "routine"(a left brain tendency). The perfectly executed tai chi form involves a constant "synchronicity" between the two brain hemispheres.

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