06 April 2008


I've had a few solo taiji lessons lately, where Melissa's been out of town and Mark's either overslept or not been feeling well, so Don took the time to try and improve my push hands, among other things. It seems to have been time well spent, as about halfway through our usual push-hands time slot Mark stopped, bowed out, and said "You push with Teacher a while." It could have meant many things, but judging by the tone of voice, I think he was frustrated with me... i.e. I wasn't giving him as many openings as he was used to. ^/^ That's not to say that he didn't push me out a few times, but I think it was more (mental) work than he was used to.

One of many interesting things about good sensing-hands is the amount of mental concentration it takes, though concentrations really isn't the right word. It's awareness. Pure awareness. No thought. This state of mind is both difficult to attain and difficult to maintain. It's similar to the state of hyper-awareness that can come with an emergency, except that it's calm; there's no urgency. My current weakness is surfacing from that calm when I have something and putting more effort into a push than is actually necessary, but it's much improved from a few months ago.

Another interesting thing is that there is always progress to be made. Always further to go. Always more to learn. Even the great masters report that they still have more to learn, and that is as it should be. A path that comes to an end serves no purpose; it is a dead branch. A path that continues to grow and shift and change, now, that is something worthwhile.

1 comment:

kootzie said...

Thank you for this awareness.
I suspect that taiji, of which
I currently know nothing, may
become significant for me.