Stop talking, stop thinking, and there is nothing you will not understand.
Seng-Ts'anI find it amazing that I have been teaching Tai Chi for almost seven years now and it's never the same. You'd start to think that after doing a Brush Knee for the 4298th time, you'd own it. Not so my wise one. This evening I was out in the garden and had my ipod on shuffle, all of a sudden a song from my Tai chi cd came on. Immediately, I got into position and started going thru the Sun 73...like Pavlov's dog, I hear the music and I am there! One of the beautiful gifts of Tai Chi is the total loss to the moment. It's not actually a loss as it's a complete surrender to doing the movement and nothing else is there. I love the thought that Tai Chi is the moment between when the tree decides to drop it's leaf and when the leaf falls.
Going thru the movements is the only time when my mind gets quiet. Like most people, I am always doing too many things, moving too fast, planning on what to do next and whom to do it with and how we are going to do it and did I mail that letter and where are my keys? Actually, my most asked question to myself is "Where are my glasses?" and sometimes I have them on when I'm asking myself this. I have dog-eared the "At the Pace of what is Real" in my Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo and have read it so many times that I almost can repeat it without reading it. He says that... we run our lives like trains, speeding along a track laid down by others, going so fast that what we pass blurs on by. Then we say we've been there, done that. The truth is that blurring by something is not the same as experiencing it.
I must somehow find a way to slow down the train that is me until what I pass by is again see-able, touchable, feel-able. Otherwise, I will pass by everything but will have experienced and lived through nothing. (this is my favorite part and I chant it sometimes when doing Tai Chi)...
*Consider three things you must do today.
*Carefully put two down.
*Immerse yourself in the one thing that is left.
So there I am, in the garden, cars driving by, neighbors riding their bikes past me, kids blowing a whistle and me, Step Forward To Deflect Downwards, Parry, Parry Punch, Apparent Closing Up, Carrying the Tiger and Pushing the Mountain, Opening Hands, Closing Hands, Brush Knee and Twist Step Left, Leisurely Tying Coat. As soon as the song ended, the spell was broken and Gino Vanelli came on and although he can put me in a mood...albeit a completely different mood, it was over. I think it might have helped the plants as much as the fertilizer.
I hope you have something that lets you be that leaf ... right before it falls.
Peace out my fellow chi-ers!