The world of T’ai-chi Ch’üan
is a clam with a pearl inside,
that is so small and difficult to find,
that most claim it does not exist,
yet it does and no other pearl is its equal.
The essence of Tai-Chi aligns with Taoist philosophy in the opening of the ‘mysterious pass’ and true centeredness in practicing the martial forms. Much is said about ‘divine speed’ and ‘total absence of any clumsiness’ in the accomplished practitioners of Tai-Chi, but it is little understood. This occurs when the body is strong and flexible, therefore agile and resilient and capable of embodying any maneuver the mind might deem necessary. When a body, prepared in this way is balanced, relaxed and calm and the mind it supports, is also calm and centered, then thoughts can be embodied and never before imagined possibilities fulfilled, through actions that can best be described as effortless.
This is the great mystery of T’ai-chi Ch’üan. This is why T’ai-chi is called, The Supreme Ultimate. It is a practice which makes possible the attainment of an enlightened mind, through a meditative focused unfolding of the learned pattern, and an enlightened body, that has deeply integrated itself through slow, balanced locomotions and effortless transformations of shapes. The two work together as one and the one works at one with the world.
All movement becomes spontaneous and natural, without forethought or plan. Movements become based on circles and the desire to resist force diminishes. Sensitivity increases, awareness expands, perception clarifies until the air itself is like skin surrounding the body’s skin. At this point one becomes difficult to feel when touched. Invisible, but firm. Agile, electric and elusive.
This is human art in high expression. Humans dancing on the edge of the believable. Dancing beyond it, straight into the apparently impossible, physical manipulations of others. It is all possible , as they have shown us. It is understandable as the logical development of skills acquired, through moving a human body with slow, integrated balance for several thousand hours. One thousand hours produces marvelous results and it only gets continuously more magical, pleasurable and fun from there on.
Dancing through life in the mysterious pass serves all life. Such training, while it may be labeled as and even functionally is, a martial art with which one can defend oneself from those whose intentions are not of the highest order, is more so, a path to spiritual enlightenment that arrives as an adjunct to the martial discipline. As our sensitivity and awareness increase, the omnipresence of the swirling energies that envelope us, becomes more and more conscious. Our perception of seamless unity with all things grows beyond deniability and our flow of interactions in and around the objects of the world, arrives at impeccability.
The actions directed by the matrix of the moment, serve all life, as they are a result of unity protecting unity. Such practice honors all life, by helping us to become master stewards of the Earth. Helping all life to live in harmony, by moving through this world as one great note heard through the whole symphony; as one voice that sings with every song.