The experience of Tai Chi is something very profound. It is the awakening of the spiritual soul. Development in Tai Chi follows, or leads, spiritual development, they go hand in hand.
As Tai Chi is practiced the qualities of tai chi develop within. As Tai Chi frees and loosens movement, the personality becomes freer and more open. It is interesting to see what comes first. Is it the freeing and opening of the personality that allows the Tai Chi to become more relaxed and open or does the Tai Chi allow that freedom to translate into the rest of life. It is a puzzle, but it is not one or the other, this is growth together. Tai Chi is a reflection of the whole and the Tai Chi acts as a learning tool allowing you to explore aspects of yourself that you have not done so for a long time.
Tai Chi is deep inside and the more you work on it the deeper it goes. It starts at the physical level, the movement, the step and the physical expression of the movement, either the stilted constricted nature of ourselves or the expressive overly artistic of the dancer or the artiste. They are only superficial they do not express our true nature, just a physical movement that expresses the nature of our thinking, the logical or artistic representation of our thoughts.
The next step is to go deeper, to lose that physical nature of the form, to forget the precision and feel the elements and the breath. The Tai Chi encourages the closer observation of the internal body, firstly we become in touch with our breath as we observe it, and control it, become in tune with it. We become in touch with the elements, the coolness and flowing water, the softness of the air the gentleness of the breeze, the earth, grounding and strong and the fire, hot, powerful and expansive.
We observe what the Tai Chi is doing to our bodies, we get in tune with the energetic nature of the physical body. We observe the chakras, the energy centres, we feel the energy in our palms and in our fingers. We feel that we can touch, fondle and express the energy from our hands and from the energy centres.
– We feel the strength of the base centre, well grounded.
– We feel the energy of the Tan Tien, storing and nurturing our energy, feeling it grow, the basis of all our energetic source.
– The solar plexus, our emotional centre, the centre of our fear and our expectancy. We strengthen and energise the centre.
– The heart, the centre of love and sharing. We learn to feel the energy of the heart, love becomes more meaningful to us.
We learn to express the love from our heart to expand our energy into our auric field. This is a fundamental step for all of us. Suddenly we can express love not through words, but through the expression of love s energy. We express it from our heart. At first we try too hard, try to use our physical power to express that feeling of love. As we learn to soften and be more gentle, we express the love more gently. We open the door of the heart as it effortlessly leaves us. It is always surprising that the more you learn about Tai Chi the easier it becomes. Our effort whether physical, mental or emotional gets in the way of the form. The truth is that the real expression of the Tai Chi from requires no effort. It is in the lack that we find the truth, in the spaciousness and the emptiness that we find the final truth.
The stages of the Tai Chi form enable us to grow. We work with the lower chakras to start with. Strengthening and energising as we stand still. The stillness is when we energise and strengthen our chakras and we use them to expand our energy into the auric field around the body.
In stage four of the form we start to work with the higher energy from the throat up to the crown. The throat is the expression of our communication with the outer world, it allows us to speak and tell the truth, to develop that ability to reach out and teach others, so that we might learn. The third eye is our communication with the universe, to use our external sight to see the world as it is, our intuitive sense of the world.
Stage five is unique. It is here that we connect to the divine. It is the bringing in of the female and male divine energies to prepare us for when we finally stand in perfect strength and perfect balance. The universe is completely in us. All the opposites are together within us and without us.
The fifth stage of the Tai Chi connects us to the divine. In Return to Altar we return to the altar of God. The altar to God is within us. We bring ourselves inside to connect ourselves and our form, to our own divine nature. It is at this altar that we draw in the divine nature, we express our devotion to the four corners of the universe. We connect our energy to the universal life force and we draw in the divine female and male energies. We open up the crown centre and become a complete expression of the universal divine force. We express the reality of our human nature. We use the body for its true purpose, as a vehicle for the expression of the divine and the communication with the universe.
It is no surprise that the Tai Chi is often at its most beautiful when a group of people do it together. The communication is complete when we all communicate together at the same time. Gone are the ego selves, behind us are the physical expressions and the competitiveness, here at the end is the truth, everybody together as one. Everybody open and expressing themselves as they really are. The barriers are removed, here is the true nature, we are not separate, we are one. We communicate not through our physical expression, nor through our words, but through our divine nature. Direct communication direct from the source.
When we practice Tai Chi we feel the group energy. As the group develops the group energy and group dynamics grows such that the sharing is so much greater. The energy of a group doing Tai Chi is not representing the energy generated by the Tai Chi, but represents the openness of the group, their spiritual growth and the expression of their love.
Tai Chi helps us see what is possible and what we can achieve. We see weaknesses and strengths. The Tai Chi and the Tai Chi group give us the space to examine these things, to learn what might be and to use the Tai Chi form to express that learning out into the world. Tai Chi holds onto aspects of ourselves and expresses them in form as long as we hold onto them. Our growth will be at another stage when we can do the Tai Chi form, without seeking approval and with complete openness in the heart. When we can do Tai Chi with others as a complete expression of our love for each other as we really are, when we can put aside mundane thoughts and just share the true energetic nature of ourselves completely openly and without judgement.
This is what the Tai Chi form is. A complete expression of the divine nature of ourselves. It represents our goal in life, it represents one of our greatest tools.