know thyself

I went to Tai Chi today for the first time in about two weeks. As we began the standing meditation (in the beginning of class, just after stretches) I was composing this blog entry about how I’m going to take a break from Tai Chi for a while. Maybe all winter, I thought. But then as class ended, and I was wishing we did the entire form at the end of every class (as we did today), I started chatting with some of the people I’ve gotten to “know” from my months at the studio. Then the next (more advanced) class began, and as most of those friends turned towards it, the instructor turned back and beckoned to me specifically. It was my first non-beginning tai-chi course at the studio. After that class, I didn’t feel like I’d learned anything extraordinary, but then it’s not about learning extraordinary things. It’s about practicing tai chi. And it’s about knowing yourself.

One of my last posts was about how important I think it is to know yourself emotionally, and how I feel that is the poet’s job and obligation. Tai Chi is about knowing your physical self. And unfortunately, you can’t just think about your body and know how it bends and how it moves. You actually have to bend and move to know those things. And interestingly enough, the more you bend and move, the better you become at bending and moving. The same probably holds true for the non-physical self as well. The more you think the better you are going to be at thinking.

So I think maybe I’ll keep going to Tai Chi for now at least. I do really feel a sense of inner peace after class, a sense of calm and collection. Strange that you have to not think to feel the most centered.