Why it sometimes takes quite a while to post something fresh or new has not much to do with time and work. And certainly it doesn’t have anything to do with inspiration. I have my head full of thoughts about Tai Chi and this magnificent art. But sometimes it’s hard to put everything into words and it’s really hard to get a structure to the thoughts so it makes sense in a written form.
Why is that so? Tai Chi is first and foremost an art of experience, doing, something that must be understood by the body before the mind can conceptualize it. This is most of a problem when it comes to verbalize the art to others. You really don’t need to put it all into written sentences just for your own sake. Well, I need it. Almost 30 years of practice builds a lot of thoughts, in my brain at least. I put it all down into words so I don’t need to remember it. So I can read my thoughts instead of fumbling with my memory.
But the lack of easy comprehensive methods of describing Tai Chi is still very much a problem for the beginner. You can’t really even start to understand what Tai Chi is about if you haven’t practiced it for some time, and maybe you even need years of practice before you “get it”, at least get the very beginning of it.
Another problem is about how people tend to describe the art and it’s concepts. Ususally very specific terms to Chinese traditional thoughts are used. Many teachers love to mystify the art, make it even harder for their students to grasp it. And in fact, sometimes the result is that it takes even longer time before the student can even begin to reach depth and begin to make the art their own.
But sometimes, many words and terms, like Yin Yang and Qi, that sounds strange to us are very common, everyday words for Chinese. Yin Yang means balance, like food needs “yin yang”: it needs to be balanced and nutritious. Qi is used in words for weather, anger and many other everyday words. Most of it is not so strange. But to understand how simple in fact Tai Chi is, you need to experience what is behind those words. Nothing is gained by speaking, intellectualizing. Everything is by doing – first hand experience. But you need a good teacher to guide you. Someone who understand the intellectual and cultural barriers, someone who can gently, but firmly ask the intellectual, always asking and wondering part your brain to please, have a nice cup of STFU.
It’s not easy. Tai Chi never is. Development, getting smarter… yes… it all takes time. And bodily knowledge needs time to grow. It’s hard and persistence is needed. When you stop to ask, and instead – just do – soon, when you are ready, the answer will come.