Tai Chi in Life
We can practice Tai Chi Chi Kung in a way that the principles can be practiced daily life, or during any movement or meditation discipline. One principle is to stay rooted in each movement. In Tai Chi, this refers to creating a connection between the nine points of the feet and the Earth (the nine points are the five toes, the ball of the foot, the heel, and both sides).
While at your computer, for instance, this can mean sitting with your feet flat on the floor, which causes more awareness of your overall posture and leads to less slouching. In your life’s emotions, staying rooted in each movement means to remain down-to-earth, practical, and to stay close to the present moment; even when external forces press in on us.
Keeping a low center of gravity is another principle that reminds us to ‘keep our mind where our body is.’ Too much thinking can keep my awareness floating above my body in some problem-of-the-day or some problem of some other day. Usually there wasn’t even a problem; I was just creating mental constructs that I called problems because I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Life flows more smoothly when I focus on ‘the way’ and not on ‘my way’ only.
Maintaining a low center of gravity in tai chi and life keeps me in my space and reminds me to stay close to the present reality. In chi kung practices, this refers to breathing into our lower abdomen, allowing our diaphragm to move up and down, gently massaging our internal organs and exercising our lungs to their full capacity. This isn’t easy but with practice it can get easier. Learn more in The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching: Transforming Your Lead Into Gold
photo: Cheng Man-ch’ing