Taoist philosophy teaches us that change is the constant of life.
The I Ching, The Book of Changes, 3000 b.c.e., tells us that change is constant, moving from one extreme to the other: “when the sun has reached its meridian, it declines; when the moon has become full, it wanes”. The decline is followed by newness, by the cycles of expanding and contracting, fullness and emptiness. The natural rhythms of the universe follow patterns and cycles of change.
Tai Chi is rooted in these concepts of continuous change and observing how things work in nature. We acknowledge that we change daily, experiencing varying energy levels, aches and pains, stress and anxiety, and sometimes feeling overwhelmed with too much to do. Tai Chi helps us to bring our bodies and our minds into a state of calmness and balance.
It’s healthy for each of us to reflect on how we view change. Is it something that is happening to us, outside of our control? Do we resist it and try to take control ourselves? Do we think about it at all?
One day this week, take a walk down the street, along the lake, to a park. Notice the spring tulips, colorful, open, embracing spring. They are changing, from bulbs in the earth, to rising stems and closed petals, to open petals. If we take time to notice the flowers, the buds turning into leaves on the trees, we see that nature follows the cycles of change. We are part of those cycles, too. We need to pay attention and take a moment to be with the tulips in their glory.