Rooted like a tree. I use that phrase; many teachers use that phrase when describing tai chi.
A tree has roots deep beneath the earth, which helps it stand upright, tall and sturdy above the ground. The strength of the roots will influence the health of the tree. The tree pulls up earth energy, to grow and flourish. The trunk and roots sink energy into the earth.
In Movements of Magic – The Spirit of T’ai-Chi-Ch’uan, Bob Klein says in Tai Chi, with knees bent, at least slightly, the “weight is allowd to sink through the leg muscles and feet into the ground. Rather than a pulling down, your experience is one of dynamic connectedness. Earth energy is shooting up through your legs and roots are growing into the earth, drinking up every drop of energy they can find.” This is a different experience of gravity than we usually feel. It’s dynamic. It can fill us with energy.
Most of us like trees. We tend to focus on them when they start to spring forth with green buds, getting ready to unfold new leaves, new green color that signifies re-birth, re-generation, hopefulness. Here in the Chicago, it’s still too early to see any outward manifestation of this seasonal process.
Stop for a moment though. Look at a favorite tree. Think of all the work that tree is doing, within the earth right now, getting ready. Are you connecting to the earth, getting ready?