The puffy, white clouds suspended in space on sunny, warm days have been stunning this summer. Have you noticed? The big cumulus clouds that look like giant cotton balls and the delicate, wispy cirrus clouds, that look like a Chinese calligrapher has done a swirl with her brush, are my favorites.
These clouds are mesmerizing – watching them in stillness or in slow, smooth motion move across the sky makes me feel calm. All thoughts in my busy mind drift away with the clouds. I am filled with the lightness and soothing feelings these clouds transmit to me.
Maybe clouds, in general, match our emotions. There are purple and gray, angry clouds, heavy clouds filled with scary lightning bolts and then, in contrast, the clouds on the horizon that provide an exquisite setting for a beautiful orange and red sunset. And then the clouds I am focusing on right now, the beautiful white ones against a deep blue sky.
The principles and moves of Tai Chi are in sync with nature and clouds are an integral part of that. One of our movements is called ‘waving hands like a cloud’. It is slow and graceful, like watching the puffy and wispy, white clouds above. We do a Qigong movement called “uniting heaven and earth”, in which the palm of each hand lowers, slowly and gracefully like a cloud. I find that students relate easily to that image and the energy in the room changes. We become, for a few moments, like a cloud – graceful, flowing and magnificent.