The Sandhill crane migration draws avid followers every fall, driving miles to see them, then watching, admiring and anticipating. The crane, revered in China for centuries, symbolizes longevity, soaring spirit and health. The Taoists studied and lived with nature. They wanted to be in sync with nature and emulate the natural rhythms and patterns that were the natural flow of life. That philosophy and way of living inspired the creators of Tai Chi movements. The crane is central in so many forms, a beautiful, elegant move that emulates balance, beauty and a profound connection with nature that we can experience each day through Tai Chi. Take a moment today to reflect on or emulate the crane.
Taoism continues to have a major influence in my life, both through my Tai Chi practice and how I manage change in every day life. Through my understanding of Taoism, Tai Chi Chu’an, the ‘Supreme Ultimate’, was born out of the original state of emptiness: The Great Void. With the birth of Tah Chi, stillness changed into movement and energy, nothing into something. This energy then generated the interplay of opposing, yet complementary forces of yin and yang.
Tai Chi is rooted in these concepts of continuous change and observing how things work in nature.
Most of us have some familiarity with the terms yin and yang, as well as visual symbol that represents this interplay. Our bodies, minds, relationships with our families, friends and colleagues are continually changing. Life sometimes throws us curves. An old adage telling us that it’s not life’s events that matter, it’s our reaction to them and how we move forward, is true. CHANGE, wanted and unwanted, is part of all of our lives.
Through studying overall principles of Taoism, this concept — the one constant in our lives is CHANGE — sunk in and took the pressure off. Tai Chi is so helpful in helping bring changing energy, including clutter in my head, into the moment, into some balance.
I try, through my teaching, through respect and kindness for others, through patience and through determination to embrace change myself and hopefully, gently help others to do the same.