When you plant a tree, shrub, flower… anything… you first of all dig a hole. Having put the roots of the plant into the hole, you then fill soil around the roots. Next you pack the soil down gently so that the roots make good contact with it. You’re left with the shoot of the plant sticking out of the soil.
Learning Tai Chi & Qigong.
One part of the plant belongs to the Earth – the planet, and to the earth itself. The other part belongs to … what do you want to call it, the Universe, the Heavens, the Sun? One part is Yin and the other part is Yang. One is going down, the other is going up. There is a balance within the plant; it is both connecting to its source of water, and to its source of light.
In the same way that the body of the plant does this, we, as humans, need to mimic the same actions with our bodies in order to achieve a similar sense of balance. If, when doing Tai Chi or Qigong, you think of shoulders, arms, and legs as roots (downward direction), and the neck and head on top as the growing shoot (upward direction) you have the same idea. Difficult to achieve though… the concept is obvious intellectually, but feeling it is another matter altogether.
In the moment.
Nature isn’t an intellectual process. Maybe it’s a sensory process, but it’s definitely an in-the-moment process, something that we humans find difficult to achieve. I’m guessing that a plant just IS, it’s not regretting something and it’s not projecting anything; it’s just busy being itself – it’s ‘planting’ rather than consciously trying to grow.
So there are 2 points here:
1) We want to achieve that sensory balance in how we hold ourselves, and 2) It would be great to do it by being so much in-the-moment that we grow in the same way that spring water coming out of the earth appears to grow but doesn’t actually move.
___________________________________________________ James Drewe teaches Tai Chi and Qigong in both London and in Kent and online. Details of weekly classes both live and online can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Tai Chi on one Saturday a month.