Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can You Feel…


…where your energy is coming from?

My Tai Chi instructor asked this question on Tuesday night.

Silence…

The class was so quiet you could almost hear the sound of people blinking. After a long pause, one student spoke up and asked, “What happens if the answer is No?”

Three heads quickly turned to the instructor.

Waiting…

The instructor explained that it is something you need to feel. Students need to “go inside” and become aware. The joints open up, energy flows and movement generates from the center. Meditation, focus, practice, push hands and the form help students make connections and “feel”.

Frustrating…

The word used by the senior student as we left the building.

5 comments:

Denman said...

That was an unusual question for the instructor to ask the students. I'm an attorney and regularly depose physicians of all stripes on a regular basis. I've also read translations of the Bubishi and studied meridians, because one of the black belts was instructing us on where they are.

All that background is by explanation of my next comment. If the instructor at issue was equating "energy" to "ki" or "qi", they should not be surprised by the response. The suggestion that the students should somehow feel this is getting into a realm that is scientifically questionable (at best), and more likely, unsupportable (at worst).

It seems to me that meridians were developed to explain the general vicinity of where certain nerves passed through the body, which is understandable. However, the meridians were the conduits of "energy", "ki" or "qi" and blocking the meridians would cause significant damage to an individual. Taking advocates of meridians to their stated intention (striking the meridian at the wrist hard between these hours of the day will cause death in x many days or hours), is simply ridiculous.

Asking a modern western student to find where their energy is coming from falls between the humorous or the cruel, depending on one's perspective.

Frank said...

I would have been tempted to say, "Yes. I know exactly where my energy comes from: Copious amounts of thick black coffee and Marlboros."

Hahahahaha....

Rick said...

When you finish your form and are now just standing there, feel what you feel.

Michele said...

Thank you for your comments!

Tai Chi is a challenge for me. I leave most classes feeling a bit lost.

Denman: Thank you for visiting and sharing your experience.

Frank: :) Turkey Hill Ice Tea!

Rick: Thanks for the tip!

Frank said...

Tai Chi seems almost like a "moving Zen" sort of thing... Striving for that perfect "no mind" state, while the body remains in motion.

It's too... I don't know the term I'm searching for, but I like going full blast in karate, and then saving my quiet, contemplation time for later, when my body is still and quiet.