Taoist Tai Chi® practice helps us gain flexibility, not only physically, but also in our thinking. This has been invaluable for deeply appreciating the silver lining in the unexpected circumstances 2020 brought our way.
In the before-times, it often seemed that other obligations would limit time available for my personal practice, and goals such as chanting more regularly, would get short-changed. Now, there is often nothing but unscheduled time, so I must hold myself fully accountable for how regular my habits are (or not). Many goals are still elusive, but as I discover new awareness, peeling away layers of unnecessary mental obstacles, gradual forward progress feels possible.
Chanting regularly has brought countless new discoveries: The parallel between mental focus and staying in harmony with fellow chanters just as during a set; new levels of relaxation in the vocal chords, throat and lungs; reflection on how connected our voices are to our emotional state and wellness; how we can readily sense the state of our loved ones from their voices alone; the powerful effect of the tonal vibrations on the full body; the calming effect of another mode of stillness. I am curious to discover the lessons yet to come.
I look forward to seeing so many familiar faces at every chanting session and am reminded each time that we can face the present reality with open eyes and hearts yet still experience growth, renewal and connection. Together, apart (for now.)