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Deepening Understanding

At the start of COVID, I had no idea how much my understanding and practice would change. Words and language that I’ve heard for years, ‘let it go’, ‘balance’, ‘from the heart’ have become embedded in my practice, indeed my life.

I was enticed to Taoist Tai Chi® arts by the charm of the movements. All my life I have loved and studied movement, so the 108 steps held a certain fascination for me. Learning the precision of the movements was a source of pleasure and provided focus for my practice. Of course I had heard many times that “its not just about the 108 moves”, but I still understood the set to be the foundation of the arts. Then the pandemic began.

Previously reluctant to try chanting, the Saturday sessions offered a chance to practice without fear of judgement, because I was on my own. At first the kneeling and focus were very difficult for me, but gradually I’m becoming more confident and knowledgeable and can kneel throughout the ceremonies. I’m learning to “let it go” and open my heart to find deepening understanding. I feel that chanting provides me with a growing connection to the Taoist Tai Chi® arts and when I find myself humming part of a chant, I realize how deeply it has seeped into my life.

Saturdays form a valuable part of my self practice rituals. I feel such gratitude for the lessons and learning opportunities they provide. In these COVID months, I am learning so much about the teachings of Master Moy and the benefits I feel as I become more consistent at putting them into practice. My head is filled with the stories and meanings behind the ceremonies, his teachings, Taoism and the journey of self practice. Reaching for the heart of the understanding is a journey I continue to pursue.

My path has become even clearer and stronger since joining the Wednesday morning meetings. I feel such a profound sense of privilege and responsibility. I am truly grateful to be able to see and hear from the directors and the wisdom and integrity of their actions. We have been urged to find our voices through written reflections and I feel the responsibility to do this. However, I find listening to and reading about the journeys of others both a source of inspiration and a source of worry, feeding the concern that I’m not at that level.

As I’m learning from his teachings, like each of us, I realize that I am on my own journey, with its own challenges and joys. What I have come to understand is that I am finding balance in my life because of these arts.

Over the summer our house has been the centre of family life, filled with the pleasurable, though often chaotic goings on of our children and grandchildren. After the visits, sometimes lasting a few weeks, friends have asked and assumed that I must be exhausted. But I’m not! Even in the height of activity, I have been able to find calm and stillness. These arts live within me and because of them I can relish the richness of an aging life, and for that I am truly grateful.

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