tcchase35Good question. We’ve all seen people practicing T’ai Chi’s graceful, flowing postures. But what are they really doing?

A short answer could simply be  “Moving Meditation.”

The long answer is perhaps a little more complicated.

Master Yang Yang gives one of my favorite descriptions in his comprehensive book, Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power:

“I would also characterize Taiji as a living and growing art.  It is not static or restricted to traditions and understandings of past generations, but continues to be enriched by thoughtful insights of each successive generation. Further, as with all art forms, Taiji is ultimately a deeply personal experience and expression of one’s feelings, outlook and understanding of life.

“One’s inner spirit is not only nurtured and molded by Taiji practice, but also is inherently reflected in practice.  The practitioner’s spirit and competence is mirrored first in the mechanical movements of the form and later, as one assimilates the lessons from practice, in one’s entire relation and interaction with the world.”

Thus T’ai Chi, while steeped in ancient tradition, is a living system.  It is an art, a science and a philosphy that deals with nurturing, cultivating and integrating the physical, mental and life energy aspects of our existence.  It is unlimited in scope, and its benefits are available to practitioners of any age.

However, as the picture above might suggest, T’ai Chi is also fun.  It’s a chance to play, explore, examine and enjoy this life energy we have, the body we inhabit and how we move in and interact with this world in which we live.