There is a Tai Chi classic that reads, in part: “If others don’t move, I don’t move. If others move slightly, I move first”. This was the basis for the class where we paused from learning the form to play Tai Chi Push Hands.
It is interesting to read back over my journal entry when I first took the class in 2005, and to review the recorded lesson from 2006. I mentioned in my journal entry that I was positively dreadful at reading my playing partner’s energy, or even my own. Ruby talked a lot in this lesson about becoming antennae to be able to see where our playing partner’s energy was and where it was going. I remember it sailing right over my head at the time, and thinking that he might just be a little bit bonkers, with all this talk about sensing energy.
Then I remember that, at some point after over a year of practice, I came to the realization that maybe he wasn’t so bonkers after all. I would, on occasion, get flickers of being able to feel the energy – mostly when out in nature and mostly if I was in a meditative state. I never did get good at it, but I did get better at it.
Sadly, since I’ve been away from it for so long, I pretty much have to start back at square one in terms of tuning my antennae and being able to sense the energy again. I can get glimmers of it, mostly my own energy as I practice form. And I can tell you right now that I have much work to do on refining my own energy. It’s pretty much completely chaotic at this point, or at least it feels that way. In time, hopefully, I can regain some of the ground I’ve lost over these years.
I’m just amazed at what all the years of practice allowed Ruby to be able to do. Again, looking back at my journal entry for that class, I talk about how he told me that I had too much energy in my shoulders – and he saw that with nothing more than a glance across a room full of students. Amazing.
I can’t help but wonder, if I had kept up the practice over this last decade instead of wandering off the path – where would I be now?