For others though, it's something else. Something more elusive, something less defined but still, integral to the heart and soul of the practice. What could that be?
For some it's about trying to stay open to change - to become perceptive, responsive and to develop a dialogue with the ebb and flow of life.
It's not about learning fixed, rigid positions, but instead learning to nurture flexibility and adaptability - in not just our joints and ligaments, - but in our thoughts too.
Invest in loss
To do this, to move towards this goal (for who's interested in arriving?)
In tai chi there is a common expression thrown about - to invest in loss. Practitioners use it a lot in the exercise of 'push hands', but I think we need to employ that phrase in our dealings with other people. Particularly those that challenge us. We need to invest in loss - but what sort of loss?
To embrace the art of losing
If we don't make this part of our training then what are we doing?
What are we telling ourselves? How are we justifying so much time and energy on the punch bag of life, on developing our own needs, to the exclusion of those around us?
Is this the aim of practice?
At some point, have you ever glanced up at the horizon and looked ahead, and having looked - had the smallest, tiniest, niggling doubt about where it's all taking you. No? I think it's good to do this every now and then. To reconsider your direction. But it leaves a big question - how do we honestly change?
I don't mean change a profile image, I don't mean change a twitter name or share a meaningful zen quote on your timeline and think that will do. I mean, how do we honestly change from within? Is there an app for that?
Well, forget downloading an app, because there isn't an app for that. Believe me I've looked. What we need to download is some time and space. To brush away the dust of life and embrace a practice that embodies a principle. A practice that is the goal, a journey that is the end itself, a way of turning an idea into an action - and that is tai chi.
Thanks for visiting. Take a look at the best Tai Chi articles, introductory courses and complete courses, books and music videos. If you have a question, or looking for private classes, affiliate links, drop me a line here. or subscribe for some great Tai Chi stuff delivered to your inbox.