Most students come to T’ai Chi Chih feeling, “I am going to do a beneficial exercise.” Eventually they find it is beneficial – and joyous – but they still think of it as exercise, and still put the “I” in there. As they proceed farther, they begin to slowly realize the Essence of T’ai Chi Chih and one day they have the experience that “no one is doing T’ai Chi Chih. T’ai Chi Chih is doing T’ai Chi Chih.” Now they have the “I” out of the way. Their practice is done without thought, concentrating on the soles of the feet. This “non-ego” state is greatly beneficial; it is what makes T’ai Chi Chih more than exercise and has a deeply spiritual benefit. One does not have to outguess T’ai Chi Chih, nor to understand it intellectually (having to do with the circulation and balancing of the Vital Force, and the benefits thereby realized). At this point the practice has become meditation, and the practicer is gaining the considerable physical benefits while evolving spiritually. It is so easy to learn and easy to do, yet look at the extent of the rewards!
To get to the point where one realizes the Essence of T’ai Chi Chih is wonderful. As I have pointed out many times, Bliss is our very nature, and here is a simple way to realize that Bliss. The habit energies do not at all intrude on the practice of the movements, and there is no effort made (though some do make the mistake of trying hard). If one needs a goal, why not aim at realizing the Essence of T’ai Chi Chih? It is worth the no-effort effort.
This article is published in Spiritual Odyssey.