... al the Best MaX

Friday, December 3, 2010

Touching on Tai Chi

Tai Chi practice, Wuhan, Yangtze River, China
There is no photograph of that foggy dawn In Beijing when, as mist lifted, I found myself in a vast arena of people, silently swaying, forming one enormous flow of humanity. Each appeared centred on self, but united into a massive swirling ocean of accord. My first encounter with Tai Chi in China, and on a scale so overwhelming I failed to lift the camera - decision being to let the experience burn into memory for all time. It would be more than two decades later and many trips to Asia before I hesitatingly began to practice the form myself.

It was mesmerising to be witness to that early morning sight in Tiananmen Square and somewhat reassuring, a decade later, ferrying along the Yangtzse to Chongquin in small boats, watching Tai Chi morning ritual right along the great river and in every single Peoples Park at the village stopovers, soon to disappear. China was preparing to dam the Yangtzse.

Hong Kong, Guangzhou's Pearl River, Shanghai waterfront, the garden city of Suzhou, the splendid mountain scenery of Guilin, wherever – Tai Chi was ever present as part of the fabric. It is the way of China. My feeling was to join in, but fear blocked the way - fear of looking foolish - of intruding -  until now.

It is important to wait and find the right teacher. Now I have found mine. For one gold coin every Monday and Friday at 8am we are found as a small group in my local home town park. Beside Cooroy creek. Beginner yes, and awkward still. But a world opens and I walk through the door. Stay tuned.    MaX

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