Saturday, August 07, 2010

Learning T'ai Chi

I took a T'ai Chi workshop this weekend, presented by Robert Goodwin. Mr. Goodwin is one of the founders of the St. Louis T'ai Chi Chuan Association. The Association is affiliated with Mr. Benjamin Lo (no link), the senior student of Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing. This lineage is important.

I once again find myself in the position of being both happy and sad. I am very glad that I took the workshop. I am tremendously grateful to Mr. Goodwin for taking the time to come and teach us. I learned many lessons, and the most important (as I understand things) are lessons I would never have learned (or learned much later) if Mr. Goodwin had not come to teach us.

Yet I am sad to see how little of T'ai Chi I have grasped. I have learned a great deal over the years, and I have no qualms about my intentions. But T'ai Chi is such an onion, there are always new layers to it. Each new insight that I gain shows me that there are three more yet to be learned. It sometimes makes me feel my dedication and perseverance are lacking. When I give myself the luxury of an excuse, I mutter something about two working spouses in a multi-child family. But the truth is that I feel like a 'slacker'.

But I will forgive myself and move on, striving to do better in my T'ai Chi practice and in my understanding of the principles of T'ai Chi. Since so much of learning in T'ai Chi is about being honest with yourself, this is another chance to accept how much more there is to learn and strive for it.

Thank you, Mr. Goodwin. The workshops were fantastic.

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