Today is the beginning of my life. Every day is the beginning of my life. Because whatever I want to make of it, wherever it happens to meander, it begins today. Now, in this very moment.
This is the lesson I learned from my breath this morning.
I’m sure this first post to this blog will be far from perfect. But just like my life, my blog will start here and now, just as it is.
Yesterday Sensei told us a story. It’s a story about his instructor. She told her students to hit a punching bag 100 times. The students did so. Then she told them to hit it another 100 times. They did so. She did this 5 times. After hitting the bag 500 times, their arms were about to fall off. “Hit it another 100 times,” she said. When they told her they couldn’t because their arms couldn’t do it, she said, “What have you learned?” When they didn’t answer, she continued, “You’ve learned to do a sloppy punch. Now do it another 100 times.”
At this point, the students found that, with their arms exhausted, the only way they could punch was to take power from their bodies instead of just their arms. They couldn’t have known this with the first 500 punches. But now, with options run out, their minds and bodies were able to tap into their most efficient source of power.
Just as in this story, my life has existed on arms-hitting-punching-bag. Now it’s time for me to discover the secret behind living life well. Not the money or job security, or possessions, or successes.
If the chi were a spirit, then I would like to say that, in recently completing my initial introduction to the 108-move form, the chi has opened my eyes to seeing not just my form, but now my entire being. It’s pointed to my dan-tien and asked me to watch my breath. It’s guided me to light incense, play meditation music, and be completely in the moment with my tai chi form. Even though my goal is to learn the two-sword form, my tai chi has become no longer only about that. In fact, that’s just another intersection up ahead on my path and nothing more. I hope that in this journey of mine, I will learn to stop with the arm flailing and start with the fundamental understanding of what and where the energy I need to live life to its fullest is.