The Permanence of Tai Chi


Yesterday I was very apologetic to Sensei. I explained to him that I was attending tai chi class even though I hadn’t been practicing. I confessed to going through a bad depressive period where I feel overwhelmed by everything, and that my tai chi practice has gone out the window.

He told me, “You change, but your tai chi will never. Wherever you are in life, your tai chi will always be there waiting for you whether you’re doing it or not, it waits patiently, never changing. I have some students and come in and learn the 108-move form and then quit, saying they now know all there is to know. They don’t understand that tai chi isn’t a ‘thing’ that you learn and then you know it. It’s always present, living, growing, nurturing, ready to blossom into a world of new ideas, experiences, and thoughts. While they thought they were ‘done’, their tai chi remained steadfast, hand out, waiting for them to take the journey. But instead they moved on.”

We spent the rest of the class talking about movies and his girlfriend, and other random topics, and then we ended the class doing the 108-move form together.

I went from tai chi class to visit my doctor. He gave me physical therapy, antidepressant, and sleep prescriptions. I had a repeat blood test for high potassium and had my wrist x-rayed for a pain in my wrist. I talked with my doctor about prescription marijuana and I guess I should have known he wants no part in it since it’s federally illegal. But he suggested that if I give my new drug regimen a month and still want the prescription, he won’t stand in my way. He also said that in the wintertime the incidences of depression amongst his patients explodes and that I have good company.

I came home, popped an antidepressant and curled up in bed, telling myself the handful of decisions on my plate that I can’t handle can wait until I feel better. I had a nice nights sleep, knowing I’ve done a good thing in taking steps to snap myself out of this funk instead of allowing myself to spiral down — when I emerge out from under this dark cloud, my tai chi (and my dharma) will be waiting for me.

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The Permanence of Tai Chi

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