Don’t Go Toward the Light

Sorry, I was distracted by a shiny thing


This may seem counter intuitive, but this website could be doing more damage than good for your tai chi training. The most important thing about tai chi is practice. It is much easier to sit at your computer and listen to books, watch videos, and read articles about other people who have trained very diligently in the art. However, you will need to go outside and practice in order to achieve any level of expertise in tai chi. I have taught tai chi for several decades and I can divide just about all students into two categories, those who practice and those who don’t. When those who didn’t practice the lesson from the week before showed up for class there would be excuses that sometimes can be very inventive. But they still didn’t know the material. There was always some “shiny thing” that kept them from practicing. Try to stay away from the shiny things. I fell into that trap. Then I made a deal with myself. I could only research things on the computer after I spent 30 minutes outside practicing. I was always glad after practice because I felt I had earned my “playtime”.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Go Toward the Light”

    1. Thank you, Janie, I can see how this could seem like shooting myself in the foot. My goal for this site is to inspire people to get out and experience Tai Chi not just sit at a computer or their phone and enjoy the site. Sometimes I say or do things that surprise people, this is to bring them into the now. Many of us are thinking about the past or the future and not the present. We miss so much that is right in front of our faces. My goal for this site is to smack everybody on the forehead, wake them up and experience life not just be a bystander. One of my first mentors asked me how old I was, I responded 18. He replied, “Really? Have you lived 18 years or just one year over, 18 times?” After that, I rubbed my forehead and woke up.

      1. I agree. I was talking with a student of mine about one of the latest internet trends where monks/nuns give advice on various subjects. This seems positive to some extent, but in reality it may not be all that helpful, simply because you really don’t know the person you are talking too and students don’t know who they are listening too and neither have a developed a meaningful teacher-student relationship. A internet relationship might seem “shiny” on the surface but inside it may not have a far reaching and personal effect. Personally, I prefer to be on the battlefield with my students rather than sitting safely behind the computer screen giving advice as an internet monk. Nonetheless, as far as attracting interest as a starting point, the “shiny things” can also be very useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *