Looking at Crisis
Crisis = wéi jī 危 机
In English, crisis means a time of intense difficulty or danger.
In Chinese, the first character, wéi 危, means “dangerous”, but the second character, jī 机, means “opportunity”. So, at the same time as there is a dangerous or crisis situation, there is also an opportunity to make a change, to create more space, to learn in a different way.
Although we may be limited in our physical practice of Taiji (Tai Chi) right now, we can use this opportunity to make our inner practice stronger. We can focus more on the basics and make them more robust. We can do one movement repeatedly or combine several moves to go deeper into our understanding of the form. Use your creativity to adapt your practice to the situation.
Survival = shēng cún 生存
In English, survival means to stay alive despite adversity.
In Chinese, the first character, sheng 生, pertains to anything that is alive. The second character, cún 存, means to store something precious in order to save it for future use.
So, the way we practice Taiji (Tai Chi) during this crisis goes beyond just "staying alive" but can also deepen our practice for the future. Virtual classes can’t be the same as in-person classes because limited space might restrict our movement of the full form, so let’s use this opportunity to focus on how the qi is moved: In Taiji (Tai Chi), the mind thinks, then Qi moves the body. Qi energy goes where the mind directs it, so the mind needs to be clear about where it is sending it. Also, wherever the body is loose the qi can flow freely, so when the body opens and closes with tension and looseness, the body can feel the qi passage.
In the same way that the hands in Chen-style Taiji’s (Tai Chi) folding move are like ocean waves that come together in a brief moment of chaos which flows into controlled power, we can use this chaotic time and this new kind of practice to deepen our Taiji (Tai Chi) experience. This is something precious for our present and our future.