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The Taiji Circle

The Taiji Circle is such a great graphic!

In one elegant and simple design it conveys so much meaning.  A circle with an S curving through the middle, one half white, the other half black, and each side with a dot of the other side’s color in it.

Seems no matter how long this symbol has been a part of my life, the meaning to which it points goes ever deeper.   The symbol refers to the yin-yang philosophy that the dualistic nature of all that we see in the world can be understood not as mutually exclusive contrary opposites, but as complementary to, arising from and dissolving back and forth into each other.  Night becomes day, summer becomes winter, etc.

Qualities, not Things

Yin and yang are qualities, or aspects of things, they don’t exist on their own.  No thing that exists, exists in isolation or absolutely.  And therefore, no one thing is yin, and no one thing is yang – but everything may be yin or yang relative to something else.   And the same thing maybe yin in one regard and yang in another regard, relative to a single other thing. It’s just not as simple as black and white.

No Conflict

Seems to me the human challenge is to recognize the harmony among the opposites. Black and white relate to one another, and black and white have the seed of their opposite within.  I find this incredibly valuable to remember – especially when I am in what feels like conflict with someone else.  Whatever I feel is in opposition, I first notice the seed of that in me, in my position, and then I remember that my position exists in relation to theirs – this gives me the ability to accept their position, without abandoning my own and points the way toward some resolution reflected in the greater whole.

The Whole

Right! The greater whole – the circle in which all this dualistic interplay is happening. For ultimately, there is something which cannot be talked about or described, because it is not subject to the yin and yang of life, but encompasses them both.  For me, this is where blogging stops and the practice of taiji begins. Moving through 108 moves of my taiji form, I feel the harmonious interplay of all the seemingly opposing forces – up and down, advance and retreat, form and emptiness, mind and body, and on and on and on…..

Til the next move, enjoy your practice

Dorian

Sword Play

This past Saturday was a curriculum study day, and I have to say it was so much fun! What a great group of taiji players and students.

Sensing Swords

We practiced form together – a nice long 40-minute set – and then after a little sensing hands practice,  we tried out our sensing skills with the sword.

Yep, we put the double-edge weapon in our hands, and together began our exploration of the magic and majesty of the sword. A great introduction! Marveling at the swords ability to amplify our intentions and show us ourselves so clearly, we laughed heartily and focused mindfully.

Song of the Taiji Sword

From the beginning the way of the sword has been difficult to hand down

Like a dragon and rainbow it is very subtle and abstruse

Should it be used like that of a hacking knife

The old sword immortal San-Feng would die of laughter

(Y.K. Chen, trans by S.A. Olson, Tai Chi Sword, Sabre, & Staff)

So far, so good – the only laughter we heard was our own!

Nice work everyone. (and for those of you who missed it….there’ll be more, for sure!)

Til the next move,

Enjoy your practice

Dorian

A Name for My Blog

I write these blogs to help me digest my own taiji lessons, to share my journey with my students, and to possibly, provide some entertaining and sometimes enlightening reading for other travelers on the mind-body-spirit connection journey.

Why call it The Next Move?

I decided to call this whole blog thing “The Next Move” for a couple of reasons.

One is that there is a forward momentum to the phrase, and I am feeling like I could use a little forward momentum in my life, these days.  (Of course, by now, you would think I would know better than to ask for change. Change happens.)

Another reason has to do with the taiji class experience. While learning the 108-move long form of Yang’s style taijiquan, there are many opportunities to study and practice the move we are learning.  And there is also a feeling of anticipation and excitement about learning the next move.  I wanted to bring a little bit of that excitement to this blog.

So, as I go forth into my next move, I hope to keep what I’ve acquired – lessons learned, goodwill, some peace of mind, and let go of what no longer serves – all the worries and fears, doubts and expectations.

I hope you will subscribe to my blog and check back often –

Til the next move,

Enjoy your practice

Dorian

A Rocky Start

I am finding it is not so easy to start blogging again after such a hiatus.

I wrote a long essay about receiving (zou jin) and some of it’s applications in life, and then I had all these second thoughts about publishing it. Though I received some reassurance from trusted sources, still I couldn’t settle in my decision.  Too much detail about other people and events in my life, I just didn’t feel comfortable publishing it all.

And that is my lesson for the moment.  I like feeling settled in a decision  – big or small. And so, when central settle eludes me, make a change, do what I need to do to get comfortable.  Find my ground, my root, my central equilibrium. Come back down to earth.

So, it is a rocky start,  but like any practice, I know if I keep at it, it will get easier as I go along.

til the next move

enjoy your practice,

Dorian

I’m Blogging Again

This new website is in progress – and I am getting excited about blogging again.

I plan to write at least once a week and sometimes more.

And I will be sharing my thoughts about Taijiquan (Tai Chi), Qigong (Chi Kung), push hands, the Taiji weapons of Saber, Sword and Spear, Chinese healing arts,  philosophy, life as a journey and the great lessons that Tai Chi offers, self-healing, alternative medicine, Five Elements, Taoism, and sometimes I am sure I will not be able to resist talking about my ukulele or my corgi, Maggie!

I hope you will check back often and join the discussion when something interests you.