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Keeping Rooted

posted 11 Apr 2017, 10:25 by WestDevon Tai Chi   [ updated 11 Apr 2017, 10:28 ]
When West Devon Tai Chi first came together I really had no expectations of how it would progress.
One person said to me that he thought the village was too conservative to sustain a tai chi class but great that he had been proved wrong. People have come and gone but there is a dedicated number that are going with the flow and clearly enjoying the learning process of Tai Chi. There are so many layers to this process that the learning never ceases-it is a journey with no final destination-just like life!
In the beginning of the year the local vicar, Adrian Brook, asked if I would do a workshop as part of ‘mindful sessions’ he was running through March. I was more them happy to do so. Thirty people participated and a few have joined the Lydford class to begin the journey of learning Tai Chi. The growth of this class has led to a ‘Catch Up’ class starting on Thursday 20th April at the same venue 7-8pm, giving people an opportunity to practise the moves covered in the Monday afternoon sessions. Jess Harrison will be overseeing these classes.
In March, we also saw the return of my teacher and mentor, Ben Milton, to Bratton Clovelly. Once again, his teaching was inspiring as he took us through the basics of tai chi and the first fifteen moves of the form. We all experienced the ‘gongfu’ as he corrected our postures; minimal adjustments making a huge difference to our overall structure. Ben’s analogies are superb in helping us to grasp the understanding of ‘keeping rooted’ and he explains everything in a simple and concise way. The simplicity of his teaching is what keeps me on his pathway. The feedback was brilliant and I would like to thank everybody who came along for your contribution to the day. The next workshop with Ben is November 4th, but he may be back sooner if the demand is there.
The essence of Tai Chi is very deep and, for me, these words taken from an interview with Master Chen Bing (nephew of Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang) truly express the depth of this ancient art.
“From a personal point of view Taijiquan offers a means of growing into a more wholesome person. An individual’s training experience, hard practice, relentless perseverance and consistence cultivates the spirit and tempers the will. The reward of acquiring gongfu and enlightenment through the sacrifice of toil, that “heaven rewards the diligent”.The quan theories also teaches me the laws of nature and the universe. It enables me to better understand society, the world, the natural world, the universe, thus it enlightens and augments my mind and improves my wisdom.”
In this world of chaos may we all find a way to keep rooted, balanced and truly free our mind and body.