The Halfway Point


Last night at 9pm was the halfway point of the seminar. We’ve completed 3 days of training, consisting of 30m standing practice at 7am, breakfast, 2.5hrs of xinjia, lunch, 2.5 hrs of xinjia, dinner, 1.5 hrs of weapons. Train, eat, train, eat, train, eat, train, sleep, and start over. Tonight is a break from the weapons for a class for instructors, taught by Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing. I’m looking forward to that – he is a wealth of information and we don’t often get to hear him lecture.

This is my favorite time of these long training seminars. My legs have finally loosened up, my joints are a little more lubricated, and I love the burn of posture corrections by Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing. I’m tired, and am projecting ahead to the day when I can sleep in (August 16th), but the training energizes me at the same time. I’m finding my practice rhythm.

I received a posture correction yesterday in Single Whip, one of my favorite moves. The correction was all about finding the alignment, sinking the qi, rooting my stance, and relaxing. I still have trouble getting there on my own, but once there, the feeling is one of incredible strength and power. If I apply this learning to my life (which I always try to do), I realize that to lead from a position of strength and power, I need to continue to look to my spiritual teachings to guide me, just as I look to my taiji teachers to guide me deeper in my form. Finding the way, or the right posture, comes from the humility of progress, from eating bitter, from acknowledging the need to reach deep inside oneself and own one’s mistakes. In my life, I am constantly learning, and at times the price is quite high. But I continue to strive for that correct posture, that alignment, that heightened awareness that comes with corrections from a power higher than oneself.

We have 3 more days of training, then a blur of a trip home and back to work before the taiji soreness even wears off. I will transfer what I’ve learned in Planica to my other life’s work, and hope to do better. I am committed to the process, the continued learning, and each time I sink even briefly into that perfect place, I can’t rest on that accomplishment, because I know there is an even more perfect place waiting for me the next time.