Taiji Day 66: Follow Up

After yesterday’s clear signal that it was time to start doing Eight Pieces of Silk, I went online and started looking at videos, and finding diagrams.  I’m by no means an expert at this, but I think there’s a clear need for three things when it comes to learning a new form of chi kung/qigong/chi gong:

  1. A static visual diagram
  2. A video
  3. A written description
  4. An extended written description

And so that’s what I found.

Even pausing between each of the eight movements — to consult a diagram, to read a description again, to watch a piece of the video again — I worked up a sweat this morning doing these eight movements.  Keep in mind, I’ve been doing a set of taiji exercises for a couple of months.  It’s not like I’m in absolutely terrible physical shape.  But it was time to challenge myself anew, and try something else out, and put my body through a new set of exercises.  And these are going to work out just great.

But I think I also have a new standard for research for myself, which is that if I ask kids to find four specific things on each assignment — a relevant video, two written descriptions, and a static visual image or diagram — I’m asking them to learn to be literate — to learn how to find and digest sources of information, and combine that information into a clear framework of their own understanding.  I’m asking them to improve their Google Fu, and develop an understanding of how to search for information.

I like that taiji/tai chi is starting to feed back into my teaching — which, really, is what any good learning should do.  It’s how we become part of the thread of manifestation, learning from those who went before us, and contributing to the next generation coming into the world.

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