I did Taichi in a public place today, out in front of the house where I’m staying next to the sidewalk and the main road. It’s the first time I have felt at ease doing so.
It was also terrible form. There’s that bit in the first (chronological) Star Wars movie where Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that the Force controls our actions, but it also obeys our commands (the movie scene is more complex than that I know). I kind of feel like that is an important point with tai chi — five gold coins, form and eight pieces of silk today — which is, don’t be surprised when you get up one day in your daily practice and find that the tai chi runs you ragged with its intensity. But also, if you’ve had a hard week and you need some love and gentleness from your practice, ask for it.. Today was a really easy, sweet day. After a weekend of camping in the woods and not getting much sleep, I expected it to be a hard morning to get back into practice. But it wasn’t, because I asked for it to be easy. And so it proved.
So remember to ask your practice for what you want to get — but be prepared to give it what it wants from time to time as well. It’s a two-way street.