Today it’s raining, or at least very humid and muggy, so I did the work – coins, silks, and form – in the kitchen of a 200-year-old farmhouse. Wow. For one, I’m surrounded by energy and history that’s impossible to escape from, and it’s amazing.
For another, it has this most amazing wooden floor. Perfect spins! Perfect Snake Creeps Down! This kind of smooth wooden floor is perfect for tai chi: lots of wide boards; no nails poking up where I was working; just grippy enough that I don’t move when I don’t want to; yet slippy enough that I manage perfect turns when I do want to move. It’s not possible to get much better than this indoors. Even a new concrete floor isn’t this good.
You’re supposed to be talking about your practice though, I hear you saying, not floors. Yet I assure you, I am talking about my practice. Your environment is part of who you are, and the perfect floor underfoot is no exception. There’s a reason the queen of England is at Buckingham Palace, the White House is for the US president, and I’m doing Tai chi in this old parlor: the more environments you practice in, the more your environment at any given time is a part of you. And that means you are part of the world, everywhere.