Taiji Day 276: without outcome

It’s hard not to be attached to outcome in a daily tai chi practice. You want to lose weight or to grow muscles or to strengthen bone or increase balance, or… There’s really a never-ending list of skills or talents you want to display. It’s the same in any art. There are deliberate professionals, passionate amateurs, and those who have only joined the activity because it provides a social medium for what you wish to do. I’m not a professional, but neither am I a social butterfly. I’m not flitting dojo to dojo in search of enlightenment. So that makes me a passionate amateur. Maybe.

Because if today’s practice was indicative, I’m not sure passionate is the word to use. instead, I was kind of thinking, “why am I doing this?” it’s the Threshold Dweller writ large. Perhaps it’s because I was doing tai chi to satisfy some other goal. Now it’s clear, that tai chi doesn’t satisfy the goal of losing weight. It’s increased my health and balance, boosted my immune system, and largely cleared my sinuses of perpetual mucus. I’ve gotten stronger, and more enduring. Yes. But I haven’t lost weight. All these side benefits, but the primary goal hasn’t manifested at all.

And so one wonders, am I really happy with the results I’m getting? They’re things not sought for, but achieved nonetheless. In many of the ways that matter, I’ve gotten hold of a much better set of results than I could have expected. I didn’t get what I wanted, but I did meet genuine needs.

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2 comments

  1. Nice to find a fellow traveler. Starting my 4th year of (almost) daily tai chi practice at the New Year. 24, 48, 108 and 32 sword forms along with qi gong. Transformational results to be sure but have not yet conquered steep problems or my very tight hamstrings.

    Weight loss occurred this year with a commitment to diet discipline and help from the Lose It application on my IPad.

    • Thanks for checking in! I figure I’m going to do daily tai chi to get into the practice, and then adjust to a few times a week, maybe. If my body will let me. I just downloaded the Lose It application. Thanks for the suggestion.

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