Tai Chi Y2D72: Be Bored

OK, so maybe this is counterintuitive.  And maybe it’s wrong advice.  But it’s hard to know for sure until it’s had a chance to work itself out.

And that is, that it’s OK to be bored with your tai chi practice for a while.  I am with mine.

I take that back.  I’m not bored with the practice.  I’m bored with writing about the practice.  And that’s a completely different thing.  Maybe.  The thing is, a physical-mental discipline like tai chi is intended to shut down the verbal centers of the brain, or at least render them dormant.  It’s supposed to become difficult to talk about what happens in Tai Chi, because the parts of the brain that know how to talk and write are being gradually trained to quiet down and not talk through the process.  And that makes figuring out what to write about, rather challenging.

Take this morning.  I got up. I did the work.

Let me break that down for you further:  I got up.  I went to the bathroom.  I went to do tai chi.  I got distracted by a small project in balsawood that is designed to replicate the structure, if not quite the function, of a Japanese tool box.   Accordingly I worked on this for almost all the time that I was supposed to be doing the first form.  Ooops.

Model Japanese Carpenter's tool chest.

I stopped working on the box, and I got up and I did the first qi gong form.  So far so good.  Then I realized that my office desk was dirty and I started straightening that out, and putting things away.  Then I realized, wow, I’m running out of time this morning.  Then I did the tai chi form, skipping my second qi gong form because I’d frittered away the time doing the wrong activity.

And it wasn’t until late in the morning that I was able to get back to regular work, and do the second qi gong form.

But explaining all that is ceasing to be interesting to me.  And I think it’s ceasing to be interesting to all of you.  So I’m saying, I think it’s OK that the story of the work is boring — it often is.  The question is, can the work teach you to be exciting and interesting in other areas and other ways?  And if the answer is yes, then maybe it’s OK to be boring, and to focus on the areas of your life which are arousing your excitement and interest.

Just remember that the boring bits have to be there too, from time to time.

5 comments

      • Actually, yes. When your posts are brief or (so you might think) your practice is lacking in any revelation, you still remark on that. So, it helps me to remember that the practice of T’ai Chi is deeper than just doing the moves. I started to learn the short form about two months before you began this journey, and I am just now getting the final six or seven positions down pretty well, although the mental part of it is progressing much more quickly, and that would be in part to your daily musings.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.