Worked through today’s tai chi routine with a combination of attention and inattention. I started slow, exactly the speed that I think I should be going. It’s amazing how “hard” I have to be — in the sense of holding muscles stiffly and steadily — to move that slowly. When I try to relax, I speed up. The trick becomes to restrain the stiffness and move in the relaxed way of the taichi master, while gathering the slow, steady almost inexorable pace of the master, as well.
I don’t know how to do that. Yet.
It’s clear that working with the body’s natural tensegrity is a good idea, though. I’ve fund that when I extend the arm properly using the tensile strength of the sinews, that the hands naturally float to the correct posture during the ward off left and ward off right maneuvers. Even the backs of my hands, along the fingers, engage in the process of blocking and defending. Then the body naturally folds into a defensive posture once the tension is released and a different tension takes hold. The same tension can be used for moving the feet.
I find that I really want to learn a staff form for tai chi.