You know, every day I hope, today is the day that some thing will happen in tai chi practice which will make it all worthwhile. I’ll experience a sudden burst of energy, or gain a sudden insight, or understand the mystery of this martial art, or be empowered in a new way.
If that ever happens, though, I’m unlikely to tell you. The entry will be much like today’s entry: “oh, nothing much happened today in tai chi practice. I’m a little sore on my left flank, and some of the kicks were difficult. Didn’t experience much chi rising in me, and no particular challenges were observed. Same as always.” Meanwhile. I’ll be roiled with doubt about what happened to me, and why. I won’t be able to explain even to my closest friends, who will understand that I’ve changed, but not understand how.
But increasingly, I think that’s unlikely to happen. There’s no grand revelation in this work, no one moment when you think, “oh! I get it!” and suddenly you know how to air-bend or throw fireballs or leap tall buildings or run on rooftops without making a sound. Maybe you develop those powers after twenty-five years of practice; if so, come back and see me in 2040 or so,
But again, it feels unlikely. The real powers in these early stages of the work are the self-discipline to get started. And the courage to keep going. Which can do some pretty amazing things. But at the same time, they’re nothing special.