I set out on an eight-hour drive this morning, with no time to do tai chi this morning before I left.
So I did it after I arrived at my destination… After hours and hours and hours of driving. Stiffness, heaviness, long drive. Sure… This is not going to go well.
The first few “toe touches” I couldn’t even touch my toes. There was stiffness all over the place. How to move forward? How to move again after so much time sitting behind the wheel? Sigh.
I hesitate to imagine what this would have been like, had I been indoors.
Bit somewhere around the fourth or fifth toe touch, two things happened. First, I began being able to touch my toes. Second, my vision started to alter. The landscape of grass and trees began to change. Writhe.
I began to see the landscape around me as suffused with chi. The pine trees in the corner of the yard had a different chi than the grass under my feet. The sound of the stream in my back yard was a different chi, still. The chi in the wall of greenery — the bushes and giant weeds, to be honest — were covered in flows of chi. Chi everywhere. And chi in me.
All of it was the same energy. All of the patterns of flow were different. That is to say, the energy I was aware of was all of the same type; the movements it was making was different depending on what type of plant or animal it was moving through.
I’ve sung (no, I wrote), a song that goes
there is one source of energy //
And matter cycles around and around. //
They have no beginning //
and they have no end //
They join the highest heaven //
With your feet on the ground.
And that’s kind of how I feel. Because today’s chi awareness breakthrough wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t done my Druidic practice beforehand. See, I’m in the middle of learning the procedures for calling on the elements the Druid way — earth air fire water elements; not potassium argon gold polonium elements — and it’s kind of hokey to be doing this in the 21st century.
And this is important.
I’d called and worked with all four elements tonight, right before doing my tai chi (I hadn’t had a chance to do any of my usual morning routine. Remember?). And I was tired. And I’d been sitting for a long time. Almost zoned out. And I did all this heavy work to break though some of the mental fog of driving for so long.
And the result was this kind of experience of Oneness. Not “I am one with the universe!” golden light obliterating my consciousness kind of moment, but more of “I a a part of a magnificent and wonderful and magnanimous wholeness.” completely conscious of myself, but also completely conscious of the many different iterations of the wholeness around me.
Even putting this into words is difficult — it distracts from the experience itself. But more than that, the words I’ve written appear to convey that this event was somehow special or unusual. And it’s really startling to suggest that this experience felt totally normal, and not unusual or out of the ordinary in any way at all.
So. It’s possible to have a completely normal sense of oneness with the universe, while also being unable to touch one’s toes.