It’s hard to do tai chi too slowly. There’s always a way to take it down another speed level — increasing the number of breaths per movement for example, or deliberately changing the typing.
It’s really easy to do it too fast, though, and that was the deal today. Once I’ve started at a given speed, it’s really hard to slow down. It’s like the car has been put into gear and it’s moving; but there’s also a downhill start to take into consideration; the brakes are also not as functional as I’d like them to be.
And this suggests that there’s a lesson here that I haven’t taken advantage of yet — how to regulate my speed in the middle of a tai chi progression. I should be able to start slow and end fast; and I should be able to start fast and end slow. Curiously enough, this is an essential practice. Being able to shift speed is to be able to mess with a putative opponent’s timing. When one considers that the “greatest enemy” in tai chi is the self, this makes a great deal of sense. Learning to move according to one’s own wishes for timing is a tremendous power. It’s the super-power, in fact (or one of them, anyway).Being able to manage one’s own time, and one’s own movement, is both discipline and freedom.
Clearly, I have some things to work on.