I am running a workshop at school today, on how to build a set of dominoes. Some issues with the set up of the room, have caused me to go to work early this morning, but I forgot that I needed to take that into account, so I could do tai chi this morning. Accordingly, I walked through the form this morning in the early light of dawn. I would like to be able to say that it was a high-quality practice, but I think that that is stretching the definition of high-quality. In fact, it would be an outright lie.
On the other hand, I feel that I have done the work for the day. It’s not that I did a good job, or that I had some deep and meaningful experience, but I had results. I feel centered, as well ordered, and empowered for the day ahead. I feel as though I have done something for myself, especially on the day with so many other horses are pulling at me.
Over at the blog Disrupt and Repair, there is a discussion of the nature of time and space, and why a good practitioner should be thinking about them. Some of it is clearly a reaction against the powerful forces that shape our calendar, today and tomorrow. Circle Thrice has some discussion about the difference between projects, and operations. Tai chi, the way that I perform it every day, is part of my procedural operations. It’s the thing that must be done in order for me to do anything else. Increasingly I feel this way about my druidry practice as well. These actions help to set my house in order.
On days like today, when there is work to be done, and the quality of my practice is off, it is easy to see that I failed to resist the overarching swing of Empire. Yet the overall practice, of accumulating days, weeks, but that was years, is in many ways a declaration of self sovereignty. It is a declaration that I Bulong to myself first of all, add that the first work of my day is to move in accordance with the principles of active health and well being, which have been handed down to me as a tool or teaching or self transformation.
Yet the teaching is rather like one of the how-to books on the shelf in my design lab. It is a set of implicate teachings which must be lived out in daily experience to do any good. I have six books on building robots in the lab, but I have built no robots and so I can say that I could run a class on robotics, but I would have a hard time doing so, until I have worked through those books thoroughly.
Even then, I would only be a beginning or in robotics. I would not be a master maker of robots. Likewise, or in the same fashion, I do not think of myself as a master of tai chi. And yet, I have worked through those first few books of his heart. I know a thing or two, about a thing or two. I am more than a beginner, last of the master, and somewhere in the vaguely defined realm in between. That’s a vast space to learn how to navigate.