The Tai Chi of Sustainability and Achievement
Tara and I are teaching some professional tennis players now, and quite a lot we’re trying for some balance between two questions. Is this good for my wellbeing at some future point, or is it good for what I want to do right now?
The questions might sound like opposites, but in tai chi, they’re not. So I wanted to share a bit with you all here, about the tai chi perspective on sustainability, and achievement.
Sustainability is for right now. So is achievement
From a tai chi perspective, sustainability isn’t something we get to later. It’s for right now. And tai chi is always very practical. It doesn’t talk of sacrificing achievement for something that’s better later. It’s achieving more now, by moving energy in circles rather than lines.
Meeting force with opposing force is not only not sustainable. It’s also no more powerful than the strength of your weakest part, and always vulnerable to a challenge that is bigger than you. It’s a linear strategy, and energy directed in a line always dissipates.
Using what’s offered to power what’s needed is something very different. When you make a circle of you and your opposite, the energy given and the energy returned, you have something quite different. It’s called harmony. There is no more opposite. No more lines to break, no more energy wasted. This is why tai chi is a practice of making circles.
Turn your lines into circles
Yes, moving well with your self, and with others, is more sustainable. It also achieves more. By losing the concept of moving linearly, forcefully, against opposition, you lose the notion that one part can benefit while another suffers. There’s no gain in this, so it’s a good thing to lose.
You’ll learn to care more for your self this way. You’ll learn to care more for everyone this way. And always we achieve more in our adding together, than in our canceling opposition.
So all this is a very real life practice, with very practical results. If you’d like to keep going with more, we have an online tai chi chuan workshop that gives structure for this practice, I hope we’ll see you here soon.