Here are some of the musings that underly my practice and my teaching. I will be adding more musings over the next few weeks, so please check back.
- My practice
My practice involves spiritual, emotional, and physical components spread across both Eastern and Western activities. One of my teachers wisely advised me not to attempt to mix my practices. "Do tai chi as tai chi and do yoga as yoga. Do not attempt to create some yoga-tai chi fusion. The practices will naturally mix themselves." This has been a guiding principle for me and has proven to be true for me. My practices have begun mixing and it was not through concerted efforts on my part.
Meditation: My journey began with a mindfulness meditation course. While I still do some meditation these days, my meditation practice has largely been supplanted by my qi kung practice.
Tai Chi: I was taught tai chi as a martial art and practiced it as such for about 10 years. I gained a lot from this practice spiritually and emotionally. While I would love to do more tai chi, I have drifted from this component of my practice in recent years.
Qi Kung: Qi kung is perhaps the most fundamental component of my practice and in particular my spiritual practice.
Yoga: My yoga practice has helped me to cultivate both physical and emotional growth. While I have practiced some pranayama, my pranayama practice does not have nearly the spiritual depth of my qi kung practice. Over time I have found myself engaging in qi kung exercises during my yoga practice. As my teacher said, they have begun to mix themselves.
Running: Running is an essential component of my emotional and physical practice. This is my primary source of aerobic exercise, which I've found to be a key ingredient to my practice.
Rock Climbing: While rock climbing obviously has a physical element, my fear of heights allows for me to gain a lot of emotional growth through rock climbing.
- Sounds of silence
When I became a vegetarian I started reading
food labels and was shocked by how much sugar is
in our foods. In turn I started seeking out
foods with less sugar. What I noticed is that as
I reduced the sweetness of foods and drinks I
began to appreciate other flavors that were
masked by the sweetness. I've found the same to
be true for me in terms of conversations and
music. There's a sweetness to the silence I hear
when the music and chatter stops. I find this
particularly salient when I'm out for a run or
bike ride. As the silence grows I feel as if my
brain is relaxing and I become more at peace
with myself and more tuned into my
- Embrace the chaos
When things turn chaotic it's much harder for me
to stay present and my urge to seek distractions
is stronger than ever. However this is also my
most fruitful space for growth. It seems any
efforts I make to stay present and maintain my
practice are amplified in their effects. Once
the chaos clears I've repeatedly found that my practice
has grown significantly. So now when chaos hits
I try to remember the positive inner benefits
and attempt to use the chaos, the churning up of
emotions, to grow my practice.