People who practice the moving meditation of Tai Chi Chih count many benefits, including increased serenity, joy and health benefits. Here, a TCC teacher describes following sessions of TCC with sitting meditation as well.
TCC for Meditators
By LR, Seattle, Washington
For the last three years I have enjoyed doing T'ai Chi Chih with a Buddhist meditation community, have taught classes at a neighborhood church and then invited longer-term practitioners to my house for a group practice, followed by a 20-minute silent meditation. The results have been deep and rewarding.
Meditators bring a deep understanding that out of stillness and silence we can touch the spiritual. Even though I continue to offer some reminders and corrections during the practice, we basically move together following the energetic rhythm of the routine. We deepen our silence as we sink into each shift, “allowing the Chi to do the work."
After TCC, we slide onto chairs or the couch, feet on the floor, allowing the energy to continue to settle into our bones, our tan t'ien, and to root into the soles of our feet. Although I’m seated and still, the rhythm from shifting my weight during TCC continues to inform my breath, which gets slower and more relaxed.
My mind no longer seeks distracting thoughts. It seems as if TCC allows more direct access to the present and spiritual connection we seek in sitting meditation. When the bell rings, our eyes open to a brighter world, a more centered way of being and an intimate connection to our selves and each other.
Below are comments by fellow participants:
''I experience TCC as meditation. Its flowing, rhythmic movements cultivate a centered, peaceful and calm mind."
"The TCC sessions are a wonderful source of community and spiritual practice."
"There is no better way to prepare for the week ahead than our Monday morning meetings. Our Chi flows, increased by the presence of each other. Our minds are peaceful and full of gratitude after completing the meditation. We are revitalized and energized to better face the world."
"TCC movements are a meditation in and of themselves and as we move together, I become focused and connected in spirit to those with whom I move. When we settle into meditation, my ‘monkey mind’ is already quieted; the Chi we have moved is grounding and unmistakable. These past few years of TCC practice have carried me through some of the most difficult periods of my life, moving my stuck places in the wordless communion of intention and movement."