Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eleventh Tai Chi Class of the Semester

Grace. How strange to write about my experiences on Saturday in the middle of a blog that right now is mostly filled with my reactions to Science Fiction books.

Saturday morning the first bus I took dropped me off at my transfer point early, so I decided to forgo the second bus and walk the mile and a half to class instead. Despite the overcast and somewhat windy day, I made an intention to use the experience to be present in the moment. When I arrived at the college campus where class is held, I still had almost half an hour to amuse myself. Part of me was irritated. Another part of me decided to use this as part of my purpose for coming there.

The path leading from the road to the buildings is surrounded by old oak trees. Over the years, I have read about people who believe that oaks contain wisdom and possibly healing abilities. Who know whether that is true? I just allowed myself to be present, to pay attention to the trees and any birds. Instead of going directly to class, I took a gravel path that led off to the side. I had never been on it before. That early in the morning it was a bit deserted, but I decided I was supposed to walk along it that day. The path had enough of an incline to get my sap moving. More old trees. I saw parts of the campus I had never been to before. Almost 100 year old buildings beside new construction. But the amazing part was what I felt. A coolness. Clear air. A calm that went to my very core. The peace that passes all understanding. I don’t think there are words to describe it. Coming from the opposite direction than what I normally take into the building where class is held, I noticed that high above the walkway there is a niche containing a statue of Mother Mary. Despite not being Catholic, I could somehow feel her energy.

Bob began class with Zhan Zhuang, Standing like a Tree meditation. This has been my nemesis over the years. Since I was a little kid, standing in one place without moving has been an invitation to get light headed and slowly start to black out. I was not amused, especially after my walk. But, somehow the experience was different this time. Bob added more of a meditation aspect that seemed to work for me. I was a bit disappointed when we stopped and began to do the Tai Chi form.

We did the full Tai Chi form twice. The second time we listened to Bob’s tape in preparation for the demonstration that he plans to give for World Tai Chi Day. We ended class doing the last part of the form while focusing on our feet: where we put our weight as we moved and how we switched from one foot to another.

Of course the real end to my little journey was going to the library and picking up two Science Fiction books that had been transferred from other libraries.

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