Are you looking to feel more connected to nature? How about growing spiritually?
Tai Chi may allow you to feel connected with nature, as it does for me. My body gets into certain postures and shapes so that it serves a higher purpose. In fact, when I do Tai Chi, it functions for me as a source of creation, not as a result of creation.
‘Spirituality’ means that you feel unlimited power. You feel boundless, and that’s the experience of who you are and the experience I want you to feel. But right now you’re not thinking about spiritual growth. You’re thinking about the problems that you’re having with your kids, problems at work, and you may feel a lot of suffering. Right now, your problem is that you suffer from what may have happened to you a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, or even ten years ago.
Why Positive Thinking Isn’t Working
You’ve tried a lot of things. You’ve tried things like positive thinking. You may find yourself starting your day with positive affirmations, like ‘I’m going to think positive and everything will be okay’. However, throughout the day, and by the end of the day, that positivity may have faded. Positivity does not show up in your life. That’s because positive thinking becomes a way of whitewashing or sugarcoating your reality. What’s missing?
Well, you can also say to yourself, ‘be in the moment’, but being in the moment won’t do it for you either, because you’re always in the moment. It’s just a matter of what you’re actually doing and feeling in the moment. Tai Chi is a journey to a sacred presence. It’s not just about being in the moment. It’s actually what you do and feel in the moment, which makes Tai Chi so unique and powerful.
Tai Chi is a Vehicle to Spiritual Dimension
Tai Chi is a practical framework for practicing holistic Eastern philosophy that integrates mind, body and spirit. It’s a vehicle to add a spiritual dimension to your life.
When it comes to spirituality, people also think of healing – they’re right. Part of spirituality is that it’s a healing tradition. Medicine and spirituality have been interconnected for a long time. There are other healing traditions that came from the Greek physicians, the shamans*, as well as the traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. These healing traditions do not serve to cure disease, but they serve as a means to actually release and enhance the spirit.
*Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition and moreover, a way of life. It is a way to connect with nature and all of creation.
Let’s take a look at breathing because breathing is associated with spiritual growth. If we exhale and we put our mind and thought to consciously exhale deeply, that’s a release, you’re releasing your spirit. And when you release the spirit, it’s no longer bound. When we inhale consciously, you actually then begin to expand and enhance your spirit.
The Different Healing Tools
Releasing and enhancing the spirit is part of any healing tradition. There are many different healing tools that people have used in the past. One is prayer. People pray so they can heal themselves. The other is belief. When you believe that you can overcome your sickness you’re able to deal with it. So, when facing illness, prayer and belief have been traditionally involved as part of your medicine.
In the 1500s, that all changed with science. We have now sort of enhanced our capability of healing ourselves through the application of knowledge, experimentation, trial/error, and good old fashion engineering. This gives us comfort and solace when you take medicine. And science has been so successful that there are many companies making money off of pills and pharmaceutical goods.
Ditching the Pills and Pharmaceutical Goods
Times are changing as more and more people are now involved with spirituality. Spirituality is something that people are starting to think can prevent illness and can assist in treatments. There is a connection between spiritual factors and health outcomes because spirituality is medicine and the more you practice spirituality, the more it becomes therapeutic. So how does Tai Chi contribute to spiritual growth?
Tai Chi fosters an intimate self-awareness and requires you to slow down and look within. Soft and slow is the motto. Slow down your life and slow down your movements. Sometimes life is a constant go, we have a hard time slowing down. However, when you slow down in your movements, you’re now able to look. And you’re not looking for something, you’re really looking within yourself. That is the journey of Tai Chi, the journey to a sacred presence.
Tai Chi is also a tool for self-inquiry that transcends matter and logic, which makes it have a spiritual dimension. You know to focus on the physical, the mental and your thoughts, but really what you use to focus in Tai Chi is energy to flow.
Connecting to Earth
The idea of energy transcends our reality because we’re no longer thinking we are matter, we’re now thinking that we’re energy. That energy is connected with the other energies surrounding us.
Tai Chi allows you to access the larger universe by using deep breathing. It leads you to an exchange between nature and yourself. So, when you breathe, when you exhale gently, you are exhaling carbon dioxide, which is food for the trees. When the trees exhale oxygen, you breathe that in slowly into your body. There is a connection between you and nature.
Tai Chi gives you a feeling of being grounded and connected to the earth. It connects your essence, your spirit with something that is much bigger than you. So I would like to invite you to do Tai Chi. What if you can access and organize the inner nature of your being? What if you can truly experience that which is within the boundaries of your sensation?
Tai Chi teaches you how to feel the sensations in your body. Then once you do that, you can throw your boundaries of sensation out into an expanded form.
What would that do for your spiritual growth?
I invite you to go inward to not just be in the moment but to actually think positive, feel positive, be happy and joyful, at peace. This is the true power of Tai Chi.
The issue then becomes: “How can I sustain that? Because every time I go inward, I find myself going back outward. Going in circles, it may seem.” When this happens, you’re actually having an endless journey, but with the practice of Tai Chi, that daily practice becomes therapeutic. It’ll help you to go back inward when you do find yourself dealing with external conditions. It will remind you to slow down.
What is a daily stress you’d like to overcome by using Tai Chi? I’d like to hear from you, leave a comment below.