The Difference Between Traditional Meditation And Tai Chi Practice

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Free Your Mind Of Tormenting Thoughts

Have you reached a point where you couldn’t go on the way you had before? Have you felt the need to stop and shift direction? Have you lost touch with yourself and long for reconnection?

If you have, then one thing is for certain and clear – Life can’t continue on the way it has.

I’ve reached that point in my life once before, where I felt lost and not in tune with myself.  I was tired of my work, irritable in my job, and I had bad intentions towards others and myself.  I became this person I knew I wasn’t meant to be.

Luckily, I found Tai Chi, which helped me to connect deeply again to my life.  And practicing Tai Chi means being present, aware, and awake.

This is my practice of meditation.

For others, you may have tried practicing mindfulness or other forms of meditation.  You probably have started your practice in a seated position, which is the traditional method of meditation. 

You don’t move. You sit still. There’s no movement of your limbs. You remain quiet. Before you know it, you get distracted, you get bored and you may even fall asleep while you’re meditating.

Here’s the thing – the sitting method of meditation may leave you uninspired and unmotivated. When you are left unguided, you fail to experience or further explore your practice of meditation. You don’t go to a deeper level in your inner journey.

As a result, you realize that sitting meditation is more difficult for you as a beginner practitioner of meditation.  And this is true.  Sitting meditation is very difficult for the initiated.  I can tell you that sitting meditation was very difficult for me. 

Now I use Tai Chi practice as my method of meditation.

Yes, Tai Chi is a method of meditation.

Like meditation, Tai Chi creates the basis for inner orientation toward a wholesome way of life. Tai Chi helps you to have a fundamental shift toward yourself in whatever condition you may find yourself in.

The 4 Healing Powers of Chi

As in meditation, Tai Chi heals.

You can heal with Tai Chi by experiencing wholeness again, even when you are in some sort of illness or in pain. 

What sets Tai Chi apart from traditional meditation is the emphasis on the circulation of chi. The movement of your limbs encourages the circulation of chi.  And you feel the flow of your life.

Chi refers to the energy that causes your physical body to function, as defined by Chinese medicine. Chi is this energy that makes your physical anatomy come alive. 

In addition to this definition, Taoists apply other spiritual meanings to the word Chi. (We will use the capital ‘C’ here to refer to these other powers of Chi.)

  1. Chi, in the developed practice of meditation, refers to the power of experiencing higher emotions. In meditation, your goal is to be highly sensitive to your feelings, to observe your feelings and come to some resolution with your feelings… To experience higher emotional states such as courageousness, acceptance and peace.
  1. Chi also refers to the power of bringing about your concrete thoughts. One goal of meditation is to have a consistent positive outlook in life.  You have a positive outlook when your thinking is concrete and clear.  Positive thoughts guide you on your way.  This is done by letting go of your negative emotions like anger, shame and guilt.
  1. Chi also refers to your inner capacity to experience your spirit. You return to feeling whole when you are in sync with your mind and body.  Then your spirit is going to rise.  If your thoughts and your feelings are working together then you can access your true nature from within.  Your consciousness changes, your behaviour and actions are pure, and it becomes your reality.
  1. Chi also refers to the non-physical energies relating to the continuum of time and space. Another aim of meditation is to be one with the universe… To be one with universal consciousness and to be in the flow.  When you are doing Tai Chi, you lose track of time.  Time is no longer linear.  Your arms are floating and your body is sinking into the moment.  This is where your dreams come true.

Ok.  Let’s go back to the basics.

Altogether, the circulation of Chi is really achieved by the method of breathing and mental concentration in Tai Chi practice. 

These are the 2 basic ingredients of meditation: Breathwork, and some subtle representation of concentration.

I want you to concentrate on the process involved in meditation – first with the slow, rhythmic breathing when you inhale and exhale.

Count to 5 And Do This Exercise.

Inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Exhale: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Breathe in: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and breathe out: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Develop a rhythm for breathing. 

Once you have your rhythmic breathing in place, then concentrate on the flow of energy through your body or psychic channels. With Tai Chi, you will be standing and moving.  

You’re going to develop a better relationship with your body.

Coincidentally, body awareness is a benefit and result of mindfulness practice or traditional meditation.  Developing your relationship with your body is front and center when it comes to Tai Chi practice.

So let’s do an exercise: Ward Off Left and Ward Off Right.

Ward Off Left:

  1. Energize your left hand and bring your right hand down. 
  2. Develop a relationship with your body. There is a relationship between the left palm of your hand and your chest – your heart center – as if you’re shielding your heart with the palm of your hand.
  3. Exhale, relax, and energize to ward off left.

Ward Off Right:

  1. Energize your right hand, with your palm facing your chest. 
  2. Develop a relationship with your body. There is a relationship between the right palm of your hand and your chest.  Look to your heart center.  You are touching your heart energetically with the palm of your hand.
  3. Exhale, relax, and energize to ward off right.

Follow in the video and do this a few times, adding in slow, rhythmic breathing. 

  • Exhale and energize, ward off right. 
  • Exhale and energize, ward off left.
  • Feel the sensations in your body as you shift your weight from left to right.
  • Feel your fingers as you move each hand up and down.
  • Energize upward to ward off right, then exhale and relax.
  • Energize upward to ward off left, then exhale and relax.

Tai Chi is an exercise of developing a better relationship with your body.

What if you can learn to deal with challenges caused by stress in a calmer and more tranquil way? 

What if you can learn a different approach for coping with stress?

And what if you can get a better sense of your body’s limits, and stay in tune with yourself? 

After this exercise, you’re now probably thinking: How can you truly empty your consciousness of all thoughts with meditation? The objective of meditation is really to empty out all of your thoughts, isn’t it?

Stay tuned, as we continue to explore the subtle nature of mental concentration required by meditation. 

Find more free exercises like this one on YouTube and follow me to practice very simple motions for meditation.

Curious about Tai Chi? You can also sign up for a class here.

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