I live and mostly operate my Tai Chi school/business in a small local community. This of course has its positive and negative points. On the positive side people know and are friendly to each other & very often there is a great sense of "community" spirit & friendliness that is inspiring, on the negative side exists the long-standing status quo, petty politics & lack of privacy - the natural Yin and Yang sides. Because the population is small most of us small operators have to advertise our services by placing our posters at several strategics points in the small town center. As the area I live in has a high concentration of artistic, alternative, spiritual, creative talents and niche industries I expected the standards of behaviour to be more enlightened - but sadly I was wrong. On several occasions when I put up my Tai Chi posters I take a harmonious Daoist approach and fit mine in wherever there is a space, if I have to move someone else's notice, I make sure it's still visible and around the area I found it. However, I've had other Alternative Health Practitioners replace my poster with theirs & actually moved my poster to a much more obscure position or taken it down completely. On two other occasions, another (long established - incumbent?) Tai Chi lady stuck her poster directly over mine obscuring all of my details. Both of these offenders advertise themselves as experts (one is a "Master") in their chosen arts/disciplines: Tai Chi and Reiki/Fung Shui. I am in the process of adapting to this petty "blunt" acts but wonder how much time these people spent reflecting on what they do? I think that they should be more mindful & act more consistently with the principles of their disciplines i.e. -"In harmony and balance" not just pay lip service because it's good business whilst they behave in winner-loser/dog eat dog mentality.
As an instructor I sometimes feel that I am being too repetitive in my instructions - methodically going through many of the points we should pay attention to for any given regular Tai Chi exercise. Sometimes I think perhaps I'm boring my students (and potential students) with the repetition of an exercise, or that there is nothing "new" and impressive to learn in a short time frame. I regularly get visitors who have this "shopping" attitude wanting to know about my class. These days I think we're more than a little brainwashed as participants in a "consumer" culture to only pay attention to the latest "awesome" trend/product and as a result our (not only kids) attention spans have been getting shorter. We almost expect as if we can "buy" an experience without actually paying our dues, or letting it happen naturally. TV is a perfect example of how many things have to be hyped as the next mind blowing event/performance. E.g. - even bigger shocks, scandal, excitement, how are you going to perform (or meltdown) under stressful pressure? Take it to the next level? Then I remind myself that Tai Chi is the antidote to such stress-producing wind-ups. There is beauty, peace and rejuvenation in the meditative repetitive exercises, and that Tai Chi isn't something that can be "consumed" and bought. In its own calm, non-confrontational, peaceful & subtle way it makes its own protest against the consumerist tsunami, very radical.
These are my thoughts about various aspects of Tai Chi. They may or may not be original and I try to give credit where credit is due.
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