The Ebb and Flow of Taiji Practice

The ebb and flow of something is the continually changing character of something (source).  In this statement, the changing character is myself.  A lot has happened over the past 3-4 months and things are finally starting to stabilize. 

One of the major changes in my free time was I decided to basically stop playing massively multiple online games (MMOs).  I basically stopped playing World of Warcraft about 4 or so months ago, but just when feeling of playing an MMO subsided, I picked things back up with Warhammer Online. I can say that I have been pretty much MMO-free for the past month and a half or so and I have to admit that I like having the extra time.  For those not in the know, a MMO game can easily take 3-4 hours of one’s time A NIGHT without missing a blink.  My own gaming time was more along the lines of 2 hours a night, but that’s still 2 hours where I could be doing something else more productive.

Additionally, we signed up for a family pass at the local recreation center. This means I now have access to an indoor swimming pool AND weight/cardio facilities.  I have been going quite regularly and I feel great. I can already feel and see a difference!

But what about taiji? I am sad to admit that taiji has taken a massive back burner in terms of priority.  First of all, MMO gaming really dug into my taiji time. Secondly, we had some major real life changes take place and things are finally starting to settle on that front.  And thirdly, my mind has just not been on taiji and/or meditation.  In fact, I cannot even remember the last time I went through a whole taiji form set, however I can remember the last couple of times where I have engaged in zhan zhuang standing practice.  With all the ups and down, the only thing that is somewhat stable is my zhan zhuang training. While I haven’t been doing it everyday, I do it at least 2-3 times a week.  I feel it helps to stabilize and ground myself.

When things are in disarray, sometimes is best to go back to the basics. For me, that has been focusing on my breath.  Another thing that has sparked my interest again is seeing a short video of a taiji practice session on John’s Tai-Blog.  What I liked about John’s video was he basically showed you can practice however you like. For example, when he went to turn on the music, I was thinking he would put on some type of meditative flute music or something, but I was wrong!  Additionally, he showed how someone could easily practice basic drills with common taiji movements (ward off, repulse monkey, cloud hands, etc, etc).  I used to do a lot of drills in the past, but somehow became fixated that I *must* complete the whole form.  At this point in my journey, something is definitely better than nothing.

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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5 Responses to The Ebb and Flow of Taiji Practice

  1. Shang Lee says:

    Hey, absolutely feel what you’re going through. Not in the gaming front but work has taken up a lot of my time. Tai Chi has taken a major backseat as well. The form is the only thing i do so that i don’t wander off thinking or doing something else. Of course, u can always finish the form quickly by dramatizing it (without real kungfu). just make it a hollywood kung fu film, and you’ll feel better! 😉 just a thought. keep up the training!

  2. alex says:

    mmos take up so much taiji time… atleast you didnt spend 14 hours straight on days off without school or work playing WoW like i did

  3. wujimon says:

    @Shang: I used to kung-fu-isized my form back in the day imagining I was fighting multiple opponents and it was quite fun. I haven’t really done that too much lately, but it’s a good thought.

    @Alex: I whole heartedly agree that ANY MMO can suck up one’s free time. I have very limited amount of time that I can spend on personal ventures and ultimately decided that MMO gaming was not the best use of that time. I still play video games from time to time, but they are games that have an ending and ones that I can easily stop after 15-30 min intervals. I hope you’re still not playing WoW for 14 hr intervals.. 😉

  4. Rick Matz says:

    There are a LOT of things I’m interested in and would like doing. I like computer games as much as the next guy, but there is only so much time and so we have to decide what is the more important thing to do at a given moment.

    I’ve cut out a lot of stuff. I hardly watch TV except for sports and the news. I rarely play a computer game. I don’t even get online (except for what I do for work) most nights of the week.

    Every day is different. I’ve found that “what is most important” has evolved over the years. As my kids have become older and more independent, I’ve been able to reclaim time that I invested in them.

    Martial arts training is a lot like gravity after a while. You may get away from it for a little while, sometimes a long while, but if it’s really got a hold on you, you’ll be drawn back.

  5. wujimon says:

    Rick, I definitely and starting to understand more about limited time and choices 😉 I really like your quote about martial arts training and gravity!

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