A Dynamic Balance

weecheng Post in Uncategorized
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I once joined a motivational boot camp, and one of the exercises we had to go through was crossing a swinging log. It looked like a deceptively simple task. When I stepped up on the log, I just couldn’t inch towards the other end of the log. My Taiji training then was to focus on my rooting, and it was exactly this supposedly balance that was the reason for my inability to move forward.

The life coach pointed out to me that I had focused too much on my rooting, so much so that I have difficulty even to take a step forward.

Taking this event out of the context of the original exercise, and look at it from the Taiji perspective, I had just learnt an important lesson. Mastering the rooting concept alone is not enough. I can be very stable with my stances, but focusing too much on this stability will probably result in my inability to move freely. Likewise, the reverse could be true. If I put too much focus on being able to move freely, I would probably lose my rooting.

Understanding the concept of balance is not about being physically able to achieve rootedness. It is about understanding the relationship between two opposite states, for example, rootedness and agility, high and low, fast and slow, etc. If we focus too much on one end, and neglects the other, we would lose our balance.

My great grand teacher once said, to be able to sink down, we must first learn to lift up. At the end of the Taiji journey, every part of us can be supple and tough, rooted and agile. When I first heard of this, I wonder how we can have two opposite states co-exist at the same time. Now I understand.

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