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Over the weekend I was exchanging some views with a fellow practitioner on certain aspects of our Taiji journey. There was this very interesting observation which we both find thought-provoking.

There are many ways to learn Taiji, and there are many Taiji teachers whom we could learn Taiji from. Some of these teachers charge varying amounts of fees for their lessons. Some do it for free.

I have known of many Taiji students, who, after paying for the Taiji lessons, expect the teacher to spoon feed them into successfully mastering Taiji. Just like any daily transactions, they pay some monetary considerations, and they expect a full delivery of what they had paid for.

Unfortunately, learning Taiji is not just another daily transaction. We cannot pay someone else to put in the hard work on our behalf. In fact, we not only have to put in our own effort to practice, we have to put in effort to understand what we are practicing, too.

I have also known of Taiji teachers who teach for free. They are always on the lookout for suitable students to pass on the knowledge they have gathered through the years of practice. Their mission is to transmit their Taiji wisdom, and that makes learning from these teachers a humbling experience. The students are there for the Taiji lessons not because they have paid for the class (the lessons are free, remember?), but to receive the transmission of Taiji from the teacher. A sense of gratitude is shared among these students, and it is this sense of gratitude that tends to spur these students on when they are met with any obstacle along their Taiji journey.

If we as the student can discard the feeling of entitlement, and adopt a sense of gratitude, when we are learning from our teachers, I believe it would make the whole experience more fulfilling.

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