I “Am” a Singer

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Recently I was watching the second season of the very popular Chinese TV program, “I am a Singer”. In the program, seven professional singing artists will perform “live” to an audience of five hundred. At the end of these seven performances, the audience will give their votes to the artist whom they think performed best. Once the votes are totaled up, the artist with the lowest vote counts will face elimination.

As you can imagine, the pressures were tremendous on the performing artists. Not only were they subject to scrutiny, they also have their egos bruised should their performances win the lowest votes from the audience.

One participating artist put a very thoughtful meaning to his involvement in the program “I am a Singer”. He said that both the “I” and “a Singer” are no longer meaningful to him. The most important thing, to him, is “am”. That is because only when he can prove that he “is” a singer could he say “I am a Singer”. It is a state of being.

Very often we hear people describing themselves as Taiji practitioners. If we challenge that claim further, we would find that most of these people are not really Taiji practitioners. They do not practice Taiji. What they practice is the Taiji routines, and not Taiji. They do not adopt the Taiji principles and introduce these principles into their daily activities. They could be future Taiji practitioners, but until they practice Taiji even in the most mundane daily chores, they could only say they are Taiji routine practitioners.

I am thankful I have watched that episode of “I am a Singer”. It has given me a timely reminder of how I should continue my Taiji journey.

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