body, breath, capitalism, Chicago, Compassion, happiness, job, loving kindness, meditation, Metta, mindfulness, multi-tasking, multitasking, Peace, qigong, sitting meditation, stress-management, stress-reduction, tai chi, taiji, work, zen
If we rush our taiji practice, what are we doing? We’re rushing through taiji just so we can check that off our list of things Very Busy People Do, so we can rush to the next thing – get that done – check it off and the next and the next and so on …
And we do this all day long.
Maybe if we see that long list of things checked off, we feel like we can stand back and say look at all I accomplished today. Or, maybe when we rush around, the feeling of frenetic activity gives us the delusion that we’re Working Very Hard. And that’s like, the American way.
But we should not let ourselves be fooled. Rushing around, frantically with no mind on what we are doing because half our mind is already thinking about what we have to do next or what we forgot to do yesterday and what we’ll have to do tomorrow because surely we’ll run out of time today … Feel like you need to breathe right now from all that rushing? Me too.
One of the main points of taiji practice is to let go of all that, all the worldly concerns (not forever) and just relax and be fully present in the moment. Present, fully aware that you are breathing, moving the body, slowly, mindfully. Now, isn’t that better? We practice taiji not to get somewhere – but just because it feels good. Our mind and body come together with the breath and we begin to restore some balance, bring some softness, flexibility into all aspects of our being.
Not a bad deal for an exercise that requires no special equipment! So, try it. Sneak off at work into an empty room, an under used hallway, even the bathroom and grab a slow five-minute taiji or qigong break. (OSHA recommends that office workers take five minutes each hour away from their tasks for best health and performance.) You’ll save yourself a lot of visits to the doctor in the long run because you’ll be healthier. And your company will even safe money because you don’t miss work because of illness produced by stress.
Will your first session of taiji turn you into a perfect human specimen? No. But over time, you’ll see a big difference.
Taiji is one of those things that makes us feel better from the very first time we do it and is something we can practice for the rest of our lives.