|Mastering an Art|
"If one really wishes to be master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an 'artless art' growing out of the Unconcious."
What surprised me when I first started taking lessons in Tai Chi, is that it is not just another exercise class. What differentiates Tai Chi from taking a class is that it never goes out of our daily lives.
One of the most significant features we notice in the practice of Tai Chi is that it is not intended for utilitarian purposes only or for pure aesthetic enjoyments, but are meant to train the mind; indeed, to bring it into contact with the ultimate reality.
Tai Chi in the traditional sense is not a sport, it is a spiritual ritual.
Tai Chi is based in the martial arts. It is still a matter of life and death to the extent that it is a contest of the player with himself.
Tai Chi can seem mystical to those who have only read about it. Tai Chi can only be learned by direct participation. It is experiential. I am not asked to believe in chi, I know chi because I feel chi.
You often hear, "Tai Chi can only be learned through direct transmission", and many instructors scoff at the Americans who ask for videos, books, and such to learn faster. You need the guidance from a skilled teacher to stay the course on the path of the Way. I firmly believe that the only way to learn Tai Chi is through direct instruction. A good instructor will give each student only what he or she is ready for, and learning Tai Chi is not something you can "speed up". You must do it, every day, and see the changes it can make in your life.