by Penny Boreham, Intake Manager
In this series of blogs – Inspiration and Reflection, members of staff at Khiron House are choosing and sharing the words of an inspiring thinker/writer/practitioner who has made an impact on them and encouraged them to reflect more deeply on the work they do.
Today, Khiron House’s Tai Chi teacher, Tom Gold-Blyth, shares some words that have inspired him.
They are the words of Master Ni Hua-Ching from the book “Mastering the Chi: Strength from Movement”
An extract from “Mastering the Chi: Strength from Movement” by Master Ni Hua-Ching
What’s so great about doing gentle movement as physical arts? Its so much fun to do!
The education of the Way is great. I have used it and benefited from it. I was born with average intelligence and physical strength. Unlike a genius or person of great wisdom, I needed to learn. In Chinese society, learning usually means studying books. However, broad reading is like hunting for a special object, sometimes you find what you want, but mostly you waste your time and energy.
In addition to reading, however, I was fortunate to have the physical and spiritual training left to me by my ancestors: gentle physical movement and spiritual self development. Conventional scholars would find it hard to imagine that some simple movement could lead a wild boy with a restless mind and put him on the right path of a complete life, but those movements taught me the way, developed my body, mind and spirit, and broadened my sense of responsibility beyond myself to include all of humanity and the universe.
You may wonder what the Way is. The word Tao or ‘Way’, as I adore and live by, can be interpreted as a well balanced and rhythmic life. Sometimes you are still and sometimes you are active. That kind of alternation illustrates the principle of tai chi or subtle universal law. We all live with the subtle universal law, and we frequently need to harmonise ourselves with it inside and out.
These forms of exercise, and indeed all kinds of movement whether mental, emotional or physical are expressions of the subtle universal law. Thus, these exercises are one way to flow with universal movement through our own small movements. I do the simple movement of Tao-In (Taoist exercises) in the morning and the movements Infinite Expansion (Tai Chi Chuan) in the afternoon. This displays the unfolding of the universe. Thus, when I do the exercise, I am the universe. All truth is in my movements.
Tom Gold-Blyth’s response: This Means Alot To Me
Master Ni beautifully points to spiritual truth in so many ways in so few words! This short piece conveys how all change and growth starts within ourself and radiates out. The principles of the universe are in our own experience, nature is within and all around us. The practice of Tai Chi movement is a fun way to discover natural truth.
Books have been a source of great inspiration and insight for me on my path of self development and the author I have read most and who continues to be one of my essential sources is Master Ni Hua-Ching. I often experience that reading a few sentences he has written can transform my state.
Like Master Ni, I was a wild teenager and became a wild young man who found it difficult to balance myself in enjoyment and achievement.
I started practicing Tai Chi whilst I was a student, in 1985, and remember the first book I bought – The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity by Daniel P Reid. I read it over and over again – bought copies for my friends and practiced lots of the methods.
My own practice of Tai Chi movement became the foundation for personal transformation and growth. Slow gentle movement has shown me the Way … to a balanced life full of enjoyment – one which I feel proud to be at the centre of.
Now my whole life is ‘practice’ and much of it stems from ‘teachings’ passed to me by Master San Gee Tam. The physical ‘teachings’ are in the movements and are the integration of all he learned from his Tai Chi ‘ancestors’. The mental and emotional work is from Spiritual Masters, such as Master Ni and Osho. I am lucky to have access to a high level source and know the importance staying connected to the flow of knowledge. As I embody what is shown to me I can share this with whoever wishes to learn.
The “Way’ or Tao is elusive and can be felt as a sense of harmony with what is. I can be on the ‘Way’ and live a normal life.
This was the sixth in a series of blogs in which the staff at Khiron House choose and share the words of an inspiring thinker/writer/practitioner who has made an impact on them and has encouraged them to reflect more deeply on the work they are currently practicing.
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