Gerry’s Experiences

gerryDespite “dabbling” for a few months several years ago, I only truly discovered Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan recently, joining Master Ric Lum’s class in January 2013.

As a scientist and an artist I felt drawn to Tai-Chi for its beauty, its diversity and a sense of curiosity and wonder.

So far, I have come to see Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan not as a set of tasks and goals to be rushed through (of which life has plenty) but as a journey to be enjoyed at its own pace, and one which I am only just starting. This has proved a wonderful stress relief and an escape from the world of deadlines and commitments. Additionally, Tai-Chi is giving me a new awareness of myself, those around me and my environment.

*Gerard O’Connor*

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  1. My experience in the Dance this week was on a completely new plane for me.
    Previously in the Dance, I have been aware of the energy flowing around me, guiding me, connecting me to others and towing me along. However I always felt as if I was touching the surface of something deeper.

    In todays dance I felt myself submerged in that energy. Rather than a guiding gentle touch, it had presence and pressure. And it responded to me. Whereas in the past I felt pulled, motion (of myself and the energy) seemed to be a result of consensus, that the flow (and to some extent the dance) was being carried with me, or bent around me.

    As a result of this sense of emersion, I was able to completely give myself to the dance. The spontaneous movement carried me through the dance while allowing me to experience the varied sensations of each part of the form, as it moved with and around me, taking me to a place that left me with strong sensations of peace and power, surrender and control, all wrapped together. I’ve felt fantasticly light and full of energy since.

    Also, I had fun, which is always good 🙂

  2. During the “around the world” exercise, involving section 1 repeated 4 times, I found myself in a relaxed and content state of being. I was able to exist in the flow, experiencing the sense of being in the dance, while my mind was free to observe myself and the world around me.

    It was very moving and a wonderful relief after a challenging period, in which my mind and movement seemed to be in conflict.

  3. On Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in my first “push-hands” class. I found the whole class very rewarding, and had a deep sense of calm and relaxation throughout the class. As the class progressed I found that an old shoulder niggle I knew swimming began to ache. As the class continued this ache and any feeling of impairment left me without a trace. I then experienced similar moments in both my left shoulder. Neither has since bothered me.

    While physical benefits were not my motivation for beginning Tai Chi, they have been noticeable. In particular my blood-pressure, a serious problem my entire adult life, has noticeably improved measurably.

  4. During a Push-Hands demonstration at the end of a class (between Master Ric and the senior students) I became aware that, while all parties were perfectly still and before any ‘physical’ movement, the students ‘sense’ of their centre of balance appeared to be shifted. This inevitably was followed by the student falling.

    I was reminded of an exercise I undertook while taking flying lessons. While the instructor is flying you are asked to close your eyes. After several seconds you are asked what state the plane is in. You answer in full confidence that the plane is in a right hand turn. You then open your eyes to see the plane turning left.

  5. Subject:* Gerry’s experiences.

    A few weeks ago during the warm-up, without consciously moving, my arms followed yours, sort of like a puppet on a string.
    Today I found that I no longer felt I had to think about what I was doing, but rather it flowed more naturally. It actually felt a lot more comfortable as well.

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