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LifeStyle with Tai Chi and Qigong >> Tai Chi Qigong for Daily Life

Musings in the Desert

by Sifu Gene Nelson, Founder and Chief Instructor of Empire Tai Chi Group Inc. and ATCQA Certified Tai Chi Master Instructor
published in July 2018

The other night my wife Janet and I were walking in a local nature preserve in Tucson, Arizona. There was a celebration of the Night Blooming Cereus (Queen of the Desert) which is a member of the Cactus family. Most of the year it's totally unremarkable and usually not noticed in the wild because it looks like dead brush. However, one night a year, it opens up at sunset, presenting a beautiful white flower with a fabulous scent. At sunrise the following day, it closes, not to open until the same time next year.. All these plants, in a given area, open up and close at the same time.

'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he (they) find it attached to the rest of the world" - John Muir

This quote was carved on a large stone in the Nature Preserve. John Muir was a naturalist, inventor and best known as the founder of the Sierra club. When reading this quote, I had an immediate connection to a saying in the Tai Chi Classics (which all Tai Chi players should read, study and read again and again) .


'"One thing moves, everything moves". This saying is referenced in different ways in many disciplines: science, nature, philosophy, physiology, religion, Internal Martial Arts, and so on.

I recently moved from Metropolitan NYC to Tucson AZ, which is in the Sonoran desert and spans over 100,000 square miles. One's initial impression of the High Desert is usually hot, dry, sand, critters that could only live in this environment, and an absence of green and no changes. However, as you become part of the cycle of desert life you become acutely aware of the constant changes. There are four seasons, a range of temperatures, a season known for spectacular monsoons, dry thunder storms, amazing lightning displays and wildlife that looks threatening to the uninformed. Once this fear is overcome, you learn that these animals leave humans alone as long as you do not threaten them.

You cannot experience any of this without being there. Yes, you can watch documentaries and read National Geographic magazine or even take a vacation to a Spa in Sedona AZ, but you will only get a whisper of what's going on. In order to have an experience that stays with you and can be transformational, you have to keep coming back. First you get a taste. If you like it, you come back for more, and eventually these experiential moments help you to make an informed decision on how much you want to be a greater part of this environment.

Isn't this the same process of how we get to know and to study Tai Chi?

 

 


 
 

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