TAI-CHI

Tai-chi also known as Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the ‘Supreme Ultimate Force’. The notion of ‘supreme ultimate’ is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. ‘Force’ (or, more literally, ‘fist’) can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or ‘supreme-ultimate’ discipline.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called ‘sets’) which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

Another aim of Tai Chi is to foster a calm and tranquil mind, focused on the precise execution of these exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical avenue for learning about such things as balance, alignment, fine-scale motor control, rhythm of movement, the genesis of movement from the body’s vital center, and so on. Thus the practice of Tai Chi can in some measure contribute to being able to better stand, walk, move, run, etc. in other spheres of life as well. Many practitioners notice benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which can contribute to tension or injury. Furthermore the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in and of itself.

Try the below different stance to get familiar with tai-chi (Rhythmic breath in and breath out are always part of all your stance and any movement).

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

                                                                        -Lao Tzu

Meditation – Gibberish and Let-Go

“Gibberish is to get rid of the active mind, silence to get rid of the inactive mind and let-go is to enter into the transcendental.” Osho

First Stage: Gibberish

While sitting, close your eyes and begin to say nonsense sounds – any sounds or words, so long as they make no sense. Just speak any language that you don’t know! Allow yourself to express whatever needs to be expressed within you. Throw everything out. The mind thinks, always, in terms of words. Gibberish helps to break up this pattern of continual verbalization. Without suppressing your thoughts, you can throw them out. Let your body likewise be expressive.

Second Stage: Moving In
After 15 minutes of Gibberish, at which point the Gibberish stops. Imagine a voice then guides the listener into a space of deep silence, stillness and relaxation, saying, for example, “Be silent, close your eyes…no movement of the body – feel frozen. Go inwards, deeper and deeper, just like an arrow. Penetrate all the layers and hit the center of your existence.”

 Third Stage: Let-Go

Another 15min and, without arranging yourself, just allow yourself to fall down “like a bag of rice,” so you are lying, utterly still and relaxed, on your back as you are guided even more deeply into a silent stillness.

 Fourth Stage: Coming Back

At the final 15min, imagine a voice guiding you back to a sitting position, with the reminder to carry the glimpse of silent awareness one may have had into everyday activities.

A LESSON IN MEDITATION

Concentration on the Breath

A very simple way of meditating is concentrating on your breath. The breath is like a bridge between your body and mind. When you concentrate on your breath for a while, your body becomes relaxed and your mind becomes peaceful.

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  • Place your hands in your lap with the left hand on the bottom.
  • Keep your eyes half-closed or closed.
  • Concentrate on the tip of your nose. Notice your breath going in and out.

Lotus posture
Full lotus is the best sitting posture. Begin by sitting in half-lotus, then work your way up to full lotus.

  • Full-lotus- Sit on the edge of a cushion. Place your left ankle on your right thigh. Then lift your right ankle onto your left thigh.
  • Half-lotus- Lift your left ankle onto your right thigh.

Note: It is best to sit at the same time and place everyday. Increase your sitting time little
by little. You may sit in a chair or stand if necessary.

Should I give importance to what others say? Should I listen to what others say?

The answer in one word “Yes”.  But popular advice suggests that you shouldn’t listen to others but listen to your heart and do what you like etc., But for sure everyone would have at some time felt that “ If I knew this I wouldn’t have done this”. So the summary is that you need to listen to what others say. But if you blindly follow what others say you are sure to fail, because there will be different people telling different and often opposite things. One of your friend suggests you to quit the job other asks you to continue. So you need to learn the art of listening to others. To know when to listen to what and how?

Some thoughts and suggestions

  1. Listen carefully: Listen to people carefully without any biases and prejudices. This will help you to get different perspectives. You may also know more about the person who is telling. If one of your friend is telling you to do something incorrect, then you know the quality of your friend.
  2. Talk to professionals: It helps to talk to your financial adviser about your investment and to your doctor about your health condition. But for this you should have found a good professional.
  3. Remember that you own the responsibility: Even if you listen to others you will still know the responsibility for making that decision. So don’t take the suggestion unless you are ready to own the consequences. Don’t listen to your banker and take a loan if you cannot repay it in time.<./li>
  4. Understand the intent behind the advise: Is that person knows enough about the issue to make the judgment. Is that person qualified to make a suggestion. Is that person genuinely interested in your good. Is that person free from jealously, anger, frustration and other negative emotions.
  5. Consider the social & organizational power equations of the person who is giving the advice: Advise from a well wisher boss/ Senior in an organization is always useful. You may be causing grater harm by ignoring a powerful person’s advise.
  6. Last and most important.. Use your intuitive access: Use your intuitive guides and masters. Talk to your spiritual mentor.

Should I listen to my parents and marry someone they chose or should I find my love?

The answer: It depends.. Let me explain.

It depends on

  1. How smart you are? How much you know about yourself and about the world. How much you know about the other sex?
  2. How smart your parents are? How much they are mature. Do they know you and the world. Do they understand the current generation?
  3. If at least one of you are smart, mostly the conflicts won’t occur. The conflict occurs when both are ignorant and lack the skills to manage life. So you need help to solve it.

Is Astrology correct?

It is a wrong question. Astrology is the art and science of knowing the person, world and life. It is now a tool to know future. Unfortunately astrology is used for wrong reasons. If you use thermometer to measure the BP, then the mistake is not of the thermometer but of the user. Similarly astrology should be used to get more insights into problems and opportunities. It is a good tool for SWOT analysis. There is no way you will know future completely. You can make reasonable, educated guess which may come true or not. But many educated guesses are useful in life. If you see a bus in Mysore road with a Name place as Mysore, you can predict that the bus is going to Mysore and will reach in around 3 hours. But it may not reach on time at all or may change the way. So same with all predictions.

Is drinking more water good? Is Banana good for health? Should I do yoga/ Gym? Etc., etc.,

There is nothing universally good or bad. Every medicine in the medical shop is good if taken under medical supervision else it is fatal. Similarly there is nothing universally good or bad. You need to know what is right for you or you should be under the supervision of a right professional.