November 25, 2005
A Thai Chi moment
It's kind of funny, but through a misunderstanding, and the kindness of a coworker, I received a Thai Chi movie. He thought I was studying Chinese Mandarin and thought about me when he was in San Francisco and bought it. I'm studying mainly Korean, but the thought was very kind. And I watched the movie Wednesday night and really enjoyed it. The characters were using a fighting style of Thai-Chi, but covered both 'soft' and 'hard' techniques. And they really showed some of the aspects of Chi. For instance when one person repulsed 4 attackers at once with a 'push' from the center, or full of energy.
One thing this movie brought up is that the original Thai Chi was very spiritual and not just a fighting technique. It was more about not 'attacking' or 'resisting' but allowing the opponents forces to go through and be their own downfall. In a sense, the opponents' energy is turned against themselves.
Another cool thing they showed in the movie was the idea of conserving our own energy and using it most efficiently. This is a challenge in life sometimes. I still find myself expending energy in places that have little effect and not enough energy in other places where needed. But all things work out, I just could be more efficient with the use of my gifts, talents and resources.
The third thing I got out of this movie was repeated over and over in the movie. Many people in the movie criticized the star because he wouldn't fight the 'enemy' even after he brutalized and hurt many people. They said things like, "You studied martial arts for over 10 years and you won't use it. What good is it!!!??" The word 'tolerate' kept flashing in his mind (and on the screen). Part of the training in Thai Chi is tolerance and not to use force just because we can. The idea of tolerance is not to think of people as enemies and kill them but to use only the force necessary to deflect and dissolve their negative energy. I think 'tolerate' does not mean 'don't stand up for yourself and others,' but to use wisdom and understanding when dealing with other people. Sometimes there are many root causes to people acting out against others that we do not see. Many times it is some kind of fear that they have. Force does not resolve that fear.
I think I could have changed my situation at work before it happened if I had practiced Thai Chi and was thoughtful of these things.
I see in the past I have not learned true tolerance. It doesn't mean tolerate cruelty or abusive behaviour, but it does mean to tolerate the human being and understand where the aggression and force is coming from and find a solution that heals both parties. They are not our enemies, but friends that have not learned to love yet, and the best way to get someone to love you is by loving them, not beating them to a pulp. Using force against force is not good because what we resist, persists. It has to persist because our force requires an anti-force. So the Thai Chi lesson is really a lesson in how to love other people.
Another way to look at Thai Chi is the health and strength it brings us, which makes us strong in body and mind, keeps us centered on what is important and able to handle the challenges that come against us regardless of what those forces are.
More tolerance is actually more involvement in other peoples lives and getting to know them. That's an interesting and challenging practice to follow sometimes. It requires us to use our energy for good instead of resisting the forces of others. Thank you Craig for the movie and the timing of it. In this Thai-chi moment I understand something I did not before.
Posted by carl1236 at November 25, 2005 11:19 AM | Love your Neighbor
pls send to my email box some articles on this thai chi stuff so i can learn what its all about
Posted by: bishop at July 5, 2006 7:26 AM