Aiming for Immortality
JM has always been interested in the spiritual aspect of life, reading
and attending talks on the subject over the years. But recently she has
become much more focussed on her spiritual evolution. Tai Chi is part
of this development, particularly the strengthening of energy flow
within the body.
“Brett talks about the different levels of Tai Chi and the way qi flows
through the meridians. I haven’t experienced it yet but I have a sense
of what he is talking about. I know what I don’t know. I’m very aware
of the chakras when I’m practising the first Hun Yuan Qigong movement,
but I’m not sure if they’re the same as the Tai Chi Dan Tians.” She
added with a laugh, “I want to develop my mind and body to the stage of
JM trained as a nurse, and it was while she was working long hours and
doing odd shifts that she took up Tai Chi for relaxation and rest from
that hectic life. The Academy taught traditional Yang style when she
began. She thinks about fifteen years ago if not more. The shiftwork
made regular attendance impossible. She went for long stretches without
being able to attend class. Eventually she stopped completely to
restart when she retired three years ago.
The Academy was now teaching Hun Yuan Tai Chi, but this didn’t bother JM
because she couldn’t remember the Yang form anyway. She enjoys the
flowing Hun Yuan movements and has done several of the Academy’s
complementary courses – the Bang (Stick), Self Healing Qigong, Ba Duan
Jin and Chan Si Gong (Silk Reeling).
“I’m very unco-ordinated but Tai Chi has helped. I still have trouble
when Brett shows us something new, as he often does. I have to say to
him, ‘My brain won’t compute this.’ Eventually with practice I get it.”
“On occasion a different instructor will take the class or I’ll visit
another venue. The way that person explains, something suddenly clicks
and I understand a movement I’ve been struggling with. I do sometimes
have total mental blanks when I can’t remember the form at all. Fontane
assures me this can happen to anyone. It may be connected to
tiredness, I don’t know.”
In 2010 JM was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Determined not to let
this beat her, she changed her lifestyle and diet so as to minimise the
effects. Diabetes can damage the internal organs, particularly the
kidneys. Through diet, exercise and Tai Chi, JM has lost weight and
been able to reduce her medication and hopes eventually to have the
disease under natural control. Fontane recommended the Tai Chi Walking
as a way of helping maintain the health of the kidneys because this
increases energy flow in the kidney meridians.
As part of her retirement, JM has finally had time to engage practically
in a lifetime love of music and has begun learning the violin.
“I’m discovering Tai Chi plays a part here too. My teacher has spent
three lessons on the correct way to hold the instrument and the bow. In
my younger days, I would have thought this deadly dull but I love it. I
understand when he asks me to relax my arm and shoulder and I can feel
the shapes he wants in my hand. Relaxation is really important in
correct bowing and producing a beautiful tone. He is very pleased with
my progress, and the ability to relax my arms and shoulders and move the
joints is the major reason.”
JM has made Tai Chi part of her everyday life.
“The reason why goes very deep. I’m not able to put it into words.
It’s an inner
sensing, a knowing. Focus. Mindfulness. Being in the now. Calmness. Peace. Relaxation. Stillness of mind and body. Meditation.
To feel, know, sense all there is at all levels in Tai Chi and life, to
feel and sense energy and energy flow both internal and external, one
needs more than a lifetime – one needs physical immortality.
But what a wonderful journey!”
(This is an actual interview, but the name
has been changed for reasons of privacy.)