Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Slow and Steady is the Way

In life, martial arts, Buddhism, anything, "slow and steady is the way."  This realization came to me from a friend teaching me the movements and philosophy of Taiji (Tai Chi).  He explained that the reason Taiji movements are so slow is to focus on the body movement and Qi (Chi) flow.  When you master the flow and movements in a slow manner, you can apply them in a martial aspect by speeding them up, making Taiji a very useful martial art and discipline.

Tranquility, Peace
But why not apply this so-called relaxed practice when practicing any martial art (i.e. Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tang Soo Do, etc)?  This is what I have been doing for the past week or so. I have already felt a difference.  I feel the my movements are much more stable, form is held, and focus is totally centered.  Then when I speed up to "combat speed," my movements are much more accurate and powerful.

It doesn't stop at martial arts though.  What about meditating, or Buddhist practice?  We cannot rush enlightenment.  Our mind in meditation and practice is almost like our limbs when practicing martial arts.  The mind is a weapon but also a reservoir.  When we rush anything in life we feel exhausted, stressed, and incomplete.  But if we take things one breath at a time, focus on what we're doing, and don't rush for results, we very often will find the the outcome is much more rewarding and qualitative.

So I'd like to remind everybody (including myself), to breathe, center, and take things one step at a time.  Slow and steady truly is the Way.


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