In a world where we every day experience the spectrum of life from the fun and enjoyable to the aggressiveness of simple conflicts – as one of my teachers one said: “It is easy to be enlightened on the top of a mountain with no distractions – just come down here where life comes at you like a conveyor belt and then try it!” (Vince Morris).
In such a world many people find the natural relaxed movement of Tai Chi to be very therapeutic – both calming and healing. For some the isolation of quiet meditative movement enhances this experience as in solitary practice or individual sessions with a teacher; for others the physical and emotional closeness of group work keeps them grounded in human contact.
Whatever suits each person the core of Tai Chi movement provides a centre – a structure on which to develop a very special way of being – with at its heart a dedication to resilience, strength and understanding of change leading to a stronger body, mind and spirit. Big claims – but ones which many have found fulfilled.
In seeing Tai Chi as therapy, leading to personal development in its widest sense, we should be wary of thinking this might be an “airy fairy” program. On the contrary, it is – or at least can be – a very practical down to earth skill set derived from much practice and hard work with its full measure of fun and challenge.
Tai Chi viewed in this way can be understood as a very personal investment in oneself – an investment in future old age and learning to look after yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally. Whatever you are looking for the Tai Chi is the same, it is just a question of how far and how wide any one person wishes to take it.
Individuals can choose from a range of one-to-one sessions, small groups and residential courses run by Ian Deavin or those run by his teachers Karel and Eva Koskuba – including seminars with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang.
Learning about ourselves and others, we learn to survive and to survive well into long and happy lives by developing our spiritual and emotional growth path. Tai Chi is fundamentally linked to the world views of Taoism and Zen meditation and so is a very practical and pragmatic approach with connections to modern day psychology/psychotherapy as well as neurophysiology.