I was taught by my sifu that Tai Chi is a practice of the interplay between substantial and insubstantial. My students hear me say this and teach this all the time.
It’s a way to describe the yin and yang relationship. All that is substantial or firm has insubstantial or soft within it, and vice versa.
We practice this interplay – this back and forth, this fluid exchange in our movements as we shift and waist turn and step, slowly and gradually. The Tai Chi is in the interplay, not in the stagnant.
I love when modern science catches up to ancient wisdom of the sages, what our ancestors studied, felt and experienced as true through their patient observation and practice.
“At the tiny quantum level, empty space isn’t empty,” an article in Big Think reports.
While the article ” ‘Nothing’ doesn’t exist. Instead there is ‘quantum foam’ “ focuses on the non-existence of nothing, I also see the merit of the emptiness within the substance.
I think we humans can be afraid of the concept of emptiness or nothingness, a fear of our own disappearance, erasure and ultimate impermanence. We seek meaning and our ego demands its significance. Nothingness frightens our sense of purpose. It all has to mean something, right? And we have to kind of be at the center of that importance, right?
Nothingness as an ultimate void of energy and value is unappealing.
But what if nothing actually had something in it?
It seems when scientists are trying to measure energy and are expecting zero “even if that energy is supposed to be nothing – you still cannot measure zero precisely… For short periods of time, zero is not always zero.”
“Thus, at the tiny quantum level, empty space isn’t empty. It’s actually a vibrant place,” the article continues.
Emptiness is a vibrant place!
I have felt this in my practice of Tai Chi and even yoga. Finding the abundance and vibrance in letting go, in softening, in emptying the body and the mind of resistance and insistence.
Both practices offer us an opportunity to examine deeper within us these forces of emptiness and substance and allow them to exist in harmony, because they already know how to balance each other. Slowing down to notice “nothing is something after all.”
I wish abundant emptiness to us all. May we find the vibrancy within peace.
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