The word we hear the most often in our tai chi practice is “relax”. People that had the opportunity to learn from our late founder, Master Moy, would say one word they heard the most often, over and over again was 放鬆 (fong-song), 放鬆 (fong-song), 放鬆 (fong-song). Yes, 放鬆 is translated as relax, but it has a little different connotation in Chinese. When we say relax in English, I think of escaping or completely letting go… like sitting on the beach with an umbrella drink or being a couch potato in front of TV. In Chinese or at least in our tai chi practice, that kind of relax is not the point. 放 means “let” or “allow” 鬆 means “loosen” or “open”. It means loosening up inner resistance, allowing internal opening to take place so energy can flow. It’s an open and alert state without tension… like a cat. I live with 3 living little masters, I should know. 🙂 They teach without words. They teach as living embodiment.
What does that have to do with my healing you might ask? Cancer has taken me to the edge of death to show me how to relax (放鬆) into life.
If it wasn’t for over a decade of tai chi practice prior to me getting sick, I would not have survived this far and certainly would not have lived this well. Tai chi practice is not about attaining perfect health or perfect peace of mind so we could have a get out of jail free card untouched by life. Quite the contrary, my practice gave me a way to experience life in peace and equanimity not because life is going my way, but because I am going life’s way.
If it helps you to understand this foreign concept and you would like to have some foreign characters to go with it as a reminder, click here.