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T'AI CHI MAGAZINE - February 1990

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK > February 1990
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February 1990 - Editor's Notebook

There are many different ways to develop when practicing Tai Chi Chuan.
You can develop higher skills, improve health and well-being, achieve celebrity, earn financial success, and cultivate internal strength and wisdom.

But each of these accomplishments can be self-limiting unless there is a broader vision as suggested by Adam Hsu in the article in which he talks about cultivating a Tai Chi lifestyle.
Unless we can continually broaden the scope of our understanding, there is the danger of becoming more and more self-centered about what we can attain. This can produce more and more tension and striving, the antithesis of the Tai Chi philosophy.

This is easily seen in push hands, when the infatuation with winning leads to a plateau that can only be surmounted by sacrificing the idea of being strong, skillful or hart to beat.

Recent studies have shown that when one focuses narrowly on certain goals and rewards, the efforts are likely to be less creative. People are best motivated and creative when they are doing what they are doing for the joy of it.
Perhaps in Tai Chi Chuan practice, it is better to do it for the love of it and let “rewards” come naturally, rather than struggling mightily and trying to assert one’s self over the art.

Perhaps the best goal is to really know what Tai Chi, the concept, is. We start out with an idea of it, but it is never really a full understanding. It has to be studied and relearned constantly.
The more it is understood, the broader will be the understanding and the better will be the practice and art in every way.

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