Sunday, April 22, 2007

Continuous Learning

Everytime I practise, I try to check my movements to make sure that what I am doing fits the image I have in my mind. This image was formed as I learnt from my teacher. When he teaches, I try to imitate his movements, forming an image in my mind. Over time, an image of each movement starts to form in my mind, compiled from watching my teacher perform each movement. And it is against these images that I constantly check my own movements with.

Yet learning does not stop here. The images I have in my mind were formed through my observations of my teacher's movements. Each detail that I observed was seen through the filter of my understanding of taiji at that time. Thus, even though my teacher's movements may not have changed, each time he performs a movement, I pick up different details. And as my understanding of taiji changes, the details that I pick up will change.

So the important thing is not to let the images in my mind crystalise and become cast in stone. The images must constantly change as I observe my teacher, slowly shaping itself to becoming more and more like what he does. And how to do that? Not only must I keep my mind open and ready to change my images, I must also improve my understanding of taiji so that the details I pick up will be meaningful.

Don't let what you see become a mindset that ends up restricting yourself to your own little well. If we are not as good as our teacher, it may not be because the teacher is bad at teaching, it may be that we ourselves have stopped learning.

1 comment:

Shang Lee said...

I think we need to see beyond the image, and translating it to our own body. so in a way keep learning is not enough, we have to throw out the image we have altogether and adapt the spirit of the image, as everyone of us has a different body. Good post!