The Experiences I learned Taiji in Taiwan
作者: Dr.Laurie Battle (蘿利 博士/美國蒙大拿大學蒙大拿理工學院 數學科學系副教授)
翻譯: 張慧齡(青航海外旅行社 台中分公司 業務經理)
I arrived in Taiwan last September to begin a ten month work experience. I didnot know anyone in Taiwan, and I did not know what to expect my life to be like here. At the time, I did not anticipate that I would find a taiji class that would add so much enrichment to my Taiwan experience. I had studied taiji for a couple of years in the U.S. However, there are no teachers near my home, so most of my practice has been on my own. I felt that I was missing the guidance of a teacher. When I arrived in Taiwan, I asked a colleague if she knew of a taiji class, and she immediately told me about teacher Lin. I joined her class the next day, and it has become a highlight of each day and will be one of the most memorable aspects of my time in Taiwan.
I want to thank teacher Lin, the coaches, and the students for making me feel so welcome in the class. My Chinese language is not good enough to understand very much of what the teacher says, and I really appreciate how the teacher has helped me a lot by demonstration. I am also very grateful for the students who have helped with translation so I can better understand the teachings. All of these actions demonstrate the kindness and welcoming nature of this class. I have been studying Chinese for a couple of years, and I wish my language skills would become good enough to understand the class on my own. I still have a long way to go, but my Chinese has improved more by taking this taiji class (especially my listening skills) than from any book I studied. This was an unexpected benefit of taking this class, and this will help me in my future study of taiji.
I feel like my understanding of the fundamental principles of taiji have greatly improved from participating in this class. Teacher Lin really emphasizes the importance of these principles, and she teaches them in great detail. She has taught several exercises to help develop these basic skills. These exercises are more simple than a complete taiji form, which makes it easier to focus on the fundamental principles. By practicing these exercises, I have developed better body structure and more correct movement. After we develop these skills by doing the exercises, it becomes easier to incorporate into the taiji form.
Some of my friends refer to taiji as “morning exercise.” By observing teacher Lin, I can see that taiji is much more than this – it is a way of life. The principles of taiji become part of who we are, and they are expressed in everything we do. These principles influence the way we stand, walk, breathe, and move in everyday life. They also affect our perspective of ourselves and how we interact with others. I am starting to see how the principles we learn and practice in taiji create changes in our bodies and our minds that make us more in harmony with nature.
Learning taiji is a life-long process. When I return to the U.S. in a few months, I will no longer have a taiji teacher nearby. I know that I will practice every day on my own, because taiji has become such an important part of my life. I will continue this process by practicing what I have learned, and I hope I will have opportunities to progress further under the guidance of a teacher. I hope that I will be able to visit Taiwan again in the future. If I do, I would love to participate in teacher Lin's class again to continue learning more about taiji.