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10-10-07: Tai Chi & the Vortex

When people get together to practice Tai Chi they have the opportunity to enter the Vortex – that mystical spot between yin and yang – when Brain’s chatter stops, or at least fades into the background – and Peace of Mind is attained – perhaps accompanied by a feeling of At-One-Ment with the Universe, a sense of the perfection of the suchness of things, or other magical states of Being. Although this Vortex is available to anyone at anytime in anyplace it is unavailable to most of us most of the time, if not all the time, no matter where we are – due to the constant swirl of our busy lives. If we don’t take the time to slow down, we remain on the freeway of sensations, never really experiencing the marvels of the countryside – not to mention any intimacy with its inhabitants.

So the fact that the Vortex is available but inaccessible to most, leads to the question of how to attain this state or at least maximize the possibility of its occurrence. Obviously quietude of any kind has the potential of putting one closer to the state of Non-Duality, where there are no categories, judgments, hence no cares, worries, or mental stress. Unfortunately quietude also has the potential to awaken Brain's constant chatter rather than shutting it off. So frequently concentrated movement or exercise has a greater potential for reaching the Vortex because it can distract Brain from projecting his illusory worlds by keeping him occupied with something else. (Brain is like a little kid who constantly gets into mischief when he has nothing to do. One of his favorite games is to create problems, solve them, and then proclaim himself the hero.)

Most of us have chosen Tai Chi for this reason. It is complicated enough to engage Brain so that he doesn’t have time to get into trouble. Plus during Tai Chi practice Brain is focused on serving Body by being aware of her needs. This subservience to Body is an important training for Brain. For usually, or at least regularly, Brain considers his make-believe world to be so important that he forgets about Body altogether. So one of the benefits of Tai Chi practice is that Mind directs Brain to serve Body - the proper relationship –, which acts to stop the mental static that destroys the Peace. This allows Mind to achieve the Vortex, his proper and natural state of blissful Being.

In the next journal entry we will discuss the potential for achieving the Vortex through group dynamic.