I have learned an important lesson about awareness.
Last weekend, I participated in a Chen-style Tai chi Chuan weekend seminar followed by a private session with Chen Yingjun who is Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang’s son. These names may not mean much to you, but they stand for the highest and purest skills that can be found in the Tai Chi world.
After training for over two years, completely isolated from any teacher or group, I was really looking forward to meeting Yingjun. Almost ten years ago, I learned from his father Chen Xiao Wang in Germany. Certainly, it was amazing to have this continuous learning with such incredible teachers. Yingjun started Tai Chi at 8 and had trained since then under his famous father. I guess it was not easy being compared to a living legend, but Yingjun seems to handle it in a very relaxed way.
Awareness from my Conversation with Yingjun
During a lunch break, I got to talk to Yingjun about training and focus. Yingjun told me that he had been fully dedicated to Tai Chi training for the last few years. “Now, I am almost ready to teach”, he said. I was amazed. Let’s get this right — Yingjun skills were already world-class. His movements and power were so far developed that it was hard to imagine that there was any improvement possible. However, this is what I thought. “I still have to improve a lot; there is so much more to learn.” said Yingjun, as if reading my mind.
While looking at his smiling face, I sat there thinking. Here I was sitting beside a young, extraordinary man who represented the exact opposite of our fast and superficial world. In his world, there is neither space for pretending to know something nor for people with a big mouth. You can either do it or not— you can’t fake Tai chi. “I needed to work on my foundation, strength and perfect my skills before I start teaching”, Yingjun continued. ‘Tai Chi is like real life. Without a good foundation, your skills stay weak regardless of whatever you do. Focus on one skill at a time and train hard until you achieve it. Then your skills will skyrocket.” he said.
This single conversation alone was worth the whole weekend. Awareness crept into my thoughts. I realized that I needed to go back to the basics and concentrate on one project at a time. Running several projects together can dilute your progress and can be very energy-draining. This single aspect is perhaps the most important skill we all need to master for the next few years. We must learn not to get distracted with all the opportunities and overwhelming energies that appear every day.
Awareness: Not only for me, but for you too!
We need to learn to focus on a single activity — at least for some time each day. When was the last time you took the time to dedicate yourself to one single activity without any distraction? If you can’t answer this question, then it is time for you to go back to basics. Start with a hobby that you loved to do – an activity that you spent hours and hours on when you still had the time. This is where awareness will come in.
It was during this weekend that this awareness caused me to discover again my need to go back in time and reactivate an activity that I loved to do. This is the Standing Meditation which I stopped doing two years ago — only because I thought that it was a kind of waste of time.
Awareness on What To Do
I will stand again for thirty minutes every day without wasted time. Do you know why? The reason is because the thirty minutes of Standing Meditation will increase my focus, grounding, energy flow and awareness. And with this advanced state of awareness, I will be able to make up far more than thirty minutes a day.
What is your grounding activity waiting to be reactivated? Tap into your awareness now.
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