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Tai Chi Principle:Expansion - Lesson 2

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

In these uncertain times and with nearly 10 months of limited travel, outings, work and social opportunities, we may feel as though life is shrinking. However, the natural law of life is expansion, not contraction.

In this seemingly shrinking world of ours, we are fortunate because we can express and experience expansion through Tai Chi. This expression keeps us healthy and balanced in mind, body and spirit.

Life is Expansion

Life is an ongoing expression of expansion. We have more things, more population, more buildings, more highways, more knowledge, longer lifespans, more solutions, and yes, even more problems. As we seek to express ourselves and develop, we expand. It is an essence of life to expand.

There is a misconception that Tai Chi is an alternation of opposites; of Yin and Yang; left and right, folding and unfolding, compressing and expanding. This viewpoint is two dimensional and is a partial, inadequate understanding of the nature of Tai Chi.

Rather, Tai Chi, like life, is a constant expression of expansion. This is an important but often missed fact.

Tai Chi is Expansion

Tai Chi is multidimensional. Therefore, it is limiting to only think of left/right, up/down, etc. It is not as though one side opens and the other closes. It is all sides opening, at all times, in all directions. Up, down, inside to outside, left and right, all opening at once in perfect balance.

But what is the counterbalance of all that expansion? It is our center. If we expand, then in ratio, our center becomes smaller, and therefore more difficult for our opponent to find. If they can find our center, then they can easily push us over! In the process of expansion, our center becomes smaller, more refined. It is pure and focused. That is the counterbalance of expansion.

Here is another way to think of it - Imagine someone who knows how to "push your buttons." What if you expanded so much in calmness, in knowingness, in balance and internal presence, and even in postural stability, that the person could no longer find your buttons to push!? Now they would be off balance, desperately searching for your buttons, and you would simply be evolving in the act of expanding! Isn't that a lovely thought? How empowering!

Watch this 5 minute video...and you will better understand that Tai Chi, like life, is a constant expression of expansion.

You will like this has fun things in it, like balloons and spinners!

Wishing you all, strength, balance, health....and expansion! See you next #livestream #taichiclass !

With gratitude,

Tai Chi Susan

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Joe Eber
Joe Eber
Feb 04, 2021

Great explanation for the relationship between expanding and the center. When students first start out in tai chi, they are stiff and have no concept of expanding. Their center is very wide, and when you push on any part of their body, you feel their entire body. As the students learn to relax and expand, the center becomes thinner and thinner so that unless you sense where their center is, you're just pushing pieces of the body (an arm, a shoulder, the right side, the left, etc.) but you're not pushing their entire body.

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