A Daily Practice Part Two
Why a Daily Practice Part II – in a recent newsletter I talked about the importance of practising daily to reap the ultimate rewards of the arts we practice – Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, Stretch Therapy, etc. This is all well and good when you can find an hour or three every day to really make your practices a part of you, from the superficial physical levels, down to your Qi, blood, and spirit. But modern life is very good at getting in the way! Apart from having a relationship, a family, a career, and financial commitments to attend to, there are so many distractions to focus our time on – TV, movies, iPads and iPods, computers, games, and other addictions like smoking and drinking. I guess if you just want to practice as a hobby and are not concerned whether the multiple benefits come or not from that practice, then you don’t have much to worry about. Just train sporadically and enjoy it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
It is very hard to find regular free time in one or two hour blocks during you week. The result of this for many is to say I don’t have time and won’t bother training except in my class time. I would suggest looking at how many small blocks of free time you might have each week. You might find anything from five, ten, or twenty minute blocks multiple times during each day. Suddenly it is much more reasonable to build a daily practice. Kung Fu forms could be played four or five times in just five minutes. Stretch Therapy and Monkey Gym workouts can be done if two to ten minutes! If you had twenty minutes then you could do three Tai Chi forms. Ten minutes of meditations bets none hands down!
According to Grandmaster Henry Sue, “We all have the power, potential, and energy to become someone who is unique in all areas of their lives. The walk towards the truth is a life-long journey and for many, such as myself, the art provides the roadmap for continued evolution and success.” And how about this from Lady Gaga, “We are all born superstars.” So if we can find the time to get a little more regular, a little more serious about our practices, why not up the ante and become something more than you already are?
We just need to work to overcome a lack of discipline, to overcome our monkey mind, and to overcome small excuses. Grandmaster Sue searched for many more treasures than were presented to him in his last few decades of training. According to him there have been three great disappointments. The missing combat at the Shaolin Temple, seeing the difficulty his teacher had when applying the techniques of Chen style tai Chi, and the end to his Chow Gar Tong Long training in Hong Kong. He says he always imagined there would be so much more to them as they are considered the pinnacle of their respective arts. So he said to himself what are you going to do about it? Give up? Be satisfied with where I am at? No. I must train, train, train and train some more. I know there is more and I just need to discover it. After many more years his training, experimentation, and meditation, resulted in the birth of Circular Tong Long and our Yuen Mo Pai lineage.
Grandmaster Sue says we all have treasures deep within us but not many people are prepared to dig that deep to find them. Part of that problem comes from immaturity of the mind. The Chinese say that when you’re thirty years old you finally learn to stand up for yourself. When you’re forty years old, you have left all your doubts behind. When you are fifty, you then know what your mission is. At sixty, you accept a lot of things you never accepted before. Upon reaching seventy years old hopefully you’ve achieved what you set out to!
So, if you want to practise for general health and fitness or for the ultimate self development of body, mind, and spirit, I would advocate doing more than just training in class times. Find those little gaps in each day and put them to good use.