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Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

The world stirs at the touch of dawn’s earliest light, filtering in sideways through morning mists, and the first breeze comes like a pleasant, waking sigh. So breath and movement awaken as dawn’s veil grows thin, and all life begins a new song.

Stepping out into the dawning world, you are received. Breathing it in, its life is now your own. Known so, carried inside and out, your limbs are freed as air and light move around you. Well rested or underslept, you are met; upset or calm, you will find it meets you on its own terms.

This is how nature teaches us to practice, and Tai Chi as an art emulates nature. And so each morning we can learn the five principles of Tai Chi from a master teacher: adherence, spontaneity, softness, yielding, and rejection of brute force.

Adherence in Tai Chi means receiving your opponent, maintaining continuous and sensitive contact until you discern them. It applies in all human interactions: physical, emotional, and verbal. Adherence is listening through contact.

Seek straightness in what seems curved…
Be watchful…seek the hidden intent.
— Essentials of Joint Hands

One part acts, all parts act…
one is still, all are still…
In stillness be rooted as a mountain,…
in movement be fluid as a river.
— Essentials of Joint Hands

The mystery of the art is manifested in interaction.
— Song of the Thirteen Postures

Fall empty, use four ounces to deflect 1000 pounds…
Yielding to follow others, one must know oneself.
— Essentials of Joint Hands

In tranquility meet their movements,
in calmness operate your own.
— Song of the Thirteen Postures

What about you? Are you ready to learn to embody the five principles? Are you willing to transform your interactions, and empower your relationships?

Poet; writer of imaginative fiction; lover of works of ancient wisdom and myth, explores the intersection of wisdom, poetry and imagination. Follow @CaelanRowan

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