One recipe for engaging an Art and revealing parts of yourself forgotten.

IMG_1193So in an effort to bring some actionable information to my last post about why artists matter. Here is something anyone can do to engage this process of swiming upstream from all of the chaos to  a place where you can view something new that an Artist has arranged for you to play.  Remember complicated things are just a bunch of simple things put together in a group of intereacting parts.  To experience this process you have to make an investment of time and effort, and engage yourself on many levels.  You have to swim upstream only feeling intuitivley from the details given where it is that you are going and using your imagination and movement to connect to something that all of the parts point towards. Remember when you are engaged in something an artist has created for you short cuts are not helpful, you only truncate your own experience. Each part is interesting on its own but together it points to something grander within you. This exercise can be broken up into small bits, giving your body/mind time to absorb each step and then it can be played all ot once letting all of the parts unfold in you so that you can intuit what it is they are pointing towards

First Memorize this Poem from Sifu John Fey to specifically allign with the first posture of any Tai Chi set or just simply with even hands drawing the #1 with each hand and then letting them rest.

Recipe:

  1. First The Poem to Memorize.

Sky Red Genisis by Sifu John Fey

Sky red genisis

Goodly frame of yellow tones

Sacrificing.

Mimicking the sunrise

As fire from a distant land,

This horizon meets me

With arms outstretched.

An offering of gifts,

These hands.

They will never forsake

The earth

Will never forget

Pround horses move to proud authority

With ease alone

In spirit.

And shaping myself with favor

I think of doves

Flying above the city

And knowing

That something should be present in my heart

I hold it

Empty

2. Once you have the poem memorized. Change the words, or word groupings into images that you can see, feel, taste and touch in your imagination.  For instance.  When the poem says

Mimicking the sunrise

As fire from a distant land,

This horizon meets me

With arms outstretched.

Remember a sunrise from your life one that was meaningful to you, remember how it felt, maybe it was on the beach, maybe you started climbing a mountain before sunrise and watched as the Sun slowy came into view then imagine yourself with your arms outstretched  at that place feeling the sunrise and the warmth that hits your body.

Or this line:

Sky red genisis

Goodly frame of yellow tones

Sacrificing.

What does it mean to change? What do you have to sacrifice? If you want to experience something new and vibrant and filled with new life you must first let go and sacrifice what you are holding now. What does that feel like? Can you imagine being in the most beautiful place in the world, where everything is filled with new growth, filled with wonder? What will you have to sacrifice to engage that new way of being? Then let it go.  Let go all that you know right now and engage this vibrant place of new beginings from a fresh place.

With each and every phase, turn it into images that lead you to a place where the poem points. This is a full body/mind activity, your imagination leads to the images affecting all of you. How much of yourself can you engage?

3. The movement: If you know Tai Chi you will be doing only the first posture.  Whether you are playing the Nei Chi, Chen Style, Yang Style, Sun Style, Ma Style or if you are Just  bringing both arms up to about shoulder height and then drawing a number 1 evenly . It makes no difference.  Some notes about the movement. Though in Tai chi breath is an intrigal part of moving, don’t worry about breath with movement just breath naturally and slow your movement down to give yourself time for all of the stuff you are going put into the movement. Move in a relaxed manner, feel as if you are moving through thick air, pay attention to every part of the movement.Practice moving your hands up and then drawing the #1 with both hands.

4. Combine the movement and the images of the poem that you memorized and turned into images. You are now and actor inside of the poem. You want it to unfold within you as your hands move and the images play in your imagination. You want the images to physically be demonstrated by the movement and you want to feel the images move within you. You can play this one posture with the imagry, using your intuition to try and recreate what the artist intends. Spend some time letting the images unfold within the movement and be patient.

Remember, you are following bread crumbs here left behind by a person who has walked the path to this place that already exists within you. You have to walk past the things you know, past your wanting to rush, past wanting to just get to the destination, and keep yourself engaged in the process.Despite your frustrations, and the difficulty of engaging all of the parts.

This is how you can engage art. it requires and effort. It requires investigation into the wonders of your own body mind. It requires that you give up where you are mentally and emotionally to set out for something new. It requires your intuition, it requires your creativity, It requires that you listen to something other than the sensations and dialogue in you own body/mind. It reveals something within you, sitting there quietly in the loudness of your living life.

Note this is just one activity for this 1st posture of Tai Chi. There are many more and for each posture afterwards. Though the process is a little difficult at first it yields amazing insights as you get deeper into the moment of creation. Reread my post from yesterday and know that what you are really up against is your own programming and expectation that you be spoon fed your experience. This starts you down a different path an will open up many roads that just don’t exist for you unless you learn how to engage.

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