It is common for people who are first beginning to practice Tai Chi Chuan to feel the movements they are trying to make are unnatural. As a matter of fact, the movements they are trying to make are not unnatural, they are un-habitual- they are not in tune with your habits. We must differentiate habitual and natural: learning to be natural may go against your habits; most of the time, being habitual is being unnatural.
Many people want to fit themselves to some ideal or want to become what they perceive as a “better” person. But such images and ideals will not only interfere with the improvement of physical and mental conditions, but will also cause unnatural reactions.
“Being natural” means accepting yourself as you are, then through practice, to eliminate unnatural movements and conditioned thinking patterns. Hence you learn to be yourself as well as to improve yourself both physically and intellectually, thence to realize a spiritual awakening.
Level 1: Paraphrasing-
State in your own words the meaning of each sentence.
When you first begin to practice Tai Chi you will feel awkward, weird, and unnatural. It feels awkward because the way you move everyday is habitual. First, you have to be able to see the difference between what is habit and what is natural. Most habits are not natural. Since we are habitual, not natural, it is difficult for us to be natural.
Wanting to be “better” is not natural since it is “forced” and breaks our natural physical and mental connections. Wanting “better” is an unnatural response.
Being natural starts with opening yourself to acceptance. Then, through repeated practice, you will begin to get rid of your unnatural movements and conditioned thinking. To be yourself is to be natural. When you are natural you naturally get “better” physically and mentally. Open yourself to naturally connecting outside yourself.
Level 2: Explicating:
- State the main point.
- We are habitual, this is not natural, therefore it is difficult for us to be natural. We naturally grow physically and mentally. However when we are habitual we stop growing physically and mentally.
- In other words….
- Habits stunt growth, mentally and physically.
- For example…
- Doing the same grind day after day, year after year, creates a habitualized physical and mental outlook on life.
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