The last two Monday nights, I’ve been going to Tai Chi Chih. It seems easy to learn, and with practice I can see that it would be pretty stress-reducing. I’ve tried it at home with a little help from YouTube to help me remember what we’ve gone over in class.

You know, for the most part, I don’t think of myself as having a Western way of thinking. Alan Watts’ picture is always in a prominent spot in my home. But I also have a way of seeing when emperors’ new clothes are on the skimpy side. I vacillate between “Am I being gullible?” and “Am I being a cynical bitch?”

At the beginning of the first session, the instructor seems to be flashing his wedding ring. How inappropriate, I think, since we are in the same multipurpose room that our Divorced and Separated group meets in on Tuesday nights. A few minutes later, he explains that the Chi can do that to you, but don’t fake it. (At home, I notice in my YouTube video that that instructor is a chosen, left-hand twitcher, too. He, too, says either way is fine—twitching or not twitching.)

Nothing like that godly twitching would ever happen to me. It must be a gimmick. But if it did happen to me wouldn’t it open up a whole new world of possibilities in my mind/body connection? He acts like it doesn’t matter if the life force manifests itself in that way, but to me it would be a huge honor.

I realize this is a Chi-less attitude, so my plain hand and I go back to the movements. The instructor tells us how portable Tai Chi Chih is. You can do it anywhere. He shows us some of the movements he does while waiting—in airports, for example. OK, but I’ve watched enough Locked Up Abroad episodes to know this guy is being profiled big time. I’m sure his twitchy-hand self has been pulled aside a time or two so the wand can slice through his meridian channels and violate all of his Chi.

I’m enjoying the class and will practice it at home. But what about expectations? The instructor calls Tai Chi Chih life-changing.

My position is this: We’re here. It doesn’t make sense. That means there’s more to things than we know. The instructor is saying how Tai Chi Chih can eradicate or severely lessen certain health problems. People emerging from comas after every organ has shut down appear on talk shows free of their incurable diseases. Maybe it’s true. Maybe. I’m a doubter when books and DVD’s are for sale, and if there’s nothing like it in my own past experience.

While I leave myself open to all new experience, I’ll keep the healthy questioning that runs through my meridian channels. Anything that gets me away from my false perception of myself as a brain with a body incidentally attached to it battling the universe is good, but, for me, Life is explored most wondrously without unplugging the bullshit meter.

Tai Chi Chih is a great fit for me—it’s supposed to be practiced with both eyes open.

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