By Rob Sayre
My wife and I became students of tai chi nine years ago. We attend one class per week, which lasts one hour with our teacher and practice at home several times a week.
I’d like to share how it has benefited us as well as how this ancient practice fits into some popular trends of mindfulness and from Father Moon’s teachings on Mind-Body Unity or the First Blessing.
Taming or fostering a focused mind is at the core or the first steps in achieving unity between our thoughts and actions.
From The Way of Unification:
“You may feel your mind changing many times in the course of a day. Because your mind varies, your direction also varies, and because your direction varies, your purpose varies too. You cannot fulfill one purpose when your mind varies. It is not simple to fulfill a goal with one mind; how much more difficult it is to fulfill it with two! Thus one mind is necessary.”
Once our mind is focused and calm, we can focus it on love or heart and connect to God. The unity of our thoughts and actions is the place where love can abide and we can connect with God. So there are really two steps involved.
From the chapter on Heart from New Hope: Twelve Talks by Sun Myung Moon:
“Which comes first, unity or love? You can love yourself when your mind and body are in harmony with each other. If you love yourself when your desire and actions are going different directions, then your love has little meaning. When your mind and body are united into one, then God will eternally protect your love. Unity is the beginning point of love, the point where love can come to abide. This is God’s ideal. Unless God can find persons whose quality is in accordance with His ideal, He cannot be happy at all. He has no one He can love.”
Qigong is the practice of moving meditation, rooted in Taoism. It serves a similar role as meditation, but also has components that include self-massage and wellness. Tai chi is a subset of qigong and adds a martial arts component and also provides strength and flexibility training as well as balance and memory enhancement. Tai chi was originally developed as a way to practice martial arts, which was forbidden in China. The slow movements disguised the very powerful martial applications.