Tai Chi Class

Welcome to WholenessInMotion. Tai chi is a whole body and mind exercise that combines meditation, martial art and health tonic in one. This particular form is the Yang style, 37 posture short form as taught by Prof. Cheng Man-ch'ing. This fascinating and intricate exercise has many benefits and just about anyone can practice it.

Take a look at this site and consider the study of relaxation and how it can benefit you in your daily life. I look forward to working with you. Tom Daly


 

Archive for August, 2011

Living With Mistakes – New York Times article by David Brooks

Posted By Tom Daly on August 9th, 2011

This article reinforces a statement I’ve made previously.  Learning from failure is an excellent way to really learn tai chi.  So acceptance of failure is something that we need to embrace in order to learn.  Apparently, this is true in life as well.  Tom

June 13, 2011, 12:01 pm

New York Times

by David Brooks

Living With Mistakes

Some of the blogs I follow have given ample attention to Tim Harford’s new book, “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure.” So I solipsistically assumed that everybody must be aware of it. But then I happened to glance at this book’s  Amazon ranking, which as I write is down on the wrong side of 1,500. This is an outrage, people! For the good of the world, a bigger slice of humanity should be aware of its contents.

So I’m doing my bit to publicize it. (I don’t know Harford in any way, shape or form.) Harford starts out with the premise that the world is a very complicated and difficult place. At the dawn of the automobile industry roughly 2,000 car companies sprang into being. Less than 1 percent of them survived. Even if you make it to the top, it is very hard to stay there. The historian Leslie Hannah identified the ten largest American companies in 1912. None of those companies ranked in the top 100 companies by 1990.

Harford’s basic lesson is you have to design your life to make effective use of failures. You have to design systems of trial and error, or to use a natural word, evolution. Most successful enterprises are built through a process of groping and adaptation, not planning.

The Russian thinker Peter Palchinsky understood the basic structure of smart change. First seek out new ideas and new things. Next, try new things on a scale small enough so that their failure is survivable. Then find a feedback mechanism so you can tell which new thing is failing and which is succeeding.

That’s the model—variation, survivability, selection.

Harford then illustrates how this basic process can work across a variety of contexts, from business to war to poetry. He’s an able guide to the world of human fallibility. For example, he cites James Reason who identifies three kinds of error.

First, there are slips. In 2005 a young Japanese trader meant to sell one share of stock at 600,000 yen but accidentally sold 600,000 shares at 1 yen.

Then there are violations, when someone intentionally breaks the rules. This is what Bernie Madoff did.

Then there are mistakes—things you do on purpose but with unintentional consequences.

Errors can be very hard for outsiders to detect. A study by Alexander Dyck, Adair Morse and Luigi Zingales looked at 216 allegations of corporate fraud. Regulators and auditors uncovered the fraud in only one out of six of those cases. It was people inside the companies who were most likely to report fraud, because they have local knowledge. And yet 80 percent of these whistleblowers regret having reported the crimes because of the negative consequences they suffered. This is not the way to treat people who detect error.

Harford is an economic journalist, so he doesn’t get into the psychological and spiritual traits you need to live with error and look it in the face, but he offers a very useful guide for people preparing to live in the world as it really is.

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Tai Chi Chuan – It Ain’t Lady Gaga, That’s For Sure!

Posted By Tom Daly on August 3rd, 2011

Tai Chi Chuan – It Ain’t Lady Gaga, That’s For Sure!

I’m always alarmed at the cultural tendency in Western Society towards honoring and celebrating Individualism.  It seems to me that Individualism ends up with Lady Gaga, who is shoveling it in to the bank in truck loads.  I haven’t been all that impressed with her music.  Her main “success” is clever outrageous costumes of one sort or other.  It is a talent, if only for the tireless effort to keep up the momentum.  (Queen Elizabeth I did the same thing I’m told.)  Are we not tired of this self promotion?

Our love of celebrity, our cheering of high level performers, the awe at those 400 super rich Americans who have the wealth of all of the lowest 150 million Americans combined, the applauding of making it to top and the approval of aggressive ANYTHING that results in “success” does not add up to much in my book.  (Aggression is the new good in our desperate economically challenged society.  It is highly regarded and often rewarded without regard to collateral damage.)

The trickledown theory shows up in body piercing and tattoos and body building.  A way for the “common man” to differentiate himself.  We have a cultural disdain for “bureaucrats.” We will do just about anything to make ourselves seen as somehow different or special or unique.  To be separate.  Our sense of differentiation and judgment become more and more developed.

In tai chi, we are not concerned with such fluff.  We are cutting away the excess and finding the common denominator within our bodies and with each other.  Less is more, and being “empty” creates integrated movement and action.  Being like others in a group, moving with them and not standing out per se, is what you aim for in tai chi.

Yes, hard work, real talent, excellence, determined effort – all to the good.  We love to see our human potential manifested before our eyes.  It can be thrilling.

I’m not suggesting that you eliminate or diminish your individuality or that you need to hide yourself under a burka or have no personality.  Tai chi is not an act of suppression.  It is an act of realization of where we connect to others.

Becoming one block of chi with others is intrinsically satisfying and ultimately more meaningful.  Allowing your body to unify and move as one block of chi is intrinsically satisfying and ultimately more meaningful.

To separate from yourself or the group creates disharmony.  Lady Gaga might feel out of place in the tai chi world.

Unless she gave up her act.

 

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