EMBODY THE BUTTERFLY

WELL WELL WELL

WE QUICKLY GOT TO 10 COMMENTS !

AND AS PROMISED…. I’M HERE TO VENTURE MY THOUGHTS.

BUT BEFORE WE GET THERE… WHAT DID EVERYONE ELSE HAVE TO SAY?   SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS WERE CLASSIC ONES.  DRAGONS, WOLVES, PELICANS, LEMURS, TIGERS AND TANOOKI (WHATEVER THAT IS?)…. ELEMENTS (i.e. WATER, FIRE, ETC) AND DIAGRAMS (i.e. TAIJI TU, BAGUA) WERE MENTIONED.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES.

     Before I get into the fillet of the article, I’d like to say that previously I worked with “the dragon.”  Historically, the dragon is the juggernaut of the martial world.  The dragon spews bellows of fire, claws at his prey and whips his tail unexpectedly.  The dragon is definitely the pinnacle of yang energy and leaves all the others… “how should I say… lacking.”  But it occurs to me, being so dramatically yang OR embracing the spirit of the dragon does not correspond to the natural and quintessential aspect of Taijiquan.  If one is to do the taijiquan form, the spirit must be above the form… we must be quick and evasive, yet resilient and rooted when needed.  

THE BUTTERFLY

I don’t know how it came to me.  But after thinking for a moment on said question (of “What do WE/TAIJIQUAN Embody?”)… I remembered being in a butterfly farm.  This was quite a few years ago and I hardly remember the experience, but it DID make an impression.  Just like the first time I went snorkeling, the experience of having several butterflies land on my arm gave me an instant connection with nature.  Besides the new-found love for these delicate creatures, I remember the impression it left.  

Funny that it never crossed my mind before… but you can’t tell when a butterfly lands on your sleeve (at least I couldn’t).  There is no weight.  When you move your arm (obviously this depends on the shyness of these butterflies, but I was at a butterfly farm for pete sake) their legs have a sufficient hold that naturally adheres, without having to grip.  The wings, which you would think would be like an umbrella in the wind, actually adjusts to your movement (as long as the disturbance isn’t a violent shake).  But as it flies.. it eludes you with such lightness, and fluttering quickness.  You need a net to catch one.  Has anyone caught a healthy, wild butterfly with their bare hand (one that didn’t want to get caught)?  I would think it would be a tremendous task.  

Taijiquan has the reputation of being boringly slow.  However, the truth is that Taiji should be as spritely and lively as a dancing butterfly.  That is just my opinion.  There are probably some classic taiji players that would disagree with me… but I can truly relate to this “dance.”  I don’t know anyone who has seen a real-life dragon, so for me… it would be quite a stretch of the imagination to be one of those.  Plus, dragons are quite the carnivore.  And I’m desperately trying to separate myself from that.  At least as much as I can.  

PEACE AND LOVE.  -Coach Joyce

Let me hear your thoughts!  

 

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~ by chencenter on May 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “EMBODY THE BUTTERFLY”

  1. You know how in KungFu Hustle it shows the crazy guy watching the butterfly emerge from its cocoon? I love how butterflies, so small and delicate have so much power.

    Not power as in physical strength, but the power of meaning. The butterfly, in nature, keeps plants thriving-which in turn helps entire ecosystems survive. And symbolically a butterfly can mean new life, beauty, freedom, you name it.
    The butterfly is one of the most graceful creatures on this earth.

    You said before that you worked with the dragon, and honestly, I think the butterfly is stronger than the dragon. Yet again, not by physical means, but by the spiritual and emotional attributes that the everyday person can associate with the butterfly.

    Good choice 🙂 hehehe

  2. Wow. That’s what I call “backing me up!” 🙂

    I agree in what you said about the power of the butterfly. But what was amazing was that this notion just “came to me.” And even though I was thinking in physical terms (i.e. spritely-ness, elusiveness, etc)… the not-so-physical meanings float to the surface. Uncovering this, is like providing a ladder to see the same place, but from a new and different height.

    And as for the Kungfu movies… I think many of them have it right. Like Jet Li in Taiji Master; when he is able to empty himself (intellectually, in this case) and focus on the nature of things, truly extraordinary things are likely to arise. We just can’t wait and expect them to happen. We have to continue to ponder, appreciate and return our gratitude back to every living thing (even those things that aren’t necessarily deserving of it. Actually, especially those). That is THE TAO.

    Thanks for the comment post. You may not feel “the grace” right yet… but philosophically, you are “head of the class.” You can take that to the bank! 🙂

  3. Today I found some wonderful letuces that had been thrown in the trash at Reynolda trail on the back of the property. They looked as they had been cut that morning, still moist and crisp.
    I remember asking one of the gardeners just a week ago: where does this food end up? hoping he would say, it goes to food shelters or to people who ask for them, instead he said they went to the volunteers that work there.
    So as I looked at this magnificent letuces, I thought, this is a gift from nature to me. I picked them up and put them in a bag, brought them home and hope to eat them tonight.
    So what is the purpose of this story?. Natures gives always its best, but we sometimes disregard\ its gifts. We should be mindful when we walk in the woods.

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