BEING IMMERSED IN THE PRACTICE
One of the best ever pieces of advice regarding the practice of taijiquan comes from Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing. I quote it a lot! It goes like this...
"Never mind what anyone else is doing. Keep your head down and attend to your own practice."
Sounds simple doesn't it? But on reflection it's quite profound. It's only natural to want to compare ourselves to others - that student is learning a new form and I'm not, that school does more advanced work, my push hands should be better etc etc. Grandmaster Chen's advice cuts through all that anxiety and potential resentment or ego. If you have something to work on in your practice such as improving posture or weight transference or opening and closing - then just attend to it! Other students and teachers will, or should, be working on their own particular issues and sooner or later you'll have a different set of taiji problems to address.
Practicing taiji is a real "layers of the onion" experience. Just when you think you're beginning to get the hang of it, a whole new layer is revealed. This process will never stop so just relax and enjoy the journey. Student and fellow practitioner Elaine Tattersall sums this up by describing it as "becoming immersed in the practice."
Failure to progress in one's training is usually down to not practicing! Attentive repetition is the key. Trust the teacher, trust the process and keep persevering. It's a physical skill - the body has to do the work. And we don't do blame and shame. We're all in this process together. We're all doing the best we can... Keep calm and stay immersed!
Pushing hands practice