Long Journeys are Hard to Remember

I love documenting my journey almost as much as I love practicing itself. My intention for making my reflections and learnings public is that I want other practitioners of any art to see another person's journey - the challenges, triumphs, hiccups, breakthroughs. Making a serious commitment to a practice is like getting on a long road - one with a general direction and compass but without a map. Furthermore, the farther you get, the fewer people you find on that road with you. Even with teachers and equally commited peers, there will be stretches you find yourself alone - finding out what you're really made of when no one's watching. I welcome the solitude and self discovery, but I also find solace in writing to connect - especially with others on their own solo stretches of the journey. :)

As I try to be more thoughtful about how I practice, I often look to master resources - their books and tips about what it takes to get to deeper levels of understanding. However, many of these manuals were written *after* these masters and grandmasters were already recognized as taiji authorities. However, it took decades for them to get there, and it's hard to remember decades worth of a-ha moments and what it feels like to be a beginner again. I want to know how they felt in the moment. The excitement of a breakthrough. The frustration of being stuck. Without the tone of mastery.

I can't say how long I'll be on this journey - or how close I will get to mastery.  But I know how I uplifted I feel when I get to compare notes with a "fellow traveller" on the same road. And that's why I take the time to write about my practice - and so that I can remember the pleasant surprises along the way too!

Speaking of which, when this maple bonsai came into my care, let's just say we had a rough start. But here it is - showing off it's new "spring outfit."