Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges or other life challenges.

Every Tuesday I post a new, very brief video from my presentations or interviews. Every Friday this Q&A column appears.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  How is tai chi a meditation in motion?

ANSWER:   Tai chi has often been referred to as a meditation in motion or mindfulness in movement. Many people who do not stick with sitting meditation find tai chi to be much more to their liking. It is a way of practicing mindfulness without it seeming like practice.

 The term practice is not very appealing to most people. I view tai chi more as play rather than practice, yet every time I play with it, I am practicing. Any physical movements can be a source of play. This helps us to live in the moment. Tai chi practice can be a practice of playing with being fully alive, aware, and present throughout the day.

In practicing the solo form, you learn how to unify the body and mind. For example, every time you open a door, move an object, or even just walk across a room, you learn to play at being in harmony with your moment-to-moment environment.

This mindfulness in motion practice is similar to traditional sitting mindfulness practice, except that you will be getting exercise as you are practicing mindfulness. This is important, given the new information on the dangers of being sedentary and the importance of moving throughout the day as much as possible.

Throughout the day, putting your conscious attention on every step and every physical motion, you will gradually reprogram your entire nervous system. Thoughts of all kinds will come into your conscious awareness. As they do, the practice is to consciously return your attention to your physical movements—whatever they are.

Good practices to ask yourself throughout the day, in all physical movements:

  • Am I over my center of gravity?
  • Am I fully aware of my immediate environment?
  • Am I fully present with the activity at hand?

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mindfulness-based mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing?

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People attending my presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column, and I repeat them here so you may benefit.

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