A place to practice

It’s been a while since I posted. There was a huge fire where I lived and I lost my studio, half of all my possessions, my community, place in nature and the river, which had been my home for 8 years. But I am well, no one was hurt and life has changed in so many ways. But change is the only constant. And practice is a pearl. The setting for this pearl is also worth attending to. Here’s a few words about that.

Back at the tree under which I often practice. The spot felt ‘just right’ when I first went looking for a place to do form when I arrived back in Bournemouth suddenly in May 2021.

Now it feels like greeting an old friend.

Land and humans have always had subtle communication, stones, rock art, encampments and settlements have been chosen for natural resources but also for the feel of the place. This is entirely natural and not some great mystery. Why did your cat choose this lap rather than that, or your dog loll under this shady tree rather than that? Why did you put your tent just here? How did you all concur on the perfect picnic spot?

Similarly, we know sometimes just where to place a hand kindly on our loved one. Or just where to dig in that new plant, even with a world of choices.

Pay attention to these subtle pulls and pushes, callings or invitations, whether in land, nature, people or your own organism (and in the many overlaps of these things) and a whole world opens up after a little time. This sense of ‘just-rightness’ is innate but can be lost or conversely, trained and heightened. As ever, unjudgemental open awareness is the door, discernment and inquisitiveness are the method.

This afternoon, a much cooler and greyer day, this feeling still draws me to the tree. Time to get dressed and go. Go well friends. All of the wide world benefits from our sincere practice.

Published by Caroline Ross

Artist, maker, teacher of earth materials, founder of Great River T'ai Chi.

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