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Plant People

I stand in the corner facing the plant while in the horse riding stance. My Taiji Master, John Chueng Li is teaching his other students the classic twenty minute Taiji long form. I feel great gratitude that the elderly Chinese Master has allowed this Caucasian to join his Chinatown class. However, I’m also feeling my body shake with fatigue and mind fatigue with the shakes of confusion and conflict. Though I’ve been training in Martial Arts for over ten years and know the value of stance training, I am conscious of my inner chaos as I commit to the traditional training.
That experience was about thirty-five years ago. To this day, especially in relationship to plants, my cells still recall those two years of two hour, twice a week traditional Taiji lessons. Many modern humans call that type of training mistreatment or even abuse. For me, at that time in my life, planting myself in relationship to the standing plant was an antidote to my frantic fast frenzy. The more I committed the time and energy (Gong Fu) to planting myself in the here and now of that stance, the more I could connect to my inner wisdom. I felt the peace and power of the breath, sensed my center and got grounded.
A fellow Yoga teacher once said that we need to practice the postures primarily because we have reduced our daily postures to that of only being prone, sitting and standing. I disagree. I witness only one posture. I see slumping. When my plants are slumping, I treat them in a way that allows them to grow tall and full. In fact, when plants are being attacked, they dig down to get a deeper root, get energy from the ground and grow up their spirit of vitality in order to ward off the invasion. They even produce a mild toxin for repelling and informing their neighbors that enemies are in their midst. Humans are like the plant people and can strengthen through the stresses in a similar way. Physiologically, posture training generally strengthens the muscles that are necessary to stand with gravity and stretches those tendons that tend to tighten against gravity. Psychologically, we may experience greater clarity and calmness. Practicing postures possibly improves posture! Maybe we even can know how we stand in relation to these many realms – and achieve a true understanding of our life standing.
So spring can spring us to get are gardens going. My greens are already showing to be seen. Fond memories of my children find their way to my heart. When young, they tenderly touched tendrils thereby tickling their tentacles. Here, students seem to smile as the spider plants propagate, producing babies at a quite fertile rate. My mom and her twin put my present of plant precisely in the power place in their place. That plant power provided a pleasing aroma to my mama day meeting.
Ten years ago, my Taiji teacher over the last thirty years, Grandmaster, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming planted himself and crew anew in Northern California. We were not even through with the ground work on his new mountain top digs, when he planned his organic veggie planting for his plantation. When visiting, I feel nourished and nurtured by his plant people friends. That inspired me to surround my school with organic vegetable gardens too. Sometimes those snap peas don’t even make it by my mouth while on the way to a lunchtime meal here. If I’m really listening, the pea people plea to me to please my population and pass the power of properly produced pea plants to the people.