Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jogging, Tai Chi and Vipassana

Maybe it has something to do with hitting the big THREE-O age bracket, maybe it is driven by the stressful and lazy life style in Abu Dhabi, maybe it is the urge to be responsible for my own well-being... Regardless, I have become more active with my spare time since beginning of the year.

I started jogging along the water front as a late-night exercise regularly. Every time I manage to drag myself out to the Corniche, it always amazes me how the refreshing sea scent relaxes me instanteously. It is surprisingly peaceful and tranquil. I encourage every Abu Dhabian to give it a shot! :)

Corniche at Night (image source)

A while ago Q and I started taking Tai Chi Chuan (太极拳) lessons together. We both enjoyed it, but Q had to bail out after a few lessons with a pretty valid reason. I continued on my own and have now learnt 7.5 of the 24 forms Yang-style Tai Chi. It's so cool! I feel so cool! As our friend Steph calls it, I can finally let out my inner Jackie Chan! :)

Image courtesy of Q's photoshop skills

Compared to the above two, the Vipassana development is rather bold. Just a bit of background, a few years back I had this idea of being silent, blind and deaf for one day - just to see how I would react to the loss of the senses and how my other senses would be heightened. Then a while ago I read a book called Eat, Pray, Love (thanks for the book, Em!), in which the author described her extended meditation experience in an Indian ashram. I knew right away that was what my heart desired.

After much consideration and with Q's support, I signed up for a Vipassana meditation course in mid-April in India. The course will require me to stay in a meditation centre near Mumbai, where I will learn and practice ancient meditation techniques with a few hundred other practitioners! The task is very simple yet difficult: sit still and observe noble silence for ten days (see the code of discipline here). The idea is self-discovery - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Now that I've booked my trip, I find myself absolutely excited and happy with these two thoughts: "This is gonna be *such* a challenge!" and "I am sure you can do it!" Regardless I know it will be a one-of-a-life-time experience and I will have a great time! More will follow, so stay tuned. Oh, the part that I'm looking forward to *most* is to eat Indian food non-stop for almost two weeks. YIPEE! :D

Golden Pagoda at Dhamma Giri (image source)


Vipassana meditation (image source)

Haha, isn't life so exciting!?! :)

p.s. Many thanks to those who were concerned about Q's leg, you will be happy to know that Q is on his third and final cast before moving to a foot brace. The healing is taking a long time, but it's getting there - langzaam maar zeker (slowly but surely).

Correction: Apparently Q will have a fourth and final walking cast after the current one as the doctor thinks the risk of re-rupture is too high with just a brace.

1 comment:

Abed.M. said...

Hello Shu,

I stumbled upon your post as I googled Tai Chi in Abu Dhabi.

May I ask you where did you take your Tai Chi courses here? I can't seem to find any helpful resources on Tai Chi in Abu Dhabi so far.

Thanks and have a nice day.