I recently read an article studying two types of daydreaming it identified: purposefully thinking about
subjects not immediately at hand in front of you, and zoning out. Zoning out so that you just lose
track of everything going on around you, staring into space. As long as you are not driving a car or
pursuing a similarly dangerous activity, zoning out is OK. In fact, the study shows, everyone does it,
and it is not only healthy, but actually necessary to mental health.
Zoning out is an interesting subject in Tai Chi and related subjects, because zoning out achieves a
state of wu wei: no mind. The effort to achieve this state voluntarily is one
of the first steps on the road to the higher levels of martial arts and meditation.
The higher levels are internalized. Few people can see beneath the surface to the subtle secrets. This
means that the more you try to achieve these levels, the less you accomplish.
Somehow you have to learn to accomplish the effort without trying to accomplish the effort. This is done
In the practice of Tai Chi, the first stage is to learn the sequence of the form. Then practice it
incessantly. No-mind is possible only when you can achieve the movement without thinking about it.
Practicing the form unceasingly not only gives you familiarity with the movements and and helps polish
the details, but it also helps stop your mind for wandering to various topics ... slowing it down,
making it more tranquil. Even as you move, seek stillness of thought in all your Tai Chi practice.