Daily Tao - 1/22/18
The Dragon in Chinese culture is seen as very different from Dragons in the west. Divine, mystical creatures, they are considered to represent wisdom, benevolence, prosperity, and good fortune. Temples have been made in their honor, and they are considered the most divine of all the creatures.

They are known for controlling the rain, water, rivers streams, clouds, weather, and the wind. On the personal level they represent power, valiance, heroism, perseverance, and nobility. They are energetic and ambitious, decisive and optimistic, benevolent and wise. It is said that no obstacle can impede a dragon as he will continue in his drive for success until a goal is reached.

It is easy to see why so many in China might revere this creature of Myth, Legend and Lore. In the Formless Dragon System we model our behavior in training after the Dragons of this lore. We conduct our pursuit of skill with drive and determination, allowing no obstacles to overcome our path. Using wisdom, we seek insight as well as power and effectiveness. We pursue our goals with ambition, but also patience and nobility.

Why formlessness? In Taoist philosophy formlessness precedes form, just as Yin precedes Yang. Out of all possibility, we seek to create ourselves anew. Like a Formless Dragon, we transform moment by moment in accord with the Tao. We are always mindful of what is appropriate in the moment, what is a natural outcome of the flow of all current energies at play. We create from the formless realm in balance with the evolution of form. 

To this end, many of the training practices seem to be far from the usual form based systems of Tai Chi. Yes, we definitely learn forms. However, all of those forms are based upon basic practices that teach us how to move like the Dragon for which the style is named. As we master the Way (Tao) of this movement, we can apply it into the form, thus giving meaning to the framework that the form provides. The form, rather than being Tai Chi, becomes a finger that points directly at Tai Chi, as do all the component parts and exercises. Tai Chi is an eternal dance of form and formlessness, Yin and Yang. And we seek to dance within, along with, and around all aspects of this profound art.