Beyond Talent

Tai-Chi is not something you can learn with talent. If you think it is possible, good luck.  I will tell you, of all my students, the ones that left too soon were the ones that were talented.  When I first started, like most teachers, I liked the people who would get it fast.  I have given up on those people.  I like the people who stay.  Because they get it.  I am young, but I have been teaching for twenty-some years now.  I started teaching in high school.  And in my twenty years, the only people who have learned it are the people who have put in the effort.  And the only people I have seen who have put in the effort are the people who actually cared.

Because it’s beyond talent, by the time you get it, you are Beyond.  You are beyond a normal human being’s limitations.  So it’s a way to go beyond, and it is a way to go beyond because you care, and you’ve accumulated knowledge that you can’t just normally get.  It is information and effort that has been accumulated through generations, that comes down through lineage.  It’s an individual inheriting that, and then building on it.

It is actually, to me, what it means to be a human being.  You take it, it’s precious, you pass it down to somebody who will consider it as precious. What is more beautiful than that?  And you guard it, over generations and generations and generations.  You know how many people protected this with their lives until it was in their hands?  This is to understand what it means to be a master.  We are talking about a human being who was open, who applied skill and effort until they accomplished something.  You could almost say this is character.  Mature character.

Alexis Neuhaus