Taichi is moving meditation, but what does this mean, and how does it differ from other meditative practices? In order to get the most out of your practice, it is important that you can answer these two questions, as they are fundamental to understanding how to properly practice Taichi. This will then make your practice stronger, and give you the best results the art has to offer.
First, what exactly is meant by moving meditation? When practicing Taichi, your goal is to first, flow your internal energy. This energy flow is what should be driving your motion, rather than physical motion using your muscles. By flowing your energy it will not only grow in volume, but also become more dense. You need the motion of the Taichi Forms in order to learn to drive your energy. Other forms of more static meditation will allow you to develop an awareness of your energy and move it to a degree, but not to the degree that you can achieve with moving meditation.
Motion also helps to keep your energy from becoming static. In the beginning, it is important that you find the right speed to move, so that you stay in sync with your energy. If you move too fast, you will leave your energy behind; if you move too slow, your energy can stagnate and stop flowing altogether. It is especially important for beginners to pay close attention to this, and not try to force their practice. You need to find the speed that works for you, no matter what it may be, and allow it to slow down over time as you get more relaxed and the energy takes over.
This does not mean that you can not do other practices, but rather, if you are, Taichi can be an addition to supplement your other practices. For instance, if you are involved in a healing art, Taichi can help to strengthen your energy, as well as help you keep your system clean. With regular Taichi practice, your abilities to heal can be enhanced and you will be better able to keep your own energy field clean.
Being able to do moving meditation also means that you will learn to achieve a meditative state, even while in motion. To be able to meditate in a static position is one thing, but to be able to do it while practicing your Taichi Forms requires a calm, clear, concentrated mind. Many of the forms have complex energies involved in the motion, and this requires a high degree of meditative concentration to accomplish. Moving meditation then is very beneficial to anyone seeking this level of meditative skill.
Remember your Taichi Classics, "The mind moves the Chi, and the Chi moves the body". Motion then is the most important part, but motion of the energy, not the physical body. This moving meditation allows you to become relaxed and soft, flowing like water. As you flow, your energy grows, and as your energy grows, so will your ability, be it Martial Arts, healing, or what ever application you choose to pursue. Few other practices combine all the elements that are contained in Taichi practice, so even if you are doing a healing art, Yoga, or other practice, Taichi can be an excellent addition to supplement your development.