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Feedback and Education in Tai Chi and the human experience

Ian Deavin performs chen style Laojia form

As a child in a post war western society of the 50’s feedback was a very hit and miss affair – sometimes literally – but rarely was there useful guidance.

It is only in recent times that the growth and popularisation of western psychology has led to study of human behaviour in anything like scientific observational terms and availability of that knowledge on a widespread basis. Perhaps it was this lack of constructive feedback that led me and many like me in the 60’s and 70’s looking to the eastern Buddhists and Taoists – early “scientific” students of the natural world – for a knowledge based approach to the human experience.

What was previously a random series of experiences and poorly understood lessons was termed the “school of life” – in fact this was a complete misnomer – there was/is very little teaching and very little learning in life skills – in fact often simply a series of falling into and negotiating traps and tests set by others followed by a struggle to recover from them.   Fortunately the knowledge we have now has the potential to greatly enhance the life learning process both externally in our social behaviours and in our internal experiences.

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