We often read about the great healing power and super martial art skills of ancient masters. Access to such skills and learning methods are hard to come by. However, in this year’s annual seminar, a convergence of topics has brought such information and learning opportunities together, some for the very first time. Beginners in Tai Chi and Qigong usually have no idea of how much and what is in store for them.
The slow, graceful movements of Tai Chi are so deceptive that most people see it as just a gentle exercise art. Even in their wildest dreams they would not be able to imagine the vast universe hidden within the art. In its entirety, Tai Chi is not only a model for exploring the wide spectrum of life’s energies and dynamics, it is ideal for exploring all aspects of our human makeup: physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual. It cannot be predicted from observation; it must be experienced. Something magical happens when the movements are performed harmoniously. However, because of its many layers and depth, many do not have the patience and perseverance to stay with it until finally experiencing its magic.
The experience is analogous to learning to ride a bicycle. It only works when it is moving. But you don’t know that. If you are familiar with other wheels, you might guess that this thing’s meant to roll, but it falls over when unsupported. You struggle to keep it upright, fighting the pull of gravity. After a number of painful falls you find yourself anticipating and resisting the next one. As your attention gets fixed on resisting all that can go wrong, you find it difficult to do the one thing that you need to do: relax into the centre of your body. Surrender your body totally to the state of relaxation!
The majority of people who seek to master Tai Chi usually have to backtrack in their studies, normally first learning the solo form postures and then later seeking out the fundamental exercises and principles of the Qigong aspects. If we ask, “How many Tai Chi practitioners really understand, or can actually apply, the absolute fundamentals of “Soong”, (relaxed alertness and non-muscular exertion), the One Breath, Mind-Intent, sinking the qi into the Dan Tian, abiding by the Dan Tian, or adhering qi to the spine?
Too often, Tai Chi is practiced and viewed as just some sort of external exercise for improving health, but Tai Chi is predominantly an internal art. Fundamentally, it is internal alchemy in motion. Ideally, in practice only 10 percent of the movement is expressed externally; 90 percent is unseen and sensed internally. The great Tai Chi Grandmaster Yang Cheng-fu said, “Tai Chi is meditation in action, and activity within meditation,” Alertness of non-muscular exertion, the One Breath, Mind-Intent, leading the qi through the “nine channel pearl”, they are purely internal mind-powered qi circulation. Therefore in higher level Tai Chi, consciousness is brought to the slightest of movements, and only through consciousness can we bring delicate sensitivity and awareness into the practice and access the deeper realm of Tai Chi.
Conscientious practice imparts the hidden wisdom that transforms the individual in unexpected ways. Through patient, careful observation, the ancient wisdoms of body-mind reveal themselves over time.
Sinew, Muscles & Bone Marrow
Ligaments, tendons, cartilage, fascia, and membranes link all the cells in the human body. This vast network pervades our entire body. This system continues unbroken into the nucleus of each cell and organises all cells, tissues, organs, and systems. Our body is structured as one huge interconnected whole, not just a bunch of parts. Energy and information are transmitted through the connective tissue system.
The key to optimum health is to develop the connective tissue (sinew), not just the muscles, in order to generate abundant energy. A fundamental tenet of Chinese medicine is that our physical body is directly connected to our bioenergetics field. Bodhidharma introduced the Sinew Changing and Bone Marrow Nourishing exercise into the Shaolin Temple to strengthen the physical & mental health of the Shaolin monks.
An amazing demonstration of Tai Chi’s dynamic power;
Watch Grandmaster Khor in action performing at a Brisbane Seminar in the Nineties
Pages of Interest
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Tai Chi and Qigong has been known to cause increased energy levels, health and happiness.
Discover how to make Tai Chi and Qigong part of your daily life now!
Make it happen, Living Chi is for Everyone!
If you are already enrolled remember to play some daily for best results.