About Tai Chi Chuan
Basic Principles of Chi Gong/Tai Chi Chuan Postures:
Feet are mostly flat
Diaphragm and abdomen relaxed and free
Breath getting deeper and slower as the exercise progresses (or natural breathing depending on the forms practiced and the skills understood of qigong walking)
Spine should feel long, open and in a normal position with all three curves held naturally
Shoulders dropped and relaxed without falling backwards or slouching forwards
Knees, fingers, elbows and toes relaxed and slightly bent, but not forced just smooth arcs
Qigong Practitioner Emotional Growth
Some students of Tai Chi Chuan/qigong walking will always remain at the (1) Wood-level, where the muscles and tendons learn to move with the forms, this beginners, superficial level (doing) can sometimes be the only level some students will ever reach throughout their study via years of qigong and taiji (qigong walking ) training simply because of incorrect instruction or aggressive stubbornness (ego driven or too aggressive to move on, “accepted-correct instruction may change this fault” if the ego is dropped), or get stuck at level two, (2) the breath is practiced loudly when entering the Fire element, and because students start to find some metaphysical joy (over joyousness injures the heart chi) through movement and progression they can let go of a large proportion of aggression and start to feel happy with their current progress (if the student cannot advance to earth they will eventually give up and see Tai Chi Chuan as a passing, happy-phase), but if the students skill grows and they move within the realms of mother (3) Earth-level; as they gain growth, then they stand in the centre, grounded but not yet becoming enlightened, because they may have become obsessed and trapped with the illusion of perfection of form and self, obstructing them from being unselfishly open to change.
True perfection is imperfect – Loa Tzu.
The art of reflection is truly a gift and something to strive for or learned from when skills change by personal effort on approaching the (4) Metal-level, then reflection is a treasure that qigong and Tai Chi Chuan (qigong walking) can help encourage, by developing the inner meditation ear and quieting the breath through the silk movements to almost an inner imperceptible sound whilst reflecting on the forms, and looking for the empty spaces of the forms (with the inner meditation eye) movement, eliminating those spaces by joining them into one complete holistic manoeuvre (learning to reel silk), thus reflecting on their own personal pathway to wisdom through scholarship, learning to close the emptiness and hurt found in reflection that all humans have to endure simply by grasping how to reflect and live in the moment (of breath) the student starts to be(ing), to become free of destructive emotions such as hate for self and others, for things that have been, or have happened, like your old forms of wood, fire and earth, move on and learn to love self again via detached reflection and not judgment, just letting go by being open to personal change and forgiveness.
(5) Water-level qigong and Tai Chi Chuan (qigong walking ) bring a deeper understanding of being through practice and could foster enlightenment through the art of letting go more and more whilst fostering a oneness with the universe, knowing the world turns whilst the heart beats and the heavens allow breath to spread a blanket around the planet, this is ultimate yin, or death, it could be the death of the old inner-conflict into the new -found peace (wood-new yang), which means the student has come full circle (if they have learnt to let go enough), enabling them to acquire the essential knowledge to realize that they are not (yet) enlightened, and this thinking (way) is an imperfection, and yet because we are imperfect, is this not the way to perfection, is this what the way is? to become the aggressive wood level again and move through the elements once more with a changed perspective, all the way round the wheel to arrive at water (enlightenment) to drink its energy, is this not the way of yin and yang, night and day, moon and sun, is this not the way?
Transformation via the change of letting go instead of giving up?
Some students try Tai Chi Chuan/qigong and are so angry (wood) to discover that the forms are not as easy as they look (get angrier), and they only last a few weeks.
Some students practice qigong/ Tai Chi Chuan for years and go through the five elements (sometimes without realizing it) to return to the wood element, feel angry and give qigong and Tai Chi Chuan skills away. Never give up, never give in but do let go (of hate, anger, negativity), simply because metaphysical letting go is part of the way to inner-peace.
Does not the wheel turn as the Tai Chi Chuan student moves along a personal pathway.
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He/she who knows others is clever
He/she who knows themselves has good judgement
He/she who overcomes others has force
He/she who overcomes himself is strong
He/she who know contentment is rich
He/she who perseveres is a person with purpose
He/she who does not lose their station (cool) will endure
He/she who lives out their days has had a long life