Greetings. This week I have chosen to share with you a couple of ideas from my second book – 101 Reflections on Tai Chi Chuan. For my foreign friends, this book, as well as my first book – 108 Insights into Tai Chi Chuan – is translated into French and Italian. Hope they stimulate your practice in new ways.
Let the Play Begin
One can increase one’s enjoyment by viewing Tai Chi Chuan as theater for the imagination. The play is the form you are practicing. The author of my play is Yang Lu Chan and I am the director. The main characters are the Eight Essential Energies (Peng, Lu, Ghee, An, Lieh, Tsou, Jou, Kao) with the Five Directions (Forward, Backward, Gaze Left, Look Right, Central Equilibrium) as a fine supporting cast. One’s lines (movements) are to be learned to the point where the actor feels the lines he says are real and spontaneous. There is also a little room for occasional improvisation. One of the beauties of this play is that we do not need sets. Any place will do, but a lovely natural setting will help to set the mood. The loose, flowing costume of the Chinese martial artist or peasant is preferred, but not essential. Raise the curtain and let the show begin.
The body is a hydraulic system composed mostly of water. When I want to move weight (mine or other), I only need to think of my car’s jack, and it helps me to stay relaxed. The jack is quite small, yet it can move tremendous weight through the use of hydraulics. If I want to push or lift something, I place my feet in a comfortable, fairly wide stance as close to the objects base of support as I can. I bend my legs, place my hands on the surface of the object to be moved, either under or in front of it, then with my intention, I pump fluid into my legs. This causes my legs to straighten, and in so doing, causes the object to move. My intention is not placed on the object to be moved, or on my arms. My intention is placed on filling my legs, and as a result, the legs straighten. So do not worry about not being able to move heavy weights. Just keep the car jack in mind.