Greetings. As I said, I want to focus on Tai Chi Chuan meditation. It starts with standing, but that is not all there is. Meditation is easy to read about, and hard to get going for a regular practice. That is my job, to help you get started and to continue. There are as many different ways to practice, no right or wrong way. What I am sharing is my experience, not something I memorized from a book. It works for me, and hopefully it will work for some of you.
More on Standing
Hopefully I have convinced you that standing practice is fundamental to Tai Chi Chuan. We do this so that our bodies are able to deal with the increase of internal energy that is a result of our practice. When I first started reading about Tai Chi Chuan, standing for long periods of time was stressed. Up to two hours, just standing. I was not well disciplined, and found a few minutes a challenge. My mind would fly from thought to thought, making the practice something I needed but never looked forward to. Deciding I was going to stand for an hour, I put on music ( John Denver) to try and make it more bearable. It was a joke, really doing me any good, other than allow me to listen more deeply to John. Through the years I have gotten much more relaxed in this practice, actually looking forward to the quiet time – just me and my breathing. Here is my simple method.
First, find a place where there are no distractions. Out of doors is best, but a nice quiet space in a house is fine. If you have family, or pets, they are to be excluded for the time of your practice. Take a few minutes to warm up and loosen up. This is done by turning, shaking, etc.
When ready, stand shoulder width, or possibly a bit narrower. Feel the feet solidly pressing on the ground. Make sure the knees line up with the toes, facing the same direction. The knees are soft, not locked, but and not squatting. That will come later. The pelvis is slightly tucked under, so that the pelvis is level. If it was a bowl, it could be full of liquid. The top of the head is rising upward, so that the spine is naturally straight. More on this later.
The shoulders, and upper ribs are hanging from your head. The arms are hanging. More on this later.
The mouth is closed lightly, with the tongue just touching the upper palate, behind the top teeth. More on this later.
Use belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, directing the breath to the lower belly. More on this later.
So this is the basic standing posture. For now, just stand as long as you feel like. Feel how you feel. Experience just being with yourself, with no distractions. Remember that most of us are not used to doing nothing, and the mind will try to do something. Don’t fight it, notice it, then go back to focusing on the body sensations and the breath moving down to the lower belly. Think of this as an adventure, not a chore. You are going on a journey, and where you go will be a surprise, and of interest. You might even keep a journal of your practice, so you can remember how this journey unfolded. Each session should and will be different. Don’t expect yourself to fall into the same positive or negative results. Just do it.