Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Jieng, Chi, and Shen: Three essential energies
Movement # 11 – Play the Fiddle
Jieng, Chi and Shen
Jieng, Chi and Shen are the essential energies that make up, power, and maintain the human body. Without these energies, there would be no life. They are three expressions of the same energy – the Tao, yet they can be talked about separately. It is like body, mind, and spirit – inseparable, yet different. let’s look more closely.
Jieng is the essence. In Chinese, Jieng can refer to semen or to our essential genetic building blocks. In this case, I’m referring to the basic substance of the body that is inherited from your parents. The amount of Jieng that is passed on determines the basic strength or constitution of a person. One’s Jieng can be dissipated through illness or excess, or augmented by certain diet and meditative practices. Jieng is stored in the Ming Men point located between the kidneys. It is for this reason that the kidneys play such an important role in Chinese medicine.
Chi is the energy that most of us think about when we talk about our energy. It is the day to day fuel to keep our body and mind running. Chi is either Yin or Yang and we need to maintain a balance between these two. Chi is acquired from air, food and the cosmos. It is unlimited. Humans can have too little Chi which is caused by poor diet, smoking or tension. And we can actually acquire too much Chi which can become a problem for us. Too much cosmic energy can result in skin cancer, too much food in heart and stomach problems, too much air can cause dizziness and even make us pass out.
Chi needs to circulate and does so in meridians that connect organs to the extremities. Chi provides the energy needed to carry on the body’s functions including thinking. Lack of circulation leads to most of the health problems we experience in our lives.
Shen is the highest form of energy that affect humans. It is very fine and light and is the source of our ability to realize our greatest potential, that of self realization. Shen can be experienced as inspiration and is only available to us in a deep state of relaxation. When Shen is produced and focused, it destroys man’s ego that separates him from others and the universe. He no longer experiences good and bad. Past, present and future merge into the eternal now.
Tai Chi is designed to allow the movement of our consciousness from Jieng to Chi and Chi to Shen. This is accomplished through a very specific process that is as follows:
1) Relax the body/mind
2) Strengthen the body/mind
3) Open the body/mind
4) Gain control of energy movement
5) Convert Jieng and Chi into Shen
6) Move Shen to the crown center
The Tai Chi student moves along the same path that has been followed for many generations. Just do your movements, work on relaxation, concentrate, open yourself, use your imagination to move energy, feel the energy move, lift your head, meditate, and keep the ultimate goal in your mind. Believe that by following this process you will attain.
Movement # 11 – Play the Fiddle
This movement is the opposite of Raise Hands in that the left foot and left hand are forward at the end of the movement, yet it uses the same energy, that of Lieh or splitting. When partner grabs me from below, I hop up and apply a snapping energy to his wrist and elbow.
Following Left Brush Knee, partner Rex Long, grabs my wrist from below. If he grabs me from above, this application will not work. We will deal with that problem in a few movements.
Relax the right hand in order to stick to and seal partner’s hand. I do this so he can’t escape without my knowing it. At the same time I step up the right foot and place it down at a 45 degree angle next to the left foot. The left hand relaxes.
I have to step up to apply this arm bar, because if I don’t, I will be over extended and my partner could easily take advantage of that by pulling backward.
The left foot steps into Ding Bow on Heel, which means that I could deliver a kick to Rex’s foot or leg. At the same time, the left hand is snapped upward onto his elbow. The splitting energy comes from my two hands moving toward each other with equal pressure. If you notice in the picture above where I am sealing Rex’s wrist, my right wrist is slightly elevated in relation to my fingers. Then notice in this picture how the wrist sinks or sits downward. This is one of the ways that energy is delivered in a short burst. The left wrist is setting or sitting, but in the opposite direction.
In the form, the left arm is raised in a nice slow and steady pace, and the step up is done in the same way. Do not jerk, snap, or change speeds in the form. Do not change levels when stepping.