On Constant Purity and Tranquility

The Wonderful Scripture on the Constant Purity and Tranquility, Spoken by the Ultra Supreme Elder Lord

The Elder Lord said:

The Great Tao, being formless, creates heavens and earths;
The Great Tao, being emotionless, runs the sun and the moon;
The Great Tao, being nameless, eternally nurtures all beings.
I do not know its name, and artificially call it “Tao”.

For things belong to Tao, some are pure, some are turbid; some are dynamic, and some are static. Heavens are pure, and earths are turbid; heavens are dynamic, and earths are static; the male are pure, and the female are turbid; the male are dynamic, and the female are static. It falls from the source and flows to the branches, therefore all things are produced.

The pure is the origin of the turbid; the dynamic is the base of the static. If one can always be pure and tranquil, the whole universe will return (to its origin).

A person’s divinity likes to be pure, but his heart disturbs it; a person’s heart likes to be tranquil, but his desires draw it away. If one can constantly dispel his desires, his heart will of itself become tranquil; if he also can make his heart limpid, his divinity will of itself become pure, then naturally, the six desires will not be produced and the three poisons will be cleansed. If one cannot achieve that, it is because his heart is not yet limpid, and his desires are not yet dispelled.

For a person who can achieve that, when he observes inward onto his heart, there is no heart; when he observes outward onto his body, there is no body; and when he observes remote things, there is no thing.

Since these three kinds of things have been understood by his heart of true self, he sees only the emptiness. Observe the emptiness by using the emptiness, the emptiness is not emptied. Since that which can be emptied does not exist, the inexistence of inexistence does not exist either; since the inexistence of inexistence does not exist, there comes the pellucid, bright, and everlasting tranquility. When it is tranquil but there is nothing that is made tranquil, how can desires be produced? Since no desire can be produced, that is the true tranquility — the Reality.

The Reality always corresponds to, and reflects all things; the Reality always stays in its nature. Always reflect in such a way, yet remain tranquil constantly, then it is the Constant Purity and Tranquility.

By keeping such purity and tranquility, one will gradually enter into the true Tao. When the true Tao is entered, that is called the Achievement of Tao. Though it is called the Achievement of Tao, there is actually nothing to achieve, just in order to enlighten living beings, it is called the Achievement of Tao. To those who can understand this with the heart of their true self, the sacrosanct Tao can be imparted.

The Elder Lord said:

A superior person does not compete, an inferior person loves to compete; the superior virtue is free from virtue, and the inferior virtue clings to virtue. Those who cling to anything do not understand Tao and Virtue.

The reason why living beings do not achieve the true Tao is because their hearts are deluded; their hearts being deluded, their divinities are perturbed; their divinities being perturbed, they are attached to myriads of things; being attached to myriads of things, greed and desires are produced; greed and desires being produced, worrying and afflictions also come. Worrying, afflictions, and illusionary consciousnesses torture their bodies and their hearts, and make them profaned by defilements and turbidities, wander among births and deaths, immersed in the ocean of afflictions constantly, and forever lose the true Tao.

The true and eternal Tao can be achieved naturally by those who understand it with the heart of their true self; and those who understand Tao with the heart of their true self, can constantly be pure and tranquil.

The Immortal Elder Gok said:

I had achieved the true Tao. Formerly I had recited this scripture ten thousand times. This scripture was studied and practiced by heavenly gods, and was not taught to inferior persons. I received it from Eastern Glory Heavenly Emperor, Eastern Glory Heavenly Emperor received it from Golden Gate Heavenly Emperor, Golden Gate Heavenly Emperor received it from Western Royal Mother. As for the direct line of Western Royal Mother’s disciples, they imparted it only by word of mouth, and never wrote down the words. Now for the world, I have recorded it by writing it down. A superior person, who understands it with his heart of true self, will ascend high and become a heavenly Immortal; a middling person, who practices it, will get his position in Southern Heavenly Palace; an inferior person, who gets it, will live in the world for a long time, and then roam through the three realms, and ascend into the Golden Gate.

Tzaw-Profoundness Real Person said:

For a person who studies Tao, if he recites and holds this scripture, he will be guarded by virtuous gods of the ten heavens, and then his divinity will be protected by the Jade Seal, his body will be refined by the Golden Liquid, then both his body and his divinity (sublimed souls) will become miraculously beautiful, and he will dissolve in Tao as the Reality.

Midmost One Real Person said:

If a family has this scripture and they truly understand it, no misfortune or obstruction will interfere with them, hosts of sages will guard their door, and their divinities will ascend to the high realm to worship lofty Real Persons in the present of them. When their merits are sufficient and their virtues are completed, the Heavenly Emperor will respond them, and by reciting and holding this scripture without retrogression, they will fly upward riding the clouds of purple light.

Translated into English by Silfong Tsun

Ancient Life Cultivation Methods

15 Advisable Actions

  1. It is advisable to comb your hair often.
  2. It is advisable to rub your face often.
  3. It is advisable to move your eyeballs often.
  4. It is advisable to rap on your ears(occiput) often.
  5. It is advisable to click your teeth often.
  6. It is advisable to swallow your saliva often.
  7. It is advisable to warm your back often.
  8. It is advisable to protect your chest often.
  9. It is advisable to massage your abdomen often.
  10. It is advisable to contract your anus(muscular contraction) often.
  11. It is advisable to rub your soles often.
  12. It is advisable to shake your limbs often.
  13. It is advisable to touch your palate with your tongue often.
  14. It is advisable to keep your skin dry often.
  15. It is advisable to be silent when you relieve yourself.

 

Various Impairments & Injuries

  • Reading for too long brings impairment of blood.
  • Sleeping for too long brings impairment of Qi.
  • Sitting for too long brings impairment of flesh.
  • Standing for too long brings impairment of bone.
  • Walking for too long brings impairment of tendons.
  • Thinking for too long brings impairment of spleen.
  • Too much anger brings impairment of liver.
  • Too much worry brings impairment of heart.
  • Too much sorrow brings impairment of lung.
  • Too much horror brings impairment of kidney.
  • Too much food brings impairment of stomach.
  • Too much exertion brings impairment of diaphragm.
  • Being injured by wind in spring usually causes diarrhea in summer.
  • Being injured by heat in summer usually causes malaria in autumn.
  • Being injured by dankness in autumn usually causes a cough in winter.
  • Being injured by cold in winter usually causes seasonal febrile disease in spring.
  • Being full and drunk to copulate causes exhaustion of spirit and strength.
  • Speaking during midnight’s sleep causes much loss of Qi.
  • Sitting(or sleeping) in wet places causes numbness,arthralgia or leprosy.
  • Braving wind and rain causes somatic heaviness and pain.
  • Overeating causes dysentery and abscess.
  • Do not take food after your anger.
  • Do not be angry after your meal.
  • Do not take cold food or drink after being drunk.
  • Do not sleep immediately after being sated with food.

 

Energy Flow(Qi) Cultivation Methods

In the midnight, a little while of still and quiet sitting(without thinking) is substantial to generate Qi in your whole body.

Whenever you are free, stir your tongue in the mouth, touch your palate with your tongue, wait for the saliva to be produced, gargle with the saliva in the mouth, gulp the saliva down with a gurgling sound, meanwhile quickly draw in a breath of fresh air through your nose and mentally direct(envision,as if you see) the fresh air accompanying the saliva(regarded as an energy flow) to flow down to “Dantian”(the point 2″ below the navel inside the underbelly, hold on for a little while. Now slightly contract up your anus, mentally direct the energy flow to go backwards to “Weilu” , then to flow upwards through “Jiaji” and “Yuzhen”, and finally to arrive at “Niwan”. Now this is a completed circle. So go round and begin again.

Frequently doing this exercise will make you healthy, strong and energetic. And you will have a sensation of the energy flow flowing in your body.

Translated by W. Zhiliang from some Chinese Traditional Medicine books published in the Qing Dynasty.

Reference: Sinoherb

Secret records of understanding the Way

TRUE AND FALSE

The Old Man of Clear Serenity said:
There is nothing in the world that does not have both

true and false versions. Practice of the Way may also be true or false, so students should first distinguish the difference clearly.

True practice is total sincerity. It is not a matter of avoiding the world or leaving society. And neither does it depend entirely on deliberate sitting and reciting scriptures. The essential thing is to refine away the false within the true to filter out the true from the false. Only then do you attain the true reality of perfect sincerity.

If you only concern yourself with reciting scriptures in front of other people and do not concern yourself with inner cultivation and self-government, or if you sit quietly all day, immobile as a statue, looking good out wardly but inwardly agitated by roaming thoughts and miscellaneous ideas‐all of this is false.

The false is antagonistic to the true, so if it is not eliminated it will harm the true. But to get rid of it you have to find the appropriate way. If you do not find the way, it is like shutting the door to catch a robber; the false can not be eliminated and the true issure to get hurt.

People who are not of the highest wisdom are influenced and conditioned by false images every day, so they lose sight of natural realities. They are so used to untruth that it becomes truth for them.

Even if there are some who have a little higher consciousness and clearly know that worldly affairs are all artificial, when taught to cultivate the real they still find the artificial hard to relinquish. If they are to be resolute, they first have to refine themselves within the artificial until they feel they have no more interest in artificial things; if they set them aside to seek the real after that, then they will be able to find the real.

If you happen to have been born in a rural area and are basically uncomplicated and unaffected, and never having experienced the bedazzlement of prosperity you do n o t know there is such a thing asartificiality, then you do not know there is reality either. That is because the real is hidden within the artificial and the artificial is not outside the real. What is quintessential is to be able to find out the real in the midst of the artificial and discern the artificial in the midst of the real.

Therefore cultivation of the Way does not require leaving home. You must mix with society, harmonizing illumination, living in the material world without being infected by materialism.

The Old Man of Clear Serenity said:
In quiet sitting, whether or not there is a specific process, you should not cling to form. If you consciously and deliberately try to apply mental images, you are prone to develop all sorts of illnesses. That is called drawing a snake with legs on it; you will bring trouble on yourself.

When we look into the source of this problem, we find it can be attributed to one’s own fixation, inflexibility, and habituation to biased views. It also comes from conceit and rigidity and failure to clarify instructions from a teacher so as to understand them thoroughly.

The upshot of this failure to abide by the principles of the practice, taking in the elixir too rapidly, without the process’s being completed, sitting hastily and carelessly before yin and yang energies have found their respective places.

Some consciously focus their attention on the lower elixir field when they sit. Some roll their eyes up into their heads to gaze upward. They are doing mental gymnastics.

Some concentrate attention on the breathing, like pumping a bellows. Some focus their minds on counting breaths, trying to take energy in without letting it out.

There are a number of such patterns. They can cause dizziness, deafness, reddening of the eyes, distention of the abdomen, pain in the tendons and bones, mental fogginess, nocturnal emissions, and other symptoms.

People who lack the basic capacity tend to develop illnesses by what they do in their pretenses of practicing Taoism. What they do not realize is that practicing the Way is cultivating and nurturing the Way of nature, the natural course.

First it is essential to clear the mind and minimize desires. After that, you preserve and nurture the vital spirit. You may succeed in prolonging life, or even in permanent realization of wizardry or buddhahood; but the effective result is due to inconspicuous practice according to principle, clearing the mind and not making up anything‐it does not come from artificial contrivance.

Generally speaking, quiet sitting has three types of principles. First there are the principles on which higher alchemy is based. In the middle there are the principles of refining the alchemical elixir. Finally there are the principles of lower alchemy.

So every step has its process. The order must be understood, the principles must be observed. Even those who are sincere and genuine may be able to keep the principles of preparation and procedure, but most act carelessly when it comes to completion.

I am going to reverse the order and talk about lower alchemy. You cannot rush; you will be finished only when you have attained thorough resolution, so that your vital spirit is clear and fresh. Otherwise you will merely have one or two experiences, or the process will break down after starting.

If you are careless with lower alchemy, it is very easy to cause harm. I see so many people trying to practice without doing it correctly from the start. Before their minds are settled, and before they have perceived the right conditions, they immediately cross their legs, fold their hands, and deliberately sit. Their heads are not right to start with; their bodies are not upright,their gaze is not even. They try to operate the process before the fire is even burning in the furnace. Even though there remain a number of conditions that have to be present, they cannot wait‐ they thus shut eyes tight, so that purity and pollution are not distinguished and positive energy cannot rise. This way of practice is hardly effective.

In practice, the eyes and ears are the most difficult point. If you simply take the distention of the primary opening to be the process of the work, you may experience itching and ringing in the ears, blurriness in the eyes, and drooling from the mouth that must be consciously drawn in. These are all examples of inability to await the right opportunity, like eyesight and light unable to combine.

If the opening of the ears has not been shut to the outside, the breath in the nose has not become subtle, the true liquid has not been produced, or the fire in the furnace has not been ignited, no state is genuine.

It is altogether essential to reach the point where the eyes, ears, nose, and tongue merge, and vitality, energy, and spirit fuse; that is when the light of insight shines forth. If you do not wait for the medicine to be produced and the fire to ignite, how can the great elixir be refined? If the firing is insufficient, the negative polluted energy in the body cannot be cleared away. Then pure positive energy cannot rise.

I always tell people that the first essential of practice is to even the temper well. You should not practice sitting hastily; wait until positive energy rises and the medicine is produced – only then is the time right.

When it comes to contemplating emptiness, it is essential to attain reversal of attention inward, the state of turning the light around. Rolling the eyes up into the head is not reversal of attention, nor is it turning the light around when the eyes see darkness. You must reach the point where the eyes do not see, the ears do not hear, and the breathing in the nose is extremely subtle. Then you have no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind; you are aware only of the existence of the primary opening, nothing else.

When you arrive here, the light of your true nature emerges. This is called the celestial monarch of the four elements offering a bowl.

Afterward, work on not letting go of this little mystic pass; that will surely be a good way to produce an alchemical pill. But work individually, because the state of turning the light around may take more or less time, depending on the individual.

Above all, don’t be in a hurry. If you do n o t wait for a genuine state to occur but forcibly withdraw your vision and consider that to be turning the light around, sitting with your eyes closed, then positive energy cannot get in and negative energy cannot get out. You will only toil uselessly, without benefit.

There are some people who roll their eyes up into their heads and gaze upward with excessive force. If they do this for a long time, they will suffer either brain damage or possibly blindness, both irreversible. This is very harmful, so I have taken up the admonitions left by the masters over the ages to systematically encompass the practical requirements for realizing the Way.

I have revealed the mechanisms of mysticism without fear of celestial regulations, in hopes that each individual may find out what it is to be human, and return home, to permanent realization of the state of fulfillment of higher development.

If you have worked for a long time but have not perceived any truth, it is because your mind is still unstable. Sages taught people to know how to stop, after which there is stability, calm, and peaceful meditation. The function of stabilization is great indeed! If you practice correctly, your mind will be stable and your temper will be even‐how could you then be unable to perceive truth?

Sitting work is called quiet sitting because it is a matter of cleaning all the pollution from your mind. Once the pollution is gone and your mind is clear, truth naturally becomes evident. The reason people cannot see truth is simply because their minds are too noisy and they cannot see through things and events as they really are.

Whether or not they practice quiet sitting, practitioners of the Way must clean old impurities out of the mind, making it clear and pure. Renew this work daily, without haste or hurry, and eventually you will spontaneously see the benefit.

So when you begin, it is essential to make a real effort. Accumulating vitality is setting up the foundation. Stopping thoughts is principal. Unifying spirit and energy is obtaining the medicine. Keeping the spirit still and not letting it scatter is incubation. Refining the spirit back into cosmic space is obtaining the alchemical pill. After the pill is complete, is it not the highest universal truth?

There is a folk saying that if you want effort to deepen, wear an iron pestle down to an embroidery needle. The point is that practitioners of the Way must not be in a hurry to see results.

Whether or not there is any progress cannot be determined on the surface. You should know there is a time to rise up and a time to lie low, a time to go forward and a time to withdraw. It is like walking a mountain path, which has high and low places, even and uneven places‐how can it be viewed as all the same?

You just have to follow the right pathway and you won’t go wrong. As long asyou don’t stop walking, eventually you will reach the peak, so why hurry? If you hurry, your legs and feet will get numb, your head will get dizzy, your eyesight will get blurry, and you will gasp for breath. Then, instead of speeding on your way, you have created obstacles. Unable to go on, you will give up along the way. Isn’t that a waste of all your previous effort?

Strive to break through material form, empty your body and mind, and become lively and fluid. Don’t “draw a snake with legs on it” and you will naturally not be guilty of “drawing a tiger like a dog.” Develop your character in relation to the outside world as much as you can. When your practice is accomplished and its results are fulfilled, then real truth can be seen without looking, inherently containing endless subtleties.

Reference: Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body translated by Thomas Cleary p. 123 – 130

Investigating the Method of Tai Chi Boxings Push Hand

Step One: The Push Hands System of Awareness Energy

From the preceding account of the skillful practice of the set, you have arrived at the level of Push hands. Awareness energy is acquired through the practice of Push hands. Two people must practice this together, and this practice is very important. If your Push hands opponent does not have a high level of skill, then you will fall into bad habits. Get the best-qualified Push hands opponent in order to mutually refine and polish this art. Then you will move on to the higher level of the method.

You must practice Push hands in accordance with the sphere of the T’ai Chi boxing books or you should not Push hands. You cannot get this from drawings or photos. If you try to learnPush hands from pictures or an unqualified opponent, you will develop the defect of slipping hands, and the technique will not be effective. The rules for Push hands practice follow:

I. Open,Close,Yin,andYang

T’ai Chi theory says that T’ai Chi was born from Wu Chi, and Wu Chi is the mother of Yin and Yang. When there is movement, Yin and Yang separate, and in stillness they recombine. Theory also says that this subtle reasoning is the foundation of T’ai Chi boxing. The idea is to contain stillness inside. If the Ch’i is peaceful and harmonious, then you can distinguish the opponent’s energy. In stillness there is movement, then you can transfer the refined Ch’i to spirit and change the opponent’s energy.

With movement, the Yin and Yang are separated. This is called opening, and it is outward drawing of silk; it is attack. When you are still and the Yin and Yang are combined, this is inward drawing of silk; it is defense. In all of the T’ai Chi movements, don’t forget these two functions. In the use of opening and closing the body, you must implement the achievement of Yin and Yang. Inside you contain empty, solid, receiving, and releasing. One arrives at the level of using tension and relaxation. The two must strive to be corresponding and then you can change in any direction. If you do not fully understand Yin and Yang, regardless of how clever you are, it is of no use in this skill. The T’ai Chi is born of two ideas. Only if you adhere to the above category can you attain the function of Yin and Yang. Never be without this principle.

2. Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow

Boxing theory says that you must utilize the movement of Yin and Yang. Use the opponent’s posture to follow his form, and use the appropriate tool at the appropriate time. Then the light can overcome the heavy. It’s all in the timing. The term “ not arrive” means to get rid of defects. When you “arrive” you have sticking energy.

The term “ not passing” refers to having light energy. To “follow the bent” is moving energy. If you cannot bend, then you have the defect of stiffness. To “follow the stretched” is following energy. If you expand to excess, then there is the defect of resistance. These four uses of energy are only learned through the practice of Push hands. There is no other way to get the actual use. You must complement these skills with the qualities of categories three and four, below.

3. Hard and Soft

Shifting between hard and soft smoothly and easily. T’ai Chi theory says that if an opponent is hard, I am soft. This is called evading. I follow the opponent’s back and it is called adhering. When his strength comes toward me, I respond softly. Soft and hard dwell together. During soft energy you must especially conceal Peng ching. Don’t forget the top of the head, then you can evade. If you are soft without Peng ching and attempt to become hard, the movements will be stiff. This cannot be called evading. If you can change from hard to soft in a smooth and easy manner, you can limit someone who is not smooth and easy. The person is drained of his power. To adhere is to attack; it is hard. Evading is the defense; it is soft.

Evading is called draining energy, and adhering is called replenishing energy. When a man possesses this adhering and evading energy, then he can regulate the opponent’s energy. After the skill of adhering and evading is acquired, the opponent’s energy can be felt or intuited.

4. Quick, Slow, Adhering, and Evading

T’ai Chi boxing theory says that when the movement is quick, then respond quickly. If the movement is slow, then slowly follow. Although you use evading to draw someone in, adhering is used to break the opponent’s root or balance. The opponent’s motion must be followed whether it is fast or slow.

So, if the movement is fast, then respond fast. If the movement is slow, then slowly follow. When you have this achievement of responding with the appropriate speed, the quick and slow support each other. This is the way to feel the opponent’s changes between motion and stillness. Examine these four categories when you practice. If you are not in the habit of using Open, Close, Yin, and Yang to move energy, then you can’t judge the degree of fast and slow motion because you have not learned to distinguish the hard and soft. When you Push hands, also pay attention to Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow, and the smooth and easy change from soft to hard. How can you expect to correctly use T’ai Chi boxing if you can’t distinguish Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow, or if you don’t get the essence of Adhere and Evade?

In order to receive this awareness energy, you must do what is required, which is to Push hands for along period of time and gain deep experience. Afterwards, the real Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow can beborn. This is learning T’ai Chi boxing. You cannot excel without this stage of practice. Although the category of Adhere and Evade has many facets and complications, the principle is as stated. You must Push hands to maturity and gradually comprehend this awareness energy. From this awareness energy you can attain the class of the Gods. To avoid using strength takes a long time, and it is not possible to understand it suddenly. This is to learn Push hands, and the process of learning awareness energy. Study and research the above four steps.

Questions:

I. Do you have opening and closing energy in all of your movements? Do you have outward and inward drawing of silk?

2. Are Yin and Yang clearly distinguished in all move‐ ments? Are empty and solid clearly distinguished?

3. Do you have fast and slow power in all movements? Can you move between fast and slow smoothly and easily?

Step Two: The Posture and Force of Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow

I. Lightness

T’ai Chi boxing theory says that empty and solid energy are also at the top of the head. You must have lightness and dexterity in order to utilize Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow. After achieving lightness, you can know the heavy. The energy of the top of the head is empty and suspended. It is said that the top of the head has Peng ching. This is when the spirit of vitality‘is aroused. Then you won’t have to worry about being slow or heavy, and the changes will benatural and lively.

2. Sinking

Boxing theory says that the Ch’i sinks to the Tan T’ien. In order to Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow, you must have the ability to sink. After sinking is understood, you can overcome opponents and not be overcome. Make the Ch’i sink to the Tan T’ien. This is the power of lower Peng ching. The mind moves the Ch’i, then you must sink and get the Ch’i to penetrate into the bones. Then when you push hands, you won’t just be blown by the Wind.

3. Upright and not leaning

Boxing theory says that to achieve this Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow you must not lean or incline. Your body must have the power of being upright, then you can sustain anattack from any direction. This upright body will provide you with a good position, enabling you to deal with all circumstances. This way a rigid posture won’t be your downfall.

4. Don’t lean on, don’t sink into

T’ai Chi boxing theory says that if you want to Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow it is harmful to lean against an opponent’s body or allow him to lean against you. This is important in learning awareness energy. Also, if the body rises up , then the root is broken. So you draw in the opponent but do not let him lean.

5. Dexterity

T’ai Chi boxing theory says “suddenly conceal, suddenly manifest.” In order to use Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow, you must have the power of dexterity and liveliness. When you conceal you are soft and light. When you manifest you are hard and sinking. You can interchange soft and hard, lightness and sinking. Your dexterity is rapid. Opponents can’t measure you, yet it is extremely easy to understand their methods.

The above five categories must beunderstood. Relaxation and tension are only focused on one thing at a time. Later, the two I shoulders will each have a different purpose at the same time. If the left is heavy, then the right is light. If the right is heavy, then the left is light. This is the power of dexterity. If the opponent leans back, then you adhere high. If he leans towards you, then stick deep. If the opponent enters, then make the connection long. If he retreats, then closely follow. Attain this power. This is the consciousness of dexterity. A feather cannot be added without the body coming to life. Even a fly landing on the body will set it in motion.

Boxing theory also says that “Men do not know me, I alone know men.” A hero is without peer because of this, because of learning Push hands. Study and research this second step.

Questions:

I. Does the dexterity rise to the top? Is the t o p suspended? 2. Is the Ch’i sunk to the Tan T’ien?
3. Is the body upright and n o t leaning?
4. Is there the defect of leaning against the opponent?
5. Is there a smooth and easy transfer from hard to soft? From lightness to sinking?

If you have the above categories mastered without defects, then you have the proper posture of Push hands. You can say that you have the spirit of vitality. Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow. Don’t worry if this achievement does not happen right away. Seek out the awareness energy and you can prevail over other systems.

Step Three: Seeking Awareness Energy in Push Hands

I. Balancingenergy

T’ai Chi boxing theory says that in order to seek out awareness energy, the body must stand like a scale. The top of the head is the top of the scale. The two hands at the left and right are the weighing plates. The two shoulders linked together form the scale’s horizontal beam. The waist is the scale’s root and the sacrum is the base of the upright post, threaded from the sacrum to the top of the head in a straight line. When the body stands like a scale, it can weigh the opponent’s energy‐whether it is great or small, light or heavy, rising or sinking. Everything is manifested in this scale. This is called the light and heavy method of awareness energy.

2. Neutralizing energy

T’ai Chi boxing theory says be lively like a wheel. Seek awareness energy. Although the body is like a scale, the wheel still needs to be installed. You need to think of measuring an opponent yet not being measured. You must measure and follow. The Ch’i must move the wheel. The waist is the axle, the two shoulders joined together wait, and the wheel moves horizontally side to side. The wheel moves in an erect position. One touch from any direction and it turns. This is how to get the measurement. This is called the directional method of awareness energy.

3. Pulling and attracting

T’ai Chi boxingtheory says to sink to one side and follow. If your body is double-weighted, then it is impeded. Use awareness energy to know the opponent’s direction – whether it is coming or going, or whether it is light or heavy, and to what degree. If you can do this, then you have the method of awareness energy. The body stands like a scale, not leaning. Also, it is lively like a wheel.

If the opponent adds strength in any direction, then you feel the sinking of your weight on one side in the direction of the movement. This is to “sacrifice yourself to follow the opponent.” If the energy comes in, then the wheel revolves and you can draw in the opponent. If the energy goes away from you, then pull and four ounces can topple a thousand pounds. This pulling energy is very important in learning Push hands. The parent of pulling energy is the power of sinking on one side. If the opponent adds strength, you must adjust the sinking on that side. Then the body can revolve. This action of the wheel is hidden in the sinking of one side of your body. This hidden and uneven sinking can be to the left, right, up, down, front, or back, and the wheel will drag as it revolves. If you try to form the wheel at the left, right, front, or back with equal weight on both feet, you will have the defect of double-weightedness. Equal weight will impede the wheel and the body won’t be able to move. If you lean past the balance point, the wheel will be toppled. You can measure another’s energy level by this sinking on one side. Note that this is a hidden leaning.

The above three categories comprise the method of awareness energy. The body must be like a scale and a wheel simultaneously. The pulling action lends impetus to the movements. Boxing classics say that you may study for many years to gain this awareness and power, but if you have not corrected the defect of double‐weightedness, you still cannot prevail over an opponent. To avoid this defect you must know Yin and Yang as well as the dexterity, solidity, lightness, and sinking, and the theory of reversal. You also must know how to adhere and evade. The hard and soft changes must be smooth and easy. When you have mastered these flowing changes, then adhering is evading and evading is adhering. Yin does not leave Yang, and Yang does not leave Yin. Evading and adhering are actually one response. Yin and Yang are combined. This is called awareness energy. When awareness energy is understood, the more you practice, the more refined you become. Gradually you can do what you intend.

Learn the steps of Push hands and study the following:

I. Does the scale feel the strength and weakness of the opponent? Can you distinguish it inside?

2. Outside, you have the wheel’s rubber band; inside, is the degree of Ch’i enough?

3. When pulling, does it follow your intentions? Is it lively when changing from light to sinking?

4. Is your mental concentration good? Is dexterity never awkward or forced?

If you can answer yes to the above and fulfill the requirements of high-quality T’ai Chi, then you have the achievement of awareness energy. From this you can be sure of success. When this energy is understood, the body can follow in any direction that is required. You can strike without effort. From awareness energy alone it becomes possible to “sacrifice yourself to follow others.”

When following others, you are in control, but if you follow blindly it has no effect.When following there must be a fixed spot to follow. Following can’t be effected without knowledge. Respond from the nearest point to yourself and adhere. After you adhere to this point you turn and there is no escape for the opponent. Then follow, and regardless of how the opponent changes, adhere to this point’s center of gravity. Follow one point not two . Follow closely, because if you do your body can become a lever. Then it is easy to get the opportunity and position of boxing. If one point is followed, then you won’t grasp at shadows and miss the opponent. This is to seek awareness energy. This is understood from paying proper attention to adhere and evade. Most men can’t function close in. T’ai Chi boxing theory says the foundation of this boxing method is to sacrifice yourself to follow the opponent. This is the ultimate conclusion of the T’ai Chi boxing theory. Learn to respond with extreme attention and focus. When you practice ask yourself questions and discern the answers.

For reference, the study of the above three steps is for Push hands. Study and research these main points as the foundation of this exercise. It is imperative that you know Adhere, Stick, Connect, and Follow without the defect of leaning or inclining. If you fall short in any way, the movements are less than skillful.

Reference: The Tai Chi Boxing Chronicle by Kuo Lien-Ying p. 33 – 42