The 10 Guiding Principles of Master T.T. Liang

1. Nobody can be perfect. Take what is good and discard what is bad.

2. If I believe entirely in books, better not read books. If I relay entirely on teachers, better not have teachers.

3. To remove a mountain is easy, but to change a man’s temperament is more difficult.

4. If there is anything wrong with me, I don’t blame others, I only blame myself.

5. If I want to live longer I must learn T’ai Chi and accmoplish it both physically and mentally. To accomplish it mentally is much more difficult.

6. I must learn how to yeild, to be tactful, not to be aggressive; to lose (small loss, small gain – great loss, great gain); not to take advantage of others; to give (the more one gives the more one will have).

7. Life begins at seventy. Everything is beautiful! Health is a better of utmost importance and all the rest is secondary. Now I must find out how to enjoy excellent health in my whole life and discover the way to immortality.

8. Make one thousand friends, but don’t make one enemy.

9. One must practice what one preaches. Otherwise it is empty talk or a bounced check.

10. To conceal the faults of others and praise their good points is the best policy.

Reference:
Steal My Art: Memoirs of a 100 Year Old T’ai Chi Master, T.T.Liang
by Stuart Alve Olson
ISBN 1556434162

Pages: 125-26

The Harmony of Yin and Yang

As the Yang energy arises in another it is embraced with your Yin energy and becomes one harmonious energetic interaction. Dualistic thought is lost as one flowing energetic movement is embraced so that it is only one movement and not two. When this is demonstrated it appears as one seamless, graceful flowing movement without any conflict of energy being observed. The Yin completely absorbs the Yang and then leads it on its chosen path. In this way the desire of the one expressing Yang is not interrupted in any way but is encouraged and embraced. It must arise naturally and in so doing cannot be repeated as that would mean putting a movement on top of what was occurring instead of being in harmony with the movement as it is happening. As such it will be different every time.

The feeling of this movement is like falling into a ‘void.’ You are not thrown in the true sense but will find yourself falling into nothingness with no idea of what had just occurred. This is because it arose out of harmonious connected movement without any conflict. As this occurs it creates joy in both people as they experience oneness.

Quote: Aikido Journal, Mark Bilson 12.th. of July 2006

Master Huang’s 14 Important Points

Master Huang Xingxian1. Calmness
– use Deep Mind (Xin) to calm and balance the energy.

2. Suspend the head
– empty the neck, send intention (Yi) to top of head.

3. The gaze is level
– use peripheral vision to be aware of left and right.

4. Loosen and open the chest
– ensure breastbone and upper-spine vertical, supporting the hollow space between them.

5. Sink the shoulders, drop the elbows
– shoulder-blades slide down the back to sink the shoulders, shoulder muscles loosen to droop the elbows.

6. Sacrum central and vertical
– lift the perineum slightly, draw the coccyx down and forward and loosen the lower back.

7. Loosen the waist and inguinal regions (Kua)
– waist controls the upper-body, inguinal regions are the base of the waist.

8. Breathe deeply
– breathe in, ribs expand, diaphragm sinks, abdomen in.
– breathe out, ribs relax, diaphragm rises, abdomen out.

9. Three harmonies, internal and external
– internal: Spirit (Shen) with Intention (Yi), Intention with subtle energy (Qi), subtle energy with body energy (Jing).
– external: shoulders and inguinal regions, elbows and knees, hands and feet.

10. Hands follow the body
– use the trunk to yield and neutralise, the hands to follow to protect the trunk and to prepare to attack.

11. Steps respond to body movements
– change the steps to support body movement.
– hands are like swinging doors; whether you win or loose depends on your steps.

12. Differentiate empty (Yin) and full (Yang)
– meet fullness with emptiness and emptiness with fullness.

13. Smoothness and continuity
– one thing moves, all things move.
– co-ordinate upper-body with lower-body.
– Deep Mind (Xin) and Intention (Yi) determine the speed of the movements.
– use Intention (Yi) to naturally harmonise the breath with the movements.

14. Use Deep Mind Intention (Yi), not insensitive strength
– relax the body, use Deep Mind Intention, then the senses and feelings will be very responsive.

Reference: Relax, Deep Mind Taiji Basics Patrick Kelly 2. ed. New Zealand 2004
ISBN: 0-476-00425-x

Red.: The book is rare to find. Patrik Kelly is a student of the late Master Huang Xingxian a famous student of the renowned Taiji master Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-Ching).

Links:
Master Huang’s 20 Important Points by Wee Kee Jin http://www.taijiquan.co.nz/

Chen Wei-Ming on Calm

The mind should be calm. If it is not, one cannot concentrate, and when the arm is raised, (whether) forward or backward or back, left or right, it is completely without certain direction. Therefore it is necessary to maintain a calm mind. In beginning to move, you cannot control (it) by your self. The entire mind must (also) experience and comprehend the movements of the opponent. Accordingly, when (the movement) bends, it straightens, without disconnecting or resisting. Do not extend or retreat by yourself. If my opponent has li (strength), I also have li, but my li is previous (in exact anticipation of his). If the opponent does not have li, I am also without it (li), but my mind is still previous. It is necessary to be continually mindful; to whatever part (of the body) is touched the mind should go. You must discover the information by non-discrimination and non-resistance. Follow the method, and in one year, or half a year, you will instictively find it in your body. All of this means use i (mind), not chin (internal force). After a long time the opponent will be controlled by me and I will not be controlled by him.

Red: from Five Character Secret

Reference: T’Ai Chi Ch’Uan Ta Wen, Questions and Answers on T’Ai Chi Boxing Chen Wei-Ming ( Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo & Robert W. Smith ) North Atlantic Books 1985
ISBN: 0938190776

Page: 51

Jeijin – receiving energy

According to Huang Sheng-Shyan, the difference between taiji and other martial arts, is that taiji can ultimately develop jeijin (receiving energy), where yielding, neutralizing and discharging, all happen simultaneously. There is hardly any physical movement, and no mental intention at all, everything happens spontaneously and naturally.

The practitioner is in a state of absolute central equilibrium, the posture is totally connected and relaxed with the feet deeply rooted. The mind is calm and as still as a mountain. By being totally connected, connected and relaxed the body become an empty void. When an external force contacts, the body does not resist it, the force just passes through until it hits the ground and rebounds back throwing the opponent. Similar to pile driving during construction work, the deeper the pile is driven into the earth, the higher the hammer rebounds.

Achieving jeijin (receiving energy) indicates attaining shenming (taiji enlightment), at which point (sparring) techniques becomes irrelevant.

Taijiquan Wuwei, Kee-Jin Wee Oct 2003
ISBN: 0473097818

Page: 64

You are not your mind

The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.

Reference:
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle, New World Library 2004
ISBN: 1577314808

The Vipasana Meditation Technique

This is a very easy meditation technique and is called Vipasana. It does not require you to believe in any God or Guru. It can be done at any time of the day. It acts directly on your mind and makes it more sensitive. It brings our minds under our complete awareness so that we can use it at any time to its fullest capacity.

This technique in a nutshell is – ‘watching your breath’. Our breath and mind are closely related. Scientists say that we use only 2 percent of our mind power. In order to use it fully, we need to meditate. Our mind power is wasted when we harbour thousands of thoughts in it. This Vipasana technique steadies our minds.

If you watch the elephant when it is walking, you will see that it sways its trunk from one side to the other continuously. If you give it a log of wood to hold, it will stop swaying its trunk while walking. Likewise, to steady our mind that is swaying all the time, we need something. That is the Vipasana technique. When our mind stops swaying, it becomes more powerful. When hundred thoughts rise in our mind, only 2 of them materialize because our mind is exhausted in creating and harbouring these 100 thoughts. If only 10 thoughts rise in our mind, at least 8 of them will materialize because the energy that was earlier used in creating the remaining 90 thoughts can now be used to materialize these 8 thoughts. We will be able to use the energy to scrutinize these 8 thoughts and implement them.

Our breath is entwined with our mind. The elephant’s tusk that is seen outside as big and long is present inside the elephant’s mouth as teeth. It is actually the same bone. The tusk outside is nothing but the teeth inside and the teeth inside is nothing but the tusk outside. Similarly, our breath when it goes inside, is our mind and the mind when it comes outside, is our breath. If you get angry, you will see that your breath is more aggressive. If you control your breath, you will see that your mind calms down. As you calm your mind, your breath will regularize and as your breath regularizes, your mind will calm down. Bringing this cycle under our complete awareness is what this technique does. Continue reading “The Vipasana Meditation Technique”

Wang Xiangzhai’s directions in verse for Dachengquan

Extremely subtle and profound,
Boxing theory is not to be taken lightly.
At the beginning of history martial art was of paramount importance;
And it was there that science of learning has its root.
Its essence has largely been lost, having been distorted to a sheer absurdity.
This Boxing is based on spirit and mind,
Merits of all schools are included in it.
Most earnestly I advocate the rejuvenation of shadow boxing,
With a view restoring it to its original essence.
In doing so I devote myself to the exploration of theory,
While considering the combat techniques as only secondary. Continue reading “Wang Xiangzhai’s directions in verse for Dachengquan”

Direct Experience of Reality

“When you study something with your whole mind and body, you will have a direct experience. When you believe you have some problem in your practice it means your practice is not good enough. When your practice is good enough, whatever you see, whatever you do, that is the direct experience of realty.”

Reference:
Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen Shunryu Suzuki, Edward Espe Brown
HarperCollins Publishers, 2003
ISBN: 0060957549

Pages: 99-102

Can you be as a newborn babe?

載營魄,
抱一,能無離乎,
專氣致柔,
能嬰兒。
滌除玄覽,
能無疵。
愛民治國,
能無為。
天門開闔,
能為雌。
明白四達,
能無知。
生之、畜之。
生而不有,
為而不恃,
長而不宰,
是謂玄德。
Carrying body and soul and embracing the one,
Can you avoid separation?
Attending fully and becoming supple,
Can you be as a newborn babe?
Washing and cleansing the primal vision,
Can you be without stain?
Loving all men and ruling the country,
Can you be without cleverness?
Opening and closing the gates of heaven,
Can you play the role of woman?
Understanding and being open to all things,
Are you able to do nothing?
Giving birth and nourishing,
Bearing yet not possessing,
Working yet not taking credit,
Leading yet not dominating,
This is the Primal Virtue.

Referece: Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching X (Trans. Feng & English)