Chen Wei-Ming on Breath To Gahter the Chi

If the chi is dispersed, then it is not stored (accumulated) and is easy to scatter. Let the chi penetrate the spine and the inhalation and exhalation be smooth and unimpeded throughout the entire body. The inhalation closes and gathers, the exhalation opens and discharges. Because the inhalation can naturally raise and also uproot the opponent, the exhalation can naturally sink down and also discharge (fa fang) him. This is by means of the i (mind), not the li (strength) mobilizing the chi (breath).

Red.: from Five Character Secret (Calm, Agility, Breath – to gather the chi, The internal force – the complete chin, Spirit – Shen concentrated).

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: 53

Embracing the Tree with Chi Condensing and Circulating

1. Stand with the feet shoulder-with apart. Bend the knees, pressing the sacrum down.

2. Position the arms as if they are encircling a tree; hold the thumbs up and relax the fingers, barely permitting them to touch. Relax the chest and hold the head erect.

3. Place the tongue on the palette. Practice abdominal breathing 9 or 18 times. Feel the sexual organs move up and down with the breath.

4. Inhale 10 percent to your navel, keeping the abdomen flat and pressing the diaphragm downward as you pull the sex organs up. Inhale and pull up the left and right side of the anus. Pack and wrap the chi at the kidneys, then collect energy at the navel.

5. Breathe into the lower abdomen, without spiraling. Breathe into the perineum and feel it bulge out.

6. Exhale through the back of the legs and the feet. Feel the palms and and soles breathing.

7. Suck energy from the Earth through K1, Bubbling Springs. “Claw” the ground with toes as you inhale and circle the energy 9 times counterclockwise at the Bubbling Springs (Kidney 1). The spirals on the soles of the feet move in the same direction.

8. Inhale, bringing the energy to the knees. Lock the knees; do not spiral at the knees.

9. Inhale up to the perineum; circle the energy there 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise. Feel the bulge at the perineum.

10. Exhale. Harmonize the breath and be aware of the soles and palms breathing.

11. Inhale and pull up the left and right sides of the anus, packing the back and kidneys.

12. Inhale up to the sacrum. Tilt the sacrum back, packing it. Circle the energy 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise. This will strengthen and activate the sacral pump.

13. Inhale to T11, inflating the kidney area. Press outward at T11, then spiral 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise.

14. Inhale to C7, pushing from from the sternum to tilt C7 back, straightening the curve at the neck.

15. Lock the neck by tucking in the chin. Circle the chi 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise.

16. Inhale to the Jade Pillow (C1), clench the teeth tight, and squeeze the skull and temple bones to strengthen and activate the cranial pump. Circle the energy here 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise.

17. Inhale to crown (pineal gland) and circle 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise. If you cannot go all the way up on one breath you can pass over the Jade Pillow, or you can take an extra breath where needed until your capacity increases.

18. Exhale with the tongue up to the palate.

19. Regulate the breath. Concentrate on the third eye until you feel the chi energy build up there. Bring the energy down to solar plexus and circle 9 times clockwise and 9 times counterclockwise. Bring the chi down to the navel. Stand still and maintain the position.

20. Press the soles to the ground. Discipline your mind to move the energy downward.

21. Feel energy flowing up from the ground. Circulate the energy for as long as you wish.

22. Practice Bone Breathing.

23. Practice the Power Exercise.

24. Stand up and bring the energy to the navel, putting your hands over the navel and bringing the feet together. Relax. Collect the energy in the navel area.

25. When you feel calm, walk around and brush the energy downward.

Reference: Iron Shirt Chi Kung by Mantak Chia
ISBN:1594771049

Summary: Embracing the Tree with Chi Condensing and Circulating p. 129-132

5 Clouds

Based on the exercise from Master Ni Hua Ching:

1. Centre the Mind in the cloud of golden light in the solar plexus. Each out breath, intensify and expand the light taking the Mind deeper until the body and breath are lost in the light.
2. Allow the cloud to drift up to cover the lungs where it becomes white like the clouds. With each out breath, intensify and expand the light as the Mind goes deeper.
3. The cloud moves down to cover the lower abdomen and turns a deep blue like the ocean. With each out breath, intensify and expand the light as the Mind goes deeper.
4. The cloud moves to the region of the liver on the right side of the body and becomes a deep green like the forest. Intensify and expand the light as the Mind goes deeper.
5. Let the cloud float across to surround the heart and turns deep red like a ruby. With each out breath, intensify and expand the light as the Mind goes deeper.
After one or more cycles, return the cloud to the solar plexus and rest in the golden light.

( by courtesy of patrickkellytaiji.com )

Daily Energy Cultivation

8 Paths – by Master Chao Pi Chen: Basic body energy is based in the perineum between the legs, rising during refinement to the abdomen (Lower Dantien). This energy circulates in a network of 8 special channels. Follow the paths with the Mind visualising a stream of golden light, while listening to the resulting body sensations.
1. Inhale; lift energy up the spine from its base to the centre of the head.
2. Exhale; sink energy down the front of the body and return it to its base.
3. Inhale; up the lower-back, dividing at the belt then up to both shoulders.
4. Exhale; down the outer arms, along the middle fingers to the palms.
5. Inhale; lift energy up the inner arms to each side of the chest.
6. Exhale; down across the nipples, join at the waist and return to its base.
7. Inhale; lift energy up in the centre of the trunk to the solar plexus.
8. Exhale; drop it via the base, front of the legs and middle toes, to the soles.
9. Inhale; raise energy via rear of the legs and base to fill the abdomen.
10. Exhale; return the energy to its base, completing one round of 5 breaths.

Sharing the Light
The Personal Energy Field is centred in the area between the solar-plexus and the breastbone (Middle Dantien) rising, during the process of refinement, from the Lower Dantien.

Take 3 deep breaths. Each inhale lift the light from the abdomen to the solar plexus, and each exhale expand and intensify a cloud of golden light around the body. From the cloud of golden light centred on the solar plexus – intensified and harmonised by the 8 Paths – send the light to those you choose to help.

Inner Teacher
The Energy rises further during the process of refinement, from the solar plexus to the area of the pituitary gland in the centre of the head (Upper Dantien).

Inhale deeply lift the light from the solar plexus to the centre of the head, then exhale to expand and intensify a cloud of golden light around the head. With the intention of contacting your inner teacher (Guide), intensify the light taking the Mind deeper until the body and breath are lost in the light. Visualise a figure within the light and ask any question you may have, then rest quietly and listen for the response. Withdraw with thanks and return to the golden light centred in the head.

Breathe in deeply, then with a long out breath, return the light to its centre in the Middle Dantien.

Lost in the Light
Breathe deeply, each out breathe expand and intensify the cloud of golden light around the body, taking the Mind deeper until the Mind is lost in the light. Then forget the breathing, gradually allowing the Mind to drift deeper while maintaining awareness of the light. Then recapture the sensations of the body within the light: warmth and fullness at every point; the beating heart and resulting pulse that radiates out; the ringing inside the head that is always present when the Mind is silent. Rest in this strongly aware state: I am a field of light, warmth and awareness with a body inside it.

( by courtesy of patrickkellytaiji.com )

Waves of Movement

Author: Patrik Kelly (by courtesy of patrickkellytaiji.com)

All fluids move in waves. Energy moves through fluids either as a transfer of mass with a stored momentum, or as a wave of elastic displacement that leaves the medium undisturbed once it has passed. Stored momentum gives a more external force and elastic displacement a more internal one. Different types of waves appear when we move. Forward and backward waves are generated from the hips moving horizontally slightly ahead of the rest of the body. Moving the body in horizontal curves produces waves in all horizontal directions. Twisting waves are produced by turning the hips slightly ahead of the rest of the body. Twisting waves wind along lines of elastic connection between the points of application of force and the ground. Vertical waves appear when the hips lift and sink before the upper-body. Adding this vertical dimension produces waves of compression and expansion up and down the body, which power the lifting and lowering of the arms. Smooth continuous waves that ripple and interact throughout the body in a complex and natural manner are a final result of the simultaneous interaction of these three types of waves.

Learning to produce and regulate these waves requires an intelligently designed series of steps leading from the simple to the complex. Any section of the body can be trained to move ahead of the rest of the body, creating a simple two-part wave. Later, several of these two-part waves can be assembled to create more complex wave patterns. Two part twisting waves are formed when the pelvis begins to rotate and the upper-body and arms follow. Two-part vertical waves are generated by sinking the lower half of the body before the upper half producing waves of compression and expansion centred in the pelvis. Somewhat controversial, but supported by experience and logic, is the advancing and retreating of the lower-body before the upper when two-part forward and back waves appear. Basic three part waves appear when the lower-body leads the upper-body which then leads the arm – where the arm is taken to extend from the fingertips to the lowest point of the shoulder-blade.

One, two, three or more part waves can also appear in any section of the body. A three part arm wave involving moving first the shoulder then the elbow and finally the wrist, is used to transmit waves of power from the upper-body to the hand. From this it is a simple step conceptually to produce a sequence of movement from the sole of the foot to the finger tips, with a slight delay at every joint as the muscles, tendons and ligaments stretch. The arms and legs can also twist in unison with the waist so that the force spirals as it travels. The sense of this twisting can be given when you visualise a hand moving over the surface of a ball. Then the palm and forearm rotate as they move, to maintain contact with the surface of the ball.

Reference: Quote from Daoist Principles in Practice by Patrik Kelly

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

The Mighty Warrior Exercise

(Ichuan, Dachengquan, Yiquan, exercise, qiqong, chikung, breathing, energy)

The Mighty Warrior Exercise Stand with the feet about double shoulder-width apart and toes pointing ahead. Bend the knees while lowering the body to stand in a horse-riding posture. Raise the arms sideways to form each an angle of about 60 degrees with the torso, the palms facing the ground and fingers apart. Keep the torso upright, lower abdomen loosened, chest held in, and the eyes looking into to the far distance with restrained concentration. Stand still for some time.

Move the arms upwards to shoulder height, and straighten the legs. Press downwards with the palms while bending the knees back into the horse-riding position. Repeat the procedure. The arm movements resemble those of an eagle’s wings, hence the exercise is also known as the Spread Eagle exercise. Repeat for no more than 360 times at a time.

Regular practice of this exercise will cause the vital energy to penetrate every part of the body and finally form a unique strength. Once this is required, with some simple instructions, one will be able perform wonders assisted by the control of breathing, such as cleaving a rock with one palm, hitting a stone tablet with the head, breaking an iron chain with deep breathing, letting a car running over the body. What he will be able to achieve the will be diametrically different from that put on by those sham kung fu masters under the name of controlled breathing.

Reference:
Dachengquan
by Wang Xuanjie
Hai Feng Publishing Co. May 1988
ISBN: 9622381111

Page: 78

Expositions of Insights Into the Practice of the Thirteen Postures

by Wu Yu-hsiang (Wu Yuxian) (1812 – 1880)
sometimes attributed to Wang Chung-yueh
as researched by Lee N. Scheele

The hsin [mind-and-heart] mobilizes the ch’i [vital life energy].

Make the ch’i sink calmly;
then the ch’i gathers and permeates the bones.

The ch’i mobilizes the body.
Make it move smoothly, so that it may easily follows the hsin.

The I [mind-intention] and ch’i must interchange agilely,
then there is an excellence of roundness and smoothness.

This is called “the interplay of insubstantial and substantial.”

The hsin is the commander, the ch’i the flag, and the waist the banner.

The waist is like the axle and the ch’i is like the wheel. Continue reading “Expositions of Insights Into the Practice of the Thirteen Postures”

Four Character Secret Transmission

Spread. To spread means that we mobilize our chi spread it over our opponents energy and prevent him from moving.

Cover. To cover means that we use our chi to cover our opponents thrust.

Check. To check means that we use chi to check our opponents thrust, ascertain his aim and evade it.

Swallow. To swallow means that we use chi to swallow everything and neutralize.

These four character transmission represents what has no form and no sound. Without the ability to interpret energy and training to the highest perfection, they cannot be understood. We are speaking here exclusively of chi. Only if one correctly cultivates the chi and does not damage it, can one project it to the limbs. The effect of this on the limbs cannot be described in words.

(attributed to Wu Yü-hsiang)

Reference:
Tai Chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions by Douglas Wile
Sweet Chi Press, April 1989
ISBN: 091205901X

Page: 27

Grasp Sparrows’s Tail is like two men sawing

This is the push-hands sequence of Wardoff, Rollback, Press and Push. The action is that of sawing. When you saw, the force at both sides should be equal; then the action is smooth. If one side tries to change the force, the saw’s teeth will bind. If my partner binds the saw, then even if I were to use force I would not be able to draw it back. Only if I push it will saw smoothly as before. This has two meanings for the push-hands of T’ai Chi Ch’uan. The first is to give up oneself to follow others. In following the opponent’s tendency you can learn the marvelous application of hua chin (neutralization) and tsou chin (yielding). Second, “If others move slightly, I move first.” This refers to the situation wherein my opponent uses force to push me and I obviate his attack by pulling back first. If the opponent uses pull I preclude this by pushing first.
The principle in the example of pulling the saw brings great clarity. Through it, I suddenly comprehended how to practice the idea, “if others move slightly, I move first.” If I am familiar with this, then the push-hands is controlled by me and not by my opponents. The rest is obvious.

( Red.: It’s said; “If the other does not move, I do not move. If the other has the slightest movement, I move ahead” proverb taken from the Taiji Classic “The understanding of the Thirteen Postures” )

Reference:
Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan
by Cheng Man-Ch’ing, Martin Inn
North Atlantic Books,U.S., May 1985
ISBN: 0938190458

Pages: 90-91