Everything above the earth belongs to Heaven.
Everything below the ground is of the Earth.
Going through the tai chi form and experiencing each position is a unique opportunity to let heaven supply you with a natural alignment, filling you with air and giving you agility.
At the same time Earth supplies each position with softness from the feet up charging each movement with a chance to transform.
Begin by focusing in the dantian. Let the mind rely on the spirit. This way the spirit of Heaven (Yang) and Earth (Yin) can unite and embrace you. That in itself is true relaxation.
When you let the Earth-Yin come above the feet, the energy in the body becomes solid and hard. You start to lean into the joints, straining the muscles, collapsing the bodyweight on the top of your feet. This can lead to the false idea that with strength and power you can overcome others in Pushing Hands.
When you forsake the qualities of Heaven-Yang you can find yourself “without breath”. You start to experience lack of space for movement. You start to lack focus and feel lost in space. Generally tensing up, you begin to battle for alignment, suppressing sensory input. This can lead to the illusion of being beyond hope for improvement or even beyond human reach.
In tai chi there is balance and harmony. We enjoy doing tai chi, round after round, because we all have had an experience of deep relaxation coming from the unison of Heaven and Earth. Just imagine how it would feel if that kind of relaxation could be reached all of the time or even most of the time.
Here is simple method to achieve such quality in life.
When you wake up in the morning:
- Do your tai chi.
- After that, sit down, spine straight, with your feet softly resting on the floor parallel to each other, shoulder width apart.
- Breath naturally. Let Heaven supply you with a string. Let the dantian connect with the heaven and feel the ease of being erect.
- At the same time let the feet become softer and softer, all weight dropping below the feet. The dantian receives the inner calm of the Earth by becoming in harmony with the Earth. All is one with the Earth.
- Focus in the dantian and breath into the dantian; let the dantian service your whole being, filling you with relaxation.
- There is no scheduled time for this exercise. You decide yourself when to get up and do the opening of the tai chi form and repeat the breath 3 times (or any odd number).
- Your choice to go through the round.
During your waking hours:
- Remind yourself to align with Heaven (string attached to the top of the head) and soften the soles of your feet.
- All weight is below your feet; drop all heaviness and there will be more space for inner strength though softness.
- Allow yourself to focus in the dantian and fill with relaxation.
When doing a round or experiencing tai chi positions:
- Let yourself focus in the dantian and feel it filling you with relaxation and emptying you of tension.
Pushing hands can then be experienced as an encouragement to release: fill and empty.
|Dan Tian: Mind relies on the Heaven & Earth spirit|
Receive all and transform all weight