Taoist wisdom has, for millennia, given us hints and guidance for a successful, content and full life. Spiritually successful…………….
I will, time permitting, be looking at a number of them and giving my own insight into what message I have received from each in regard to Qigong and Taiji.
“When in stillness you should be as the mountain. When in motion you should move like the water of a river.” (Master Wu Yu-hsiang).
Although this is aimed at the art of Taiji it is equally relevant to Qigong. Stillness within the body and mind, through Wuji, produces the composure of a mountain It is in this state that you are truly aware of the flow of the Qi. Its current, like that of water, having many qualities………. From smooth and quiet to cascading like a waterfall.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” (Lao Tzu)
When you don’t let go you stay as you are because there is no room for growth, no room for the expansion of experience.
Within Qigong, if you hang on rigidly to one tangible experience of Qi your Yi will always mould the Qi in that pattern. It is only when to let go, when you use passive awareness and “listen”, that all the other patterns/essences/flavours can be experienced.
“Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.” (Lao Tzu)
Be here and now, find stillness. Be passively aware of self and Qi. You will never find yourself out there, only in here.
“Intellectual knowledge exists in and of the brain.
Because the brain is part of the body, which must one day expire, this collection of facts, however large and impressive, will expire as well.
Insight, however, is a function of the spirit.
Because your spirit follows you through cycle after cycle of life, death, and rebirth, you have the opportunity of cultivating insight in an ongoing fashion.
Refined over time, insight becomes pure, constant, and unwavering.
This is the beginning of immortality.” (Lao Tzu)
We begin our Qigong and or Taiji journey using intelectual knowledge. We rely on our brain to remember the sequence and try to understand the postures. We are learning, not being.
Through practice our journey takes us to the stage where the sequence, the breathing and the postures are second nature. This is when the brain steps aside for these aspects yet it can still be engaged in the attempt to look for, reach out for, the Qi. It is here that we can become stuck, bogged down, in our exploration of Qi. At best we are doing, we are still not being.
It is only when we stop reaching out and start to “listen” to the Qi. When we “listen” our reasoning finally steps aside and we experience without the encumbrance of questions or the need for reasons. Our Yi (brain) is redundant and our Shen (spirit) is now in the driving seat. We are now being!
“The wise man looks into space and knows that there are no limited dimensions.” (Lao Tzu)
The wise man accepts and does not reach out for boundaries. To truly experience Qi do not reach out, accept it for what it is at that time. Passively aware
“A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.” (Lao Tzu)
Liken your body with a terrace of nine levels. Stability, Wuji stance, must be constructed from the base.
“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” (Lao Tzu)
Your Qigong journey should have preconceptions. Focus on the few and miss the many of the myriad of qualities of Qi.
From Wang Zongyue
“Quiet like a mountain. Movement like a river”. From “Kung Hsin Chieh” (Wang Zongyue)
Only when the body/mind is quiet will you really appreciate the flow of the Qi.
“The body must be upright and comfortable and able to cope with impact from any direction.” From “Kung Hsin Chieh” (Wang Zongyue)
More wisdom about he need for proper structure that is pertinent to both Taiji and Qigong. It is through proper physical structure that we can create the stillness that allows us to listen to our Qi and our Shen.
Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.