Some things I have heard..
- The Secrets of Taijiquan are contained in the biographies of its masters.
- Silk Reeling is the fundamental skill of Taijiquan.
- Don’t forget your goals (don’t get distracted, don’t stop halfway; from Taiji come the 13 postures).
- Every move should be smooth and comfortable. In this way you can fix your own form.
- Push Hands can represent a sole criterion for examination, testing and verification of one’s development in Taijiquan.
- Push Hands is not Fighting.
- Heaven and Earth will conspire to help a moral and upright person find the way.
Some of these follow from other well-known principles. For example, Taiji comes from Wuji, and the 13 postures come from Taiji. Everything is in the form and the form is Qigong, therefore the form will fix itself. Push hands may be used as a demarcation line, yet it is not fighting.
Sun Zhonghua’s Ten Stumbling Blocks
As I found them in the blog post “Gongfu and Technqiues” and other related posts.
There are many factors that are stumbling blocks on your quest.
- The routine is faulty (wrong routine).
- The teacher does not have the goods or he is not willing to share (to teach).
- You do not train hard enough; not willing to put in hard work.
- Your training is intermittent or inconsistent. Daily progress is required.
- You are not patient and therefore you quit.
- For fame and money you lose sight of what you are training for. Many teachers stop trying to progress once they reach a certain level of success.
- You are double-faced with your master. This means you over-estimate your own understanding and disregard the teacher’s instruction; often by performing the form differently in front of the teacher or by yourself.
- Rely on your physical ability and do not pay due attention to skill and gongfu. For example, to rely on fist in lieu of technique, or technique in lieu of gong.
- You do not do enough research to enable understanding — insufficient study and understanding.
- You are unethical, jealous, proud, ruthless and harsh. Lack of proper conduct, full of pride.
There are many, such as Wu Style six stages of Tai Chi: 形 勢 意 氣 勁 神 (xíng shì yì qì jìn shén) — Shape, Stance, Will/Intention, Chi, Jing, Shen.
Another is five stages that lead towards the tao: 松輕靈化真 (sōng qīng líng huà zhēn) — Relaxed, light, nimbly in, ever changing and refining deeply, and harmony with the unity field of truth.
Shooting in (nimbly in) reveals five levels of energy character:
精氣神虛道 (jīng qì shén xū dào) — Essence (the physical level), Chi (the molecular level), Spirit (the quantum level), Emptiness (different dimensions of space), and tao (truth, unity field, smallest particles that cannot be split further).
松靜定慧 (sōng jìng dìng huì) – ‘zhen nian weixi (i.e. truly consider the micro world). This is related to the Taoist qigong training system, their way of letting the energy become high density (ref. nurturing the small).
‘Song’ indicates that one’s body should be focused inward, toward the micro world.
‘Jing’ indicates that everything is united. When the mind does not move, what is revealed then is what actually controls one’s body. ‘Jing’ also means ‘stillness’, ‘frozen together’, ‘gathering all together’, ‘high-density’. Serenity is that which will guide one toward that which is high-density. Let the mind become simple and focused toward the rotational circulation.
By ‘ding’, what is meant is to go from the ‘physical essence’ state (the ‘jing’ of ‘jing, qi, shen’) and try to connect to the centre of oneself. Use tranquillity. ‘Ding’ requires increase of perception, i.e. becoming able to stay with being unable to see things. Dark matter shows the frequency, the wave. One must know how to focus. By focusing on the little bit that gives one the signal, this is that which is ‘micro’. It is vital not to use the mind, to lead or direct the mind. Avoid using the mind to try to make the laws of dark matter function. Doing so would mean that the mind is trying to usurp the spirit again. (This is why it is not advisable for people to explain what the Buddha said: their level dictates the level of truth at which they speak. This can limit people from going to a higher understanding.) One simple way to succeed that is safe is ‘Wei Wu Wei’ (cf. chapter 63 of the Tao Te Ching).
‘Hui’ indicates the actual connection to Truth – enlightenment.
Use these four words, ‘Song jing ding hui’ to realize them. These four words also refer to the four energy circulations: ‘song’ – attain complete circulation of the blood to attain relaxed (not ‘soft’) states of body; ‘jing’ – accomplish not letting one’s mind influence one’s energy, i.e. not using the mind to interfere with the circulation of qi; ‘ding’ – assimilate with universal law; ‘hui’ – because of assimilation with the Universe’s character, then the Universe’s character will show its appearance.