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When it comes to learning the ancient art of taijiquan, many people are doing things the wrong way. It is easy to get things the wrong way, for this world wants to push at us until we push back. This sets a standard which this article will attempt to rectify.
The first lesson to be learned, when one begins instruction in an internal art like Tai Chi Chuan, is to be empty. This doesn’t mean to let your body go limp, but rather to be relaxed. If one is relaxed, then one is forsaking the muscular system, and this will leave space for an appreciation of their energy system.
Don’t manifest energy, as in using your muscles, rather, learn to forsake muscular contraction and accept the sensations of the world. If one is manifesting, if one is putting energy forth, then sensation coming in is unable to get through the energy going out. If one is walking around all day and manifesting energy, also called chi power, then at the very least perceptions will be slanted and out of true.
As the body ceases to push forth energy, the student will begin to grow an appreciation for the space of his body. This is an actual ‘universe’ wherein the student ceases to use his physical perceptions and instead uses awareness to see all the nooks and crannies, the never ending space, inside his body. Successful in this, the student will become aware that there is energy in the he has to do is relax and let his chi grow.
It can be frustrating when one first starts doing this, the energy evolving in the body will evade the student’s attempts to grow it. The student will have to come to the realization that the harder he tries, the harder it is to make chi. And, he will come to an understanding that the less physical energy he uses, the more chi power he will have.
When it first manifests, the energy will be like a huge wave, like water sloshing back and forth in a hot tub. The real reason for the form, and for the body, will become easy to see. The body makes energy, it is like a big old battery, and the form is a method for making that battery work.
With attention to detail, raw energy will become refined chi energy, able to be put into technique as necessary, and the student will become a superior martial artist. The student will see that such things as kung fu forms are a way to discipline oneself mentally to flow the chi power as he desires. At this stage in the martial artists development, the flood gates are wide open, and the student will move on to ever greater experiences.
To conclude, there are several steps from beginner to advanced Tai Chi Chuan. If one can relax and let the body evolve into emptiness, tai chi chuan instruction becomes a catalyst to transform a human being into a highly evolved spiritual being.
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