Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by onyomi, Dec 24, 2005.
What did I do?? lol (It's not cause I actually agreed with you on something is it? )
You didn't agree. You tried to 'bandwagon' the force of my personality to score cheap points on your own agenda :woo:
wow richard you teach tai chi and your so naaasty who says anyone needs to respect you? your not a king yknow..
"your not worthy of my attention" ?
Chen Yen Ling was a short time student with Tian Zhao Lin. This notes for this book were stolen by him from TZL causing TZL severe embarassment and heartache.
The Importance Of Yi And Chi In Tai Chi Chuan
Written by Chen Yen Ling
Translated by Tchong Ta-Tchen
From the book "The Annotated Theoretical And Practical Tai Chi Chuan" by
Yi (mind) and chi (breath) are found inside the human body without form or
colour. The eyes are unable to view but the chi has a very important role.
Our bodies are full of chi circulating and cultivating the body. The chi is
formed with fire from the 'ming men'. The fire refines the 'jieng' to become
chi. The Taoists describe it as 'water and fire already present or the 'nei
dan'. It is stored in the area of the dan tien. The Taoists value chi very
much. Usually, people think the blood is the most important essence in the
body, they do not know that chi is even more important than blood. Chi is
the chief while blood is the assistant. We need blood that contains the
essentials (vitamins, minerals, etc.) but chi is the transportation, making
it more important. Chi is heavy while blood is light. If we do not have
enough blood, we can still temporarily survive. Without enough chi, we die
immediately. Therefore to cultivate chi is very important. The importance of
Tai Chi Chuan is to concentrate in order to cultivate the chi. We always
say, "External to exercise are the tendons, bones and skin. Internal is the
breath." For those who practice Tai Chi Chuan, after practising the forms,
push hands, roll back or two-man forms, the breathing is still smooth and
natural, the face colour does not change and the internal chi flows through
the entire body. The feeling is more comfortable than before the exercise.
This is the result of cultivating the chi. After exercise, they never are
short of breath or feel tired. When the chi fills up the body, the blood is
healthy. As the blood flows through the body, the body is strong. A healthy
body strengthens the mind. A strong mind leads to a great spirit. A great
spirit is able to prolong our life.
What about yi? Yi is the heart (mind) and heart is yi. In definition, there
is a slight difference between heart and yi. The heart is the chief and the
yi, the assistant. When the heart moves (intentions), the yi starts to work.
The yi leads and the chi follows. Therefore, the heart, yi and chi are all
interconnected. If the heart is troubled then the yi is diffused. If the yi
is diffused, the chi floats. On the other hand, when chi sinks, the yi will
be concentrated. When the yi is concentrated, the heart is stable. Therefore
the three are melded together and cannot be separated from each other. The
chi moves and can motivate the blood and the spirit. Then we can use the chi
in practice. Chi is the principle and Tai Chi Chuan is the method. If we
have a principle without the method, we cannot transfer it to the practical.
If we have a method without principle, we give up the major and look for the
minor. Therefore, yi, chi and Tai Chi Chuan have a interconnected
relationship as well.
In Tai Chi Chuan, the use of yi and chi for the beginner is very difficult
but not without a way to get to the entrance. When we first practice the
Thirteen Postures, or even a single movement, we have to use our
imagination. For example, if we use both hands to perform a push movement,
we imagine there is an opponent in front of us. Actually, at the time, there
is no chi in the palms to release. But when we start to imagine. Our chi
rises up the spine to the shoulder, arm, wrists and palms, finally being
released to the opponent's body. This kind of imagination, for the beginner
is very dull. After practising for a long time, you will know how to use
The chi has two kinds circulating in the body. There is an upper level chi
(post-birth) and lower level chi (pre-birth). When you exhale, the upper
level chi exits from the nose while the lower level chi sinks to the dan
tien. When you inhale, the upper level chi enters from the nose while the
lower level chi rises up the spine from the dan tien to the hands and legs.
When the yi moves, the chi follows to any part of the body. Practising Tai
Chi Chuan, closing and opening while breathing in and out, is to exercise
the chi to fill the entire body, to create the sensitive from the body,
tendons, touch and even spirit. This is why "An Internal Explanation Of
Training" by Wang Dsung Yueh says, "The mind should be concentrated on the
spirit and not the chi. If focused only on the chi, one will be clumsy and
not agile. If focused on the chi, one will become powerless. If one does not
concentrate on the chi, one will be strong as steel."
Some believe that chi is useless. However, there is a misunderstanding. Such
a belief pertains only to certain kinds of chi such as stiff chi, impetuous
chi or brutish chi that arises with anger. This type of stiff, impetuous,
brutal chi causes both feet to float and the body to become unstable,
indicating that both are without li. But the chi in Tai Chi Chuan is the chi
from the dan tien. This chi is clear and calm. Because it is calm, the chi
is fluid. Because it is fluid, the chi circulates without interruption.
There is no relationship with the undesired stiff, impetuous and brutal chi.
In "An Internal Explanation of Tai Chi Chuan", many points can be found that
describe chi. It says 'Use the mind to direct the movement of chi. The mind
must be calm so that the chi can condense deep into the bones. When the chi
circulates around the body, the chi must flow like a fluid and smoothly,
then it is able to follow the mind easily,...The mind and chi must
interchange and co-ordinate between substantial and insubstantial such that
there will be no harm...The mind is the commander, the chi the flag...The
abdomen is completely relaxed and the chi condenses into the bones." It is
also written, "The yi and chi are the rulers and the body the subject."
These words all talk about the importance of chi. The learner must
discriminate between the clear, calm chi and the stiff, brutal chi. To
cultivate the clear, calm chi and giving away the stiff, brutal chi.
Generally, the relationship between yi and chi is like the relationship
between the driver and the engine in a car. The yi is the driver, the chi
the engine. We cannot forget either of them.
WoW Richard .... that last post was really quite something.
I wonder can one still get the book?
Reading all the different explanations and insights on the various threads, and especially your last post here, really shows me how much I have missed since I have not been actively training Tai Chi in a club and need to seriously look around again for a suitable club.
I was particularly in this explanation:
The TRUE spirit of Tai Chi ......... Don't you think?
how's your neck btw? I'm sure it's the size of the head that's on top of it that's the main problem..... :woo:
Tai-Chi, I take to be a philosophical construct or statement about the nature
of the reality in which we find ourselves. Everything in the Universe can
be reduced to Tai-Chi. In a way similar to the WS perspective that
*everything* can be reduced to fundamental particles. I note that these
"particles" are not in the WS paradigm solid "things" but rather "wavicles"
(which tries to summarise the wave/particle duality). These "wavicles" are
packets or knots of energy so compacted that they seem to behave
occasionally as if they were solid "bits". Ultimately the WS paradigm seems
to me to be saying that the most fundamental underlying source of
everything is energy - either condensed when it is matter or dispersed when
it is perceived as more conventional energy. So my understanding of current
WS thinking is that the Universe is made up of waves - though what is
"waving" is at this time debatable.
Similarly my understanding of the Tai-Chi paradigm is that it too reduces the
manifest phenomena of the Universe to energy "waving". Yang is the
expanding phase - the peak of the wave; and Yin is the contracting phase -
the trough of the wave.(Though to talk of waves is a simplification in
itself. The "waves" of Qi it seems to me would have to be of higher
dimensional order than ordinary waves) Qi then is "that which is waving";
that which connects and communicates between Yin and Yang. So ultimately Qi
is the only "real" or "fundamental" entity in the Universe. Yin and Yang
are secondary since they are characteristics of the Qi. Expanding/expanded
qi would correspond to the energetic aspects of the Universe while
contracting/contracted qi corresponds to the matter aspects of the Universe.
As an aside I sometimes think that the wave/particle duality of Western
Physics might be understood in this framework. In an experiment where the
wavicles seem to be 'particles' we are accessing the Yin phase (condensed
energy looks like solid matter). In other experiments when the energetic
nature of the wavicles is to the forefront (e.g. interference studies) we
are accessing the Yang phase (expanded energy looks like 'real' energy)
Leaving that aside and returning to the Chinese Tai-Chi paradigm; my
understanding of this is that the *only* thing in the Universe is the
Universe itself ( a non- dualistic, non-materialist - in the sense that
matter "matters", complete-ist as opposed to a fragmentalist view) And that
the ultimate nature of this "thing"; the Universe is energetic, called Qi
in this paradigm. So WS says that the Universe is wavy or waving while
Taiji paradigm says that the Universe is fundamentally Qi and that this is
"what does the waving" (Yin/Yang).
So from the Taiji perspective the only "thing" in the Universe; is the
Universe which is entirely Qi and no "thing" else. However our *experience*
of the Universe is that it does not appear as an undifferentiated oneness.
We experience; trees, and rocks, and flowers, and stars, and animals, and
insects, and people, and load of other "things". That we experience in this
way is held to be the result of the activity of the Qi; It Waves - peaks
and troughs in Yang and Yin phases. So Qi is both the substrate of "that
which is" *AND* the "waving" of the Qi is "informative" (in the information
theory sense of "differences that *make* a difference). The waves in the Qi
can interfere, both constructively (additive) and destructively
(subtractive). It is this interference between the waves in the Qi that
presents the Universe in the forms in which we perceive it.
An easy way to get a gist of this idea of interfering waves manifesting
"things" may be seen on a visit to the sea shore ( alternatively any
substantial body of water) on a moderately blustery day. On a calm day we
can see the waves gently rolling onto the shore. As the wave action
becomes more vigorous the reflected waves interact with the incoming waves;
this produces interference between waves and we can seem to see lumps of
water, or shapes, or forms of masses of water that *appear* to be
independent of the sea. This is usually a relatively short lived phenomenon
and the "forms" produced from the sea rapidly fall back again into it.
However if you take a snapshot you will see what looks like separate
"things" disconnected from the general mass of the water. These "things"
are all just water waving and the result of constructive and destructive
interference between waves. If such wave phenomena were of more extended
duration whole classifications of the different shapes produced; "things"
could be developed. However elaborated such a taxonomy might become and
however sophisticated theories of relationships and interactions between
these "things" might become the fundamental reality would still remain that
all of these would only be water waving.
Occasionally such wave interactions may produce stable forms that persists.
The most common example is the whirlpool. It is only "really" organised
water and in a river the water is continuously being replaced. While the
water that comprises the whirlpool is continuously changing the whirlpool
So from the Tai-Chi perspective there is nothing but Qi waving. It is this
waving that produces the appearance of things and entities; as whirlpools
and other features emerge from water waving. So the "things" we perceive
are "whirlpools" in the only thing that exists Universal Qi. It is possible
to find real whirlpools that also have internal structure in that they may
contain mini whirlpools within a greater.
In the world of appearances that we inhabit some "things" are relatively
simple organisationally; i.e. rocks and minerals, while some things are
much more complex organisationally; i.e. the biosphere. From the Qi
perspective the former would be a simple whirlpool while the latter would
be "whirlpools within whirlpools". This range in organisational complexity
traps differing amounts of Qi. A simple forms contains less Qi than a
complex form. Thus living things are said to contain more Qi than non
living things. Simple living forms on the whole would be said to contain
less Qi than more complex living things.
Much the same as "Light" waves/particles would you say?
Interesting stuff Richard. Imho not inconsistant with what I know of Chaos/Complexity theory.
In the beginning there was Wu-Chi (wuji) out of Wu-Chi emerged Tai-Chi the mother of Yin and Yang the opposite but complementary forces that create the universe.
Wu-Chi :- literally nothing, but the pictogram is *nothing with the potential of becoming something*. The Taoist creation theory is that originally there was Wu-Chi (the potential), from it emerged Tai-Chi the supreme ultimate something, this lasted for the WHOLE first
100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000th of a second (Approx ) into "the big bang" and then Tai-Chi gave birth to Yin and Yang (initially BANG!!!or yang) the real (as opposed to potential) energetic *differences* which provided and still provides the energy to drive and create all things, the Universe, Time, et al. The Universal Yang phase is now diminishing and the Universal Yin phase is about to begin. Some believe within our lifetime the instant of balance will occur in our sector and the Universe (for us) will start it's collapse phase, strong energetic portents in this as Tai-Chi will emerge again for an instant and then reversal, what will that mean, will time go backwards? .
In other words all things come from Wu-Chi and all things return, peace or no yin/yang only occurs in or with Wu-Chi and then you become part of *everything* and nothing! But Wu-Chi cannot be used, you can only use what *is*, not what was, hasn't been and maybe wont be, i.e. what *isn't*, because if Wu-Chi becomes *is* then it is no longer Wu-Chi as Wu-Chi isn't, get it! phew!!. Everything comes from Wu-Chi and everything returns to it. Without Yin and Yang there is no time as there is nothing to create it, or provide an event or a ? that has to use it order to manifest (life!!), so Wu-Chi is no time and all time. When you achieve this in meditation an hour can be an instant or an instant can be an hour. This phenomenon is observed in all forms of meditation.
There was once a time, when i was proud of this knowledge, only to find that it is best to be discussed in private, or kept to myself. Because there are 3 kinds of reactions; the sceptic, the open minded, and the believer. The believer most often dwells in New Age type of mindsets, while there is nothing wrong with it, at the same time, so many things are wrong with it. But that is a different thread, on a different forum, which i don't visit . So let's leave that at that.
This is syncretism at its worst. The Taoists have an unfortunate habit of indulging in such things.
I have coloured the two seperate theories "syncretized" ie modern physics (red) and ancient Taoism (indigo) [plus brown for New Age BS - unworthy of crediting as a theory] to illustrate this...
(I think my earlier reply of "cobblers" was more elegant tho lol)
The Yellow Emperor's Classic book of Internal Medicine
Huang Ti the Yellow Emperor is one of the most famous of China's
legendary rulers. He is said to have reigned from 2696 to 2598 B.C.
Huang Ti - the Yellow lord or the Yellow Emperor is attributed as the
author of the "Nei Ching Su Wen", the classic manuscript on internal
medicine the oldest medical book in existence.
In China it is regarded as the most influential medical work in
existence and is accorded first place among medical works. Written
over four thousand years ago, it stands as the basis of Chinese
Here's some of the opening words, dealing with the wisdom of
centuries past almost long forgotten even by then. They discuss the
right way of life, to achieve the formula of perpetual youth and
maintain a youthful body. He is having a conversation with T'ien Shih
(Chi Po) a medical sage.
The Yellow Emperor once addressed T'ien Shih (Chi Po) the divinely
"I have heard that in ancient times the people lived to be over a
hundred years, and yet they remained active and did not become
decrepit in their activities. But nowadays people reach only
half of that age. Is it because the world changes from generation to
generation? Or is it that mankind is becoming negligent of the laws
Chi Po answered:
"In ancient times those people who understood Tao (the way of self
cultivation) patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang. There
was temperance in eating and drinking. Their hours of rising and
retiring were regular and not disorderly and wild. By these means the
ancients kept their bodies united with their souls, so as to fulfil
their allotted span completely, measuring at least hundred years before
they passed on.
Nowadays people are not like this, they adopt reckless behaviour,
they exhaust their vital forces, their cravings dissipate their true
essence, they do not know how to find true contentment within
themselves, and they are not skilled in the control of their spirits.
They devote all their attention to the amusement of their minds, thus
cutting themselves off from the joys of long life. Their rising and
retiring is without regularity. For these reasons they reach only
half of the hundred years and they degenerate.
In the most ancient times the sages were tranquilly content in
nothingness and the true vital force accompanied them always, their
spirit was preserved within, so how could illness come to them?
They felt content under any condition. These men were pure of heart. No
kind of desire can tempt the eyes of those pure people and their
minds cannot be misled by excessiveness and evil. Thus they could
live more than a hundred years and remain active without becoming
decrepit, because their virtue was perfect and never imperilled.
What a great story. Why is it relevant?
Well I would say that it would be pretty hard to find a situation, relationship or thread here that it is not relevent to. I was responding to the gentle flapping of wings, without trying to make it too direct or challenging for him.
By the way what is the record longest thread, are we getting near it yet?
Richard. are you there? and not in regards the quote. From all that, that is what it boils down to.
that is what the philosophy forum is for.
"he found out all about it, and went back to his work"
I don't know who said that, but bloody hell..it came in one of those adult spams, honest.
and if you want a long thread, what do you know about clapping?
You'd have to go a lot further than that to 'challenge' me on this subject, Richard. I assume the quoted section was a rebuttal of my questioning your "yin phase of the universe" etc above. If you wish to debate this in depth with me please start a thread in "philosophy" and post me a link. (personally I think it's a waste of energy tho tbh )
Separate names with a comma.