Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Before and After

Here is an excerpt from an article from Forum for Tradtional Wu Tai Chi Chuan. The whole article may be read here.

From the Wu Tai Chi Journal (please click here)

Before (xian) and after (hou)
By Wang Pinzheng

When a calligrapher is writing, his imagination (yi) resides first in his brush. When a painter starts painting a picture, he already has a clear image of it in his mind. This is because they first think about what to do. This is related to the demand in Taijiquan to ’Lead the qi with the heart/mind (xin). Move the body with qi.’ and ’Imagination (yi) and qi as the rulers – bones and flesh as the servants’ In Taijiquan also one emphasises before and after: ’The ruler gives orders to the subject.’ This short sentence means that imagination and qi control the movements.

In the book Wu style Taichichuan the first movement is called ’Preparation (yubeishi)’. This movement completely embodies the meaning of ’Imagination and qi control the movement’. When performing the preparation you should pay attention to three aspects:

1) The body is upright. Erect head and empty neck (xuling dingjin). Expand the chest downward and lift the upper back (huilin dingjin). The arms hang down naturally (ziran) and the feet are parallel and shoulder width apart. The knees are very slightly bent. In this posture the upper part of the body is relaxed (empty like the heart/mind) and the lower part of the body is strong (full). This is a ’harmonious body’.

2) The mouth is lightly closed. You breathe deeply through the nose. Let the air sink slowly to the dantian (near the navel). After breathing in, you slowly breathe out through the nose. When the chest is expanded downward, the diaphragm can move freely.Thus it creates the movement of breathing in and out. This is ’harmonious breathing’.

3) Both eyes are calm and do not wander around. You free yourself of confused thoughts. The visual focus is kept inside. Other thoughts are dropped. This is a ’harmonious heart/mind’.

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