Mind Intention in Taijiquan

Postby Kalamondin » Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:11 pm

Hi Audi,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
In Taijiquan, we should not pay any attention to either guarding or attacking, but only on the flow of energy between yourself and the opponent. This unitary thing has many components, but remains a unity. The term “Taiji” refers to a dynamic duality that creates infinite diversity, but it is nonetheless a unity. Using this as a strategic principle is fundamentally different from guarding and attacking. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, now I think I understand a bit more. In class lately we’ve been focusing on this concept of attacking even as we defend, so that even as the opponent tries something you are already returning the energy of their attack like a revolving door that smacks you if you don’t get out of the way.

I hadn’t though of this before: that other styles focus on provoking an attack and then guarding against one, but rarely both at once. (I have not trained any other style of martial art.) I’m finding it really challenging to train myself to respond with an attack as soon as I feel the need to defend (so that the whole movement is seamless, part of the same unified whole that is emptying in one location as it fills in another). And yet, on those rare moments where it works, it feels like the easiest and most natural way to respond. Formerly, I always followed: deflecting, neutralizing, and escaping. Or if I was pushed into a corner I might come out swinging, so to speak (not really, just pushing more aggressively). So it’s pretty novel for me to work on returning force as the natural outcome of someone else’s movement.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Since you are not expending energy to create anything or shape a particular reality, you are at a theoretical advantage. You are merely trying to guide events along, instead of trying to create or halt them. If you are skilled at this, you do not have to put your energy flow at risk, because you are always moving in the “shadow” of your opponent’s “intent” where he or she can never reach. You are in the “lee” of your opponent’s flow. To harm you, the opponent has to create a flow. By definition, every flow has this “lee.” To be full in one place, the opponent must be empty in another. </font>


You’ve said that very well! It sounds really right but I’m not entirely sure I get it. Let me see if I understand what you mean. Please tell me if I’ve misunderstood! Operating in the lee of your opponent’s flow: when your opponent has an intent, it can be likened to something solid moving towards you, like a boulder. Having an intent is like a rocky obstruction that prevents the opponent from understanding your response. You can stick to the side of their rolling rock, just going along for the ride, without the opponent really registering what you’re doing there b/c they cannot penetrate the rocky exterior of their solid intent in order to feel what you’re up to. Their intent is a part of that Venn diagram of understanding that excludes awareness of you. Then, as the intent-boulder is coming at you, you can apply your judicious 4 oz. of strength at an opportune moment and send that rock off elsewhere.

Eh? OK, yeah, that whole boulder analogy was a bit excessive—I couldn’t keep “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” out of my head. Loved that book.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
Kal: I agree that guarding and attacking are not the best for “developing T’ai Chi insight or skills.” But then, I’m not always sure how best to work on NOT doing that.

Audi: If you ever do figure this out, by all means share the secret with me.J I think I mentioned an exercise for exploring some of this, but let me describe it here in case I did not.

The object is not to push or pull your opponent, but to make him push or pull himself. As you begin, “listen” for whatever your partner is giving and take it. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for your description of this exercise. It’s tricky to do. Lately I’ve been working on the push-pull method of uprooting an opponent. Although on the surface this method seems directly opposed to your way of making the opponent push or pull himself, I think they are not mutually exclusive. It’s true, in this method the emphasis IS on pushing and pulling the partner. But the success of this depends on waiting for the moment where the opponent has misjudged you and has slipped into pushing or pulling themselves, as you said. Then you help them along. It is as though you are giving the appearance of pushing or pulling without being fully committed to either. You keep listening without being attached to the intent of pushing or pulling so you are able to change from one to the other more quickly waiting for the opponent to uproot himself.

I don’t use the push-pull on beginners b/c it’s not very nice to yank them around all the time. I only use this one on people who are hard to move and very well rooted. Yes, even when they’re not moving there is always some area of solidity or resistance and I too have found it useful to push “glacially slowly” (great adjective, btw) to get things moving again. The moment I find something I alternate the push-pull, sometimes on a very small, gentle level, with the goal of increasing the oscillation between the two. The farther you can get them away from their center, the greater the chance they will be unbalanced long enough for you to do something.

Perhaps this exercise isn’t in keeping with pushing without intent, but it might be useful for pushing with a partner who does not move very much. You’re right, there’s always something moving internally and it’s a great way to hone the listening skills (listening to someone who is largely “still” externally). Start small and increase the oscillations.

As for doing push hands without guarding and attacking, I’ve been trying something else too. In order to set aside the ego that keeps trying to maintain the upper hand I’ve been pretending I’m a two to four-year old following around a beloved adult who can do no wrong. I know it sounds kooky, but it is at least loosely based in tai chi theory. Here’s the background: on the old Posture Names topic in the Barehand forum you and Louis Swaim were discussing the adhere-stick-link-follow principles of push hands. I’ve quoted the relevant sections below, but here’s the link:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000018.html

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B> Audi, 6-24-01:
Yang Cheng Fu explains "nian" with what appear to be evocative literary terms referring to emotional bonds. I am unsure of the appropriate translations, but would propose "being reluctant to part with and being devoted to" (liu2lian4 qian3quan3). </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B> Louis Swaim, 6-25-01:
The four character explanation for nian that you mention: liulian qianquan, is indeed an interesting phrase. The “reluctant to part” rendering you suggest for liulian is quite close to it, but I think it carries an entailment close to “obstinate” or “tenacious.” The second half of the phrase, qianquan, can mean sticking to someone figuratively “like a parasite.” </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Also, in tai chi we are encouraged to regain the “resiliency of a child” Although this is described largely in the context of the breath, it has implications for non-resistance and seems to apply here too. Children mimic what’s around them, yielding to absorb vast amounts of information. They seem utterly devoted in this. I can remember the kind of hero-worship I felt for some people in my life when I was small. I tried to be just like them. And those of us who were older siblings may remember younger brothers and sisters following us around like parasites. So I’ve been trying to evoke that feeling when sticking to opponents in push hands.

It’s really weird, but it’s yielding good results. I ask myself questions like, “What would it be like to really be devoted to this person?” Think back to when you were small. Was there someone you followed around like a small shadow? Copying their every move without self-consciousness? Gestures, figures of speech, etc. What would it be like to study your opponent that way? Give up the sense of self and the ego by recapturing the sense of devotion we gave to our heroes as children, emulating them without any sense that they had flaws.

This is one way to study the opponent without judging their movements/attitudes/pushing style as “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” Trying to match them, trying to be them really helps me understand who they are and what they’re doing. It allows me to be more compassionate about pushing them—guiding them more gently away from their center instead of taking advantage to really upset them when I feel the opportunity present itself. It also keeps me from getting as upset myself when they push me off balance. After all, if I have the attitude that this person can do no wrong, then it’s easier to pick myself up again and learn from what they did instead of getting angry and defensive.

Granted, this childish attitude of devotion must eventually be integrated with a more adult perception, but the whole exercise certainly gives a different way of looking at things!

I’ve pulled a couple quotes from the topic “Placing your thoughts into your dantien” in this forum that agree with my understanding of “placing the mind in the dantien.”

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
Polaris: 5-23-04
I have been taught that if you concentrate your attention on the upper Dantian between the eyes you will be at the mercy of hopes and fears aroused by this world. If you can rest your attention in the lower Dantian (and thereby guide your physical motions from there) you have easier access to an oceanic, eternal perspective. Again, the Yi is the agent for accomplishing this, but it isn't something that has to be "kept" there, rather it was said that it "rests" there. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>Louis Swaim: 5-25-04
An important distinction to be made here is that consciousness should not be confused with thinking. So I would quible with the wording “placing your thoughts into your dantian.” In fact, in my experience, one of the values of sinking the qi to the dantian is that it helps one to de-emphasize mental preoccupations and distracting thoughts, hence Yang Chengfu’s phrase, “concentrate the spirit, still the thoughts.”
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
I have begun to wonder whether “instinct” or “lack of thought” are the best images. I think the classics talk about “spiritual or mental clarity” (“shen2 ming2”). My understanding is that this refers to when one understands something so thoroughly that one can see it in all of its aspects and ramifications with no effort. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My (admittedly limited) experience with this leads me to say it’s all of the above: I’ve experimented with focusing my attention ON the dantien. This has too much of the flavor of “contemplating one’s navel.” That is, it is too inwardly focused and I end up in fascinated internal observation of the rotations of the dantien with too little focus on what’s going on outside. This, I believe, is an error and an incorrect focus. However fascinating internal observation is, it is not effective martially when it prevents you from focusing on what your opponent is doing.

When I asked my Yang style teacher about the movement of the dan tien, he clarified that it’s not that we focus our attention ON our dantien, it’s that we focus our attention FROM the dantien, allowing you to operate instinctively. (At least, that’s what I understood from the lecture.)

I went home and tried it. After some experimentation I discovered that the “mind” as a locus of awareness, can be moved to different places in the body, expanded outward, or tightly focused and compacted. It’s not about being aware OF a certain part, it’s about being aware FROM that place. When I move my mind to my dan tien, I experience the more “oceanic” perspective Polaris talked about. It does “de-emphasize mental preoccupations and distracting thoughts” as Louis Swaim suggested. It also allowed me to combine the feeling of acting on “instinct,” and “without thought,” with a total, heightened awareness—the closest I’ve been to the “spiritual or mental clarity” you mentioned.

I’m not claiming to be any great shakes at this. I’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg. I can’t maintain it for long. It felt like a moment of grace granted to spur me on to keep practicing. It felt like everything I was doing was exactly right and effortless. There was no need to put my mind intention anywhere, as it was everywhere all at once. There was no need to send qi to a specific place—because if would just go naturally exactly where it was needed when it was needed in exactly the right way. I could just sit back and watch. I say “instinct” in that I was kind of “feeling my way along” without having to think about it. I say, “no thoughts” b/c there weren’t any—or at least none loud enough to distract from the experience. It was like the volume was turned down. A de-emphasis. I say “mental clarity” b/c it felt like I was aware of everything but the usual (distracting) things weren’t important.

You said, “One of the points of Wuwei (“non-action”) is precisely about not having control and not trying to improve things.” That’s how it was. “I” didn’t feel in control. In fact, there was very little sense of “I” left. It felt like just being swept along by some great current, and yet everything that happened was exactly right.

But fascinating as the experience was, I suspect that for high level people the mental chatter dies away entirely and that there would no longer be the separation within the Self as observer and observed. I’m definitely not there yet!

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
I sometimes chuckle when I hear some people describing Taiji as the epitome of gentleness, harmony, and innocuousness. In some ways, I think that traditional Taijiquan is immensely sharper and more aggressive than many of the more popular external arts. The classics talk about “knowing the other and not letting the other know you.” If you really think about it, this is quite an extreme statement. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know what you mean. It’s no wonder that restraint is such a large portion of the traditional training. If someone hones their listening enough to really know someone else, then this is really a lot of power. Fortunately, it’s my impression that the better one knows someone, the less likely one is to hurt them.

This reminds me of an article I read in the magazine store last spring (I’m smacking my forehead b/c I can’t remember the magazine name—Kung Fu maybe? Or maybe the Journal of Asian Martial Arts?). It was about tai chi as a martial art and one of the points was that to outsiders, tai chi rarely looks martial, in part because you rarely see tai chi practitioners fight. Moreover, when a fight does happen, outsiders have a hard time realizing who has won and who has lost b/c tai chi practitioners, trained to calmness and non-aggression, rarely put on the post-fight dominance display that people expect of “winners.” To outsiders it may look like an accident that some innocuous looking tai chi practitioner is still standing while their opponent is dazed on the ground.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>
For me, the question of politeness or harm is woven in with that of intent. The same palm that supports me, caresses me, soothes me, or relaxes me can cause discomfort, pain, injury, tension, or embarrassment. The key is in the intent and control of the person using the palm, as well as my reaction to it. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good point. The more I listen, the more gentle I am becoming. And yet, I also feel like my ability to fight is becoming more effective. A few months ago I wasn’t sure before if I should try to take advantage of every stuck place I recognized in my opponents. After all, one school of thought is definitely “knock’em down until they learn.” I worried that I was depriving them and myself of opportunities for growth if I didn’t push at everything I could. But at its best, tai chi doesn’t have to operate like that. And that method wasn’t helping me be anything but angry all the time.

I now recognize I was operating out of an egotistical need to not appear weak and a need to maintain my place in the pecking order (of course we all strive to be above that sort of thing, but it does exist for many of us). Now that I am improving my ability to set myself aside and really listen to them I don’t feel deprived of training opportunities. On the contrary, there are whole new avenues opening up where I can improve and help my practice partners improve too. It’s not that I’ve withdrawn. Actually, I feel closer than ever—but instead of being up in someone’s face all the time or withdrawn and evasive, I’m trying to just be there beside them. And if they go off balance, I just lead/follow them along to the natural conclusion.

Learning to relax more also lets me be more comfortable with everyone and appreciate their quirks more b/c I’m not so defensive. It’s really nice b/c my practice partners feel less compelled to try and best me in a fast and furious, “I’m gonna take you down!” kind of way. This, in turn, has me feeling a lot more safe and relaxed about the process. After all, if I freeze in the middle of a fast splitting joint lock that’s really bad news for me if my partner can’t stop b/c he is so excited/intent on the outcome he desires that he can’t hear that I’ve frozen. But if I’m calm, he’s calm and we can go through that same joint lock slowly enough for me to extract myself, or faster, but still both relaxed enough to stop instantly.

Well, all for now. Thanks again for your discussion of listening—it was what I needed to hear. Image

Kal

[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 10-14-2004).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:40 pm

Nice post, just some thoughts on the last paragraph. Many people and schools view push hands as a type of combat training. By doing this they really only develop very rudimentary skills that one can see in any push hands comp. Intent or Yi, can be a very physical feeling if one trains to hear and use it. The emptiness is really empty with nothing there to feel.

A master in china had my wife put her hand on my shoulder, he pushed her hand, I moved in accordance with the push she felt no pressure at all.

He did another demo using only his small finger, my wifes hand was on my chest this time. Actually I felt something hot on my chest even before he touched my wifes hand. The effect was the same I was moved back.. He was 84 at the time now 85. there is no sense of force in his touch at all, there is no resistance when one touches him. Its like he his not there. Empty is really empty its true.

david
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Postby chris » Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:11 pm

A few months ago I wasn’t sure before if I should try to take advantage of every stuck place I recognized in my opponents. After all, one school of thought is definitely “knock’em down until they learn.” I worried that I was depriving them and myself of opportunities for growth if I didn’t push at everything I could.

Without shi li, how do you distinguish between what you know, and what you merely think? Between what is stuck, and what merely appears stuck?
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:17 am

Hi David,

Thanks. I’m really glad that I’m _not_ in a school that advocates hard style push hands, if that’s what you mean by combat training. The words can be so slippery! After all, we really are learning how to use tai chi as a style of combat, but the training does not include sudden and hard pushes, shoves, or strikes. Yikes, that’s not even entirely true b/c we do go fast at times, but we try to always adhere to the principles of sticking, adhering, following, linking, continuous motion, etc. while remaining soft. We’re human so we don’t always manage it, but the school I go to tries to teach us to be soft before becoming hard.

Yeah, intent _is_ feeling more and more physical, it’s the strangest thing! Thanks for your account of the Chinese master—something to aspire to. How lucky to witness something like that.

Best wishes,
Kal
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:37 am

Hi Chris,

Forgive me, I don't quite understand. What is shi li and can you tell me a little more about what you meant?

Respectfully,
Kal
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:31 am

(the school I go to tries to teach us to be soft before becoming hard)

I feel this is a misconception. There is no hard, only balance. Things that are not in balance tend to throw themselves out. the use of force or the intent of the use upsets this. The soft that most feel is only the maintenance of this balance.

The Yi part couple with qi comes into play to disrupt the mind, this is why the body has to be very open and the qi really has to be able to move freely. If not there will be places that are dead. That is they do not have an awareness to change state or maintain balance. the idea is to follow the empty that is the change state, not to push the hard. attracting to emptyness Image

So light that feather sets it motion, so light that a fly can not alight.

Many people have become confused with the idea of structure and maintaining it. its like carrying a canoe after you have used it to cross a river. Next time you can swim and be free.

david


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 09-23-2004).]
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Postby chris » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:29 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kalamondin:
Forgive me, I don't quite understand. What is shi li and can you tell me a little more about what you meant?</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.martrix.org/shi_li.html

How do you know when you're being baited, misled, or are simply mistaken in your assessment of the opponent's weakness, if you do not push them?
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:31 pm

Greetings chris,

That's an Yiquan term, isn't it? The term "shi li" means "to test strength."

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:20 pm

Hi Chris,

I see what you’re saying now. Thanks for the link. You asked: “How do you know when you're being baited, misled, or are simply mistaken in your assessment of the opponent's weakness, if you do not push them?” Well, you’re right, it’s not until after I push people that I find out whether I’ve been led into a trap. Some people lead me into emptiness easily, gently, and before I realize what’s happened. I admire their skill. Feigning fullness is a great way to lead your opponent into emptiness and I can’t avoid every trap set by my push hands partners.

But sometimes when I set traps of my own and the jaws are closing some students react like cornered rats, fighting fiercely: fast, panicked, angry, lashing out. My skill isn’t high enough to always handle this gently and sometimes I react the same way, panicking and going into fight mode. I don’t like being shoved around so I retaliate. But this kind of practice is dangerous. When partners can’t stick and listen anymore it’s not tai chi, it’s something else. So, for a while, even though I was actually was upsetting their balance repeatedly, this kind of victory was worthless b/c I was fighting out of panic and not in control of myself. It also goes counter to the principle of investing in loss. I don't want to sound like some kind of ravening beast--I never hurt anybody, but I was often worried about becoming injured myself.

Dominating challengers is a rude way to operate. I don’t think this is proper tai chi at all. It makes them lose face and feel bad. Especially when they are fellow students and we are supposed to all be helping each other. Eventually I figured out that I wasn’t learning anything and neither were they. We kept falling into the same traps and being too overwrought to think straight. I think it’s very important to condition the emotions to fight calmly, with clarity of mind, and with compassion.

So, with that in mind I’ve tried to go back to pushing slowly. I still push, but I try to slow down my traps so they can figure a way out of them without _feeling_ trapped. We'll speed up again when we've improved. There are still people I push with who are quite fast, but I am comfortable with this b/c they are able to stay calm so I can too.

I've decided that the “knock ‘em down until they learn” school of tai chi, which many students seem to adhere to and I considered briefly, isn't the right way to go at all. Let me be clear that none of my teachers has ever advocated this kind of bullying. It’s a way of thought that seems rather prevalent in our culture and I never realized how much influence it had on me. It’s just a bad way of trying to justify feeling defensive and fighting back. I’m now an adherent of my teachers' “push them off balance gently until they learn” school. It's certainly useful for training the ego to invest in loss!

Kal

[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 10-25-2004).]
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:43 pm

Hi David,
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>(the school I go to tries to teach us to be soft before becoming hard)

I feel this is a misconception. There is no hard, only balance. Things that are not in balance tend to throw themselves out. the use of force or the intent of the use upsets this. The soft that most feel is only the maintenance of this balance. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think I phrased this badly. The people who are too hard are training to become softer. The ones who are too soft are learning to be harder. All of us have aspects of both, so I agree that it’s about finding balance.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(The Yi part couple with qi comes into play to disrupt the mind, this is why the body has to be very open and the qi really has to be able to move freely. If not there will be places that are dead. That is they do not have an awareness to change state or maintain balance. the idea is to follow the empty that is the change state, not to push the hard. attracting to emptyness Image </font>


Hmm, I really like that description of dead places. It makes sense to me. I still think that structure and alignment are very important, but one must be able to change at a moment’s notice with no dead spaces. So yes, free.

Thanks,
Kal
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Postby Yury Snisarenko » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:24 am

Greetings All,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Chris:
<I>
How do you know when you're being baited, misled, or are simply mistaken in your assessment of the opponent's weakness, if you do not push them?</I></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe that some people can measure opponent's strong and weak points just by looking at his stance. "I know the opponent but he DOSN'T know me". The less you are doing, the less he knows you.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
(the school I go to tries to teach us to be soft before becoming hard)<I>
I feel this is a misconception. There is no hard, only balance. </I></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Many people talk about "soft and hard" aspects of Taiji quan in different ways. IMO this is because their styles have different approaches and sometimes approaches of the others seem to be "a misconception" for us. But probably we just don't know them in depth.
Actually there are many masters who accent the concept of "soft and hard help each other" (rou gang xiang ji). For example, practically all Chen masters, Sun Jianyun wrote about it in her well known essay "Important points of Sun style taiji quan" and so on.


Take care,

Yuri

[This message has been edited by Yury Snisarenko (edited 09-25-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Yury Snisarenko (edited 09-25-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Yury Snisarenko (edited 09-25-2004).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:46 pm

(But sometimes when I set traps of my own and the jaws are closing some students react like cornered rats, fighting fiercely: fast, panicked, angry, lashing out. My skill isn’t high enough to always handle this gently and sometimes I react the same way, panicking and going into fight mode. I don’t like being shoved around so I retaliate)

when you can get past this you will find that there is no hard and soft only balance. Its not a matter of gentle or rough only balance. Its not a matter of fast or slow only balance. Things that can not maintain it tend to throw themselves out

most of the chen people i have met, seem to favor the idea of soft and hard, not one of balance or leading into emptyness. perhapes it is a differnt view point.
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Postby Kalamondin » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:53 am

Hi David,

Only balance: hey, thanks, I'm sure you're right. Every once in awhile I get lucky and it works like that. Must work on staying calm though, as that's the only time it happens.

Kal
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Postby bamboo leaf » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:38 am

This is a good site with many interesting views from what seem to be some long term taiji practicners, being right has little to do with ones experience only what one has found. I mearly share what i have found.

(The Search for the Bull
This stage represents man when he still doesn't know his true nature, but one way or another, has already started his search. He wishes to find it, though he doesn't even know what it is, nor is he sure of recognizing it when he finds it. Sometimes he experiments with the search as an escape from his present circumstances, that in general are not pleasant. Life as it is, is a heavy load and - he thinks - surely there must be a better way of living. Most of those that have started the "search" are at this stage.)

http://www.4peaks.com/ppox.htm

a good site with an interesting story that I think many can relate to their practice
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:29 pm

Thanks for the link. Good food for contemplation.

Kal
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