Mind

- clean thought without fear or expectation
- clear awareness on state of body, breathing, brush, ink and paper
- here and now

Breathing

- natural without forcing
- smooth without holding
- complete without breaking

Body

- right posture (suspend crown, release neck, spread up backbones, step on ground stably)
- relaxation (scan all joints’ relaxation from toes until finger joints)
- sensation (feel the touching between finger tips and shaft, the touching between tip of brush and paper)

 
 

- It is the way that ancient Chinese express their understanding about nature and cultivate deeper awareness of oneself.

- It is an opportunity to study the evolution of Chinese scripts and their background history.

- It is the art of behavior, including: your posture, breathing, tools, environment and meditation…

- It is a process to balance body, mind, breathing and tools and experience the moment of inspiration.

 
 

Quanjia - forms
(Choose different Taichi Forms based on the student’s current stage)

- Yangsheng Taichi I - 8 forms
- Yangsheng Taichi II - 8 forms
- Traditional Chen style Taichi collection - 13 forms
- Traditional Chen style Taichi full set I - 83 forms
- Traditional Chen style Taichi full set II - 74 forms
- Traditional Taichi sword - 13 forms
- Traditional Shaolin basic - 8 forms

Neigong – the inner Kongfu on mind, qi and body

- Moving meditation (calmness, intention and insight)
- Central qi cultivation (axle, posture, energy points and channels)
- Relaxation on tips, muscles and bones (sensation and feeling)

Roushou – flowing hands

- Still stance
- Moving stance

Jiji - Combat meanings

- the combat techniques in passive way
- the combat techniques in active way

 
 
- Preparing

1.  Breathe in through nose and blow out through mouth for several times, until breathing become normal.
2.  Feel the touching between bottom of feet and ground, toes spread into earth in relaxation.
3.  Be aware of the space above top of head (in order to help lifting up whole body and spreading up back bones).
4.  Be sure of the position of standing – ears match with ankles. The whole body’s gravity is on the “bridges” of between soles and heals.
5.  Meditate the axle in the middle of the body, and be aware of the joints along neck, back, waist until tail bone are in one line.
6.  Then be aware of the sensation from inside to outside of whole body (scanning). Be ware of the sensation of whole body. First gently check toes, feet, ankles, knees, waist, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, palms, fingers, neck, face are all relaxed.
7.  Then aware of belly’s rise-up when breathing in, and breathe out through nose hole, until breathing become stable and thin.

- Playing

1.  At the moment of starting to move, aware of the intention to move, and make sure the intention is neither too tense nor too loose.
2.  All the motion should be led by the “empty point” beyond tips (such as: finger tips, elbow tips, shoulder tips, waist bone tips, knees tips, toes tips, heal tips, etc…)
3.  The body is in “calm” – just negatively follows the tips, and move in relaxation.
4.  The motion and qi are interdependent and coordinate to each other.
5.  At the moment of having made a step, we must feel the relaxation of toes and feet first, and the relaxation of whole body. Then go on moving.
6.  The gravity center should be always clear and stable. There must be one leg solid (Yang), the other empty (Yin), only the empty leg/foot (Yin) can be moved.
7.  When shifting gravity center, don’t try to push leg/foot to force body shifting. But use the awareness of space above head and the “empty point” to transform gravity center from one to another.
8.  To check whether you move in the right way, is to make sure: the body is in relaxation and the breathing is at ease. 
9.  Eyes follow the direction of main motion.
10. The movement is the way to experience the state of mind, breathing and body in every moment.

-  Closing

1.  As same as 1-4 of preparing
2.  Then have a walk slowly in silence without looking around, keep awareness on steps, breathing and body’s feeling alternately.

 
 

Mind 


- Mind should always keep clear awareness on state of mind, qi and body.
1.  When the intention to stretch emerges, be aware of it clearly and objectively, let it be.
2.  When the fear emerges, be aware of it clearly and objectively, release it.
3.  When the breathing is stuck, be aware of it clearly and objectively, tune up.
4.  When the body become rigid, be aware of it clearly and objectively, relax.
- Mind should not cling/attach to whatever is happening and loose itself !

Qi

- Qi is the reflection of mind’s quality.
1.  When mind command quick response, breathing is quick.
2.  When mind command gentle response, breathing is gentle.
3.  When mind command heavy response, breathing is fuller. etc…
-  Qi supports the motion.
1.  The fast motion supported by quick breathing.
2.  The slow motion supported by slow breathing.
3.  The gentle motion supported by gentle breathing. etc…
- Qi supports the strength. The part or joint we use should be filled with qi – which is guided and led by mind’s awareness.

Body

- The relaxation is always first important.
- Always aware of the sensation of body, different posture and motion have different feeling.
- Try to develop the softness and elasticity of body.
 
 

Mind 


- Mind is an observer, perceiver and responder.
1.  Mind as an observer should be clear (calm and stable).
2.  Mind as a perceiver should be clean (let the happening be ‘it is what it is’) without attachment.
3.  Mind as a responder should not attach to any feeling or sensation, and keep gentle intention in responding to the environmental conditions (including people and things). 
- Mind should be always in peace.

Qi

- Qi includes outer breathing (through nose, mouth or skin) and inner breathing (qi moving inside body).
- Qi is the follower of mind. Qi is the supporter of body (posture and motion). And body is the container of qi.
- Every breath should be a complete process of air exchange cycle from nose to Dantian (lower naval abdomen) and from Dantian to nose. The belly rises up when breathing in, the belly falls down when breathing out.
- Breathing should be always naturally at ease.

Body 

- Body includes posture and motion. 
- Body is the reflection of mind, body contains qi and is supported by qi.
- Body should be always relaxed no matter in still posture or in slow or fast motion.
 
 

Original meaning of Taiji is not a name of martial art, but “the origin of universe”, the so-called One, which gives arising to Two (Yin-Yang). In historical record, the word “Taiji” originally appeared in a book of “commentary of I Ching”, and this concept was gradually used widely later, It is quite late to be used as the name of martial art. And all kinds of martial art contain the thought of Taiji and Yin-Yang and use them in different forms. It is not unique for Taiji Quan. But Taiji Quan is one of the best way to cultivate the balance of body and mind.

According to some martial art classics (such as “Nei Jia Quan Fa” or “Wudang martial art secrets”, etc.), master Zhang-SanFeng was normally regarded as the founder of Taiji Quan or at least related to him originally. Before he became a real hermit in early Ming Dynasty, he used to learn YiJinJing and Zen martial art at Shaolin temple for years, and study DaoYin and Qigong with Daoist masters for years. It was said his original purpose to develop forms is for DaoYin-forms of Guiding Qi. And with the experience of martial art, he developed a set of “Taiji Quan” – direct meaning is “the Quan to link with or contact with Taiji”, which is the way to keep balance between oneself and nature.

When we mastered the secrets of keeping balance (inner-outer), we can also understand the way to break balance, not to nature but to break the balance of an opponent – this is called “martial art”. So that – a function.  Yangsheng-life/nature cultivation is the essence, which is enough for oneself and nature. And we can also use the function to protect ourselves if it is necessary to fight with somebody else.

 
 

In our daily life, after spending a lot of time in complicated affairs, we often feel that the world is too noisy and we are too tired to go on. Then we try to find a calmer place – a less complicated place to stay, so we need to go home or on holiday. After staying with the simple life for a period of time, we begin to feel bored and the “calmness” becomes another kind of stress to force us to seek more interesting things. So when we say: “oh, I really need a calmer place to find calmness.” We should know that this “calmness” might be a false calm, because this “calmness” is just waiting for another “noise” to appear.

Just as with sitting meditation, it is a misunderstanding that we sit for calmness. Even though the sitting meditation and its environment will bring calmness, it is not our real purpose. Our ultimate goal is to cultivate inner brightness and peace, in order to reach the real calmness, where the stress, boredom or any other afflictions will cease. Then it’s unnecessary to find calmness depending on an environment, we can stay with calmness at any moment. So the real calmness doesn’t mean staying in a calm place and having little things or nothing to do, but to meet with everything with a peaceful mind!

And we should be alert that the false calm might become a mask to blind the clear mind. We call it “ignorant calmness”. It is even worse than “noise”, because it will block the wisdom. The real calmness is derived from the clear mind, which can perceive the lively silence in everything. The real calmness is the expression of peace, which can “swallow” the noise no matter how noisy it is. The real calmness stays with patience, which will bring more energy to penetrate into the deeper layer of truth…

 
 

No matter what kind of thing you are facing, the first moment should be to remind yourself to keep mindfulness. Because no matter what else we are going to do for this thing, we must know clearly what is really happening, and have the right concentration to deal with it.

The mindfulness has several characteristics 1. To recognize and to be aware of  2. To stay with and not lose  3. To keep alert and remember  4. To be clear at the present  5. Stable and not floating.  

So in one sentence, “to have a stable and clear mind to recognize what is happening at the present, and keep staying with it without neglect or ignorance.”  At the same time, Buddha always reminded his disciples of not to cling to anything or any feeling, they are just the media to help us perceiving the truth behind phenomena.

The mindfulness is important, because it will influence how much reality you can perceive at the first moment. This will decide your view of reality and the way of thinking, which will bring about the following reactions. At the same time, our behavior is a continuous interactive response to the environment, from mental formations to physical actions. Only when we can keep mindfulness as much as we can, will there be more and more real reality to be reflected to our mind. This will lead to the right actions and right diligence.

In this way, we can save a lot of energy and avoid hurting others and take care of ourselves, by staying with peace and ease : )

 
 

Don’t pull or push yourself to come into meditation, just like you are just coming out of the darkness, it will take time to accustom to the brightness.

Both the pulling and pushing of intention will cause tension, fear and pressure. How can we tune ourselves into “just between pulling and pushing”? There’s intention emerging and at the same time fading, we won’t cling to the emerging intention or its fading, the continuous emerging and fading manifests a flow of consciousness. We just have a clear mind on this but no attachment to it.

Sometimes, we’ll have a walk after dinner with our family members, and we may have a chat during the walk. No matter how far we walk away from home or how many topics we discuss during the walk, we’ll naturally come back home anyway without getting lost or missing a step. Do we have to remind ourselves the way back home? Do we have to pay much attention when we naturally walk back? No. The “home” is always there in our mind without giving too much intention to it.

We should just regard the tension or wandering as a kind of natural phenomenon, which is caused by certain conditions. When these conditions disappear, the phenomenon caused by these conditions will disappear too. We should just understand clearly what these conditions are and how to let them go. If you don’t have a clear mind on this and try to resist, the resistance will become an extra condition to keep or even enhance the tension and pressure. Just like raising up a bow and arrow without knowing where the target is. It is a waste of your energy.