Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Body Body Centered Upright

 [Path to Mastery 3/23/10 – Wk28 D2 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

In the last 2 weeks we have completed the Alignment principles concerning the Upper Body, and the Lower Body, five principles each.  Now there is one principle left for the whole body:  Body Body Centered Upright.   

Body Body?  Well, if I translated it instead of transliterating it, it would simply be Body.  The Chinese word for Body is Shen-Ti.  Both words mean body. The first word, Shen, describes the bulk or the mass of a body.  The second word, Ti, describes the form or the type of the body.  Both words put together describe the human body.  

So, the principle means that the body is centered and upright.  Boring right?  I mean this is so obvious.  This is what we learned from our 4th grade elementary teacher but promptly decided to ignore.  It just didn’t seem that important and besides it wasn’t cool to be centered and upright.  We may have gotten laughed at.

Well, the Chinese had an art for making something not only very interesting, but very cool.  They even went one step further.  They showed how this one principle holds the secret to the universe.  Curious yet? 

To start with, the concept, centered, within this context means you are in the middle when seen from above.  Next, upright is from the context of seen from the side.  Having this background, now you get a clear picture that you are supposed to be centered, in the middle from the top view, and upright form the side view. 

But what’s in the center? What is upright?  Often times it is considered to be the spine.  This is not a bad start.  Eventually, however, one’s training will loose its depth unless ones move towards the real center.  The real center is the line that is in front of the spine, connecting the crown of the head and the perineum.  To be centered is to mentally align the crown and the perineum.  When this happens, the main energy highway in your body is established and your whole body straightens around this line.  Once it is straightens, it starts radiating in all directions and the column starts expanding, and the energy spreads evenly though the whole body. 

When you get this sensation, it is pretty cool.  For some of you, this sensation will be very strong and immediate, but for some of you, you will have a tough time feeling the center line.  This will depend on how much blockage there is in your energy channel.  As you do the form day in and day out, within 90 days doing the form daily, with the center line in mind, you will see a profound change.  Mark it on the calendar and see for yourself what happens.  You will be amazed. 

When you feel the energy spreading, you will start feeling your aura expanding, and eventually you will start feeling the boundaries of your aura clearly.  That is a good place to be.  As you walk around, you will feel your boundaries and when your energy is low, you will feel them less and less and more of your body.  This becomes a good gauge of where you are with your energy level. 

So, we covered centered.  Where are we with upright?  In the very beginning, when you first learn the form, you learn that upright means to keep the spine, or your center line we discussed above vertical.  This however, is only to train the sensitivity to keep the center line straight.  Often times people don’t have a sense for the center line and when they bent from the hips, the spine bends and thus the center line bends as well.  Eventually you learn how to maintain the center line even as the spine bends, but one should establish a strong center line before that can happen.  This often takes years.  So, don’t start bending your center line before you start getting a clear sense of your center line. 

Once you get a clear sense of your center line, you naturally move in a way where your center line is uncompromised.  In the beginning you will have to hold the structure to cultivate the center line, but eventually the center line empowers your body and holds the structure.  You will feel a well of energy supporting your structure from within.  When that happens, you will feel a sphere around you emanating from the sphere and you will feel your center line hovering in the air, between your legs and arms.  You will feel yourself naturally moving around from the center line and you will notice that the center line does not need to be vertical.   It can be at any angle as long as the spine is straight.  In the beginning like all things this feeling comes and goes.  But when you have this feeling, this is when you feel your opponents push into your structure and bouncing off of your center and your field.  You literally feel the negative vibes of other people bouncing off of your aura.  Now this is a much better incentive to keep your spine straight then the one you received in 4th grade isn’t it?  I can’t even remember what mine was. 

History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:
Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Chi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Chi-Gong)
2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Meditation
4. 7 Basics
5. Basic Form
6. 30 Form
7. 108 Form
8. 4 Type Pushing Hands

Interactive training after we went public with the blog. 
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11)
2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19)
4. Weapons (Covered on 2/23)
5. Healing System (Covered on 2/24)

Non-Structured System:
1.    Introduction (Covered 2/25)
2.    Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26)
3.    Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1)
4.    Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2)
5.    Free hand weapon (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/3)

Detailed Instructions:
1.Principles (Covered 3/4)
2.Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3.Principles of Upper Body (Covered 3/8 – 3/15)
   1) ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’  (Covered on 3/8)
   2) ‘Tailbone centered and upright’ (Covered on 3/9)
   3) ‘Contain chest Raise Back’ (Covered 3/10)
   4) ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’ (Covered 3/11)
   5) ‘Squat Wrist Open Fingers’ (Covered 3/15)
4.Principles Governing Lower Body:
   1)’Chi Sinks to Dan-Tien’ (Covered 3/16)
   2)’Relax Waist Squat Crotch’ (Covered 3/17)
   3)’Round Crotch Bend Knee’ (Covered 3/18)
   4)’Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly’ (Covered 3/19)
   5)’Foot Sole Stick Earth’ (Covered 3/22)
5.Principle Governing the Whole Body:
   1)Body Body Center Upright (Covered today)

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