Monday, March 8, 2010

Principled Upper Body!

[Path to Mastery 3/8/10 – Wk26 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

So, today we will be covering the principles concerning the upper body.  

Principles Governing Upper Body are:
1.    Empty Spirit Summit Strong
2.    Tail Bone centered and up right
3.    Contain Chest Raise Back
4.    Settle Shoulders Drop Elbow
5.    Squat (settle) wrist open (extend) fingers

Since the mind leads the energy and the energy leads the body, these poetic phrases are meant for the mind to lead the energy, so your body follows.  

Empty Spirit Summit Strong is often translated as empty spirit reaches summit, or insubstantial spirit/energy reaches summit.  When I learned this principle, I was told to imagine that there is a golden string attached to my crown and that your head is being pulled up by that golden string. (This crown in Chinese is called Bai-Hei.  This is where your skull fused together.  You can find it by drawing a line from the tips of your ears until they meet on top of your face.)

When you picture this in your mind, you will feel yourself getting slowly taller.  It will feel as if your head rises like a tortoise's head lengthens out of it's shell. As the neck lengthens, you will feel your shoulders drop and your arms lengthen as well.  If you stay with this sensation, you will feel your entire spine lengthen, and eventually you should feel like your spine is suspended in mid-air.  In the beginning this may be a subtle feeling, but eventually it becomes a very distinct feeling.  Often, people will feel their spine getting warm and then the spine loosening up.    

The interesting thing about this whole phenomenon is that even though there were physical changes, it was initiated only by the mind.  Just by imagining that the head was being raised by a golden string from the crown, your spine lengthened, your body relaxed and you started feeling more energy in your body.  

This principle is called Empty Spirit Summit Strong, because when done right, you feel a very strong sensation of energy at your crown and it feels as if the energy is pushing you up or pulling you up depending on how you feel it, and the rest of the body is just hanging from your crown. Thus, the summit of your head, the crown is strong with the empty spirit, the energy.

There are exercises for the mind.  There are exercises for the body.  There are exercises for your energy.  The power of Tai-Chi is that Tai-chi exercises the mind, the body, and the energy in one exercise.  By learning how to visualize things in the mind, and then letting your visualization materialize through your energy and through your body allows you to let your mind and body unify.  
You will find the power of this as we go through the principles and as you practice it more and more.   

You will experience your concentration becoming stronger, your energy flow through your body becoming more distinct and powerful, and your body becoming more limber, stronger, and agile.

More tomorrow!

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

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:
6.    Introduction (Covered 2/25)
7.    Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26)
8.    Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1)
9.    Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2)
10.    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 (Start on 3/8)

1 comment:

  1. The mind is a spark, look how the spine elongates just by a mere thought. I also like how from the mind it branches out to the other parts, the body and energy. Sang,
    I already believe the benefits, as a grad student and someone who works 5 days a week I see myself having a lot easier time than my classmates in similar situations. I am dedicated to train to get even greater benefits.