Archive for the words and concepts Category

The waist is like the post office

Posted in Uncategorized, words and concepts with tags on July 16, 2015 by marksun

In our class we don’t use the term “lower dan tien” but rather simply “the waist”.

Not every analogy is perfect. Maybe amusing — “the waist is like the post office” , as in directing mail to California, New Jersey, Hawaii …  There is a sensation that most if not all movement in tai chi originates from that ball of juice cradled by the hips just in front of that all-important region where the spine connects to the lower body.

In former days “waist move body follow”.

Listen… describe … We listen to a stream of consciousness about tai chi and  related  subjects … we hear a description of what the form feels like, or what a particular form feels like … “the top of the head is pulled up”  “standing on hour heels, toes grabbing the floor” … description of what it feels like when just standing there.


xin ping qi hua

Posted in words and concepts on September 4, 2011 by marksun

“Xin ping qi hua”  is a Chinese saying that is useful in understanding  how our state of  mind,  health, and well being are related.

xin – self, mind, our being,
ping – calm peaceful
qi  – energy
hua –  harmony

There is a cause an effect principle at work.   When our mind / inner being (xin) is calm and peaceful (ping), our inner “energy” and life force (qi) is in harmony (hua).  Health, the physical  and internal well being comes from a calm and peaceful mind.  If we are not healthy in mind, body and spirit, the saying suggests that the cause is dis-harmony in our Qi, and that we can influence this by being more calm, maybe less upset in our thoughts and inner being.

No thinking

Posted in practice, taiji, words and concepts on October 24, 2010 by marksun

In practicing taichi, thinking is a distraction from concentration and focus, the holding of one point.  In qigong, we are admonished – “no thinking! only to feel…”

Eight Gates and Five Directions

Posted in taiji, words and concepts on October 18, 2010 by marksun

The Eight Gates and Five Directions

Some say that all Tai Chi is based on thirteen fundamental postures: eight gates and five directions.   The gates and  direction are within everyone, to be discovered and practiced.

From Thirteen Postures of Ta’i Chi ( from Michaed P. Garfalo’s site)

  1. Ward of – Peng
  2. Roll back – Lu
  3. Press – Ji
  4. Push – An
  5. Pull Down – Tsai
  6. Split – Lieh
  7. Elbow – Chou
  8. Shoulder – Kao
  9. Advancing Steps –  Jin
  10. Retreating Steps – Tui
  11. Stepping to the left Side – Ku
  12. Stepping to the right Side- Pan
  13. Settling at the Center – Ding



Posted in taiji, words and concepts with tags , on December 23, 2009 by marksun

Nov 29, 2009 –

“It is the thing that enables us to think, to eat, to walk, to talk… to do anything we do in life.  The function of the Xin covers the whole range of what the mind can do and what the mind fails to do.

In spiritual practice of Chinese culture, cultivating the Xin is the core.

Xin is used in daily Chinese language very frequently in many phrases. The physical organ of heart is also called Xin, short for Xin Zang.”   calligraphy and  caption by Limin Song

rooted movement

Posted in image, practice, words and concepts with tags , , , on June 28, 2009 by marksun

Limin used the image of wheat in the wind as an example a strong rooted connection to the ground and  flexibility above.  Where the root is strong and the stalk is flexible, the plant is not broken by the wind but remains planted and moves as a whole, yields to the wind, and relies on its roots to hold.   This image was used to convey the feeling of being strongly connected to the ground through the feet as we move,  pushing from one foot to another,  transferring  weight from one foot to the other.

Jing Qi Shen

Posted in practice, words and concepts with tags , , , , on June 6, 2009 by marksun

jing, qi, shen – in traditional method this is a verbal drill to hammer the concepts home. Occassionally we talk about it in our practice to cutivate these central ideas into awareness.

jing –  “essense”, the secretion of glands.   The chemicals of life

qi – energy

shen – spirit

In practice we work our way up to raise  jing,  qi, then  shen. In the course of the day we can be worn down spirit first, qi, then jing leaving us tired and exhausted.

We talked more about weight transfer.  A weight transfer usually involves a graduated pushing motion from one foot to the other.  Weight moves slowly through the move. Feet are planted firmly throughout so the connection to the ground is complete, solid.

emphasis on tailbone, shoulders, elbows down

[couple of new faces to our class – their toddler nearby, w,v,l,p]