Saturday, September 28, 2013

The best kept secret of our arts

What arts? The arts that deal with chi. Often times we wonder why certain people got the benefit of chi quicker, whereas some got it very slowly, if any at all! Some chi kung practitioners are very happy when they got that tingling sensation at their fingers when they do chi kung, e.g. zhan zhuang. I asked "Can your chi travel from your fingers to other parts of your body?" They said "My teachers don't teach this stuff, are you imagining things?" What can I say? In the disciplines of chi, people won't believe in anything until they can experience it directly. And they have a point. Did you cry after seeing this movie? Why did you cry, that was boring! People are worlds apart, as far as internal feeling is concern. Love in the eyes of the beholder, as well as chi!

So you got your hands energized and you got that tingling sensation. That's the easy part. Most people can get it quickly, and all people can it with patience. The second part is difficult. We need at least one more energized point. Take your tingling hands as example, the second point can be your shoulders and/or your elbow.  In Tai chi, an essential technique is loosening your shoulder and dropping your elbow (沉肩墜肘). In between the two points, you have to relax everything. Master Wangxiangzai called it point-stretched-body-relax (點緊身松). In doing foot massage, the masseur creates one stretched point (at you sole, with pain) while you need to relax everything except where you create another stretched point. The best stretched point to use is your pelvic joint. In acupuncture, the acupuncturist takes care of everything, he creates at least two points with his needles and often times one will be in your hand. He twists his needles to create chi, you lie there and do not need to do anything. In all other chi disciplines, you also twist. Twist what? Your joints. In tai chi, it is called spiraling-force (or silk reeling 纏絲勁). Master Wangxiangzai called it eight direction tug of force (八面爭力).

They are all talking about the same thing. It is the best kept secret of our arts, for those who can't get it! Because they don't see it, can't experience it, therefore it is a secret to them.


  1. Yeah. But how do I use this in my practice?

  2. Cohen, thanks.

    BeginnerTaiChi, it is like learning a second language in adulthood, you need to practice diligently and you also need to study a grammar. Both you can get from teachers (there are those who know how to teach and those who don't. And there are those who know their grammar and those who know nothing about it. And indeed many native speakers are lousy language teachers of their mother tongue, because they don't understand the grammar of their own language!) The acid test for a student is the ability to communicate in the language. (PS: You know I'm writing a book on the subject. It is moving along smoothly, but not as speedy as I hoped for. Unfortunately I still have to spend much of my time to make a living! I choose 24 styles tai chi nei-gong exercises in my book (alternatively I can also choose standard tai chi form or Taoist meditation), primarily because they (in particular the eight core styles) are effective yet simple enough for distant learning).

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  4. AR, you're welcome; relevant publicity is also welcome.

  5. But how do you know chi is activated? E.g. tingling from hand to shoulder? Or feeling chi move in a circuit between hand and shoulder? Pls keep me posted on the development of the book. I'm definitely interested.

  6. I assume that you know when chi is activated in your stretched hands while doing zhan zhunag (tinkling sensation or whatever, you won't miss it when you got it, it is different!). When you progress in zhan zhuang, you will feel a warm sensation in your body (starting where and how strong shall depend on individual). The next step is to mindfully focus at your shoulder (one at a time), while maintaining your stretched hand(s). With progress, you will feel a sensation in your shoulder similar to that in your stretched hand(s). When that two chi-points are established, chi will try to connect the two points. It is a natural process, no conscious circulating or spiraling thought is needed.. You won't miss it when you're there.


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