In the west, we know a very popular symbol that we call Yin Yang. We say that it represents the balance of opposites like day and night. In fact, in China, they call it one word; Yinyang because they see this symbol as the coherence of opposites into one whole. For example, there is the dance of opposites that is constantly occurring as day turns into night and night turns into day. Together is the whole that we need to strive for to survive on this planet. We cannot live only in the day nor can we survive only at night.
Taiji in Chinese is called the great ultimate stretch.
Ji means to rise up to the sky and then descend down into the ground into your roots. There is two-way traffic from the sky to the earth. When you practice Taiji your body becomes the bridge between the two. Your body is like a flower that blooms while you practice the connection between heaven and earth.
As you learn how to integrate these energies you get more power. Through this practice, you integrate the spiritual, emotional, and earth parts of you.
Wuji in Chinese means the ultimate nothingness.
This is the primordial universe prior to Taiji. Wuji is the creative emptiness from which all things originate. Before we practice Taiji we stand with our feet together motionless. As we raise our arms Wuji turns to Taiji naturally. The opening movement is called Sinking the Chi. You begin by finding your center, then you open your arms and reach out to the sides to find your balance and finally you close your arms by bringing your hands back into your center. You gather all three levels of consciousness in your arms connecting to the coherency within you.
Through the coherency of opposites, you become a whole person.
The philosophy you practice changes you. Yinyang Taiji is the dance of life and the practice of living. Start quietly in nothingness and then open your arms to find new experiences, new learning, and new hope every day. Tai Chi is not to be forced on you. It is to be rediscovered in you.
In China, the connection between the heart and the mind is called Shing.
Another word for Shing is center. The Chinese do not make a distinction between the feeling heart and the thinking mind. They consider this connection between the heart and the mind to be the center of our consciousness just like the center of a lotus flower.
In the dance of Taiji, we move forward and backward, we move side to side, constantly rotating between one and then the other. Through this constant changing movement, we understand that change is the only constant. In life, it is the same, after you have moved forward always take time to look back and reflect on how far you have come. Then you can clearly see where you have arrived to align your center.
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