Letting Go of the Body Tai Chi Principle #6 | Using the Mind Instead of Force


How does one "let go" of the body, in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Reiki, in life? In Taoism it is called "doing without doing." Letting go of tension is not easy. We carry tension in our mind and our muscles all day. Some tension is needed to keep us upright and moving. It is the unneeded tension that inhibits flow in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Reiki practices, and in life. Letting go of the need to be perfect, to look good, to get credit, or to be accepted can be a lifetime journey. The "Energy Arts" are a good place to "practice" the skills of letting go. When we let go we are more "natural", grounded, centered, uninhibited, and free of judgment, especially self-judgment. There is a natural fear of appearing weak or easy. However, we can look at Tai Chi Principle number 6 for better understanding. Tai Chi Principle #6--Using The Mind Instead Of Force Among the people who practice taijiquan, it is quite common to hear this comment: "That is entirely using the mind, not force". In practicing taijiquan, the whole body is relaxed (loose), and there is not an iota of stiff or clumsy strength in the veins or joints to hinder the movement of the body. People may ask: How can one increase their strength without exercising force? According to traditional Chinese medicine, there is in the human body a system of pathways called jingluo (or meridians) which link the viscera with different parts of the body, making the human body an integrated whole. If the jingluo is not impeded, then the vital energy will circulate in the body unobstructed. But if the jingluo is filled with stiff strength, the vital energy will not be able to circulate and consequently the body cannot move with ease. One should therefore use the mind instead of force, so that vital energy will follow in the wake of the mind or consciousness and circulate all over the body. Through persistent practice one will be able to have genuine internal force. This is what taijiquan experts call "Lithe in appearance, but powerful in essence". A master of Taijiquan has arms which are as strong as steel rods wrapped in cotton with immense power concealed therein. Boxers of the "Outer School" (a branch of wushu with emphasis on attack, as opposed to the "Inner School" which places the emphasis on defense) look powerful when they exert force but when they cease to do so, the power no longer exists. So it is merely a kind of superficial force. In other words, we are more centered, physically, mentally and emotionally.


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