The Wisdom of Beautiful Whiskers

by Bataan Faigao

34 THE DOOR OF T'AI-CHI CH'UAN

1. A very important issue: Keep the elbows down toward the center of gravity. The elbows should be weighted downward suspended between the shoulders and the wrists. The wrists should be in front of the shoulders.The shoulders are loose, the wrists straight. The right elbow corresponds to the left knee. The strength of the elbow comes from the strength  of the knee. Without the elbow going down, there is no strength. The elbow drops by paying attention to the back (the elbow is borne by the spine).

The strength comes from between the shoulder blades. When we talk about strength, we talk about ching, internal strength.

It's all in the idea.

2. By relaxing the elbows, the strength will issue from the back, connected to the knees and feet. Without this, the ch'i  will not rise up the spine.

 3. You are entering the door of t'ai-chi ch'uan, the first pass. It takes a long time to understand this.

All internal secretions (ch'i) goes up to the brain ( the sea of marrow- the brain is made of marrow ) and collects in the brain. There the ch'i changes (condenses) and washes down the front of the body and to the internal organs.

The ch'i rises of itself.

Without t'ai-chi ch'uan a human being may have his ch'i rise without knowing it, but the t'ai-chi ch'uan practitioner experiences the rising, gradually.

4. There is an acupuncture pressure point in the back. It is yin. Draft and wind should not touch it. Yin places have less ch'i, so it is easy for the draft to get in. The back is yang, but the midpoint is yin. This is true with other parts of the body. The front of the body is yin, but the tan tien  is yang. When you feel the ch'i  in the back, then the next step is for the ch'i   to go up the head. It will come.*11

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*11Ch'i  rising in the body happens spontaneously in t'ai-chi ch'uan practice. Lao Shr said that the tao  is not something you can try to do. It is the same as the ch'i  rising. In your practice, ch'i rising might happen when you are walking down the street, not necessarily while you are doing your form. In the martial arts tradition there is a claim that the rising of the ch'i  happens abruptly and that the  moment the ch'i  hits the top of the head one is liable to have cerebral  hemorrhage due to the impact. Many martial artists die of cerebral hemorrhage. Bruce Lee, according to one rumor, died of cerebral hemorrhage (there are other rumors). Lao Shr died of cerebral hemorrhage  (there are other rumors). Supposedly cerebral hemorrhage is endemic to the Chinese. Rising of the ch'i  in the body, in the t'ai-chi ch'uan system, happens very gradually so as to discount the danger of sudden and full impact. But the real cause of all death is the death urge. In the t'ai-chi ch'uan classics it is said: Think over carefully what the final purpose is-- to live longer and be eternally young. And in Lao Tzu's Tao Teh King, chapter 50, it is stated: The secret of immortality is to have no room for the idea of death  in one's consciousness. Translators and scholars reject this idea automatically. Death and its relationship to the our idea of it, or our thought about  the universality of death  is a worthwhile idea to explore. Do so at your own risk.

Thoughts on physical immortality can be found in other literature.

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