The Wisdom of Beautiful Whiskers
by Bataan Faigao
40 THE CLASSICS
1. Words in the classics are full. The classics must be experienced in a physical way.
2. First words in the classics: When one part of the body moves, the whole body moves. The whole body is alive, every single part is linked. Every part comes alive, as if each part is connected by a single thread. To do this the feet must be glued to the ground. The feet are firmly rooted like the camel walking in the desert. This is the absolute secret, the door of the method. The feet can be heavy, but never the hands. Each joint has to be open. Do not bend the wrist. Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows. This straightens the wrist.
3. Movement must go with the ebb and flow of the body, as if the room were full of water. The ripples go from the center outward. The ch'i starts this ripple going, as if our breath were moving the atmosphere.
4. In t'ai-chi ch'uan form, the eyes are slightly closed. Do not let the light of your eyes escape.
5. The idea moves from the root to the waist to the hands. How does this connection happen? This is very difficult to understand. This is what you might call "bitter root".
6. There are five places where no strength is possible. These are very essential to t'ai-chi ch'uan practice: hearts of the palms, hearts of the feet, and between the shoulder blades.
7. What do you want to attain in t'ai-chi ch'uan? If you want to check out if you have attained whatever you want to attain in ta'i-chi ch'uan, I will tell you what you have attained and to what degree you have attained it. Nobody checked it out. Everybody knew where they were.
8. What is the ultimate attainment?
Receiving energy. As soon as you see the opponent, then the opponent is gone. This is the highest. The summit of all attainment is spiritual enlightenment. This is the highest. This is the summit.
9. Has anybody ever achieved this state?
I am the only one left. Ask BS, he has been around to check out different masters of the martial arts. I am the only one and I have about 70 % attainment. From where I am it is possible to achieve the rest. It is within reason. Yet I have only 1/10 of....(?) You haven't really seen me do anything. Since we practice among brothers and sisters, you can not really test what I have.
10. What does the mind do?
He tells the story of BL again. BL hit him three times and the third time BL really hurt himself. It took 6 months to heal. He said the first two times he did nothing. He did not pay attention to the blows. But the third time all he did was to wake up and put his idea to the blow.
11. Don't be afraid of losing. Sacrifice. Eat a little crow.
12. BS's question: All the fighting is really a trickle of the benefits of t'ai-chi ch'uan and ultimately you fight with yourself.
Lao Shr must have misunderstood this question and started talking about other forms of boxing like Pa Kua Ch'uan, where the body is literally fighting itself. There is no internal harmony.
13. Lao Shr talks about the fierce part of t'ai-chi ch'uan. The weak will take care of the strong.
14. K's question: I believe in the infinite universe. I believe in ch'i . I believe everything Lao Shr says. But I only know it intellectually. I have seen Lao Shr run around chasing younger folks and never perspire, but that's all I have seen. I really want to see more.
Lao Shr made K hit him three times. How's your hand? It's OK, K said. Lao Shr said,
" Tomorrow, maybe it will start to hurt. Nobody knows how high I am. I am here, teaching you. But it's not all about challenging people and knocking things about like that. Go to guys like C."
Discipline of ch'i, feeling the room, the air, the root. You never see the true t'ai-chi ch'uan adept do this. It's side show stuff. Keep developing your kung fu , that's all.