Page 5 - The Key to Practicing Taijiquan's Skill & Form
Master Li Ya Xuan
There are five taboos of practice in the acquisition of this skill:
1. Those not selecting the right teacher, enter the wrong school and the external skill tops and is dominate. Once acquired, this habit, even if the learner later meets a truly skilled person, will be ingrained and not be correctable for internal use.
2. Those not believing their teacher strongly, completely enough. They do not completely follow the teacher's theory of practice. These people pretend they are smarter and think east, think west, and attempt to use other theories in combination with this skill. Their minds and spirits become a mess. All sorts of problems manifest. These problems are extremely difficult to correct.
3. Those who indulge in bad habits like smoking, gambling, and prostitution. These exhaust energy, qi, and spirit. They confuse minds. These people will never understand and can never reach a good level of awareness.
4. The over-practice of external family skills, hard skills, like breathing qi, making strong, exertion and effort, and the clinching of teeth. Intense staring with the eyes, making the belly full and then striking the belly. The use of an instrument to hit the body or the use of a hammer to hit the head. These hard, external practices and abuses severely harm and deaden our most valuable nervous system. This causes parts of the nervous system to become numb, deadened, and to be without awareness. People who have done this type of training cannot reach good levels of taijiquan practice.
5. Those people who only learn a little bit of taiji then leave their teacher and go out and show off in front of other people in an attempt to falsely gain respect. These types of people are often induced into learning other types of skills. Their's is a show of mere ego, not skill. After they start on the wrong path, they can never be corrected.
The above five types of people are those who cannot reach the awareness level of taji. The true skill, the main skill, is to make your mind clear, and to focus your mind. But in order to clear your mind and to concentrate, to focus, you should first become very stable and very quiet. Only after becoming quiet can you become clear. At that point you can focus, meditate. This is the way to reach awareness. After achieving beginning awareness, you can reach an even higher level of awareness. You can then reach understanding. Later, you can reach the level of precise understanding. So, if you want to clear your mind, before settling your mind, you must have the intention of restoring your mind to the state of being without thought; your body without action; to feeling no body, no mind. Once reaching this state of "no action" your mind is able to become enlightened.
After reaching enlightment, any awareness, any sensation, any perception of conscious is that claimed by the scholars of Confucious. That consciousness does not come from continual thinking. If you use your mind to think of penetrating a wall without a door, you just visualize going through the wall; if you think of working in poison ivy, you visualize just passing through as if there is no road - if you practice in this manner, the more you practice this way, the farther you will be from taijiquan. A true teacher is needed.
In practicing taijiquan, you need to be quietly contemplative while practicing the operation. If not, you will not be able to understand what is correct. If you do not practice, then your arm, your whole body, will not be able to follow the mind to move. Therefore, the two aspects must be done together. This means you cultivate both your mind and your body. If you just spend time vigorously, physically practicing, working the body, even if you make your tendons, your bones, your skin, and your flesh suffer, your mind and spirit will only be confused and, although you may sweat profusely, you will be wasting your energy, your qi, and your spirit. You will only harm your attempt to acquire the internal skill. You will receive little real benefit.
Cultivating the empty and flexible produces a high spirit, alertness, readiness, eagerness, perspicacity, high energy, and profound judgment. This keen judgment then used to acquire awareness of internal boxing's method. If you use these methods to defend yourself, you will have an excellent self-defense and you will also be able to handle any bully. If you use this skill in business, you will understand the business very clearly, with perspicacity, and will always succeed. If you use this method to cultivate your body, you will achieve longevity beyond that normal.