Saturday, September 5, 2009
Wuji (無極) Positions and Zhan Zhuang (站桩)
Adirondack morning... Meacham Lake Wilderness (Sept. 09)
To those that do not know, Wuji (無極) Positions and Zhan Zhuang (站桩) are present in every posture of the "Square Form". At the heart of this is an awareness of whether one is doing any Tai Chi posture correctly.
It is said in Classical Tai Chi that one does not learn to go fast by going fast and one might also say that one does not learn to go slow by going slow. How then does one get "faster", how then does one get "slower"? What is not understood by most students is that the ability of the practitioner to generate (internal energy) and control (internal discipline)the Qi is the major factor. Such Qi is developed over a lifetime of practice, not weeks, months or even a few years.
Students can however take measures so that the movements are being done correctly and it is in this correctness that one can insure the development of the Qi. The square form obviously is not learned by everyone, but all students learn the basic walking which is really Square Form.
Take the time to pause and simply stand still (Zhan Zhuang (站桩)while doing the basic walking practice. When the body is perpendicular to the floor and one is "sitting back" (see figure 3 & 4 of Forum 10)you can pause. Check your posture in this position, there is plenty of time especially if you incorporate this more and more into the practice. You are not trying to set a record for how long you stand, try holding for 10 seconds then move.
Take the time to pause and simply stand still (Zhan Zhuang (站桩)when the body is tilted forward over the front foot as well. Check your posture in this position as well for 10 seconds then move. It is in those 2 essential components of the basic walking that such pauses and self correction that one begins to plumb the depths of the practice...improvement comes from such contemplation.