Jim R said: Pathological reasons aside I ask myself as a teacher why it is so hard for students to develop internal discipline? I have suspected for some time that people, in general, think of themselves as looking out from inside their heads and simply riding around inside their bodies. I think this is where the essence of Classical Tai Chi as "mindfulness meditation" comes to fruition. The head in this scenario reigns supreme but really is a purveyor of the illusion. . I'm not talking about eyesight per se here but the neuroscientist Sam Harris has pointed out research that shows people always think of objects as closer to their head than say their knees, back, etc.
In his book, Uncovering the Treasure, Master Stephen Hwa talks about the Mental state of a beginner and elucidates on how we think of the torso: "We think about the dexterity of hands or feet but think
of the torso as a dull part of the body, not knowing that the torso can be developed to have just as much
dexterity. As a result, almost everyone who starts on Classical Tai Chi is awkward in their torso. Precise
command and control of the neuromuscular system in the torso area are nonexistent.Yet, it is crucial in the development of Internal Discipline. During early Form training, students have to look intensely inward trying to establish communication with the torso, not just for command and control but also to develop sensitivity to the sensation of the body's feedback. Knowing the correct sensation of a movement is one of the best tools to achieve self-improvement."