fig 1. Preparation
fig 2. Preparation B
fig 3. Preparation C
fig 4. Embracing the Tree
I was once in conversation with a retired
She remarked that she herself did and recommended 'Embracing
She adopted the posture and said:
"Spirit of Tree"
I asked her what she then visualized.
She replied "Spirit of Tree".
I foolishly pressed the issue and further asked "do
you visualize the 'spirit' of the tree".
She replied "Tree IS Spirit!"
If I were to ask her: does she imagine the nature of
a tree? I suppose she would reply
"Tree IS Nature".
Preparation is necessary to establish ones balance and
bearing prior to movement.
Preperation is the part of the iceberg that is beneath
the surface. It is not apparent; but it is essential.
Establish yourself a 'routine'
of sinking, rooting and connecting downwards, upwards,
front and rear; outwards.
fig 1. The normal position for
preparation of any tai chi form and is the nearest tai
chi gets to any identifying 'salute'.
What is the difference between
Chi Kung/Internal and Yi Jin Jin/External?
fig 1: Tai Chi
fig 2 : Yi Jin Jin
When 'in' preparation the internal organs are allowed
to 'sink' and the chest is filled on the in breath.
On the out breath that follows the internal organs,
which have already sunk and can sink no further; respond
by 'relaxing' - upward out outward. The lungs empty
and themselves, relax and sink. You may 'visualize'
this whole process as an internal circle.
These words have already confused the issue and anyway
it's much easier done than said; and if you just relax
it is what happens anyway! Just make sure that you prepare
In fig 2. there are red arrows
indicating some outward energy, but there is no indication
on which breath (in or out) that this effort is concentrated.
The arrows indicate your intention. If it is on the
in breath that your chi 'expands' internally; then it
is Chi Kung that you're doing!
If it on the out breath that you concentrate your chi
from your 'center' to your fingertips and all connections
to the external; then it is Yi Jin Jin that you're doing!
You (any human being) can do both, and in everyday applications
we all usually do it right anyway. Most of us breath
out as we push a broken down car and most of us breath
in before we stand up.
The practice of Chi Kung and Yi Jin Jin is to concentrate
internal and external chi respectively. Tai Chi combines
the two fluidly, and often more fundamentally than might
at first be noticed and simply one (internal) and then
the other (external).
Adopt the posture fig 3 to aid
the visualization of external chi. On the out breath
'send' your chi to your fingertips;and imagine the golden
thread connecting upwards.
On that out breath imagine your feet sinking and you
toes rooting. Imagine the bubbling spring and
imagine it bubbling between your toes. Very external!
On the in breath, relax. On the out -don't strain yourself
- the image is 'expand'.
Embracing the Tree may
be utilized with either Chi Kung or Yi Jin Jin.
Take a break in the form of Moccasu.
Relax, clear your mind and the
resume - this time Moccasu, Attention, Preparation A
B & C and then ...