Archive for June 2010

Basic Taiji Principles, Overview   1 comment

Like a stepped pyramid, we lay down a foundation, taking us higher as we go.

Taoist physics, the laws of energy.

This article is about outlining some of the basic Taiji principles that I have discovered through the years, and some taught to me by Master Dong. I will explain each one in time. These are not the “Classic Taiji Principles” that other authors have written about through the ages, but a pragmatic look at the common sense of practical Taiji.

These are not the only principles that I will discuss, many esoteric principles can be inserted in between and after the ones on this basic list, yet they are most basic and important ones. Understanding the physics of the human energy system and codifying, and sharing these principles is my life’s work.

Staying on your feet is an important skill that can save your life, whether talking about martial arts, or walking down a flight of stairs. There are many obvious gains from assimilating these principles into our lives but know that these principles go far deeper than Taijiquan.

The entire human energy system uses these same principles, not just your body, but also the mind, emotions and spirit. I am taking about the laws of physics; nothing is exempt from these basic principles of the universe.

For example, energy follows the path of least resistance; therefore reducing the resistance to energy increases the flow and the apparent volume of energy. The best way to remove resistance is to remove blockages. These blockages can be from misalignment and (muscle) tension. Again these principles are not necessarily only about your body, keep in mind the “big picture”.

The way to remove obstructions is to align and relax…. Know that aligning will facilitate relaxation. It is easier to relax when we have good alignment, like in the physical attribute of structural integrity.  A strong frame requires less reinforcement; look at an “earthquake resistant” building, a proper frame, allows for a flexible, less ridged, relaxed structure.

Likewise, in relationships, having the same values and interests with another is “alignment” with this alignment a person will be more relaxed. Being aligned and relaxed leads to balance, and with a little give and take (counterbalance) we can achieve a harmonious relationship. Understanding energy is about a relationship with it and it applies to all things accordingly.

While keeping the big picture in mind and realizing that there is a hierarchy to these principles and also that Taijiquan is a method of training and understanding energy, we need to start with the most important principles first. Layering principles overtime will bring enlightenment.

To get started, to keep things simple here is a basic outline to these principles. Each principle will require further explanation, so be patient, and check back to the “Taiji Principles” category here on this blog.

To make comprehending and learning these principle easier, I have organized them into three sub-groups of three principles each. Beginners should mostly be concerned with the first three. Intermediate students focus on the first six and as students progress keep layering principles until all nine are understood.

Principles:

Align
Relax
Root
Balance
Harmonize
String of pearls
Not too much not too little
Open and close
See all things

What do you do? Diet and exercise   4 comments

Temptation is in the small things…..
Love is patient endurance……

David

natural woman

Imagine you are a Taoist… you wake up in the morning and do your Qigong while your blood sugar and adrenalin levels are high.
Then you have some fruit, later for lunch, a nice salad with some veggies.  When you are done for the day, when you can relax, you enjoy a piece of fish, some meditation and then off to a restful sleep…

I have a food/nutrition philosophy; mostly, I only eat food.  By that, I mean “food that a natural person would eat”.  For example, in nature, there are no such things as bread or cheese, or packaged foods, and most food we now eat cooked was consumed raw.  I am not against cooked food, but mostly keep to raw foods.  In the cooked food area, I think we need to cook our meat these days, and I occasionally eat cooked beans and rarely even potatoes.

For the most part, I eat as if I was a natural person living in the natural world; fruit, vegetables, and some meat make up the lion’s share of my diet. Did you know that in countries where we consider people “under nourished” there is a longer life expectancy than here in America? Most people just eat too much of the wrong foods at the wrong times…

Another principle I mostly adhere to is that of proper food combining or for me actually, not combining…   Because of the facts of the body’s digestive system, we can optimize our diets to work in harmony with our natural attributes.  For example, our digestive juices are specific for certain foods and bad combinations can cancel out the chemistry so we get poor or no digestion. Also drinking after eating dilutes the digestive acid causing incomplete digestion.  Starch like bread, rice, or potatoes, require a different chemistry then protein; this can lead to such things as un-digested meat rotting for days inside our intestines.

Meals as common as “Fish and rice” or Steak and potatoes” “Spaghetti and meat sauce” and even the “Sandwich” are all recipes for poor digestion and I avoid them.  The main idea is, never mix anything with fruit, and do not mix proteins and starches.

A typical day’s food consumption for me would be something like this…
Mornings, from 6 AM until noon I only eat fruit ….
Afternoons I limit my food intake to vegetables and possibly a small amount of either meat or a starch.
Evenings from 6 PM until nine I would eat my meat meal.
Do not eat or drink anything after the meat or after 9 PM.

Fruit can move through you in an hour, veggies take about 4 hours but meat takes 8 hours to digest. Wait that amount of time between meals to avoid stimulating conflicting digestive chemistry. This way everything gets a chance to digest well.

Do whatever you want to when you eat out or are visiting friends do not be a “Food Nazi”; I’m just suggesting some common sense guidelines for your information.  Don’t be self-righteous about it; just remember: “Temptation is in the small things and love is patient endurance”.  In time, you will see the truth and adapt to a more healthy way of living.

I have cured my acid stomach problems, quit eating empty calories, eliminated almost all sugar, dairy, gluten, starch, fat, supplements, medicines, drugs and alcohol from my diet,  and lost over fifty pounds… effortlessly.

We may never achieve the bodies depicted above, and yet we can all dream…. and do our best to be the best we can be. Somewhere inside of us is the image of the perfect self; hold to that image and take right action.

Proper assimilation of food and daily morning qigong is a perfect two-prong approach to balanced health.