Tai Chi

Tao Menu

Brief Overviews:

Tao General

This section contains a brief information relating to Tao, and when one thinks that according to Lao Tzu, it is impossible to describe the Tao, then this is by definition wrong!
However I have tried to include introductions to a number of subjects that are related to this topic. Including - Ying Yang, Feng-Shui and Tai Chi. I also hope to include a page on Chi at a later date.


Introduction to the Tao

This section contains both a primer, (understanding the Tao), and an introduction to the Tao.

Both of these are also available as more detailed pdf files for you to download:-

  1. Understanding the Tao pdf
  2. The Tao an Introduction pdf

Yin Yang

A brief introduction to the principles of Yin Yang, and why you should NOT assign the female or male principles to that specific gender, this is a common mistake of many who have simply heard or read that one is female and the other male.

The yin-yang symbol is probably one of the most used and misused symbols that has become popular in the western world to symbolize oneness.

Feng-Shui

Many books have sentences similar to the following: -
Once you have found a suitable location, made sure you are facing a supportive direction, you can then turn your attention to the interior!!! Are these writers serious?

In the two articles you will find a short overview of the principles of Feng Shui, and the home.

I will be incorporating some, (if not many) of the feng shui principles in the 'Lifestyles' section.

Tai Chi

The aim of Tai Chi is to foster a calm and tranquil mind, focusing on the movements and exercising control over ones self.

Tai Chi movements have their origins in the martial arts, and practicing Tai Chi does have some martial art applications.
For many practitioners the focus in practicing Tai chi is not first and foremost martial art orientated, but a meditative exercise for the body, for others the combat aspects of Tai Chi are of interest.

waterfall

What is Tai Chi?

The aim of Tai Chi is to foster a calm and tranquil mind.

In battle there are only two methods of attack -
the direct and the indirect.
Yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of combinations.
Sun Tzu's, "The Art of War" (circa. 500b.c)

The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Force'. The notion of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. 'Force' (or, more literally, 'fist') can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or 'supreme-ultimate' discipline.

Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called 'sets') which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

For many practitioners the focus in doing them is not, first and foremost, martial, but as a meditative exercise for the body. For others the combat aspects of Tai Chi are of considerable interest. In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of 'chi', a vital force that animates the body. One of the avowed aims of Tai Chi is to foster the circulation of this 'chi' within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced. This 'chi' circulates in patterns that are close related to the nervous and vascular system and thus the notion is closely connected with that of the practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.

Another aim of Tai Chi is to foster a calm and tranquil mind, focused on the precise execution of these exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical avenue for learning about such things as balance, alignment, fine-scale motor control, rhythm of movement, the genesis of movement from the body's vital centre, and so on. Thus the practice of Tai Chi can in some measure contribute to being able to better stand, walk, move, run, etc. in other spheres of life as well. Many practitioners notice benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which can contribute to tension or injury. Furthermore the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in and of itself.

Because the Tai Chi movements have their origins in the martial arts, practicing them does have some martial applications. In a two-person exercise called 'push-hands' Tai Chi principles are developed in terms of being sensitive to and responsive of another person's 'chi' or vital energy. It is also an opportunity to employ some of the martial aspects of Tai Chi in a kind of slow-tempo combat. Long-time practitioners of Tai Chi

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