Please accept my apologies for the delay in posting this article. It’s been a bit over 5 months since my last post. I just got “caught up” in business, family, and other endeavors.
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And now—on to today’s post!
Tai Chi is so much more than the practice of a set of esoteric movements for “relaxation” or a low level of fitness.
The deeper practice of Tai Chi is the adoption of a “Tai Chi Lifestyle,” which incorporates the Principles of Tai Chi into numerous areas of your life. Now this does NOT mean taking on any special belief system, religion, or so forth.
The practice of the “Tai Chi Lifestyle” is simply applying common sense principles--which have an effective history of over 2000 years—to enhance your health, vitality, and mental clarity for a lifetime.
The Tai Chi Lifestyle is elegantly summed up in Chapter One of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, one of the foundation texts of classical Chinese medicine.
This is what the Yellow Emperor’s “Heavenly Teacher” taught him as a way to create great longevity:
“If you are tranquilly content and your mind is empty, the True Chi will
accompany you always. If your Original vital Spirit is preserved within,
from where might illness come?
“Those who know Tao pattern themselves according to Yin and Yang
and live in harmony with the motions of Heaven and Earth. They
carefully regulate eating and drinking; they arise and retire at the
appropriate hour; they do not carelessly overtax their energies.
Thus their external form and internal spirit can be fully nurtured
And they can fulfill their allotted span of years.”
The Commentary says, “If you follow these principles your body will be strong and your spirit clear, old age will be late in coming and Spring will seem to be everlasting.”
Well, all that sounds very elegant and inspiring on a philosophical level.
Now—how can you APPLY this in daily life/
The answer is the “Tai Chi Daily Three”-- Meditation, Healthy Eating, and Movement which circulates and builds QI.
Future blogposts will discuss Meditation and Movement in more detail.
For a thorough description of Healthy Eating according to Tai Chi principles, just click on
Right now, here are the principles of Meditation for the Tai Chi Lifestyle:
Your body is simply a dense configuration of energy at various frequencies of vibration. Each organ vibrates at its own set of frequencies, in health and in disease. And your body as a whole, has its overall Core Frequency. Maintaining harmony and coherence in this Core Frequency is the main purpose of Meditation, and as such is your most important daily practice for health and energy.
Many books and teachers nowadays teach meditation as a kind of “feel good” relaxation practice, a way to “zone out” for a while and get away from the stresses of life.
The Taoist (Tai Chi) approach is a bit different; it is a way to focus the mind, quiet the Spirit, and build QI at the same time. That way, the Yin function of Meditation quiets the mind and relaxes the Spirit; while the mental focus and breath (Yang function) cultivate a strong QI field and build your Core Frequency.
Here are the basics of Meditation, and we will expand on these in the next blogpost.
1) BODY. You need a stable posture. Zoning out on a couch won’t do it! You require a stable and aligned body “frame” for effective Meditation. That means the crown of your head should line up with the base of your spine; your shoulders should be in line with your hips, and your ears with your shoulders.
You don’t need to sit on the floor ”yogi style” unless you are flexible enough and enjoy sitting that way. A stable posture on a chair with your feet flat on the floor is quite OK for most people. If you do sit on the floor, make sure you sit on a firm meditation cushion , so your hips can be slightly higher than your knees.
Just remember—you need to feel STABLE and COMFORTABLE, as in the illustrations below:
2) BREATH. The second critical requirement for effective, QI-building Meditation is breath. Your breath should be altogether natural and relaxed-- absolutely NO straining of the breath. Just feel and experience your natural breathing patterns. Often your breath may feel a bit tense and uneven at first, but will soon become deeper and smoother. The old meditation texts say your breath should be “slow, long, deep, and fine,” like a baby sleeping in complete tranquility. Obviously, this is a natural process and you should NEVER strain to become “relaxed.” That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
3) MIND The third essential to Meditation is a focus for your mind. There are scores if not hundreds of ways to focus the mind, but the simplest is just to count your breaths—from one to ten, and then repeat. If you miss a count, simply start again at one. The best way is to start meditating for 10 minutes or so, and increase the minutes over time. There is no need to spend hours meditating, unless you are a Zen monk (nun) or a mountain Taoist. For most people a CONSISTENT meditation schedule of 30 minutes a day will bring amazing results for your energy level and peace of mind.
There will be a few more specifics about Meditation in the next blogpost.
Meanwhile, just get started with Meditation, the first of the "Tai Chi Daily Three"—and enjoy the results.
And don’t forget to check out the e-book on Healthy Eating as well.
Till next time,