GBol Arts

Taichi Notes Archive

Finding the Suspension Point

George at a Seminar

In doing Taichi, the most important thing to keep in mind is that feeling is always your guide. Taichi is not a physical exercise, but rather an internal art, so physical postures are not the end, but rather a means to accomplish the end.

With that in mind, let’s talk about one of the basics in Taichi; finding the suspension point. When you first start out, you are told to suspend from the crown point, as if hanging by a string. This is a good point to start, but then you have to go beyond this physical description in order to really feel truly suspended.

First, stand in a relaxed manner in your Preparation Form and focus on your crown point. With the eyes closed, try and feel an imaginary point on top of your head and focus your attention there. When you get the sensation of a point here, rock very slowly forward and backward, making sure not to move too much, as you do not want to lose your balance. Keep rocking forward and backward until you feel the point in the center of the motion, where you are perfectly suspended. When you do this correctly, you will feel the spot "lock in" when you are in the right spot and then lose this feeling when you are not. This will give you the correct forward - backward aspect of your suspension.

Next, you want to follow the same procedure, but this time, you want to move gradually left to right, again looking for that feeling that you are "locked in" when you hit the right point. Remember that this is a point you are looking for, a very small point. You may experience a tingling in your crown point as you move into the correct position. Refine the feeling down to the smallest point possible.

By following this procedure, over time this point will get very small and very specific. You are using the feeling like a set of cross hairs to locate the exact point of suspension. Remember again that this is done by feeling and that it is not a physical process. It takes time and effort to do this by feeling only. After concentrated practice over a period of time, you will be able to locate the correct point right away without any thought or effort involved at all.

Another tip to help with this is keeping the tip of the nose, or the tip of the tailbone in mind. If you feel yourself drifting forward, put your mind on the tip of your tailbone. This will tend to pull the tailbone in and correct the feeling of drifting forward. If on the other hand, you feel that you are drifting backward, put your mind on the tip of your nose, and this will pull you back forward.

At first you will have to use your imagination when you are trying to feel this point. As with all things Taichi, you always start with the imagination to help you. Sometimes thinking of an imaginary crosshairs with this point at the center may be helpful. Keep at it and be sincere, and you will be able to really "feel" this point.