Taichi and Tao - Part 3
In this installment, we conclude our discussion of Taichi and Tao. Up to now we discussed how Martial Arts, health benefits and healing practices of Taichi are only a part of true Taichi in Part 1, and in Part 2, how you must first experience your internal energy, then work to be able to flow that energy, and develop the ability to transmit a signal (Jing), outside of your body through Two Person practice. Next, in the Meditation Circle, you work with a group energy to further develop your own energy, and finally, return once again to your individual practice, to complete the cycle and reconnect with your Teh.
This connecting with your Teh is where real Taichi comes into being. But what are we talking about here? The Teh is that piece of Tao that we are all born with. As we grow, and pile on more and more artificial learning and knowledge, we become increasingly disconnected from this pure original energy, and thus lose that connection that we once had to the Tao. The suffering that we experience in our lives, be it pain, worry, stress or illness, is due this loss of connection to what is true and natural. What is artificial then becomes "real" for us, and what is real and natural seems abnormal.
So in this final phase of your practice, you work on putting your fragmented, damaged energy back together again, so that you can reconnect with that memory that is Teh. Up to this point you have been doing a lot of Chi Gong, or Chi work to rebuild and reassemble your energy. The next step to reconnect with the Teh is where your Tao Gong, or Tao work begins, and this is the Taichi and Tao connection. The Tao Teh Ching is your manual for this work. This book is often mistakenly described as a book about the way of virtue. Instead, it is a manual for how to reconnect with that Teh, that true you that you have lost, so that you can reconnect with the Tao.
This then is the real meaning of the statement in the Taichi Classics that you go from no form, to form, to no form. You do your individual Single From practice to take you from no form to form. Then, in the intermediary levels we have described in the last two installments, you develop the "form" part of your practice, through Two Person practice and the Meditation circle. Then, once again, you return to your individual practice to do your Tao Gong work.
At this level of practice, you spend a lot more time on the most intimate details of your practice. You work with standing and seated meditation postures, and focus on letting go in the truest sense of that term. You must let go of everything, all of the artificial you have accumulated, and return to the natural, which is the most difficult, yet most rewarding work that you will ever do. All of the senses must be turned inward and become pure feeling, which requires the guidance of a qualified Master to truly achieve. This is the highest level of internal work, and takes years of diligent, pure and sincere practice to achieve.
In these short articles, it is not possible to plumb the great depths of this truly wonderful art. I can only hope that through reading them, that you will be inspired to take your Taichi practice to higher levels, or at the very least, to see that there is so much more to the art than just application through Martial Arts, healing, or even Spiritual reading. Taichi is a lifetime of work, and if you are a truly sincere dedicated student, it will become a lifestyle for you, not just a practice you do for part of your day. Then, you will find yourself living a more natural, and much less stressful life. My sincerest wishes that this will become true for everyone.