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Push the Sky, Open Your Wings, Take Off
Fetch Your Breath Up From Deep Below
Just Stand Still to be in Sync with Nature
The Lasting Benefits of T’ai Chi
T’ai Chi Strengthens the Mind-Body Link
Emotional and Spiritual Balance with T’ai Chi
Good Teaching Inspires Flowering of the Mind
T’ai Chi is the Difference Between Life and Death
Gains from Independent Practice of T'ai Chi
Sit Like A Bell And Walk Like The Wind
T'ai Chi Is Effective In Sharpening Concentration
Remove All The Pressure That Builds Up Within You
Relaxed & Competitive with T'ai Chi
T'ai Chi for Energy is Absolutely Seamless
T’ai Chi is the Difference Between Life and Death

9th November, 2005

T'ai Chi can reinstate the flow of chi. Put simply, chi is that which gives life. In terms of the body, chi is that which differentiates a corpse from a live human being. To use a Biblical reference, it is that which God breathed into the dust to produce Adam. It is the life-energy that people hold on to when they think they are dying. A strong life force makes a human being totally alive, alert, and present; a weak life force results in sluggishness and fatigue. A strong man is one with strong lungs and a weak man is one with weak lungs, according to a Chinese saying.

The concept of 'life force' is found in most ancient cultures of the world. It is particularly evident in Chinese, Japanese and Korean culture, where the world is perceived not purely in terms of physical matter, but also in terms of invisible energy. In India it is called prana; in China chi; and in Japan ki. In some Native American tribes it is called the Great Spirit. For all these cultures, and others as well, the idea of a life force is central to their forms of medicine and healing. For example, acupuncture is based on balancing and enhancing chi to bring the body into a state of health. At its highest level, acupuncture involves injecting chi at just the right time and place and in the right amount to reinstate its natural flow in the patient. Energy can be increased in a human being. Consequently, the development of chi can make an ill person robust or a weak person vibrant; it can enhance one's mental capacity, too.

The concept of chi extends beyond the physical body, to the subtle energies that activate all human functions, including emotions and thought. Unbalanced chi causes you to become emotionally agitated and distressed. Balanced chi causes your emotions to become smooth and more satisfying. From the perspective of thought, when your mental chi becomes more refined, it enhances your creativity at all levels, including art, business, relationships and child-rearing. Spiritual chi makes it more possible for us to personally enter into higher states consciousness which lie at the heart of religious experience.

Chi embodies antithetical qualities: it can be used for healing, or it can be used for breaking stones. T'ai Chi and other forms of Taoist martial and healing arts, help you develop subtle chi-energy. In the T'ai Chi form, the mind initiates the flow of chi, which, in turn, initiates each movements. However, each movement intensifies the chi. Thus, there is a synergistic effect that greatly escalates the flow of chi over time.

Many of us become slightly nervous when we encounter someone who seems to possess more talent than we do, but in the end it's the energy that prevails. Talent is the raw material of progress, but I doubt if it makes life any richer in the absence of energy. Those who have won fame and fortune through talent are those who devote every ounce of energy they could summon to putting into operation. My formula is: energy plus talent and you are king; energy and no talent and you are a prince; talent and no energy and you are a pauper.