Taijiquan Lun

Postby Audi » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:34 pm

Greetings all,

I only have a few moments to write (Practice awaits!), but wanted to say a few things.

More and more I see lines 1 and 2 as descriptions of the Taiji, with the last four characters in line 2 as deliberately ambiguous. I have a lot of doubts about the interpretation of "sui qu jiu chen" as being a summation of Taijiquan practice or theory. How would this apply to Strike Tiger, for example? I prefer it as a comment about how the Taiji manifests even in the bending and straightening of Taijiquan's movements.

I think also that throughout lines 3-9, the reference to the Taiji is still somewhat explicit. In other words, rather than describing the practice of Taijiquan per se, I think the author is explaining how the Taiji manifests within the practice of Taijiquan. Each line seems to be an explanation of two aspects that together have a Taiji relationship.

As for xu ling ding jin, I like what Joseph Adler at Kenyon College has written about xu ling zhi jue. Louis, I believe, first referred me to some of this theories.

My interpretation is that "xu ling" means "being empty of preconceptions and effectively and dynamically in tune and engaged." These two qualities together will naturally support (i.e., "ding") the Jin. This could be one aspect of the Taiji of energy.

The other aspect would then be "sinking the Qi to one's core (i.e., the Dantian). Together, you have the full range of energy in its hidden potential (i.e., Qi) and in its active expression (i.e., Jin).

When I get a chance I will try to post more.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Anderzander » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:13 pm

My own experience of this phrase is something like this...


an empty energy to the head top

This to me seems to be a direct description of how to suspend the head top. Elsewhere we are told what the results of suspending the head top are – but for me, this is telling me how to do it.

I experience that energy can be full or empty (and differing combinations – but a black and white appraisal makes it much easier for me to attempt to explain myself here – so please excuse that indulgence!). Full is where the mind is expanded and ‘packed in’. It creates a full shape. In the way that someone can ‘make’ chi kung and the body become full or expanded.

The characteristic of fullness is that the body feels powerful and connected. Perhaps that the body is full of intent – it is strong in the direction(s) in which it is focused (or in relation to), but if moved then without changing the whole will be affected.

Empty energy is where the mind is expanded and open. There is no sense of shape, which creates a freedom to change. Perhaps just a focus on a central point, or line, and a sense of the space around it.

Raising that kind of awareness at the crown seems to provide all the returns that it is described that it should do. Ie from suspending the crown.

It seems that if a sense of fullness of mind is used (to raise the headtop) it has the feeling of driving the upper body up – of pushing erect – or at least a state of holding. When an empty energy is moved up then the crown feels suspended and what is below feels free and devoid of holding.

energy sinks to the Dan Tien

Having suspended the crown – it seems natural that the body will then sink down from it. In the same way that tying a rope to a branch will allow gravity to act through its length and pull it straight.

As has been said – it is the 2nd side of the coin to the suspended head top.

I hope that may prove useful to someone!

Stephen
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Anderzander » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:15 pm

Sorry - double post

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 09-29-2008).]
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:05 pm

Greetings Audi,

You mentioned Joseph Alder’s writings and the light they shed on “xuling,” and I think this may be key to understanding the intended meaning of the phrase “xu ling ding jin” in the Taijiquan Lun. Alder’s explanations of “xuling,” and “xuling zhijue” point to their usage in the writings and commentaries of Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Once again, a good deal of the language and phrases in the Taijiquan Lun draw upon identifiable sources including Zhou Dunyi’s “Theory of the Taiji Diagram,” the Analects, Mengzi, Intrigues of the Warring States, etc. (See Douglas Wile’s chart on pages 158-59 in his _Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty_.) I think by far the most obvious influence or conduit evidenced in these phrases is Zhu Xi. Whoever wrote the Taijiquan Lun, whether Wang Zongue or someone else, was apparently quite familiar with Zhu Xi’s commentaries on the Four Books, which he helped to make the core curriculum for scholars studying to attain official status in late imperial China: the Analects, the Mengzi, the Greater Learning (Da Xue), and the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong Yong). In fact, the greater portion of quotes and allusions in the Taijiquan Lun—including “wuguo byji” (without excess or insufficiency), “yongli zhi jiu/huoran guantong” (exertion of effort over time/sudden penetrating comprehension), “bu pian buyi” (no leaning or inclining)— come directly from Zhu Xi’s commentary to the Da Xue. This being the case, I think there is a strong case to be made that the author of the Taijiquan Lun was influenced by Zhu Xi’s use of “xuling” in his commentary to the Da Xue. The Da Xue opens with the statement that the way of greater learning lies in keeping clear one’s “luminous virtue” (ming de). Here is Daniel Gardner’s translation of Zhu Xi’s commentary on the meaning of “ming de”:

“[ming de] is what man acquires from heaven; it is unprejudiced, spiritual, and completely unmuddled [xuling bumei], and therefore embodies the multitudinous manifestations of principle and responds to the myriad affairs.” —Gardner, _Chu Hsi and the Ta-hsueh: Neo-Confucian Reflection on the Confucian Canon_1968, pp. 89, 136.

Further evidence of the xuling phrase appears in the Yang Forty Chapters. For example, in text 22, “An Explanation of Lightness and Heaviness, Floating and Sinking, in Taiji,” the exact “xuling bumei” phrase from Zhu Xi appears in the line that Wile translates: “When one’s internal lightness is not clouded (xuling bumei), then it will express itself as clarity in the external ch’i as it flows into the limbs.” (Lost, pp. 76-77, 153-144) The xuling phrase also appears in text 38, in a line that Wile translates: “Spiritual cultivation brings great virtue [xuling neng de ming]. Here, it may be a stretch to translate xuling as ‘spiritual cultivation,’ but accepting that xuling is a process or a prerequisite, I would interpret it to mean that xuling “enables the brightening of virtue.” Again, the resonance with Zhu Xi’s Da Xue commentary is unmistakable. In fact, I would argue that the earlier lines in the Lun—“From careful investigation and experience, one may gradually realize how to comprehend energy. From comprehending energy you will attain by degrees intuitive clarity.”—closely follow the sense of the Da Xue itself, which emphasizes self-cultivation (xiu shen: cultivation of one’s person/body), and asserts that “the investigation of things” (gewu) is a prerequisite component of self-cultivation. I see a resonance of the Lun’s “careful investigation” with the Da Xue’s “investigation of things,” and its “shenming” (intutitive clarity) with the Da Xue’s “ming de.” Even the argumentative structure of the Lun line echoes the classic Chinese use of syllogisms: the conclusion of one phrase forming the premise of the next—“From X comes Y, and from Y being established comes Z.” The entire Da Xue is a great example of the use of sorites, or chains of syllogisms. A careful look at the Da Xue itself will reveal what I mean:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Xue

So, what is “xuling” doing in this document about taijiquan? As I stated earlier, I view the document as a whole as taking the cosmological theme of taiji as a model for an ultimate psycho-physical stance involving the cultivation and maintenance of equilibrium. The line “xuling dingjin; qi chen dantian” can with some certainty be seen as primarily a physical prescription about, as Jerry put it, “stretching one end of the spine upward and the other downward.” But if “xuling” is in fact an allusion to Zhu Xi’s use of the term, it would appear that in addition to the physical alignment of the crown of the head reaching upward and the pulling down through the dantian, the Lun prescription is at once physical and mental, or psychological.

There are well-established Chinese practices of self-cultivation that involve the physical alignment of the body, whether sitting or standing. One of the earliest can be found in the Nei Ye text in the Guanzi, where the prescription for alignment (zheng) of the body and of the four limbs is linked to the alignment and stilling of the mind. During the Ming, Lin Zhao-en, the leader of the syncretic movement drawing upon Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism, taught a practice he called “stilling the back” for which he drew upon imagery in hexagram 52 (gen, mountain/stillness). Throughout the Confucian tradition, self-cultivation uses imagery of “taking one’s stand” or fixing your stance as would an archer as a physical manifestation of a psychological uprightness and clarity.

Making a hard and fast case for this interpretation of “xuling dingjin” is of course complicated by the fact that some versions of the Lun use the alternate character “ling” meaning “neck, collar, to lead, to guide, etc.” Easier to conclude, I think, is the idea that the phrase is, as Jerry aptly put it, a “coded expression” which requires personal instruction and individual investigation to clearly grasp. Yang Chengfu’s elaboration in the first of his Ten Essentials is very helpful in that regard.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 10-05-2008).]
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1336
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby yslim » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:37 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Phocion:
<B>This very interesting discussion about line eight raises a couple of questions I hope someone can answer for me.

First, I chose to render "qi" as "breath" because "jing" is clearly "energy," and I don't understand the difference between qi energy and jing energy. "Energy1 raises the headtop, energy2 sinks the dan tian" didn't seem very illuminating, but "breath sinks to the dan tian" I could make sense of, at least in a tactile way. So, how are they related (or are they distinct)? Are they different types of energy or is one a sub-type of the other?

Second, what about voice? "Raise the energy to the headtop, sink the qi to the dan tian" or "Energy raises the headtop, qi sinks the dan tian"? Does the lack of a passive marker rule out the use of the passive voice?

Dave</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

[This very interesting discussion about line eight raises a couple of questions I hope someone can answer for me.]

I SHALL TRY TO DO MY BEST.

[First, I chose to render "qi" as "breath" because "jing" is clearly "energy,"]

IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR ‘YI’ WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “BREATH”. IN TAIJIQUAN ‘BREATH’ COULD MEAN AN OPEN AND CLOSE OR GATHER AND RELEASE THE ‘QI’/ENERGY. GATHER THE QI TO STORE IT AND TO RELEASE IT FOR STRIKING POWER. IF YOU HAVE DOUBT ABOUT IT, ASK YOUR TEACHER TO TRY IT ON YOU. THE “TACTILE WAY” THAT YOU MENTIONED WOULD BE, YOU WILL BOUNCE OFF INSTEAD OF BEING PUSHED OFF AND YOU MAY OR MAY NOT END UP LANDING ON YOUR BUTT DEPENDING ON THE MERCY OF YOUR TEACHER’S ‘YI’ INTENT. IF THIS HAPPENING HAS NOT OCCURRED, THEN YOU HAVE TWO THINGS TO PONDER 1, THAT YOU CAN’T LEARN IT YET. 2, YOUR TEACHER CAN’T TEACH. IF THIS “QI” IS NOT USED FOR MARTIAL ART IT CAN BE USED FOR ENERGY-HEALING, AND SELF CULTIVATION TO IMPROVE YOUR LONGEVITY AND THE ‘TACTILE WAY’ THAT YOU SEEK WILL BE EXPRESSED BY FEELING GOOD WITH LONG LASTING ‘JING-SHEN’ OR VITALITY AND A LONG LIFE TO ENJOY IT. WHAT CAN ONE ASK FOR “EATING BITTER WHEN ONE PRACTICES TAIJI ?
“JING” IS THE RESULT OF THE ‘YI’ MANIPULATING THE “QI” TO CREATE AN EMPTY/SOFT YET FULL POWER. THIS IS CALLED THE “INTERNAL JING” WHICH IS UNIQUE TO INTERNAL MARTIAL ART SUCH AS TAIJIQUAN. IN TAIJIQUAN FOR SHORT WE CALL IT “JING” THERE IS A “JING” WHICH OMITTING THE USE OF YI TO MANIPULATE THE “QI” IN THEIR BODY STRUCTURE ALIGNMENT,IT IS CALLED “EXTERNAL JING” COMMONLY KNOW AS “LI” (PHYSICAL STIFF FORCE). THIS EXTERNAL JING IS USED BY EXTERNAL MARTIAL ARTIST AND THAT ALSO INCLUDES THE TAIJI BEGINNER UNTIL THEY LEARN THE ‘REAL’ “FANG SONG”. IF ONE CAN’T REACH THE LEVEL OF ‘REAL’ ‘FANG SONG’. ONE HAS NO REAL INTERNAL JING. ‘FA JING' IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. BECAUSE ONE CAN NOT DELIVER SOMETHING ONE DOES NOT HAVE. I.O.U. DOES NOT WORK IN TAIJI.

[ and I don't understand the difference between qi energy and jing energy.]

THE QI ENERGY IS MUCH HARDER TO DETECT FROM THOSE WHO POSSESS IT . IT FEELS ‘EMPTY’ LIKE IT IS DISAPPEARING ON YOU WHEN YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT AND YET IT IS FULL ENOUGH TO LET YOU JUST TOUCH BUT CAN NOT LAND ON IT TO BORROW IT ( A FLY OR A FEATHER CAN'T LANDS ON IT). WITH ITS HIDDEN SKILLS SOME HOW CAN LEAD YOU INTO AN EMPTY SPACE OF NO RETURN WHERE YOU LOST YOUR BALANCE WITHOUT REALLY KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED AND YET YOU KNEW YOU ARE GOING TO FLY. THAT WHEN I FOUND MYSELF LAUGHING WITH MY YI "HE GOT ME! AGAIN!!"
“JING” ENERGY IS MUCH EASIER TO DETECT EVEN THOUGH IT IS SOFT AND FANG SONG. BUT OFTEN ONE LEAVE A RESIDUAL OR JING ‘CONNECTION' THAT LINKING YOUR BODY ALIGNMENT WHICH YOUR OPPONENT IS ABLE TO DETECT SO IT CAN BE BORROWED AND USED AGAINST YOU.ANY TIME YOU HAVE SOMETHING SUBSTANTIAL ON YOU SUCH AS 'JING', HE CAN USE IT AGAINST YOU. YOUR WAY OUT IS LEARN THE ART OF TRANSFORMING THE SUBSTANTIAL INTO AN INSUBSTANTIAL.

[ "Energy1 raises the headtop, energy2 sinks the dan tian" didn't seem very illuminating, but "breath sinks to the dan tian" I could make sense of, at least in a tactile way. So, how are they related (or are they distinct)? Are they different types of energy or is one a sub-type of the other?]
[Second, what about voice? "Raise the energy to the headtop, sink the qi to the dan tian" or "Energy raises the headtop, qi sinks the dan tian"? Does the lack of a passive marker rule out the use of the passive voice?]

YOUR TWO PART QUESTION IS ONE VERY GOOD QUESTION. THE LINE #5 IN TAIJIQUAN LUN STATES: EVEN THOUGH THE “CHANGING” WILL BRING ABOUT ENDLESS BEGINNING POINT/OPEN-ENDED. BUT THE PRINCIPLE ONE AND THE SAME.

THROUGH THE TAIJI PRACTICE I GAINED MY EXPERIENCE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE.IN MY BEGINNER YEARS MOSTLY I USE IMAGES. NOW IT IS ALL IN ‘TACTILE’ WAY THAT I BECAME MORE OR LESS AN OBSERVER AS WELL. I MUST DO FANG SONG WITH SOMETHING IN IT, (YI AND QI). THE BODY AND YI MUST ‘FANG SONG’ BEFORE I COULD HAVE A “TACTILE” FEELING WHEN APPLY LINE #8. THE FIRST WORD ON LINE 8 IS ‘XU’ MEAN ‘EMPTY’ AS SPACE, AS IN THE SPONGY SPONGE CAKE VS CHEESE CAKE EVEN THOUGH BOTH ARE SOFT. THESE SPACES ALLOWS THE ‘YI’ , LEADING THE QI TO TRAVEL THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BODY FULLY AND FREELY WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTION TO ACHIEVE THE GOAL OF “LING’, IT MEANS AS A WHOLE FROM THE HEAD TOP TO HEEL BOTTOM IT BECOMES ONE ‘LIVELY’ UNIT AND ‘YIN-YANG CHANGING INSTANTLY’ UNDER ANY CONDITION. WITH THIS PRINCIPLE IN MIND I WILL START WITH ‘YI’ IN MY DANTIEN TO GIVE MY CHI/WEIGHT/GRAVITY DOWNWARD THROUGH MY 'FANG SONG KUA’ ,HEEL TO THE GROUND AND THE GROUND GIVES ME BACK GROUND QI (THIS IS LIKE AS YOU ENTER THE BATH TUB FULL OF WATER TO ITS RIM, THE WATER WILL RISING UPWARD TO SPILL OVER), THEN RETURN IN THE SAME PATH AND THROUGH THE TAIL BONE/BUT TUCKS TO THE WAIST, THE DIRECTOR, AT THIS POINT THE YI CONTINUE TO LEAD THE “QI” UP THE SPINE, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FEEL EACH VERTEBRA AS IT MOVING UPWARD WITH YI ONLY,NO MUSCULAR STIFFNESS INTEND! AND SIMULTANEOUSLY “SINK” THE QI IN THE DANTIEN. FORMING A TWO PRONG ACTION EQUALLY IN COUNTER-BALANCE FASHION,ONE TO THE HEAD TOP AND THE OTHER TO HEEL BOTTOM. ‘DING’ ALSO MEANS TO ‘HOLD UP’ LIKE PILLAR HOLDING UP THE CROSS BEAM. (NOT GOING BEYOND THE TOUCH-POINT). THEY SEEN TO BE AT REST LIKE A TAIJI FANG SONG POSTURE AND LET THE GRAVITY DO ALL THE WORK.
THIS "DING" IS NOT A LINER BUT VOLUME ACTION TO FILL THE WHOLE UNIT WITH YI (WHERE IS THE YI GO SO GO THE THE QI).IN THESE TWO PRONG ACTIONS CREATE A POWERFUL SPINE AS FULL AS A ‘FULL BOW’ GIVING A SENSATION OF "DING-JING" YET IT WON’T BREAK BECAUSE IT IS A SPRING-LIKE UNIT OF ‘XU-LING': THIS IS THE ACTION OF DEFENSE TO PULL THE BOW FULL TO GATHER QI. WHEN THE BOW IS FULL TO 'DING-JING’. THE JING WILL DELIVER/RELEASE SHOOT OFF A STRAIGHT OFFENSE WITH SPEED AND PENETRATE LIKE AN ARROW. THIS IS CALL "FA JING". AS THE SAYING GO,'SEEK THE STRAIGHT IN AN ARC'.
HOPE MY PRACTICE WILL COVER ALL YOUR FOUR PRONG QUESTION ‘ ENERGY RAISES THE HEADTOP OR RAISE THE ENERGY TO HEAD TOP' 'QI SINK THE DANTIEN' 'QI SINK TO THE DATIEN' ARE NO DIFFERENT AS LONG AS YOU KNOW: “THE LIVE-FORCE/YI IS ORIGINATED AT THE WAIST". AND “PAY ATTENTION AT ALL TIME TO THE SPACE AROUND THE WAIST."

'XU-LING' IS YIN, 'DING-JING' IS YANG. QI TO HEAD TOP THAT MEAN FROM WAIST UP IS LIGHT.(YIN)QI/WEIGHT/GRAVITY TO DANTEIN DOWNWARDLY MEAN FROM WAIST DOWN IS HEAVY.(YANG). SO THE PRINCIPLE ONE AND THE SAME.YIN-YANG CHANGING.

THIS IS A SIMPLE ANSWER FROM A SIMPLE MAN. IT IS SIMPLY ONLY MY OWN EXPERIENCE.PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT ANY MORE COMPLICATED.
CIAO WITH PEACE IN TAIJI PRACTICE.
yslim


[This message has been edited by yslim (edited 10-07-2008).]

[This message has been edited by yslim (edited 10-07-2008).]
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Postby Phocion » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:49 pm

Thanks for that, Louis. Much to think about and digest. But being a simple minded sort of guy, may I ask what you suggest as a translation for "xuling dingjin"?

Or shall we acknowledge that there is no adequate translation and move on to the next line?

Thanks again,

Dave
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby yslim » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:24 pm

[B]Well, I ought to be quiet and listen in the presence of my betters, but rather than let the thread die, I'll offer my (no doubt, inaccurate) rendering.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Potion:

HI DAVE

IT IS GOOD OF YOU NOT LETTING THE THREAD DIE. NOW I HAVE SOMETHING TO MUNCH ON AS I WATCHING THE STOCK MARKET’S ‘SPIRIT OF WEALTH’, IS GOING OUT OF MY ‘MIND’. ALL THESE GOOD MUNCHIES ON THIS YANG FAMILY BOARD KEEP ME IN PEACE SO MY TAIJI SPIRIT COULD RAISE TO THE HEAD TOP WHILE I HAVING THIS KNOTTY SENSATION MY MONEY CHI IS SINKING DOWN TO DANTIEN ONLY, AND NOT TO THE HEEL BOTTOM.

THANK YOU FOR SAVE THE COOKIE JAR FOR MY SANCTUARY

SINCE YOU ARE FROM OAKLAND, CA. , THERE IS A TAIJI WORKSHOP IN SAN FRANCISCO ON OCT.25-26, 2008 FROM 9AM-5PM. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU MUST GO! NO MATTER WHAT STYLE TAIJI YOU PRACTICE. IT WILL BE A BIG EYE-OPENER FOR YOU! IF NOT, WE WILL BUY YOU LUNCH BEFORE YOU DRIVE BACK TO OAKLAND. LET IT BE MY APPRECIATION FOR YOUR EFFORT TO KEEPING THIS THREAD ALIVE. NO, WE ARE NOT WORKING FOR HIM. HE WORKS ALONE. WE ARE FROM MONTEREY, CA. WE HAVE TO STAY OVER NIGHT FOR HIS WORK SHOP.WE MET HIM AT A TIME THAT WE WERE ‘READY’ AND’ MEAN-TO-BE’ FEW YEARS AGO. SINCE THEN WE DIDN’T MISS ANY OF HIS WORKSHOP IN SAN FRANCISCO. I AM TELLING YOU THIS MORE FOR YOU THEN FOR HIM. TEACHER LIKES HIM SO OPENLY SHARE AND GIVES AND HAND ON TESTING AT ALL TIME IS VERY RARE INDEED. TO MEET A MASTER LIKE HIM IS A ONCE-IN-A-LIFE-TIME THING, WE WERE LUCKY. SINCE HE IS LIVING AT YOUR FRONT YARD YOU SHOULD GO! HOPE TO MEET YOU THEN. IF NOT, IT IS JUST A NOT-MEAN-TO-BE.
BUT IF YOU CHOSE TO GO…CHECK THIS OUT. www.mastergeorgexu.com
IF YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS GREAT TEACHER. WE ARE HAPPY TO SHARE WITH YOU. MY ADDRESSES IS ON THE USER ID REGISTRATION.

MANY THANKS
yslim
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:34 pm

Greetings Phocion the Good,

Re: “. . . may I ask what you suggest as a translation for "xuling dingjin"? Or shall we acknowledge that there is no adequate translation and move on to the next line?”

I am completely impartial, of course , but I kind of like my own translation: “An intangible and lively energy lifts the crown of the head.” I would call this a functional translation, based upon oral instruction, commentaries I’ve studied, the context in which it appears, Yang Chengfu’s first Essential, and my own experience. I know what it means, and I know what it refers to, but a direct translation of the phrase “xuling dingjin” without the support I mention is elusive.

Yes, let’s move to the next line, shall we?

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1336
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby yslim » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:33 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Greetings Phocion the Good,

Re: “. . . may I ask what you suggest as a translation for "xuling dingjin"? Or shall we acknowledge that there is no adequate translation and move on to the next line?”

I am completely impartial, of course , but I kind of like my own translation: “An intangible and lively energy lifts the crown of the head.” I would call this a functional translation, based upon oral instruction, commentaries I’ve studied, the context in which it appears, Yang Chengfu’s first Essential, and my own experience. I know what it means, and I know what it refers to, but a direct translation of the phrase “xuling dingjin” without the support I mention is elusive.

Yes, let’s move to the next line, shall we?

Take care,
Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

HI PHOCION THE GOOD,

IT IS GOOD OF YOU ONCE AGAIN KEEPING THIS THREAD ALIVE AND MOVING SMOOTHLY ALONG WITH A GOOD UNDERSTANDING. I THINK TAIJIQUUAN LUN IS NOT FOR THE NOVELIST SO EASILY TO GRASPS. TAIJI REAL SKILLS IS A MUST NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT ORALLY. THE TAIJIQUAN LUN IS A 'CHECKLIST' TO CONFIRMING WHAT AND HOW WELL ONE HAD LEARNED AND PRACTICED.

I LIKE MR. LOUIS SWAIM LAST STATEMENT WHOLE HEARTEDLY AND ACCEPT IT AS THE LAST WORD. IT IS SIMPLE ENOUGH TO A VERY GOOD POINT.

CIAO,
YSLIM
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Postby bamboo leaf » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:50 am

yslim,

good to see your postings, very good reading.
bamboo leaf
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:01 am

Postby Audi » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:29 am

Hi everyone:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
9. ²»Æ«²»ÒУ¬ºöÒþºöÏÖ¡£
10. ×óÖØÔò×óÐ飬ÓÒÖØÔòÓÒèá£
11. ÑöÖ®ÔòÃָߣ¬¸®Ö®ÔòÃÖÉ
12. ½øÖ®ÔòÓú³¤£¬ÍËÖ®ÔòÓú´Ù¡£

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here is what I propose for Lines 9 and 10:

9. Without bias and without partiality, now veiled, now conspicuous,
10. When the left comes under stress, then the left must show no substance; when the right comes under stress, then the right must become obscure.
11. If he goes to face up, it will be even higher; if he goes to bend down, it will be even deeper.
12. If he goes to advance, it will be yet further; if he goes to retreat, it will be yet more urgently.

Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 10-12-2008).]

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 10-12-2008).]
Audi
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Phocion » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:22 am

Dear yslim,

Thank you for the information about the seminar. I doubt that I will be able to attend, but I have passed the information along to someone who has expressed interest. However, since the thread is about translating the Taijiquan Lun, it's probably best if we stick to the project.

Cheers!

Dave
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Phocion » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:25 am

Dear Louis,

I appreciate your complete impartiality. And I am now beginning to appreciate the elusive nature of an adequate translation of that line. I admit that I was a little taken aback that my inquiry as to the meaning of a couple of characters resulted in being handed a Master's-thesis-sized reading project. But it's a cruel world.

Thanks again.

Cheers!

Dave the Average
(the lineage has fallen off somewhat since its founding)
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:22 am

Greetings Audi,

Nicely done! This section, once again, is well loaded with allusions. The “bupian wuyi” (not leaning or inclining) is found in Zhu Xi’s commentaries on the Greater Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean. See its status as a chengyu, and its stated origin from Zhu Xi, here: http://zdic.net:80/cy/ch/ZdicE4ZdicB8Zdic8D3731.htm

The phrase “yang zhi ze mi gao” (Looking up, it becomes yet higher) is almost a direct quote from the Confucian Analects, where Yan Hui is talking about the challenge of understanding Kongzi’s teaching: “The more I look up at it, the higher it soars; the more I penetrate into it, the harder it becomes. I am looking at it in front of me, and suddenly it is behind me.” —Roger Ames, trans., The Analects of Confucius, 1998, Ballantine Books, p. 128. See text here from the Zi Han chapter—scroll down to line 11: http://chinese.dsturgeon.net/text.pl?node=1090&if=en The Lun takes this first line, and follows it with several vamps that expand on the theme of a center that evades whether high, low, advancing or retreating.

My overall take on this section is that it is an affirmation of the goal of equilibrium, and of how knowing and maintaining your center of gravity can help to make you invulnerable to an opponent.

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1336
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby JerryKarin » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:23 am

Pian is on one side or the other and yi is forward or backward axis.

text again:

9. 不偏不倚,忽隐忽现。
10. 左重则左虚,右重则右杳。
11. 仰之则弥高,府之则弥深,
11. 进之则愈长,退之则愈促。
13. 一羽不能加,蝇虫不能落,
14. 人不知我,我独知人。

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 10-14-2008).]
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

PreviousNext

Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests