New T'ai Chi student

New T'ai Chi student

Postby LiViNg_4_Jesus2008 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:03 am

I've recently started in a T'ai Chi class at my University, and I've enjoyed the freedom of expression involved in the practice of Yang style T'ai Chi.

I've been a follower of Christ for about a year, and I do not intend to change my spiritual beliefs, but my question is whether or not it is beneficial to health and emotion without belief in the Tao.

Though I've experienced a benefit emotionally, my form is not quite fluid or expressive. It's just been mechanics, and I would like to perfect the continuity of the movements.

From what I am learning, Chi would be similar to the Christian "Holy Spirit". The "kiyai" point in Karate Kata is this Spirit being celebrated.

I have no desire to debate here. I would simply like an honest answer. Thank you for your time.

Love in Christ,

Keli
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Postby T » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:36 pm

No you do not need to be a Taoist and No Qi is not like the Christian Holy Spirit.

Qi is energy
Basic Theory from Traditional Chinese Medicine

Strong qi = healthy
Weak Qi = sick
No Qi = dead
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Postby mlot » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:37 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LiViNg_4_Jesus2008:
<B>
I've been a follower of Christ for about a year, and I do not intend to change my spiritual beliefs, but my question is whether or not it is beneficial to health and emotion without belief in the Tao.

Though I've experienced a benefit emotionally, my form is not quite fluid or expressive. It's just been mechanics, and I would like to perfect the continuity of the movements.

From what I am learning, Chi would be similar to the Christian "Holy Spirit". The "kiyai" point in Karate Kata is this Spirit being celebrated.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As T stated above, you do not need to become or convert to Taoism (Daoism) to study and become proficient at Tai Chi Chuan, AND you will still receive the health and martial benefits from practicing Tai Chi Chuan.

Ultimately, practicing Tai Chi Chuan comes down to your personal level of comfort with the various aspects and how you choose to interpret and use them as an individual.

[This message has been edited by mlot (edited 01-20-2009).]
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Postby yslim » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:06 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LiViNg_4_Jesus2008:

"I have no desire to debate here. I would simply like an honest answer. Thank you for your time."

The honest answer you are looking for should be base on the facts in your question:

"<B>I've recently started in a T'ai Chi class at my University, and I've enjoyed the freedom of expression involved in the practice of Yang style T'ai Chi."

"I've been a follower of Christ for about a year,"

Base on these fact that indicate hoestly you are not in three long enough to have a honest understanding the meaning of 'Taiji Spirit" relate to the "Holy Spirit". The honest truth
one must be a good follower to follow Christ and practicing the Taiji circle for 10,000miles ( as the Chinese say) on the right path to know their difference.Patience is a good partner to have within you when in Rome or on ego trip.


"and I do not intend to change my spiritual beliefs, but my question is whether or not it is beneficial to health and emotion without belief in the Tao."

Honest conviction to your spiritual beliefs may grant you his grace to Father in Heaven. To honor the Tao, it is the way enhance the beneficial to your health and emotion while you are on earth until your body reach the stage of from dust to dust that free your soul. It is the love and law of Mother Nature. even with out belief.

"Though I've experienced a benefit emotionally, my form is not quite fluid or expressive. It's just been mechanics, and I would like to perfect the continuity of the movements.

From what I am learning, Chi would be similar to the Christian "Holy Spirit". The "kiyai" point in Karate Kata is this Spirit being celebrated."

Patience is Virtue. When you understand all the ins and outs, the harmony arrives.

I have no desire to debate here. I would simply like an honest answer. Thank you for your time.

Love in Christ,

Amen

Keli</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby César » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:55 pm

Hi Keli

I agree with T and mlot. You don't have to change your spiritual beliefs in order to get proficient at Tai Chi Chuan. Just follow the Ten Essentials of Tai Chi Chuan and you will be able to get the best from your practice.

Do not worry about not being quite fluid or expressive, or too stiff. That will take a while. But you need a lot of practice to get better at Tai Chi Chuan. Many people get too anxious when they see that "I've been doing this like a year and I don't know anything yet". That's OK. You'll start to get better with the practice. Just be patient.
Regarding Qi, Tao, etc. perhaps you will be interested on this article: http://taijiyang.wordpress.com/2007/09/28/a-modern-definition-of-qi/
and I think this video will help too:
Taijiquan Lecture part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyvJ6cwTlbU
Taijiquan Lecture part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqX8xIcQa1c
Taijiquan Lecture Part 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc8p0AdvLRA
Both article and lectures are Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's.
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Postby mrnaples » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:12 pm

I have no desire to debate here. I would simply like an honest answer. Thank you for your time.

Love in Christ,

Keli

hi Keli,

tai chi chuan, is supposed to be a martial art. so you should first ask yourself, this question; is this ok with ur faith?

you should also know, that tcc, these days is mostly practiced as a form of exercise.
it may even give the same, health benefits as swimming, jogging or playing ball, do.
so think about that as well.

i would advice you,if health, is you concern. to try hatha yoga, a better vehical for that then taichi,...
but we would be back on square one.
cause the hindus word for 'chi' is 'prana'


to the subject of "Chi" in a philosophical context

this 'chi' cannot really be defined.
and no need to get into details here...

think of 'chi' as the building blocks of the universe. and it keeps it going


'Chi' is what gives you life, and keeps you going. but it is not god!

don't know if this opinion, will make you continue with tai chi study or not...

but its an honest answer to ur inquiry.
and not some Mish mosh that Yang Jwing-Ming, or other are to sell these days.

imo, tai chi chuan or hatha yoga or any other exotics exercises,
do not go against anybody s faith.
it's not a religious thing. 'chi'keeps everybody alive, no matter their spiritual belefis. Image)


[This message has been edited by mrnaples (edited 02-27-2008).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:04 pm

In my opinion, traditional Yang style taiji is non-religious. It is just as compatible with any religion as, say, golf. It is not necessary to believe in any concepts like Dao or Qi. Qi is mentioned quite a bit in the literature but in traditional Yang style it is considered a by-product of practicing with focused intent and following the 10 essentials. One need not bother with Qi or attend to it in any way. In fact it can be safely ignored for traditional Yang style.
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Postby mrnaples » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:18 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mrnaples:
<B>I've recently started in a T'ai Chi class at my University, and I've enjoyed the freedom of expression involved in the practice of Yang style T'ai Chi.

I've been a follower of Christ for about a year, and I do not intend to change my spiritual beliefs, but my question is whether or not it is beneficial to health and emotion without belief in the Tao.

Though I've experienced a benefit emotionally, my form is not quite fluid or expressive. It's just been mechanics, and I would like to perfect the continuity of the movements.

From what I am learning, Chi would be similar to the Christian "Holy Spirit". The "kiyai" point in Karate Kata is this Spirit being celebrated.

I have no desire to debate here. I would simply like an honest answer. Thank you for your time.

Love in Christ,

Keli

hi Keli,

tai chi chuan, is supposed to be a martial art. so you should first ask yourself, this question; is this ok with ur faith?

you should also know, that tcc, these days is mostly practiced as a form of exercise.
it may even give the same, health benefits as swimming, jogging or playing ball, do.
so think about that too.

i would advice you, if health is you concern, to try hatha yoga, a better vehical for that then taichi,...
but we would be back on square one, cause the hindus word for 'chi' is 'prana'


to the subject of "Chi" in a philosophical context

this 'chi' cannot really be defined.
but no need to get into details here...

think of 'chi' as the building blocks of the universe and it keeps it going
with out it, no universe.

'Chi' is also what gives you life and keeps you going. but it is not, god.

don't know if this opinion, will make you continue with tai chi, study or not...

but its an honest answer to ur inquiry.
and not some Mish mosh that Yang Jwing-Ming, or other are to sell these days.

imo, tai chi chuan or hatha yoga or any other exotics, exercises.
do not go against anybody's faith.
it's not a religious thing. 'chi'keeps everybody alive, no matter their spiritual belefis. Image)</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Gu Rou Chen » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:21 am

Jerry,


Not sure what authority you are working from here with that statement?


"Qi is mentioned quite a bit in the literature but in traditional Yang style it is considered a by-product of practicing with focused intent and following the 10 essentials. One need not bother with Qi or attend to it in any way. In fact it can be safely ignored for traditional Yang style."
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Postby mrnaples » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:09 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gu Rou Chen:
<B>Jerry,


Not sure what authority you are working from here with that statement?


"Qi is mentioned quite a bit in the literature but in traditional Yang style it is considered a by-product of practicing with focused intent and following the 10 essentials. One need not bother with Qi or attend to it in any way. In fact it can be safely ignored for traditional Yang style."

I'm with jerry on this one.
one need not ever hear the word 'chi'
to get good at tai chi chuan.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:28 pm

Greetings,

Perhaps a point of clarification would be one that hinges on the word belief. As Jerry states, “It is not necessary to believe in any concepts like Dao or Qi.” There may be some for whom these are a matter of faith, but in traditional Chinese thinking and in modern taijiquan they are not—they are ordinary and experiential phenomena, not supernatural.

I would differ from Jerry’s interpretation in one regard. I would not say that qi is a by-product of practice. It is rather a prerequisite. In light of traditional taiji literature, it would be more accurate to say that jin (integrated, refined strength) is the product of focused practice.

In any case, I tread lightly and carefully in this territory.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:21 am

Hi Jeff. My own opinion. The Yangs give the traditional qi chen dan tian phrase but in fact when they go to explain it they talk about stretching out the back..... I believe there are sources in the lit for 'if the intent goes there, the qi arrives' or some such.
Phrases like: 内三合以意领气,以气促劲,意到气到,气到劲到
I have certainly never heard a traditional Yang teacher in the lineage refer to manipulating qi.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 02-28-2008).]
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Postby ShowHong » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:31 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
In my opinion, traditional Yang style taiji is non-religious. It is just as compatible with any religion as, say, golf. It is not necessary to believe in any concepts like Dao or Qi. ... One need not bother with Qi or attend to it in any way. In fact it can be safely ignored for traditional Yang style.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I like Jerry’s response best. The less one says and the less one asserts, the less likely he would be wrong and the more powerful is his statement.

The great majority of what is in the Taichi literature is basically awkward attempt to explain Taichi phenomena by people who do not know how Taichi works. They may serve as mileposts since they are from experiences of past experts but until one has traveled to a particular post he would not know what the post says. So dwelling on the possible meaning of those literature from afar serves little benefit in the study of Taichi. Wasn’t it that Yang Lu-Chan who was semi-literate at best had mastered the art of Taichi Chuan before all the literature that we now know surfaced and perhaps even before his craft was given the name Taichi Chuan?

Hi Keli,

I welcome you to the study of Taichi as an evangelical Christian. What I have found through years of studying Taichi is that Taichi is an art about physical truth and studying the art is essentially a journey of truth seeking. Therefore, I have found that the approach to studying Taichi parallels very well the approach to study of God’s word and growth in Christian faith.

According to what I know Taichi is an art of physical interaction with other persons, things, or one’s environment in general. Taichi is not a religion/spirituality/philosophy nor is it based on any philosophy since both religion and philosophy are man made idea/things. The operation or principle of Taichi follows the Tao, which means truth/the way of nature, instead of man’s idea, desire, or design. To commit oneself to the practice of Taichi is essentially wanting to diligently align one’s physical being with the physical truth, similar to Christians aligning their physical behavior to God’s standard after their hearts have been changed and committed themselves to living according to the will of God.

All commonly recognized characteristics of Taichi practice, being smooth, calm, continuous, and so on, are actually not Taichi, they are merely the consequence or byproduct when one’s physical being is in good alignment with the physical truth.

If you’ve got some background in science, I have written a few things that you may find interesting/useful. You can find them at http://nmr400.umd.edu/taichi

Or if you are truly interested in the Taichi I have described, you are welcome to back channel me and I’d be glad to walk you through learning/practicing Taichi the scientific way so you don’t have to be bothered and confused by much of what is basically cultural bias.

Sincerely,
Show-Hong
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Postby LiViNg_4_Jesus2008 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:59 pm

Show-Hong, mlot, T, and Cesar, I very much appreciate your advices. I am hoping to become stronger in both TaiChi and my study of the Bible this year, and your replys have been very helpful in understanding where everything fits together. I may not fully understand everything yet, but I do have the basics of learning, which is a good foundation to have. It's actually good to know that there are other Christians who practice Tai-Chi, as I was originally also worried that it would hinder the witness I hope to provide for Christ, as well as God.

I've always appreciated nature and harmony in general, and through photography, and just healthy living, I really hope I'm able to share my love for God's Creation with someone else.

Thanks so much for the encouragement.

Keli
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Postby ShowHong » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:00 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LiViNg_4_Jesus2008:
.... I may not fully understand everything yet, but I do have the basics of learning, which is a good foundation to have.... </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Christians know that all knowledge and wisdom are given from above so they pray for illumination when they study the scripture. They do not presume that just because they are smart, intelligent or highly educated they can count on themselves to learn the truth. The true foundation of learning is thus an attitude of submission, so learning can happen when the truth is revealed it could be readily recognized, unhindered by our bias, and could have a chance to be accepted.

Dr. Tao Ping-Shiang, a student of CMC and a Taichi master in his own right, had one non-Taichi item among a few admonitions/essentials he specifically gave his students. This non-Taichi item is “do not use your own smartness” in studying Taichi.

But how can a person study Taichi without using his own smartness? Like what is said in the Bible, “seek wise counsel” is the key.

An attitude of humility that not only I do not know Taichi at all but also I do not know how to study Taichi is a much better place to start the journey of learning Taichi. Anyway, not knowing is the beginning of learning.

Sincerely,
Show-Hong
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