#10 Seek the Stillness in Motion


The 10 essentials are as follows:

1 – Empty, lively, pushing up and energetic

2 – Hold in the chest, pull up the back

3 – Relax the waist

4 – Separate empty and full

5 – Sink the shoulders and droop the elbows

6 – Use intent rather than force

7 – Synchronize upper and lower body

8 – Match up inner and outer

9 – Continuous, without interruption

10 – Seek the stillness in motion


#10 – Seek the stillness in motion

Essential #10 is a profound lesson that again should be looked at from various perspectives in order to grasp the depth of the teaching.

When we perform the sets we strive to slow our motion down for a myriad of reasons, one of which is to relax enough to connect and remain connected to our “center”.   Our physical center is the lower dan tian from which all our movements originate and our mental center is the state of consciousness where the “witness” is prevalent. If you have never experienced life from the “witness” perspective then that last statement will be basically meaningless to you, yet I will attempt to explain.

The “witness” perspective is a state of consciousness where the ego and all its filters and judgement have been wiped away like dirt from a window, leaving one with a rare glimpse of clarity. From this state of being, time slows down, thoughts dwindle to into nothingness and one just “sees” life unfold without any attachment whatsoever. This is the state of consciousness we seek in order to truly benefit from taiji. This is the meaning of seeking stillness in motion. We have become the hub of the wheel. We are of the world, yet not in the world.

This contacting and training from center has an accumulative effect. The more we play in this state of consciousness the more centered and balanced we’ll remain when we drop back into our regular state of awareness. In fact we have actually enhanced the “regular” state of awareness to a higher plane with each of these experiences.

This translates into our daily life in various ways, not the least of which is “opening one’s mind”. “Witnessing” the world is a profound experience. The teachings of Don Juan say “one must learn to stop the world” to truly “see” reality and I can tell you from direct experience that this is correct. Yet again, you won’t know what I am talking about unless you have had a similar experience.

There is an old saying that is profoundly true and frustratingly accurate for a teacher – “those who say don’t know and those who know can’t say.”

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