Questions answered by a true Master of ancient Tao knowledge.
How did these Tàijí forms and postures begin?
Who created Tàijí first?
“These fundamental postures have created themselves as a mirror to the way the energy really works and flows, as opposed to the opposite way. So basically, these forms are in place because they more accurately resemble what they are accessing.”
“The different Tàijí forms, postures, and patterns are like different parts of the energy’s character, it could be seen as the way energy expands or compresses together, moves forward or backward, opening up or closing in, etc… That’s the original way of looking at it,” explains Grandmaster.
“The more your mind and your energy can be in harmony, the more you can make a connection with the universal energy,” Grandmaster Liao concluded.
How many Tàijí/Taichi postures are there?
“Originally there were 13 fundamental Tàijí/Taichi postures. But with time more combined postures and patterns came about. So now there are more than 100,” explains Grandmaster.
“When one is advanced enough there is such thing as ‘free flow.’
This is where Tàijí becomes more like playing music: where any combination of notes can be played in order to arrange different songs from the same few notes and principles.”
“It’s good to focus on those fundamental energy meditation postures first and to follow some of the already established flow sequences, because they have many generations or hundreds of years behind them refining that flow,” teaches Grandmaster Liao.
What does “Shoong” mean?
“In Tàijí (Taichi) meditative movement practice, relaxation means to give yourself up completely, both mentally and physically. That is called “shoong”.
Shoong (松, also transliterated: sōng), means “to relax”, “to lose”, “to give up”, “to yield”: yield totally to the universe, yield to the infinite.
The Tàijí practitioner has to do a great deal of meditation to relax body and mind, in order to be able to give up oneself and truly to combine with the universe.
When this is achieved, one will flow as the universe flows and move as the universe moves.”
– Grandmaster Waysun Liao
What is Tàijí/Taichi?
Tàijí (太極), also spelled Taichi, means “[The] Supreme-Boundlessness”, or “[The] Great Ultimate”. It means improving and progressing towards the unlimited ultimate, the immense existence and the great eternal.
Tàijí is also what is known as “the Original Principle” of Yin and Yang, that is, the harmonious interaction of that principle.
One works toward this Supreme Boundlessness, this Great Ultimate, by working through this Original Principle:
YIN, (the “feminine”, yielding, nurturing, embracing, sharing, compassionate…) – Negative power / function of phenomena. And the YANG, (the “masculine”, action, support, expanding, radiant, structural…) – Positive power / function of phenomena.
Each of these contains its respective complementary component:
The giving, extending issuing aspects of the yin are its yang components; While the receiving, upholding and rooting aspects of the yang show its yin capacities.
The exchange and interaction between these 2 fundamental forces ultimately creates the home of all phenomena.
This harmonious interrelation is what the Ancient Taoists called, “Tàijí.”
The symbol used to represent the Tàijí system and “Taoism” is in fact the well-known Yin Yang, depicting what was just described.
Thirty spokes share a wheel’s hub;
it is the center hole that makes it a useful vehicle.
Mold clay into a pot;
it is the hollow space within that makes it a useful vessel.
Therefore, to benefit from having something, one must also employ having nothing to achieve its usefulness.
– Tao Te Ching
( ^ from Grandmaster Waysun Liao’s translation, found in “Nine nights with the Taoist Master” <- GET YOUR OWN COPY HERE! 🙂 )