|> Issue 33||
|The german magazine for qigong and taijiquan|
Issue 33 3/2008
Experiencing Laozi with all the senses
Along with the Yijing, the Daodejing is regarded in the West as the most important work of Chinese philosophy and we encounter quotations from the work on postcards and in poetry albums, as well as in Taiji schools. But despite its great popularity large parts of the work remain shadowy and puzzling. Isolde Schwarz has created a complete series of varying images for her Qigong and Taiji practice that, for her, communicate specific aspects or statements of the Daodejing, and to which she assigns the images. The set of cards thus created forms the point of departure for meditative exercises in which the individual verses of the Daodejing can gradually become open to a holistic understanding through associations, intuition and movement.
A path to emptiness
Sitting meditation in Chen-Taijiquan has a long tradition, albeit one not transmitted in very concrete terms. Different masters have assigned it varying significance and emphasis. In consultation with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Jan Silberstorff has developed a three-phase meditation, the concept and effects of which he presents here. It is based on the techniques which he learned in Chenjiagou at the start of the 1990s and practiced intensively, combined with the experience he has gained in ten years of meditation retreats, mostly in the mountains of Sri Lanka. He describes the sequence of the sitting meditation in the next issue.
Developing the »strength of the centre«
Despite its major importance for our posture, our health and vitality, the pelvic base is a little-researched area. Dietlind Zimmermann has researched it both from Western-anatomical and from Eastern-energetic perspectives and observed its influence on the Qigong and Taiji practice of herself and others. She explains both the anatomical and the energetic role of the pelvic base in the body and argues that it should receive more focused attention. Simple exercises enable elementary experiences with this area of the body.
The discovery of simplicity
The Hamburg-based Qigong teacher Gabriele von Guenther learned Guolin Qigong from Ms Wang Li, a direct student of Ms Guo Lin. Martina Petersen talked to her about the special features of this Qigong approach which is chiefly applied in cancer therapy, about her personal experiences and about her way of teaching. This discussion reveals how important the simplicity of the movements is: a simplicity which leads us from our frequently rushed and overfull everyday lives into the present moment, and which allows other levels of perception.
The eight basic energies, together with the five stepping directions, form the 13 basic movement elements of Taijiquan. Sam Masich emphasises the major importance of distinguishing between the four »square« energies assigned to the four cardinal directions and the four »corner« energies assigned to the intermediate directions. While the first group promote a calm, equanimous and frank approach in Tuishou and enable not only martial but also spiritual progress, regarding the second group he sees a danger that their disproportionate use may bring an apparent advantage, but in the long term prevents progress and steers development of the character in an unfavourable direction. The guiding principle is always to follow the Taiji principles, otherwise one’s own practice becomes »Buzheng«, associated with egocentrism and the wish to win at all costs; as a consequence, development in harmony with Taijiquan principles becomes impossible.
The Chinese heart – Xin
Xin is customarily translated as »heart«, a meaning that also corresponds to the origin of the character. However, the Chinese associations with the heart are different to those in the West; feeling and thinking are assigned to the heart. One important aspect of socialisation entails controlling the heart and subordinating it to the common good. The character Yi also contains the heart and signifies that which the heart should express.