|> Issue 49||
|The german magazine for qigong and taijiquan|
The unfolding bud
Although the eight Extra Meridians play an important role in Qigong, it often remains unclear what this actually involves. Drawing on his knowledge and experience as an acupuncture and Shiatsu therapist, Peter den Dekker has experienced that Zhanzhuang Qigong has given him a deeper understanding of the Extra Meridians and also that the standing practice stimulates these meridians. The special posture stimulates the opening points of the Extra Meridians in the hands and feet. Because the exercises do not involve movement which would use up Qi, it is possible to replenish the energy reserves in the standing practice.
The “Seven Stars”, the constellation of the Great Bear, is a figure or symbol that plays an important role in Daoism and which also frequently appears in Taijiquan and in Qigong. However, it is usually unclear what meaning is assigned to this form. Yürgen Oster has investigated the issue and has asked various Chinese teachers and a female Daoist shaman about the “northern martial seven stars” to be seen in the northern sky. This part of the sky is in turn associated with warlike culture and is ruled by the mystic warrior Zhen Wu. There is a further link to Dou Mu, the warlike mother, who is one of the highest Daoist deities and who manifests her power at the cosmic level through the Seven Stars.
The term Yangsheng, which plays an essential role in the traditions of Qigong, describes the aspect with which we as Westerners possibly have the most difficulty: cultivating our life in a holistic manner. Ursula Rimbach cites various examples to show that this in fact does not mean a focused practice “in order to ...” but instead a persevering caring attitude, an approach to life that lets life become an art.
An end to competing!
What constitutes the magic of Taiji movements – a quality which keeps us moving and practicing? Alena Maria Schneider has investigated this question and describes how and why Taijiquan has a deep effect on people that transcends health benefits or philosophical interests. A trusting relaxation in a grounded posture, harmoniously flowing movements that enable a sense of connectedness, alert self-forgetfulness and mindfulness – these are all essential aspects. The constant balance of yin and yang, which enables us to give up the feeling of effort, provides an alternative to the yang-emphasizing zeitgeist which creates enormous pressure and ultimately exhaustion.
The significance of water
Water is often cited as an image in both Qigong and Taijiquan in order to clarify certain qualities. Shen Xijing describes how these qualities present themselves in actual practice and what significance they are assigned in the Daoist tradition. Here too, the fundamental meaning of yin and yang is revealed – water represents both aspects in an extreme manner.
Zuowang und Taijiquan
Traditionally, Taijiquan as “meditation in movement” is frequently associated with seated meditation. Klemens Speer has made a close study of the development phases of both methods of practice and advocates that greater use should be made of their synergies and complementarities. In this context, Taijiquan promotes physical and energy-related development to a greater degree, while seated meditation focuses chiefly on mental development. The two paths can support each other, drawing on their different approaches towards the shared goal of unity with the Dao.