Principle Six

The Tai Chi movement is illusionary. Minimise the physical movement. Let the movement come from the turn of the waist and the shifting of the weight, with only minimal movement of the arms, wrists and hands. We reduce the physical effort enabling us to go deeper into our meditation.

The illusion of Tai Chi comes from combining other principles together to create an illusion of movement different from the actual movement. By moving from the waist, shifting the weight and keeping space around the body the movement appears to be much greater than it is.

It is the subtle combination of movement that creates the illusion. The arms draw the attention, but the creation of the movement is in the adjustment of the feet, the shifting of the weight and the turning of the body. The illusion is expressed by the movement of the wrists and fingers. The hands bring life and purpose into the illusion.

The combination of movement needs to be smooth to create the illusion. What seem to be the easiest of movements are often the most difficult, because the complexity and coordination is hidden by the simplicity of the expression of the movement.

The illusion creates the impression of greater movement than actually happens. Once the combination is smooth and coordinated the body is relaxed, and the movement is easy. Now the mind can become stiller. Tai Chi becomes a moving meditation, entering into the stillness.

The chi will flow once the movement is correct. The feeling of the movement will not be there until the combination is right. The illusion is created not to fool people but to allow the natural expression of chi.

“Our perception of the world around us is based on judgement and does not represent the truth. Learn to look beyond your perception to see the truth. Nothing in this world is what it seems, only when we release our judgement can we see truth.”

There are always two perspectives with which to view the world, the relative and the absolute. From a relative position we see the world from our own point of view as a separate individual, based on our own beliefs. The absolute perspective is the overall view of the world which is accessible to us only in the stillness of our mind. This is the universal position which sees without the limitations of individuality. Within all spirituality we will find paradox. These apparent contradictions come from absolute and relative perspectives. Our relative perspective is an illusion based on our individual fears and beliefs.

Practical Exercises
1. Observe the illusion with Waving Hands and Ocean Waves
2. Analyse Wheels within Wheels, the turning, rising, shifting of weight, using the wrists and fingers. Practice making this combination smooth.
3. Similarly analyse Cosmic Circles, shifting of the weight, turning the waist, timing lifting the hands, to create the appearance of circular movement.