T’ai Chi Chih is a mindfulness moving meditation practice that’s easy to learn. The series of 19 movements and one pose helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, improved health and many more benefits. Our free monthly e-newsletter offers inspiration between issues of the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force, in which teachers and students tell stories about ways they’ve benefitted from the practice.
“Any muscular tension causes the meridian channels to contract and the Chi can then not flow freely through them … a free flow of Chi, the vital force, is an obvious necessity.” — Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator
Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
TCC Movement – Rocking Motion: “From the point in the movement where the practitioner has fully shifted forward and is up on the balls of the feet (heels lifted) and the hands are at shoulder height, the hands turn gently over and begin their cascade downward in sync with the downward/backward weight shift. As the hands pass by the hips, the wrists release completely (this is easy to forget and very powerful). Holding tension in the wrists where it is not necessary blocks the flow of the Chi, just as engaging the wrists where appropriate enhances Chi flow.
Releasing the wrists as the palms pass the hips, the hands do not turn palms up just yet. The body is still shifting backward from the tan t’ien, and so, too, the hands continue to travel back, led by the invitation from the tan t’ien, palms facing the wall behind the practitioner as the toes lift….” (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – AT, Albuquerque, NM
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Grounding & Alignment: Body alignment during TCC practice “has one of the greatest impacts on our capacity to allow a downward flow of Chi. We know that energy flows best through a straight pipe. We also know that when the body leans, tension is created, and where there is tension, the energy cannot flow….
“The only way to get aligned is to feel it. So let us feel our alignment by first feeling our weight centered over the soles of the feet. Now, since most of us have a tendency to move our pelvis forward take your two index fingers and push your hips back till you feel your sit bones over your heels. Now gently tuck your tailbone to level your pelvis. This will naturally bring your shoulders forward but sense in and see if you can actually feel your shoulders directly over your pelvis. Lastly, bring your chin in to align your head over your spine. Note, your core muscles need to be awake and engaged to maintain alignment. You have to be present to stay aligned!…” (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – MD, Loveland, CO
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Seated TCC: “It’s much easier for seated students to learn grounding into the soles of the feet. Getting into alignment is much easier and moving from two inches below the navel can be experienced quite easily – even though experiencing the tan t’ien may take more time…
“‘Less is more’ is a good plan on many levels in TCC. Learning to move from the tan t’ien is so important it’s worth teaching without distractions like leg and arm movements. Hands are either hanging at the side or in rest position during this part of the practice….
“The great thing about seated TCC is that you can introduce the hand movements in a tight relationship to the weight shift. ‘Let your hands ride out as you rock forward, let the momentum circle the hands as your weight shifts to the other side, and let your hands ride back as you rock back.’ Tying the hand movements to the weight shift makes the hand movements naturally smaller without being cramped….” (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – DK, Sarasota, CA
Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us:
1) Subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone.