It is hard for students, and even teachers, to understand that T’ai Chi Chih is not just a beneficial exercise. It is so obvious that it has great physical benefits, that it helps control weight, and that, without effort or perspiration, it greatly enhances the energy level. The tendency is to feel that these are the major benefits of T’ai Chi Chih practice. If the one practicing persists, however, the deeper levels – the Essence of T’ai Chi Chih, if you will – begin to dawn on the practicer and it is realized that T’ai Chi Chih is unique in design and that one begins to sense, and flow with, the great Cosmic Rhythm. T’ai Chi Chih is not de- signed for self-defense or any form of violence; rather it is an inner discipline (Nei Kung in Chinese) that brings to life the dormant Vital Force (Intrinsic Energy) and balances it as it circulates it, breaking down blockages that may have existed for a long time, in a sense offering a rebirth if the student is sincere enough.
Words play no part, nor do concepts. The Prana (Chi) knows well enough what to do without an intellectual road map. All the practicer has to do is enjoy it and reap the benefits of renewed Life Force.
This article is published in Spiritual Odyssey.