Teh (inner sincerity) is the basis of T’ai Chi Chih. It is the power of Inner Sincerity, as exemplified by T’ai Chi Chih teachers, that has been responsible for the rapid growth of T’ai Chi Chih. This type of person who is drawn to T’ai Chi Chih, and wants to become a teacher, is almost always a deeply sincere person, eager to pass on the benefits he or she has gained from T’ai Chi Chih practice. So often I get letters from new teachers saying, “T’ai Chi Chih has changed my life. Thank you, thank you. I am eager to help others gain the same benefits from the discipline you originated.” This is more rewarding than any riches I might have gained from T’ai Chi Chih. There isn’t the slightest doubt in my mind of the future of T’ai Chi Chih; there are reasons why it is here, and there are reasons why you, the teacher, have been brought to it. It is not by accident that you are teaching T’ai Chi Chih, and you have a responsibility to keep the practice pure and to be completely honest in your dealings with students.
Emotionalism and sentimentality have little use in the practice of the discipline. My own consideration has always been for the welfare of the teachers, not my own, because I feel deeply the power of the teachers’ teh. It is our jewel, and I fully expect this great power to bring T’ai Chi Chih to deserving people all over the planet. Never underrate T’ai Chi Chih or feel that it exists only for our own benefit.
I congratulate you on being a T’ai Chi Chih teacher! Please never stop trying to improve your practice; this is part of the responsibility of being a teacher.
Note: T’ai Chi Chih should not be thought of as exercise. Exercise implies effort, and effort is counterproductive in T’ai Chi Chih. It must be done softly with the “effort of no effort” to be most effective. Sincere teachers, who practice a good deal themselves, gradually come to realize the true way of movement in T’ai Chi Chih. Those who give careless interviews in which T’ai Chi Chih is cited as “exercise” are doing harm to T’ai Chi Chih. The purpose of T’ai Chi Chih is to circulate and balance the Chi, and to do this, movement must be from the center of the body, not from the shoulders and arms. “How to move” is the most important point of T’ai Chi Chih.