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The mind mobilizes the energy.
Make the energy sink calmly;
then the energy gathers and permeates the bones.
The energy mobilizes the body.
Make it move smoothly, so that it may easily follows the mind.
The intention and energy must interchange agilely,
then there is an excellence of roundness and smoothness.
This is called "the interplay of insubstantial and substantial."
The mind is the commander, the energy the flag, and the waist the banner.
The waist is like the axle and the energy is like the wheel.
The energy is always nurtured without harm.
Let the energy move as in a pearl with nine passages without breaks so that there is no part it cannot reach.
In moving the energy sticks to the back and permeates the spine.
It is said "first in the mind, then in the body."
The abdomen relaxes, then the energy sinks into the bones.
The shen is relaxed and the body calm.
The shen is always in the mind.
Being able to breathe properly leads to agility.
The softest will then become the strongest.
When the shen is raised, there is no fault of stagnancy and heaviness.
This is called suspending the headtop.
Inwardly make the shen firm, and outwardly exhibit calmness and peace.
Throughout the body, the intention relies on the shen, not on the energy.
If it relied on the energy, it would become stagnant.
If there is energy, there is no tension.
If there is no energy, there is rigidity.
The jing is sung, but not sung; it is capable of great extension, but is not extended.
The jing is broken, but the intention is not.
The jing is stored by means of the curved.
The energy is released by the back, and the steps follow the changes of the body.
The mobilization of the jing is like refining steel a hundred times over.
There is nothing hard it cannot destroy.
Store up the jing like drawing a bow.
Mobilize the jing like drawing silk from a cocoon.
Release the jing like releasing the arrow.
To fa jing, sink, relax completely, and aim in one direction!
In the curve seek the straight, store, then release.
Be still as a mountain, move like a great river.
The upright body must be stable and comfortable to be able to sustain an attack from any of the eight directions.
Walk like a cat.
Remember, when moving, there is no place that does not move.
When still, there is no place that is not still.
First seek extension, then contraction; then it can be fine and subtle.
It is said; “If the opponent does not move, then I do not move. At the opponent's slightest move, I move first."
To withdraw is then to release, to release it is necessary to withdraw.
In discontinuity there is still continuity.
In advancing and returning there must be folding.
Going forward and back there must be changes.
The form is like that of a falcon about to seize a rabbit, and the shen is like
that of a cat about to catch a rat.
For The Tai Chi Classics presented in full please read The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition by Lo et al.
18 April 1995
Last updated 16 June 2023