Spiritual (2)

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Spirituality refers to the journey of self-discovery. It is concerned with the values and meanings by which people live. Spiritual practices may include meditation, prayer and contemplation.
These are intended to develop an individual's inner life.
Such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human

Spiritual component

Taijiquan practice possesses a spiritual component. This may be experienced through studying Taoism and Zen, along with meditating, and practicing qigong, form and application.
An earnest student of the art becomes calmer, more harmonious. They have a sense of deep connection with all things.

The texture of reality

Taoism and Zen encourage us to experience reality in its most direct form. They aim to transcend education, philosophy and thought. How? The senses are given precedence. We feel rather than think.

Embodied spirituality

Taijiquan is a vehicle for exploring the many insights offered by Taoism. It is a hands-on approach to spirituality.
There is plenty to read (if this is something you enjoy) but the emphasis is mainly upon doing rather than reading, thinking or talking. Life is lived through action, not words.
The art of taijiquan is a physical journey that will lead to an inner search for meaning and understanding within the student.

Beyond gratification

Talk and thought impedes our ability to experience. Instead of seeing what is actually there, we look for the things that please us or interest us and avoid unpleasant stimuli.
This is a form of blindness, and it must be left behind if we want to interact with existence without barriers.


Our experience of living varies according to the individual. Tao and Zen may advocate a more sensory experience of the world, but is this actually possible?
We do not experience the world through our senses, but via our mind. Can you understand the difference? And the implications?

Raw experience

It is important for us to experience things first-hand, not through somebody else. Yet, if everything is biased by mind, what can we trust? Our minds have been shaped, educated and moulded since birth.
Do we see things for ourselves? Can we see without bias? Are we always prey to the past? Does first-hand exist?


Religion is belief in someone else's experience.

Spirituality is having your own experience.

(Deepak Chopra)


We see the world as we are, not as it is. This may seem odd, but is very much the case. Everyone has their own standpoint to some extent and they channel reality through their minds.
Nothing is experienced without interpretation.


Meaning, values and judgements impede our ability to really see. We are hampered by the accretion of education, opinion, preconceptions and desires.
Only by losing the ever-present self and silencing the mind can we hope to open our eyes.


Zen is grounded in empirical truth. It is not theoretical. It does not embrace symbolism. It is fact-based, as real as a slap. Our syllabus works on the same basis.
The taijiquan is a practical experience that can be proved through experiment. Students are encouraged to learn about taijiquan principles for themselves.
The exercises, drills and scenarios in our syllabus call upon the individual to explore the validity of the principles and put them into practice.
Your understanding and skill are pressure-tested so that you can see the truth for yourself.


Reality is often referred to as 'truth' because it is not subject to any form of interpretation. Existence or reality just is.
Interpretation, opinion, perspective have no bearing on reality because reality is too immense and complex to be contained by thought.
Realising that we cannot apprehend reality is the beginning of understanding.


This 'truth' is not something to be sought, nor is it the opposite of lies and illusions. It is just a word applied to the raw immediacy of the moment you are experiencing.
Every nuance that is happening right now around you and within you is 'the truth'; the humming of the computer, the flickering of the monitor, the feel of the clothing you wear, your thoughts, the bird in your garden, the dirt on your shoes...
Every miniscule detail that is happening simultaneously every minute of every day represents the truth. It has no beginning and no ending.

Telling the truth

In court, when somebody asks a person to tell the truth, they are not really asking for the truth. The truth is everything, all at once, and cannot be verbalised.
What is being asked for is a limited segment of events, a degree of truth, relevant to their specific interests. In court, a 'version' is required. Subjective. Biased. Incomplete.


There is no such thing as objectivity. We process our experience of reality in our minds. Everything is filtered and interpreted by our memories, experiences and personalities.
We are entirely incapable of being objective.

Another example of compensation is seen in the person who has to have a big house, an expensive car or a large boat to overcome an inner sense of smallness. What is small is his range of self-expression. He may be rich in money, for that is his ambition, but he remains poor in his inner life and in his manner of self-expression.

(Alexander Lowen)


Krishnamurti encouraged people to seek answers within. He wanted the individual to become their own light. To peel back the layers of conditioning, memory, perceptions and culture.
Seek to become your own spiritual guide; learn from everything around you. Grow exponentially.

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 02 September 2021