“Live a healthy, happy life,” is easy to say but not easy to do. Few people live a life of meaning and purpose with peace, love, health, happiness and freedom, through the practice of Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Chuan as a living philosophy has been practiced for more than a century. However, very few of its practitioners have actually understood Tai Chi Chuan as a living philosophical wisdom. Nor have previous writings presented Tai Chi Chuan as a living philosophical wisdom.
Some writings deal with the technical or mechanical aspects of Tai Chi Chuan. A number of works relate Tai Chi Chuan to Taoism because the Taoist Zhang Sanfeng was considered to be an important early figure, so there is widespread belief that the philosophical foundation of Tai Chi Chuan is Taoist. Actually, however, the foundation of Tai Chi Chuan lies in the Book of Change.
The Book of Change is not a book of knowledge; it it is a book of wisdom. It is difficult to read the Book of Change, and it’s even more difficult to understand it. In order to read the book, one must know fully the symbolism which is used. Then one must forget that symbolism in order to truly understand the book. The following outline of the Book of Change summarizes the foundation of Tai Chi Chuan as a living philosophical wisdom.
- Tai Chi Tao- Truth, reality.
- The appearances of reality are many.
- These appearances are ever-changing.
- Those many appearances have one Reality.
- The Reality does not change. It is the Principle of Change.
- That Truth which is innate in every human being is Humanity, which differentiates human beings from animals.
- Learning should awaken the innate Truth.
- Humanity is conditioned by its physical body. (This is the reason why everyone is different from the beginning of life, because each individual is conditioned by the physical body inherited from his or her parents. Also, the physical condition of the body affects the mind.)
- The physically-conditioned mind is further conditioned by social factors. Learning is to free the mind.
- In order to awaken to the Humanity of the people, education is a must. In other words, true education should serve to awaken the Innate Humanity in each individual.
Level 1: Paraphrasing
- State in your own words the meaning of each sentence.
It is difficult to “Live a healthy, happy life without practicing Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Chuan has been a way of living life for over 100 years. However very few have been able to know Tai Chi Chuan as a way of being and one has written about it.
Many texts are based on the proper way to physically perform Tai Chi Chuan. A few are based on the early Taoist writings of Zhang Sanfen. This led to the popular belief that the primary wisdom of Tai Chi Chuan is Taoist. The primary wisdom of Tai Chi Chuan is in the Book of Change.
The Book of Change is not about knowing, it’s about enlightenment. The Book of Change is hard to read and even harder to understand. To read the book you have to get the stories told in the book and then forget the storytelling to know the book.
Here are the main points of Tai Chi Chuan as a way of living.
- Tai Chi Tao- Reality is harmony with life’s natural order.
- There are countless ways we look at how things actually exist.
- The way we look at how things actually exist change all the time.
- The way we look at how things actually exist is our harmony with life’s natural order.
- Harmony with life’s natural order is unchangeable. This is the Principle of Change.
- Humans are different from animals, they are born with a natural state of knowing truth.
- Knowledge can open us to the natural state of knowing truth.
- Naturally, everyone is physically different, and this state of being sets us apart from others, and affects how we think.
- Our physical state of being is also influenced mentally by where we live and what we do. Knowledge is letting go of our states of the mind.
- To be open to the natural state of knowing each person’s truth requires knowledgeable guidance. Meaning, knowledgeable guidance should serve to open up the natural state of knowing truth in each individual.
Level 2: Explicating
- State the main point.
- The the foundation of Tai Chi Chuan as a living philosophical wisdom requires learning to open to the natural state of knowing truth in yourself.
- In other words….
- We must let go of our states of the mind to learn the natural state of Tai Chi Chuan
- For example…
- When you practice Tai Chi let go of your thoughts by concentrating on your breath.