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Experience/feel from that rotation…that’s why yesterday the movement we tried to experience: okay, if I don’t start with rotation—ok, how do I feel?
Then, if I do start with rotation, how do I feel? In and out every rotation. Ok that is YOUR UNIFICATION with rotation.
When it comes to Point of Contact, then a movement must have Circle with a Center. Circle with a Center then how do you move to hold on the centers. Here is one center you hold; from the point of contact there’s one center you hold, with rotation. With rotation we connect: that means you must circle with center and center to center.
You Must See the Cross of Open and Close
In order to see clearly on the centers, you must see the Cross of open and close—on the center, ok? That’s why yesterday I told you guys to do this exercise. Because you must hold and attention must be there to see the centers: to see the vertical line and the horizontal line—that means, you must from the center then you must connect the centers as a REFERENCE to see left right up and down: that means it’s a cross!
If you can’t see and be with the centers, you have no reference. You’re using the reference of THAT MOMENT OF CONTACT: MEETING THE CENTERS, using that moment itself! If you can’t reach over there to hold, to be with THAT reference, you won’t get any information. No information from that moments if you can’t get it, because you have no reference.
Or you can say, you may have a reference, but it will not be with the CENTER reference, so then your movement and direction will be the wrong movement because you’re not clear to get the centers. Because the center of the reference there is the bone first; bone is the skeleton to hold the structure of the whole body; if the skeleton isn’t there you can’t move—you will collapse.
No doubt people say you need muscles; but yin yang muscles are 2 groups—but what HOLD the muscles is the bone. That means the BONE is the neutral is the center—it’s the neutral of yin yang muscles—it holds the muscles. So you need that reference to be clear. So all the training is to get that reference clear. That means why? That attention must be thee. Can your attention arrive there? How can you arrive there? Form connect to feel the pressure—can you maintain to stretch.
Stretching Is Building Up the Pressure–Use The Pressure to Knock on Something and Return
You hear a lot of people say you must stretch from the point.
Stretching is building up pressure: building up pressure as the frequency! –This frequency to there! The pressure that KNOCKS on something to return. And how to hold? How to hold and return is a PROCESS: of non-stop going there and coming back. It’s not: go there, I stop going and I come back.
RETURN means the cycle completes and nothing has stopped it: must be two ways: I’m coming back and I’m still going forward and this is still coming back. But reverse it needs to stops one side: you cannot have 2 ways when you reverse. RETURN: It’s a cycle: on a cycle, then coming back it will be under a different quality: that’s how a COMPLEMENTARY works (if it’s the same, you cannot).
That’s yang is expanding yin is drawing—like day and night—they are different: cold and hot have diff density; diff kind of quality of movement. Cold it thaws, hot it expands: this balance of complementary is not 50/50 balance. So how to get the cycle of return? Practically speaking it’s already a cycle (it’s there already!) It’s cycling already—if can’t cycle, you can’t function.
Are you guys clear on yesterday’s exercise? That kind of exercise you have to train for years. Not saying ‘oh, I know now; you don’t know.’ You have that kind of quality expressed on instance contact. Can’t say ‘wait, wait, wait—let me do something first.” No, can you change with the change I that instant?
A Higher Kind of Cultivation
So, you can say sometimes ‘it’s too refined—it seems that it’s hopeless that it seems it can’t be trained. It’s so hard to understand, how can I get that. You need a certain quality to attain that or else you cannot. That’s the refined higher kind of skill—a higher kind of cultivation. Because with that you need more control, more discipline, more self-control. If you don’t have that—you can’t., Discipline and control means you know more of yourself—you’re expanding to know more of yourself. Then, through point of contact then slowly you know your opponent—and you can say… not everyone can be able to train it. Actually, everyone should have this—the problem is that a lot of people won’t see it that way, because of past experience or habit.
This year is the 2nd cohort of the BALANCE Learning Community of 18 incoming first-year students who take Lan and Nancy’s 3-credit academic course, “Conflict and Cooperation,” in the fall. The Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan curriculum stands at the heart of this course, which is part seminar and part movement-lab.
Lan and Nancy are also happy to announce that one of the newest students from their ZXD Philadelphia group, Henry Pitcairn (student level 1), who moved to Denver, Colorado end of August to go to college, is starting the official student organization: The Community College of Denver (CCD) ZXD ILC Club. While the organization will initially exist only as a CCD organization, students from two other nearby universities will be able to join as they all share a campus at Auraria: University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) and Metropolitan State University (MSU). The club is also open to community members.
Even though he has only been in Denver a couple of months, Henry has made fast work of building on his enthusiasm for Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan. He sought out ZXD instructor Ken Forsythe in Fort Collins, CO when his dad, Jeremy Pitcairn (student level 2) helped him move westward from Philadelphia, and Ken soon put him in touch with his ZXD student and new group leader in Denver, Eric Campbell (student level 3). Henry is enlisting the help of two fellow CCD student leaders, Dee Garcia and Mary Sawyer as well as economics professor Dr. Scott Brocket in the role of faculty adviser. We’re looking forward to Henry visiting the East Coast over the Thanksgiving holiday and training in Philly and NYC.
Zhong Xin Dao Viewpoint Talks AZ Workshop
Sifu: Good morning! Questions first?
What I teach may be hard to understand for those not really into the curriculum. No doubt yesterday I teach the ‘real thing’: it’s the real thing because that’s why you can do, what you’re looking for—from direct. Direct is that you only can be connecting to see that. It’s not you have to fall back to past experience to get the message or information. Yesterday what I showed you guys is how to get information.
Q: last step is just holding the neutral offense
When you’re neutral offense you can strike any time. That means you are on the neutral defense or neutral offense…if you’re already on the offensive side you can whack him. When it comes to control you cannot control on DEFENSE; defense is 50/50. Offense is because you understand I’ve already crossed the half line. Offense means I can get you but you can’t get me when you have neutral offense. I you don’t have neutral offense, he can get you—when you cross he can cross, too. Because you hold on to the neutral to do the close close or open open, then he cannot.
As I’ve said before, holding the space—same time and same space—only 1 can occupy. If I sit here, you can’t sit here. So if I get the space, you cannot, unless it’s a different space, then it’ll be under different time. So, you can say that in the beginning of the Flow, you try to stay on neutral, but you can also try, at first, to learn with neutral defense: then you know the limits.
Flow Has the Idea Of You Do Things Within the Limits
Only neutral, it’s sometimes hard to detect the limits. But with Neutral Defense—there are 2 points there, so It’s able to give you a better sense of if you’re still within the limits or not. Flow has the idea of you do things within the limits also—out of the limits, that means you’re following. The Flow will turn into following, you see? So when it comes to CONTROL, we must be in Neutral OFFENSE; you can’t control in Neutral DEFENSE: you can only PREVENT in neutral defense. For control, you must be one step ahead. That means, if he wants to come into you, he needs to neutralize your defense first, so that’s one step. So, Offense, that means you have to be able to cross the half-line, but I didn’t strike you—I still maintain Neutral Offense. Level 7, then, on control, there will be a moment when Upper Hand can strike. Then, I want to strike but you want to show you can maintain as a control over there. So the training of the procedure must be very clear. You can’t control on defense. That’s why neutral Offense and neutral Defense must be very clear: that means the half-line. There’s a 3-dimension half-line.
Primordial Energy, the Beginning of Energy, the Balance Energy
So, as yesterday, we approach it first from One point: One-point approach means one point of movement that means one point is a rotation…so that rotation you can say that is also spiral energy—Also as Chen style tai chi states, it’s Chan2 Si1 Jing 4 [silk reeling power] –so that’s why Chen style says it’s primary energy—is chan si jing; it’s right, it’s not wrong; in our sense, too: because he has to hold onto one point; and if you understand one point that one point has 6 directions, 3 dimensions, that reduce—sometimes later they call it the primordial energy, the beginning of energy, the balance energy.
That’s why Feng, Zhi Qiang calls it [ ?? ] Hun4 Yuan2 Tai4 Ji2—source of the beginning—the origin, that’s primordial. They have—I don’t know what he named, that’s the meaning you see, of the very base of things. That means it must come from the balance point. From the balance. So, Balance must come from the center. So the center has conditions to be a center, as the neutral point.
Whatever You Train Must Relate Back to the Philosophy
Like I said before, everything that WE train is based on what philosophy? The philosophy of Tao and Zen which is based on the nature of change. So whatever you train here is to change. Whatever you say must relate there, whatever you train must relate back to the philosophy. If it’s not related, then what you train is still falling back. This I the MOST important point. When you say something—is it related to that? are they comparable with this? If not, don’t say it, unless you use a different philosophy. For our system, we use that philosophy. You must understand that diff philosophy will have different concepts and combine with diff principles. If you use this philosophy, then we have these concepts and principles that align and point back to this philosophy. So all the instructs who give instructions must know how to give instructions—must align to that philosophy.
Don’t teach students you must think about this—or all these things, something to add. In the beginning, yes, you can tell them some things—but only do this but only for this period…the student must know they are only using this as a stepping stone
Readiness—the readiness must come from the balance point, but sometimes it’s so hard to get alertness and readiness from the balance point. If you don’t know how to use it … how to explain what comes first. Because you must be able to use it, but practically, you must know HOW to do that in order to pay attention also–or else you cannot. So you need to have some attention—then attention needs to have some concentration in order to do something in the first place, where does this come by? It’s very hard to explain.
So, the instruction must be given correctly. But everything has its own conditions. Readiness sometimes we can use—we can use fear to trigger readiness, to trigger alertness. But it’s the wrong approach. But sometimes, if you don’t do it, sometimes they can’t figure it out. But the alertness quality is the same but it goes through fear: one layer that changes things. But you need to have fear to trigger it up first so you can see ‘oh, this is how alertness is, how readiness is.’ Then you slowly turn it to get rid of fear to slowly change back into balanced harmony.
Q: Can you train it without fear, with the right philosophical approach…can fear be used as a context
Linking, Directing & Reflecting
Sifu: yes, but it’s very, very hard. Fear is based on a past reference—because in the moment you don’t have this thing. In the moment you don’t have fear or happy, that kind of thing. You can say because it’s more of calmness. So whenever you do something, you must explain this is not the final one, but you need this one first.
From yesterday’s training, as I said, it’s because of connecting direct—you need to connect, you need to direct, you need to link, you need to have a reflection. To start big to be in the moment. To hold on the point, to connect on the point. If you connect on the point, that very beginning, then if you want to move on that connecting point, then what is the movement that you can do? —it’s only rotation: rotation up and down and pivot like this…and up and down rotation, that’s all. And that rotation is the VERTICAL ENERGY under the plane: frontal, sagittal it leaves the point. Only vertical rotation holds—with the gravity first –that means everything must come up from here and go back to here).
Stretch out first – The Neutral is where can go back and forth, but you need to hold and return in a loop—like a conveyor belt—you need to hold so something is steady.
We have 2 groups: yin yang muscles like the conveyor belt—they work together. For example: All the yin draws to dan tien; there are some things you just need to use at the beginning of the reference like all yin draws to dan tien; all yang expands from min-meng. All action references to here: Absorb Project yin first, then yang. Coming up will go to dan tien in front; back, it’s yang, will go to ming-men.
We are doing stacking energy first—rotate the [vertical] line first (stacking to feel direct); have THIS direct first; then only feel the front and back.
From the touch: direct to the bone—then you can feel the other side: hitting the mass—you can feel like 2 balls bounce; if direct, you feel the knock. If not direct, it’ll slice off. Understand? Only If direct—only then do you have the reference.
So, now if I hold the direct, if I want to go a little bit off, then I keep you to one side or the other, or a little up or down; but you must have the reference first, or else how will you know? A lot of people have been training saying ‘oh, it’s based on my reflex, I just know—that’s my habitual reflex.’
We Know Because We Hold the Centers
Now, first, we train to be very clear of the center: we know because we hold the centers. Then, from holding the centers so precisely, I know how many degrees of angles I should move.
Stronger the centers the clearer you are because the centers divide. No doubt, people say ‘oh a center is just a center. No, the centers divide the 6 directions, or else it’s not a center!
So, in action, you must use your mind—you must act according to the quality. A circle must have the centers; we don’t do circles without centers. We call it centers with 6 directions—that is the requirement.
*That’s why as instructors, you must make sure students do it correctly! They must do centers with directional energy—if not, then it’s not the center.
Q: it’s not the center of it’s not the right center?
Sifu: it’s not a center at all!
To be considered a center it must have directional energy. Maybe you stay in the center but don’t know you have direction, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. This tripod stand—it’s 3-legged—in order for it to be stable, already it must have this energy to stand.
The Center Is the Separation and the Unification Point
I was trying to say that in every action you must look into the quality. I would like to do first the rotation: how everything comes from rotation—so hold onto the rotation. So your movement is ROTATION first!
The rotation to do the movement: from the feet—feet rotates to the hip, hip to the spine, the spine rotates to the C-7 and open and close through the shoulders (open-close rotation and shoulder rotation).
This is very important because this center is the separations and also the unification: The Center is the separation and the Unification point. You must have the center to connect. If your movement with attention is not from the center, then you pay attention only to yin or to yang. If you pay attention to the right you forget the left, or vice versa, switching back and forth, left-right, left-right, left-right. [zig zagging]
In order for unification of these two to happen, it must come from the center. If your Movement is from the center, then the 2 will turn into one. One is 2, two is 3, but you can say that these 2 with the center– these 2 will be as ONE.
That’s why I say 1, 2, 3 –the reverse thing will form as one: will form as one ONENESS.
One ONENESS comes from one center to have separation. If you don’t have a center, you won’t be able to unify. The MIND is not connected: the mind will not be doing one point to stretch: the mind will be jumping from here to here.
So understanding this, you are holding one point to connect and stretch like a spider web. From one neutral center, you can connect everything. This center axis; dan tien and ming men: this one point down (vertical line)—floor up and down) and front-back—dan tien and ming men, condense-expand. Dan tien and ming men is also separation.
So with axis and rotation, you can hold the 6 directions: you can see the 6 directions. It’s not that you ‘move’ forward-backward, left-right, up and down. Yes, you can move, but you don’t have to. You want to really pay attention to this. How CLEAR the center is. The stronger and clearer the centers, the clearer you will be
In Zen they say one point—the Zen center point—is so strong it’s unmovable. The stronger the center is, the clearer the direction point is: a strong point gives direction. This is the whole training. This morning’s talk.
It’s about the Clarity and Stillness
Q: can you clarify what ‘strong’ center refers to?
Sifu: so strong means it’s very steady and balanced. That means the relationship of the center with 6 directions is very connected and separated. Clear separation Is connection. It’s about clarity and stillness. Of course, then when it’s so strong then you can go down to very small. And so small it can still contain that kind of quality. Alright.
Q: it’s a lot to recognize and fine-tune
Sifu: that’s why we’re always training from Big to Medium to Small—we don’t train small first. Yeah, you can try to do it, but maybe you won’t be able to make it strong or have the quality. The Big size you can see if you can do it correctly. Then slowly you reduce it smaller and still keep it the same. Keep the big one doing circle…small one still is making circles—just so small you won’t be able to notice it—or see if you’re not really doing circles. So, you must do it BIG first. That’s when I look I can see you’re not doing circles—no loop, you’re just going and coming back. You can see the loop is there—then this is the circle ([demonstrates on point of palm to show how we can see the loop and thus the circles—not just ‘backing off.’)
Ashe: are you saying we do it big first to see the cross first?
You can say that we do it big to recognize the cross clear you can also say that you’re using the cross to do the loop/circles: they always go together. If you’re doing one, you’re doing the other. You’re training that, you’re also training this. The separation and the center.
Ashe: if you do the movement big, your mistakes are magnified—can see them better?
That’s why we keep on saying you must complete the circles. Complete the circles—how many: you may be doing a loop at the palm, but are you also doing it at the elbow? At the shoulder? At the hip? Are they THROUGH THE WHOLE BODY?! [Demonstrates: Can you see my knee, my foot I’m looping? NOT only at hand or Point of contact at hand: hip is also doing it—the whole body is connected]. Then you are doing down to feet: feel the FEET ARE DOING THE CIRCLES! It’s not at the hand only! So, here is where the refining is made.
Feel. [demonstrates on Ashe, who is wearing Irek’s shirt]. Feel how it is going down to feet, joint by joint. One touch at the circle is WHOLE—how many circles can you go down? Match with rotation.
The refinement has much, much farther to go. Touch here: it’s NOT just the frontal here: I have your shoulders down to your feet. Understand? Just this one loop to learn on touch: Pow! Is it down to the floor?
Start the training at wrist, elbow, shoulders and down. Let’s just train this move to see the difference: Absorb Project from here (on the heel of the hand, the hand with the elbow, with shoulder start—see the difference; with the hip roll starting the loop, then with the feet: observe the difference).
Q: as you go down from hand, elbow…
Loops within Loops, Circles within Circles, Spheres within Spheres—3 Dimensional
You’re doing the same loop ALL at the same time: the smaller ‘loops’ with the bigger loop! Like a conveyer belt with many rollers…. the top one rolls, and EVERY j[interlocking] point has a roller and it connects to the next—the body is one: we’re connected with rollers at each joint looping…loops within the loops means it’s 3-dimensions: a circle within a circle [fractal]
Ashe: all move together; it’s not like they are
Sifu: each one has a loop by itself AND the whole body is one, too. Like a mechanical machine—it’s running all together, matching and coordinating. All together even as all have separation, too. Separation but also you can unify. And this can move in different planes. SPHERES WITHIN SPHERES.
Train this: section by section: loop could be at poc/wrist—can also be hand and shoulder. Then, I can go down to feet and every part is moving/looping.
Q: How do you meet to the center without pressure being there?
You can just have flowing, light pressure. I’m talking about matching at the point of contact—like we do the flowing exercise; the flowing exercise that you need to fix on to the point to hold onto the point. Adjusting to the point you maintain pressure: that’s changing with the change to maintain not to change. That means you’re always changing. There’s no single moment you’re not changing! You’re changing to adjust, changing to maintain. You can say ‘that’s only the correct movement. Any other movement.
Q: Is that idea more just for beginners?
No—that is very advanced already. Maintaining—you have to increase and decrease (if you can’t match the pressure, that means you are gone). So, it’s the training: to maintain. Understand?
So, in the beginning we need a lot of pressure first to be engaged to feel the point, to connect the point and to rotate on the point. The rotation of the point could be frontal rotation, horizontal rotation or sagittal rotation. But that rotation is not that you simply rotate: you rotate to match the NEXT CENTER–the next center of the next joint. Then how many centers can you match–that matching. Then, can you RETURN?
First, in the beginning is to get the bone first (on bone you can go back and forth at first—that’s fine). Then later, go in and get the yin and yang muscles. Without the bone you have no reference. This is the very CORE of the training! Because If you can occupy the centers an opponent cannot move up from those centers, he’ll lose everything. Because then he, in action, he can’t move: in action has to be either yin or yang. But we train to have holding the center to do yin and to do yang. Holding the center as the reference to see what is appropriate. Right?
We don’t talk about ‘it’s too much’, or ‘it’s too little.’ If I can talk everything that seems to makes sense but it’s nonsense–oh ‘it’s too much, too little, too fast, too slow, not enough’—what’s that? No reference!
Those kind of words [without reference], do you ever hear me use them? (too fast, too slow, not enough)—no I never use those words. If I say ‘not enough’ I always have a reference to know what’s enough. Without the reference we don’t know what; it makes sense, but you don’t’ know what or why. Understand? As we’ve been talking, there’s also one thing you need to get across to the students:
What is the point of the theory—many people have a tendency to not be interested in the theory, in the philosophy.
As we discussed yesterday, without the mind seeing it, knowing it from theory, from how to approach what you are looking for—and how to act on it—then, without that leading, you try to do something and you can’t. You can’t just say ‘don’t talk, train’; let’s do it (body training) without the clear reference of the mind—and what you’re searching for, what you’re pinpointing, then you don’t know how to direct your attention. you’ll keep on being like a blind man touching an elephant: touching this and that—always touching but you don’t know what you’re touching.
With clear theory and concepts, then you know what you’re looking for. Then you have a direction for the mind.
So, it’s very important to give a precise kind of instruction: what are you looking for? Because what you’re looking for with direct mind—into seeing it—then we can have the mind to see directly. Because we aren’t using ‘I’m trying to feel it based on what I’ve felt before’. No, what you’ve felt before, don’t let it come into play; that’s the past. You want to do with the instruction of what you are holding onto to feel that moment.
The Moment of Training of Feeling Directly
Only in the beginning, a lot of things students do need some kind of experience to do the difference (Ex: what is direct, what’s not direct. The direct always has the two energy directly feedback: if one energy goes out and it doesn’t return, then that’s not direct.
Like a ball that bounces back—if the energy bounces back, that kind of experience you need to know. It doesn’t mean that past experience isn’t useful, but in the moment of training of feeling the direct, you try to recognize what is happening as it happens in that moment that turns into a moment of experiencing.
The DIRECT—that you can be trained is that: to understand directly. Every point of contact must be direct. And able to maintain over there. Here is where it comes down to be able to have that kind of concentration: it will depend on the level of concentration.
If my concentration is better than yours, I get more information, get more direct information, more clear information, then I can change better than you can change its base on here why do they keep on saying you have to change concentration, train direct? And why do we say it’s always based on Refection.
Direct Information Means You Have to Have 2 Points: One Point to the Other Point, Stretching to Connect while Balancing Pressure
To train reflection is direct—the direct getting information. Direct information means you have to have two points: one point to the other point: you have to extend to that point and return. But if you ‘reverse’, then the information breaks.
The RETURN information is continuing. That’s why we keep on talking about the action—the movement that goes out can’t reverse. RETURN is the COMPLETE cycle with information that keeps on coming without a break. When there’s reverse there will be a break and there will be a gap.
So in order to have the return, that means you must be able to hold onto one point to CONNECT to another point. How can you do that? By STRETCHING and through PRESSURE. With the pressure—with the movement of rotation to increase the pressure from one point to the another point to come back to hold onto another point and come back. if you can’t have the same pressure, you can’t do it. It will reach the other point and just disappear and it won’t be back. It’s just like a radio frequency if you go there and come back with a different frequency you can’t receive. You must have the same frequency in order to come back: that means the same pressure, the same wavelength. Understand?
In order to maintain the same, it means it’s a balance point also: that means you keep on changing to maintain not to change. The problem is our attention is so messed up; our concentration is really really messed up—you can’t even hold for a couple of seconds.