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.
References, Rotation, and Relationship of Theory to Training
GM Sam F.S. Chin Viewpoint Talks
Tempe, Arizona USA
Sifu: I was just talking with Ashe so that this Thurs. and Fri. we’ll do more on the advanced a little bit: sticky and spinning hands and on Sat. we’ll go back to the foundations: the basic exercises and their functions, because they’re more beginning levels who will try to prepare for grading also. First, any questions:
Ashe: follow up from yesterday…when talking about vertical first because of the relationship of the Earth; then from there we have not necessarily the cross, but because from vertical, our perception, we have left and right: vertical divides side-to-side. But it’s not necessarily that there’s a cross there yet because cross is based on the reference point (relationship of center line and cross—based on movement).
Sifu: yes, the vertical divides left and right. Why do we use cross not the X? Because first of all everything is relationship to center of gravity first. The center of gravity is by 90 degrees direct. From 90 direct we come from the horizontal: horizontal is parallel with 90 degrees, too. That’s the nature of things: that’s the characteristic of the center of gravity, so horizontal is the balance point. Everything you see that’s in the nature (line up down, line left right), so the Reference point is connecting to the ground first. That’s why we start with the feet; the feet are the root of the body. So, Mass has a relationship with gravity: it forms this vertical line. With the vertical line in 1 point—we say this is PRIMARY plane of movement—why? Because in order to generate connection and power, you have to be holding to the point. To hold to a point, the movement is only up down and rotation (frontal and sagittal can’t hold the point—it skips).
It never leaves the ground: that ONE point; that’s why this is the beginning of that one balance point first! The feet to the floor. That’ why the first we talk about is absorb project (up down), then Condense Expand (in out). There’s 1 characteristic in movement you have to bear in mind that if you want to have a movement with a quality of a point—from a center point—you must start with rotation and up and down. From rotation and up and down you must be able to see and express the 6 directions and 3dimesntiosn. This is the core first. Whatever you do, you must always reference to her! With rotation can you do this move?
On Using Rotation to See Where the Change Happens
Why rotation? [rotates finger and gestures up and down]: because with rotation, you see and north, south, east, west first. OK? Rotation: use NSEW from the rotation you ‘see’ NSEW (north south east west) …not southeast southwest at first. You see the CROSS by itself: see the separation. Because there’s a separation—of left right and up and down. The separation of left right and up and down. I want you to see it’s because first of all, all movement is here and pointing toward a center. Circle with center: if you can hold onto circle with centers then everything must align (to the opponent). You can also say everything must align (in) to center. Why vertical and horizontal: it’s where the CHANGE of left and right, the change of up and down happens.
If you say the east and the south—that’s 1 quarter but within in here, but within there, there’s no change—no change of open and close. One quarter—within that, it’s the same (from here to here it’s the same—For example, if you’re on this side, you’re open, if you’re here, still open the whole time, for example). [At @ 11 min. mark; draws with toe on ground to demonstrate]
*It’s the reference point that shows the difference. Now, this cross this has left right or open close… but over here (within quarter/corner) there’s no reference of open/closed (you’re opening…but still open). It’s a different reference from crossing the reference point. It’s the positioning that makes the difference. Yes? Understand now. Why is it that we use this cross? Because it’s the reference for open close, the reference for left right, up and down. The reference must have a specificity: that this reference based on what? This reference is based on gravity.
Q: what if it’s based on point of contact– so, you draw the 90 to the point of contact and then the cross from there.
Yes, it keeps changing, yes, but that changing one still has to be based on this: the reference behind that. (‘the behind, one’–the vertical that’s going up down to gravity) …so multiple references but the MAIN one is this: the vertical (without this one, the others don’t mean much). Like you defend, but what are you defending? This point? No, the behind one. If you attack, what are you attacking? The in front one—it’s 1, 2, 3 [gestures from POC to center to center line and reverse: from his vertical to center point to point of contact—at 13 min. marker]. Within One is 1, 2,3, yes? But the bigger one is also 1, 2, 3: so it’s always back to the Mass. Because then it’s Object and Subject here. One itself has a cross: the cross itself has open and close itself: one. But how in action—what is meant by ‘doing correctly’? where’s the reference: The reference is in FRONT and BEHIND. you have to match these two references in order to make this correct: or else, if you do just one by itself, then it seems always correct—so then why is it wrong? Because it’s in REFERENCE TO SOMETHING ELSE. [in relationship/dialogue].
That’s how you look at things, how you meet, how you match, how you understand the half line. The hardware (the different of yin and yang) is fixed; offense and defense is NOT fixed—the line is not fixed: it’s a mix of different dimensions. Every dimension has a half line. And the rotation of movement—how you move is how you form the Fullness point that meets the opponent. Then, how’s the point that you cross the opponent’s half line: it’s based on YOU and behind, too. Yes? That’s why there’s 3 points: in the middle point, the opponent point, and your point: that’s why everything comes down to open and close—or 2 close, 2 open.
If I’m outside, if I can’t close (in and down), I can’t cross half line.
On the inside if I can’t cross up and over, I can’t cross the half line; I can’t cross the half line without losing my fullness point. I need to close close in order to maintain the fullness point to cross. That way I still maintain my defense point to have an offence point. I can cross but I lose my defense point, then the opponent will still have his off. Point on you. If I close close, I have both the defense point and the offense point. That’s why all movement is about close close cross the half line; open open cross the half line. If I cross the half line means I’ve penetrated the spheres.
Take Care of the Point So the Point Will Take Care of You
So, between you and opponent there’s always one line: you are behind this; that means you need to cross over [demonstrates how to hold defense point to cross [student chimes in: That’s ‘taking care of the point so the point will take care of you.’] Yes, you understand it and always manage the point. So the point, if you manage the point with the fullness point, then the fullness point has a characteristic and quality and conditions that is required what is needed for fullness. You lose the fullness that means people can already cross.
Listening to the Point
That’s why you need to take care of the one point, the fullness point, the fullness point takes care of itself. When we were at Bernie’s place—you guys were always trying to look at it and it wouldn’t work, because you were thinking to do something. You weren’t LISTENING to the point. And holding the point with fullness to adjust the movement to maintain. You are not adjusting to maintain to adjust the fullness; so you try to get away from there and you lose the fullness. Understand. This is a very important concept: that how you approach to do the thing is essential.
That’s why we say that you need attention in order to hold on there—attention that so strong that whatever changes, you don’t affect the fullness. Or you can say, whatever you change must align to the fullness. Then you can say that now the fullness tells you what to do. And you can say that because of that fullness it’s now a balance point. If you keep on changing with the change to maintain not to change that. so there’s a lot of different ways to talk about it. Alright?
Keep on Meeting to Adjust; Adjusting to Know
Of course, here the attention to hold onto the point and keep on adjusting to know. You keep on adjusting to know you keep on meeting to adjust, (repeats) Otherwise you are just adjusting—what are you adjusting. You meet to adjust—you meet center-to- enter to adjust; then you meet center-to-center and also the pressure to adjust. First, learn to meet the center first. Then, to meet the pressure.
Let’s do some action:
Rocking: first of all, everything is looking for balance first, not power. Balance: that means what? you need separations and unification. Two things. If you can’t see the clear of separating, then you can’t see unification. Because one can’t unify. You need two to unify. Two needs three to separate the two and combine the two; actually, it’s that simple—you need 1, 2, 3.
First the body: it’s the bone that separates the muscles. And the muscles have 2 groups: yin and yang. And our Body already have front (yin) and back (yang) and up (yin) and down here yang. And left and right (action and separation). But to obey the nature of things—is that when you relax, you feel the dan tien and ming men, the crown and the feet: these 4 points. When you relax, feel the 2 groups of muscles. The yin muscles has 2 energies: a) drawing to dan tien and b) absorbing to the bone.
And the Yang muscles, when you relax, it a) expands: from the ming-men and b) it expands from the bone. [demonstrates what NOT to do; what’s wrong if one draws PAST the bone]. Draw to the bone only. Yang muscle is forward expand! When I do the yin muscle the yang is still expanding. No doubt I’m going back, but my yang is still expanding: that’s the balance of complementary of yin and yang. Later on, the crown to feet is the most important part of this alignment.
We maintain the crown that never change: you change with change to maintain not to change. The crown is still suspending: I go down it still holds; I go up it still holds. Then, in the beginning, the Feet on the floor: maintains the same pressure. In Chinese martial art, we talk about having light feet: like a cat. So we are balancing our feet with the floor all the time.
When we go up and down, the feet are balancing on a floor like a cat, we don’t change pressure. When you decrease or increase pressure, it’s the use: of course then I go down or come up…but after use, go back to NEUTRAL (in use it’s always either yin or yang) that’s why it’s wu ji to tai chi, tai chi to yin yang. But when you do yin yang you must be able to hold on to yin yang: the separation and also the unification.
First of all, understand the yi yang, understand first where to find the gravity force, the gravity point. Do rocking. R=First when we rock, the gravity force is in front of the shin: above/opposite e the hollow. We talk about 9 solid 1 hollow: the empty is where we suck to dan tien. Then, all the solid part to 9 ….from big toe to side to heel–all the solid part sucks, from the ming-men that WRAPS [makes a grrr sound as he wraps]—solid wrap.
So, when you rock, you feel: when you rock off the center of the feet the body muscle grabs: slowly comes up, slowly gets tight. As you rock back, the tension slowly relaxes. Then, it tenses up again as you go forward. So from here normally when you maintain, we use spinning force, (we use open close here); you go you come back using circular energy to rotate back. You go out, then you return…Using circular energy we call that the SPINNING FORCE OF COORDINATION. If you can’t spin that means somewhere is breaking, somewhere is broken.
So, you spin to maintain. To maintain this axis. Apart from here, first you understand the bone: Absorb Project the bone, all the joints—you can stretch the joints and can condense the joint: Expand condense: the finger joint, wrist joint, elbow joint, shoulder joint, hip, knee ankle and the skull also: stretch. When you stretch this joint, the bone have condense and expand.
Just go up and down now, understanding the joint as you go down and come up. Feel the alignment—how it falls on our perineum. So the perineum center of feet and center is one line. So when you move, even when you step, you step ALONG the line. That is maintaining this balance line. When we go up and down the COORDINATION OF THE BONE is a JOINT: if a hip moves, then other joints will be thrown forward, the knee might fall forward or backward, then the perineum isn’t on the line: so energy is wrong; tension gets stuck. So up and down, see the coordination….then, later on we must be able to split: going down is on the front; coming up is from the back. Now, the problem here is that often when go up and down back the front follows.
It’s what SUPPORTS WHAT? What leads, what supports. As a full circle, there’s no more beginning or ending: it’s a cycle. It’s about the conditions at the point of contact and application that what supports what. It’s about the engagement: the condition! What kind of conditions to engage, and then what is supporting? The engagement is based on point of contact: whether its offense or defense, then the action will be different but the energy is the same. Energy doesn’t change; movement changes. Like a water hose, a garden hose: it goes out, it doesn’t reverse. Or like our blood: from arteries to vein, the blood flows. (If I pull this way, forward to back)—the hardware is the same, but the movement is different.
If I shoot the hose to the front, the water still flows the same way. Integrally, the nature doesn’t change but the movement changes. You must be able to understand that we are the nature, we are born as such. We can only grab this way…the heart flow, the venal system flow, the blood system flow: it can’t reverse. Time don’t reverse.
From here: if I go down the front and come back up…when you’re going down on the front, the feet on the floor shouldn’t increase any pressure if you do it correctly with the balance. What is this upper body muscle working: yin muscle: how should it work?—Condense and absorb to the dan tien. To the front of the legs: yang muscle: where does it come from? Ming-men. So, you must expand to go down. So, when you expand to go down, the feet are light (if you expand from the back, then the change follows and you get stuck on your heel—the weight changes). Now, because everything changes, there’s one balance point. You change to change not to change; that means I’m changing my feet and the pressure doesn’t change: THIS is the PRESENT POINT: from HERE I know. From here I change! Just like this, the point doesn’t change, our system calls this the fullness point, the peng energy point. The peng energy point with the floor that you can change. The crown suspends and maintain the same energy is also the peng energy point, the fullness point. From here you must understand the attention must be here (down front of face) to relax and draw. Yin muscles: when you relax they should be what? –Below horizontal. Every part of your body you can see, you can choose to cut into a cross. Water is what: dropping down.
Doing this [GM Chin is moving his two index fingers flowing together] you make a circle, the circle must have what? A separation, a cross. Everything, the change is on the cross. On a cross, the line is the neural line—it’s where it changes energy, where it changes Absorb to Project or Project to Absorb, Condense to expand or Expand to Condense: all these changes the main goal is what? [someone in class answers ‘victory’—crowd laughs) Says Sifu: Balance and maintaining the center. And energy toward the center. Energy is always capturing the center: from there, to the center you go out; if you can’t hold the center, you don’t have control. It’s from. center to center. Let’s do pull push. Let’s do this: closing… (don’t grab): do close-closing. If I don’t close but start to grab, it’s no good. I must close in and close down (below horizontal). When I close it below horizontal, then I grab. If you can’t grab comfortably, that means you aren’t closed yet. Later on, it means that at point there is one fullness point. This point of contact is like two balls touching. Don’t go to grab and lose the fullness point; you must maintain the point and bring it down, to grab. Because the point is 3 dimensional-it has a defense line. When we say you close close and pull, that means pull to the dan tien; you drop to the dan tien but it’s not about power. That is extreme-not balanced (going to back, etc.) Can check if there’s a return (not reverse), you can know (dan tien mingmen—react to the point by understanding the point, because everything goes through the point of contact). When you pull, you must pull from the point. First of all, at Point of Contact, you must be able to KNOCK to get the point…. [demonstrates with Hsin how he can then fajin on the point, at contact]. Then, because we are anytime ready, we can just fajin with any part of the body.
Knocking. You must be able to understand (and catch) the TIP of the force. If you can’t catch this, you can’t redirect. You need form the tip of the force to link DOWN. Then only form here can you connect First from the force of the bone—then only can you see. Every action starts from the pull: because the joint here (shoulder) can’t run away; so when you pull, if there’s some slack or ‘relaxation’ in opponent, you can take it away. [demonstrates common errors, what is wrong] . Then, at one touch, he connects (links) from wrist down to feet. So, if too loose, connect opponent; can play like a puppet. If direction is wrong, then all wrong. [demonstrates on Sisi: the point of contact: wrist to elbow to shoulder to neck, then down to hip, to the feet.
See (Sifu asks) I’m on top of the feet now; but now I’ll go under the feet. Demonstrates how he goes “form the bottom up” by connecting. See, I’m just trying to go through the path; I’m not trying to ‘do’ anything. First try to get some sense of balancing first.
You guys should be very fortunate, because most of my high students are here: Alex, my Russian representation, my son and my daughter. Hsin: I don’t think it’s ever happened that these people have ever gathered all together in a foreign country. This is the first time in history. They all host their own workshops. They are all the top students. They will be helping to touch and feel a little bit. Remember: this is training to work with instructions, don’t challenge each other: there’s no point challenging each other—you won’t benefit from that. We are trying to share our way. You have your way of course. I’m sharing my thing. When you want to see my things, you need to drop your things to see with our view: our way to see. It’s very hard to see with your view. Because the hardest part is that your view is blocking my view. In the training process, you always have to be a student; even a master learning something you have to go back to be a student in order to learn how to teach. Otherwise. I can’t be on this side to see; I must be on this side in order to experience it!
If it’s too loose…can on touch link/connect and wave off. Alright now, because of the training, we do open and close: the 2 circles, then we have 8 cycles (shows them). But this one circles has 3 dimensions: do the pull and push: this is sagittal, this is frontal, this is horizontal. Once circle has 3—and this one circle has the 5 Elements: Earth, Matter, Water, Wood, Fire and back to Earth. Five elements go through different organs and Offense and Defense. But now when we do pull and push, do heavy a little bit, to find the bone. Now in all action I must hold onto the bone in order to do (various) rotations. Grind and see: can you maintain the bone same pressure. You must have 2 energies: up to here (shoulder) and into me (center)—you can pull and push. Observe: why he cannot engage with the force. What’s the most simple defense? (holds hands/palms to opponent to demonstrate defense line: you cannot go through the point. Very simple. If you cannot go through the point, you can’t attack me. It’s just like water; I keep on attacking here. So, learn to grind onto the bone first.
This is why we have Concave and Convex: see—this is different. Without convex, no fullness. Demonstrates on South: what goes down, energy must come up. See how there’s yin yang on the pivot point? Feel the pivot point AND the rolling to change: only then you can control. This is what is the Tai Chi. From here (south) I can’t just drop, or you can come in). See, I’m holding, but at this angle: it still goes to you (feel this point—demonstrates).
Guys, let’s grind because you must know the bone first or you guys won’t know the right energy. Movement is from the BONE first. The bone is where the joint is; if you can’t understand the bone… Because when I touch—one touch—I have the bone already.
If you want to attack me, you have to cross my Yang. If I take care of my half-line. I didn’t ‘control’ you, I just protect myself. If I take care (one finger demonstration). This is physics, not a trick. Of course, if he is strong, he can push through, but I can just move over. Only one finger—it’s the PRINCIPLES, not the trick. You can do on me: just maintain this line. You can slice (up): don’t let him cross. This is the principles: that I don’t let you cross. If you can’t cross, you can’t attack. But if I can’t keep you from crossing, then you change better. See: there’s no space to attack (unless you can get me open); tai chi is that if you’re on the yin contact, unless you can get the yang contact, you have no power. Touch the yin, no power; but touch (can slice), have power. Demonstrates how ever 1 touch over the line (onto the yang) can go over/come up. If even one finger can touch the yang, then there’s power. But in our system, we talk about this spinning hand (this cycle—can see this is the defending point. Then defense offense point). But then we also have upper hand: sticky hand. This is sticky hand; if you can’t get on top of my hand you get whacked. Then you have lower hand: if you try to hit me, I won’t let you cross.
Q: how do you recognize the way of nature? Practically.
First, you have to hold onto something; have attention to hold onto something. Your mind and your body has to hold onto something. How well can you hold? You cannot pay attention to hold onto the body.
First, hold onto balance first. Everything starts with balance. Can you maintain that? That means you are always adjusting. By right, we are always unstable. We can’t be stable; we are always unstable but we are always adjusting. Adjusting to be stable. Adjusting to be balanced—that means maintaining. That means every moment, every second you are changing to maintaining. From changing here to maintain you are observing the nature of change. It’s very hard to hold on over here, but it’s very hard because you have your experience.
Because here it’s very hard to keep attention, to observe. That means if anything surrounding happens, your mind goes off. The training is: can you see your mind go out? If you see it going out, can you bring it back. This is called recognizing the process of seeing the process of what’s happening happen. If only when you can go deep enough to see that separation and clarity, that’s when the KNOWING comes. Alright? Practically, training is maintaining balance.
It’s the first step. Not for power. For if you can’t maintain not to be disrupted, then if you want to push me off you can’t, because I’m maintaining. If I maintain sitting here, can you sit here? No, you can’t not. If you can’t disturb me, you have no place. You’d have to push me off. If something disrupts me, then it’s easier for you then.
It’s about attention. There is no ultimate move. I don’t care what system you train. The ultimate move is ‘who can change better’. That is, who has more attention. If my attention can link more, you have no chance.
Because; before you do anything, I already know.
If you don’t know and I know, how can you be faster than me. It’s like your head pops up and I whack [it], up, whack.
So, there’s no ultimate move: who can change better. That’s all. OK? This is the most important thing. I don’t care what art you train—hsing I, ba gua, tai chi, zhong xin dao, karate—what are you using?
Your body. Your body…and it consists of what? Bone, ligaments tendons, muscles, the skin. And then we talk about the 4 alchemies: BODY: the bone ligaments tendon—the solid part: Earth; Water (the fluids); Fire (heat, aging), the Air (the chi you breathe), and movement inside—so the heat because of moving and energy, there’s heat. There’s water and there’s breathing they pressurize [sifu demonstrates by drawing in and condensing] the air, the breath and all these 4 elements’ compressions… then of course if you understand these 4 alchemies…the 4 pressures equalize the body: from the feet to the hands and the hands to the feet: and the pressurizations connect. It’s all about this: Understanding these 4 alchemies and the relationship of the breath. And the body. That’s why actually, this is the [mindfulness of the] body. Then the Feeling—the feeling of understanding you like, you don’t like…and the feel of Such. Then you understand the Mind (what is attention, what is intention—the mind changes….). Then the Awareness: the awareness is the quality of the Mind itself. And then the Nature of things. The Awareness: everything is the same, because it is the quality of the mind. But the problem is that we don’t recognize our awareness.
So, anything you do you can do without recognizing awareness. …You see…sometimes, when we drive home, we don’t know how we drive home: the awareness is just enough to take you home; but now, the training you want to train back to understand awareness itself; it’s the main tool!
You see, now you are using awareness to train this, to train that…yes? You want to understand ‘this’, this, this, this…but you don’t understand ‘this’. But you are using awareness to train ‘this’.
The right way of doing meditations, the right way of doing meditation—this is DYNAMIC meditations….we are training this to look back into awareness. To really understand that is awareness: is the quality of the mind. Once you understand ‘this’, that ‘THIS’ is the tool, then you can use it in everything.
We are using it in the academy, using it for health, for martial or for daily life, in your work, in anything you touch. So, if you understand this, this is called CULTIVATING YOURSELF: you, your mind—if you are training this, you are training cultivation. It’s your mind you are looking into. It’s not that you are disciplining this, that….no, you are only using that to REFLECT back to ‘this’.
Only when you reflect back to ‘this’ only then is that called cultivation. Or else you’re only training something. This building, we have space here, yes?
That’s why in the school we talk about you learn this subject and that subject. Now, in the university, like my professor Nancy here, we have a program in the college we talk about “Learning How to Learn.”
You learn ‘this’, you learn ‘that’. But you must teach how to learn. Then, your approach is more direct.
(18 November 2017 – Saturday morning talk at studio/workshop)
I believe everyone attended yesterday’s talk, right?
So, today we are going into more of the physical through the mental. The important things is the approach, because it’s a learning process. The learning process is only to recognize and realize, not to think. Thinking—out the door, go.
We say that to watch, observe—that means paying attention. The first thing we need to do is make sure the attention must be there. The process first is Yi (the attention), then the energy (chi), then the power (li): the yi chi li. If attention is not there, you cannot know–how can you know?
Here is a problem a lot of people have. If attention can’t be there, then when you try to act, you fall down into habit—not recognizing. That is why the training is by linking—like joining—by stretching. By stretching from one point to another, this is called unification. We talk about first unify yourself: mentally, physically. Then, there’s unification on movement. Then unification on point of contact. First, there’s hardware unification. Second, is because moving, there’s a coordination of movement. Then, you need to have Point of Contact unification: you have joined.
In action, we talk about 5 Mechanisms of Movement: first, you must be able to have Absorb and Project: this means it’s from one point to another point: what goes up must goes down—must have this connection. So, the connection is from here up and down, then big and small [gestures condense and expand]. Every point must return, it’s a cycle. It’s a cycle, not a reverse. Since it’s a cycle—that means it must have a separation: Left Right, Up Down, Forward Back—so you travel from this side and you come to down this side: go out from yang and come back on yin. Bone, joints is where the ligaments and tendons is. The ligament and tendons have 2 groups of muscles:
yin and yang. That means it’s only 2 lines: yin line and yang line. The quality of the yin line has two energies:
Yin ling: Absorbing to dan tien (all yin to dan tien); then also condensing to the bone.
Yang line: Expanding out from ming men—that means it’s projecting from ming men going out
to the fingernail and toenail and coming back from finger tips to the dan tien—must be
separated by the bone.
That means the Yin cannot interfere with the Yang. The yang can’t interfere with the yin. It goes to the bone and stops [demonstrates bringing left hand up to center line; claps precisely at this halfway point, then other hand goes down]. Goes to here: stops, then the yang takes over. If it goes over, that’s violating. This yin comes together and it wants to go over, but the yang helps support. In training, in Chinese medicine or meridian point we call this Macrocosmic energy flow, the chi flow. The energy that goes to the bone (that has Expand Condense)—this is called Bone Marrow Washing (neigong).
All movement must have these two: Macrocosmic Energy and Bone Marrow Washing.
All movement also evolves from one point: the center point (dan tien is a center point; ming-men is a center point).
But the most important point is the feet: the feet with the mass.
The mass falls on the dan tien: then on this builds the alignment. With this alignment, it means all action on the point starts with Rotation.
Rotation is what?
The spinning force, the spiral energy—and it creates open close. Open close, we have 3 dimension open close, but then normally we work only on 2- dimension open close at first: vertical line, horizontal line. (See, this is close, but I’m opening but I’m not open yet: until this is neutral. Closing, closing closing, neutral, closed [demonstrates on horizontal and frontal planes].
Because open and close have different energy—because open you can project (you don’t absorb): you project, project, project to close, then you close. Then, I absorb, absorb, absorb to neutral then open. Because it’s the coordination from the further point to the furthest point: the longer the leverage the greater the power.
Ok? So, horizontal is the primary spin because the whole world, the whole universe spins horizontally. And only in horizontal spin do you not leave the ground [demonstrates as he grinds index finger into palm: ‘in horizontal you don’t leave the point’. [Sifu demonstrates contrast: like a wheel hitting ground: how frontal and sagittal both leave the point].
So you need to start with horizontal. [Sifu points to shoulder joint as root and explains: project from the shoulder joint: from our C7] then rotate open close.
See: All movement is from the rotation point. Because when we do movement, we talk about the rotation: how rotation is a circle. The sun and the earth…the earth is revolving but it’s also turning day and night [demonstrates with his 2 fists how both rotates and circles.]
Here is the very primary movement. So from understanding Absorb Project, Condense Expand ming-men—from this you do Open Close, and that is how you recognize the neutral line. Then, when you do Open Close, you recognize how you do circles: because there are only 2 circles—you do rotation either clockwise or counter-clockwise: no other movement. From this movement here you create Concave Convex—because this [does NSEW as concave convex]: that means there’s yin yang to complete these circles. To complete these circles you must complete the cross: That means you must go through the cross—the vertical line, the horizontal line—and that means you go through 4 quarters, yang/yin. For example, you cannot say this is complete [does it wrong with no connection between shoulder and wrist]. Yes, this is complete if only doing the wrist [waggles only his wrist]. But if doing whole shoulder, you must have this [demonstrates connection from shoulder, elbow, to wrist] This is Section: shoulder (or elbow, or wrist). Everything must have yin yang touch.
Concave and convex also gives direction—like a fish moves [demonstrates shoulder to elbow moving in relation to each other]: a tail goes like this. [wiggles elbow to wrist moving like a fish’s tail]. You must understand how movement follows this line (shoulder joint). If you don’t follow this, then the Point of Contact is already wrong!
From here you must understand the 3 Planes: horizontal, frontal, sagittal. This is 3 dimensional. This means everything must have a center with 3 dimension: that means it must include 6 direction energy and 3 dimensions.
These are the 5 Mechanisms you must understand. Later on, this is unified self and unifying movement. When you say ‘unifying with opponent’, I’m 1 opponent is 2, but the Point of Contact is the 3: there’s one, two, three points. On Point of Contact, any point of contact, there’s yin yang: a cross (you can also say 3 dimensions). Every point of contact has 3 dimensions. But one dimension starts with 3: yin neutral yang.
The dividing line between yin yang is the neutral line that DEFINES the position; that defines the yin and defines the yang, or you can say it’s defining the OFFENSE and DEFENSE. When you play football, a field has half line: behind half line you are defending; when you cross the half-line you are attacking. But you must be able to know where is the half-line. A half line is also a Point, because a point gives direction, so if you take care of the line, you understand what is offense and defense. That means we approach through the Zhong Xin Dao: through the neutral line, through neutral point: so you can see everything in One point.
You don’t see from yin to see yang, or from yang to see yin… of course if you train yang, you also train yin. But in your viewpoint of training you must approach from the Center. If you don’t approach from the center, you cannot link the two: you will be seeing one side to THINK of the other side because you can’t “see”—you can only guess. So, you won’t have a COMPLETE view. Can do only from approaching from the separations and the unification—this separates the two and binds the two. So in movement of course if you can’t separate you’re also in trouble. If you can’t join, you’re also in trouble.
If people attack me too much, I separate, then they can’t connect…but normally in our training, we maintain connect first, maintain connect first to understand what is one point of defense. One point of defense under 3 dimensions—in Tai Chi they talk about Peng energy, the defense one.
This is not action—it’s the energy, the energy of Peng, the energy of fullness. This fullness is 3 dimensional…behind ALL movement. Right? It’s behind all the movement because the 3 dimensional energy behind all the movement is neutral. That neutral helps you to change. That neutral helps to give you readiness and alertness. So, because this fullness energy, or we call it oneness energy, has the Peng energy. In ALL movement. That means, how can you understand this Fullness energy on point? This Peng energy on point? As a neutral, it means what? That it has a center point, a highest point. Highest point is a mountain. Or you can say the furthest point. The furthest point is like a ball: any point you touch is the furthest point to the center because it’s a diameter line. That has the quality of that. The thing is that we are straight, not a ball. So where is the reference that you say so you can create the furthest point?
That means it’s the CENTER LINE TO THE MASS, the Center line to the Point of Contact—and where the Point of Contact creates a vector force, a triangle energy force…or sometime s we call it Peng energy or the fulcrum point, or triangle energy, or a cone energy. So, on the point here, you have a ball or like two balls that come together, they come together and touch each other, that is the fullness point. Because they have 2 fullness, they touch each other. It also has the 90 degree to touch at the center. So we say attack is 90°; but you must be able to receive 45° on the POC. Attack 90°, receive 45°, is the straight with the curve energy. Every movement is straight and curved; because of this (90° and 45°) it’s the circular energy: circular energy must have 90/45. So we talk about 2 to 1; 1 to 2: Two to one means we have Absorb Project or Condense Expand (2 energies) that form ONE COMPLETE fullness energy. Form this is 2 to form 1 at the Point of Contact. On the Point of Contact, you must at minimum have 2 energies out: 1 to the bone structure (skeleton) and the other to the Mass (your alignment). Skeleton and mass are two different things but they are related. Skeleton is the back bone; if you don’t have skeleton, no movement; but skeleton is not the balance beam line, it’s not the alignment. Alignment is from the mass and the gravity. The mass is the flesh and tissue including the bone. Including the bone that has a center of mass.
The center of Mass weighs on the center of gravity and forms alignment—but you need the bone to coordinate with. Once you capture the mass you control the object.
But, on the point, if you can also get 6 direction energy, you can know…how to create the point to create 6 directions…if you can do that, that means you are neutral. When you are neutral that means you can change. With that neutral energy you must include readiness, alertness. We can use Yin point of contact.
Project is from the Yang to the yin; you don’t project from yin. Always in this direction. Because we are following the nature of the body. The nature of the body is that Yin is drawing all the time. If you start to reverse, the energy goes wrong: you lose the cycle, you lose the balance. That doesn’t mean that Yang can’t expand, for Yang can expand. That’s why we say first it’s the hardware then the software. Because the Yin has Yin Yang; the Yang has yin yang. [Demonstrates how the two must maintain both energies: there’s yin energy drawing…to the maximum draw—if you go more than this you lose the yin quality and violate the yang energy].
The yin energy must be always there because it’s the yin energy. You can’t go against the yin nature; you can’t violate the yin or violate the yang. But yin can do the action of yang a little bit…understand? The rule is that FOLLOW THE NATURE. OBEY NATURE.
In the truth of nature there is no freedom. You can’t do what you like. You’ve got to base on the nature itself, yes, that’s why we call it The Way. The way is not that you like it (understand it). It’s not that I like it—so that’s my way; no, that is your habit. That is your feeling, a past feeling (I like this, I don’t like this). That is not the true way—that is the Ego. Alright? The nature of things has its characteristics you have to follow. We are part of nature. If we don’t follow, we go against.
If you go against, and you do it more, you are the one who suffers. That’s why the way things are in the Tao is understanding the way things are. It has its rule. All the time we follow the law of nature—it’s different from following the human law. In sport, in competition, this is human law—it’s not law of nature. That’s why a lot of other martial arts don’t want to spend time in tournaments. Yes, you can train—in lower levels you can go and train, but higher level…no. Any things that human make laws you have to remember; once you ‘remember’ then it’s not the law of nature any more. Because you have to remember, that means you’re already cut off; in the law of nature there’s no remembering, it’s CONNECTING. You cannot remember. The Law of nature is CONNECTING THERE—it’s based on yin yang: based on adaptability. You cannot go, “oh, can’t go’ or if you think “I cannot go’ that means you’re thinking…you can’t go above. You aren’t with the law of nature. That means you fall on the ‘knowledge’—and you can’t go above to the Wisdom level. No chance—you can train 1 million years but still no.
The thing is so straight. In our Zen training in our system training because there’s Knowledge and Wisdom—later knowledge and dumb: because you are crossing over here, but when you’re crossing over here [to a new understanding] hanging over you don’t have enough clarity, or not enough to penetrate (we call it) or to link—not enough. But I can hang over there, not to go back. In every training we call this a process of ‘dumb-dumb’/like stupid: the process of dumb dumb—it’s tranquility, it’s peaceful, it’s balanced.. but not the wisdom….
But you can hang over there and not fall back over there… you look very smart (because you go through thinking: what you like, don’t like). But of course we DO fall back onto knowledge; then, at least we know we are falling back on knowledge. You must know that you are judging; it’s not absolute truth; you are judging.
Introduces his family: my wife, my daughter Yen, my son Hsin and my students: my Russian
representative, Alex Skalazub; and my US students: from NY, Richard Kelly; from Arizona, Ashe Higgs; from New Jersey, Dr. Wai Tang; from Pennsylvania, Dr. Nancy Watterson.
Thanks a lot for having me here.
I believe that most of you guys here have learned some kind of Martial arts, yes? Majority yes. Then, we are going to talk about martial arts, self-defense or about movement of physical mechanism. And about how mental and physical coordinate. The system I have, we call it Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan, and it’s based on Zen philosophy and Tao. Zen and Tao philosophy is talking about nature as it is. It’s about how things are. So, it’s an approach of seeing Nature itself. So, we talk about the Moment, the Present. First of all, we want to understand what is the nature, what is the characteristic of Nature. Then you only know what kind of approach. The characteristic of the nature is change and it doesn’t have solid entity.
That means everything is based on conditions. You need things to be there so that condition is formed. So, if conditions is not there, it just cannot be formed. Then we talk about what kind of quality you need to be with the change. That is what we talk about the approach of Zhong Xin Dao. In Chinese Zhong is center—you can also say middle, but you also can say neutral. Xin is the heart. Dao is the way. So, in the middle of the heart lays the path. Then what is neutral? Simple to say: you need to be able to change with change with the moment. So, neutral also has the quality of formless. Formless—it means it can change and adapt. The most important part here is that everything keeps on changing, then how can you know?
In Dao, we talk about everything change then has one balance point. This balance point is a steady
point, present point, neutral point. To know and to change. Let me give you an example. So, we need to understand first, what is knowing? How can you know? Everyone says that they know; how can you know? Your knowing is based on what reference? Everyone knows. Everyone knows differently—why?
(Because we are different). We are different based on what? [human nature—no]. Based on our
accumulation of experience. So, everyone know differently because it’s from the past. When we say
‘present’, everyone says now I’m here, I see, I touch, that’s why I know—yes? You know from
where—experience. Do you call that ‘present’? No. That’s from the past. Even if now you are in the
present (I see, I touch, I know this from my experience—that means that is not present).
Normally, everyone says that is his present: because I hear and see—that is my present. But in Dao and Zen that is not present because you use your past experience to know the moment. That’s why we talk that this is ‘judging’; then, here that’s why everyone knows differently. The nyou can say everyone is right also because it’s based on their own viewpoint. But practically speaking, everyone is wrong. Yes? It cannot be right. If you are with the present to see the moment by itself, everyone sees the same: because nature is only one thing.
That is why we call that the Way Things Are. Alright? Or, in Zen we talk about this as Suchness: it’s Just Like This. So in order to understand the moment of that present, it’s just now what I say: everything changes…but there’s one balance point within all the change.
So sometimes I use the words like ‘change with the change maintain not to change.” That is the balance point. That is the present point. Only that present point will you understand from there you then connect. In the present of the moment you can know it only through DIRECT.
When you can hold on to direct here, not falling back to the past experience, then normally people would say ‘oh you have concentration here; oh, now you are connected. Through connecting and steadying and stable and balance. . .from here we talk about the clarity comes: from knowing the clarity, what is clarity? How can you describe clarity?
[crowd answers: something you can’t see; you see one thing…]
Sifu asks: based on what?
You see that’s the problem here, to maintain here. Tai Chi talks about One is born two, two born three, three the thousand things are born. One is Wu Ji, two Tai Chi, three: yin and yang. That means what?
Three is the separation that also unifies. Only by understanding separations and unifications do they give you the difference.
It’s the difference….it’s not opposite. Difference has separations, has unifications, and they have the relationship; and the relationship has cause and consequence. Cause and consequence has cause and effect. You know the moment by cause and effect.
From here, sometimes we say, why is that separation and unification make things clear? I like to make the example of …do you know what is high definition television? It’s based on what? [seeing the entire picture, smaller and smaller particles)
Yes, it’s based on the pixels. So the higher the pixels the clearer the picture yes? Because of the separation and unifications, they make it clearer. So if you can understand here in the moment, it’s based on this idea.
In tai chi it’s said 1 to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 8, 8 to 16, 16 to 32, you keep on breaking down. Provided you can be there…Yes?
Then, we say if you can be there that means, as some say, ‘concentration.’ But by right there is no concentration because by understanding the nature you cannot add, you cannot take away. That means you cannot interfere.
That’s why in tai chi they talk about bu di bu ding: no resistance, no backing off.
That means it’s the flow, yes? Flow, if you understand it, flow is present. Flow has a stillness point. Flow has a present point. And has a neutral point.
Put your hands together: (this is changing: move your two hands around, fingers touching). But this point (of contact) doesn’t change: the pressure maintains the same, though you are changing. You are changing with the change not to change.
This is the present point. Until you understand this point…this point is where you connect. This is the principle where the present understanding of these principles that connect with the moment. From here, you only recognize and realize.
But do you understand what is ‘recognize’? HOW can you recognize? [ answers: comparing different things] Many people think they need the past to recognize. No. To recognize is knowing what is happening that happens. Understand?
That is the moment of seeing the difference, seeing the change. So, this is about knowing what kind of reference you use. That’s why we talk about when you are present, it’s based on stillness and clarity.
Before here, then we talk more about this: how can you know? What is knowing? We already mentioned that after you know, you use that kind of reference—the PRESENT reference. We must know HOW to pay attention in order to know. Alright?
In everything is based on Point of Contact. You know from point of contact. You act to the point of contact. What, then, is Point of contact? We have five senses point of contact: Eyes for form, Ears for hearing, Smell, Mouth for taste, the Body for Touch. But point of contact must have 3 things, in order for it to be established. The 3 things are: Object, Subject, and Consciousness, or else you have eyes but can’t see and ears that can’t hear. That means attention must be there.
That’s why in Tai chi they talk about Yi Chi and Li. First, attention must be there (yi), then energy will be there (chi), then the action (Li). Alright? So yi chi li. In order to have the right attention where do you see me sitting here? Where do you see me?
(in front of us. No, he laughs).
No, YOU see me in your own mind/eyes (points to own head). To have Right Attention you don’t see me here. I am only just a REFLECTION. If you see me here, you have INTENTION. What is intention? Intention means you already are going out. That means you’re trying to ADD something, adding. That means if your attention is out, you cannot be ready. When we talk attention, when we talk about awareness, readiness and alertness must be there. If my attention is out, then when I want to act, then I need to bring back my attention—then you will have in and out.
That is the wrong attention. But you need effort. Effort is like intention, but this effort or intention is
Attention is OPENING (wider), but we need the intention to hold onto attention, or else your
attention cannot hold more than a few seconds—it flies out every few seconds.
Alright. So this is about how can you know. In philosophy, concepts, principles everything must align with that. Philosophy is about the nature itself. And to understand that is only through recognizing and realizing. Because it’s already there. Because you cannot imitate or accumulate. And in concepts actually we talk about there’s nothing to learn: it’s there. Yes? So, why can’t we see there? Why can’t we know?
It’s because our past experience, our habit, blocks our view. That’s why in Zhong Xin Dao we approach with the neutral view. And in Principles, we talk about the past and the present. With the past experience we have only 3 kinds of feelings: I like, I don’t like, I don’t know. This is the past. If you have these 3 feelings, you are already in the past. Present is only stillness and clarity.
So, this is the philosophy, concepts and principles. From here we talk about Mental Neutral and Physical Neutral. Mental Neutral is to understand what is concentration and what is awareness, so this is about how to be mindful. And physical neutral starts with 1 point. One point that separates: one to two, two to three. And a point is also a neutral point, a center point. What is the quality and what kind of condition do you need in order to say a center?
A center must have forward backward, left right, up and down. So the center must have 6 directions and 3 dimensions—then this is the neutral center. And also a junction point. And also the Fullness Point. Form here only can you change with change.
Now, a point must be strong, and it’s also a pivot point. What is the quality of the pivot point? To have action you must have a pivot point. Without the pivot point there’s no action because a pivot point gives yin yang, and if it’s not strong you cannot give direction. A direction comes from a point. You guys understand here? Why point gives direction?
You need a point to give a direction, since direction is an angle of movement. So you need a point to give direction. What goes out must comeback. What goes out returns, not reverse. You must understand my words here: return and reverse are two different things.
When you return from one point you stretch to the other point; you hold onto this point and return on this point: you complete the cycle. When the cycle completes, you have no gaps. And you have no beginning and ending. It’s only a matter of what moves and what supports. If a point to another point reverses, there will be a gap.
Q: when he hears a reflection from the point, then he close the gap?
No. When you stretch you are present. That means it’s a stretching. in Chinese they call it 穿“[ chuān ]
This is the skill of unifying from center to center. Then you have the information transfer. In martial arts they call this Ting jìn—listening power. If you only can stretch only to this one room, this big, and connect but if I can then connect as big as this whole campus, this university, then insider here (this room) you know, but outside you don’t know. But outside is under my area, yes?
That means outside is your future. So, your future is under my present. So, you cannot be faster than me. THIS is Ting Jin [heightened attention]: it’s how you expand your attention, your listening power.