The Degrees Of Emptiness In Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi Chuan is the art that speaks of emptiness. One must move without force to realize the true depth of this ancient art. And, in Tai Chi, you might run out of energy, but you'll never run out of nothing.

One must understand, of course, that there are stages of emptiness. The beginning student will have one viewpoint concerning this notion, and the advanced master will have another, and there is plenty of room in between. Indeed, one could almost say there are as many viewpoints of this great nothingness as there are students to perceive them.

At the start of the art concepts of Tai Chi cause much confusion. The new practitioner tries to get in his own way, tries to figure out the mechanistic nature of the cosmos, and slowly works his way through confusion. Eventually, the beginner starts to realize that there is more to this idea of emptiness than ever he had imagined.

One can perceive space inside the body. The apparent concreteness of organ and tissue gives way to perception. Awareness permeates unhindered through the contrivances of the apparently real body.

This reflects in practice. The beginning student becomes advanced as he loses reaction time and begins to move in concert with the incoming attack. It is a short journey, once started, until the student joins his body to that of the attackers, and is able to draw upon the energies of two bodies in harmony, as opposed to just one in conflict.

Eventually the space of the body gives way to the knowledge that there is a great space open to the the seeker. Indeed, the skin stops being a line of demarcation between the student and the rest of the universe. The student becomes master, and his perceptions are not halted at the threshold of his mortal envelope, but rather are unlimited and as far as he can perceive.

The new master joins arms with new students, and he speaks of great space, and he gives way that the newbie may fall into a new arena of perception, an entire and new and glorious perception of the universe. Slowly, the new student accepts the journey of the master, understands gravity only to reject it in his thoughts, and the cycle continues. The fresh seed grows, becomes sapling, seeks the heavens, undergoing cycles of life that enliven the mind throughout time.

This is the journey of Tai Chi Chuan, endless, immutable, hastened only by the striving towards knowledge of the student. This is the tai chi of a race, of a humanity, and it is a goal and a method and a principle that should be sought by all. What would happen if all governments gave way to the kindness of the people?

Al Case has learned Tai Chi for more than 35 plus years. A writer for IKF for years, his methods are unique, and you can read about them at Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

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