陳至誠太極拳的呼吸

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Feeling Yi

以意行氣以氣運身

 

The feeling Yi (sensation 意)begins from intention in the mind. The intensity this of intention stimulates the emotion in the brain. Emotion is the desire (feeling) that motivates the Qi flow; it is the sensation of our feeling Yi. Without thinking there would be no feeling, no Qi flow and no physical motion. “Feeling Yi in the brain” is the primary objective of real physical movements, the connection of the mind and brain. The merger of the brain with the mind is like the software interfacing with the computer hardware.

 

The connection of the merging Qi and the feeling Yi is like the electric wire. Energy Qi in the body is the positive “hot” wire. Thinking mind of the Feeling Yi of the brain is a negative soft wire. This dual polarity must be unified to produce the direct current electricity. Qi 氣and feeling Yi generate the dynamic outgoing energy for physical action. Yi is an infinite source of force that integrates the soul with human Willpower 毅力. It is like the spiritual soul 魂 energy, also called “Shen” 神

 

Qi is our human mobility energy and the intentional feeling of Yi is an inspiring energy. In our normal life, we can’t live with one without the other. The store of Qi resides in the meridians and requires Yi to amplify it for action.

 

Qi is the optimal power for an internal martial artist. It is fuel potential energy that is easily ignited into explosive force for a quick punch or kick. The feeling Yi triggers the Qi, which in turn generates the Willpower of Shen, the power of the spiritual Soul (or immortal Soul).

 

To generate the power of mastery, we think and feel it (Yi), we Will it, and we create a huge amount of fuel to ignite Qi like gasoline to produce an explosive force. Shen contributes a massive amount of oxygen which combines with the “human fuel” of Qi to ignite a superpower explosive force.

  

Therefore, a devoted martial artist’s body strength is supported and sustained by the resilient willpower of Shen and feeling Yi from the brain. Feeling Yi is the best generator of Qi for physical action. The source of the nexus of the three (Yi, Qi and Shen) is the best human treasury. These three essential elements are the central emphasis and applied by Chinese martial artists. In addition, they constitute the basis for human productivity, enabling us to accomplish our daily obligations to society.

 

Our natural physical movements arise from the emotion of feeling Yi. It animates the Qi flow to create physical actions to express the feeling desire. Any physical movement without feeling Yi is considered an imitation movement. The genuine movements of Tai Chi Chuan are the reflection of the emotional feelings and desires of the brain, transformed into physical expression.

 

It is like a professional dancer versus an amateur dancer: the professional dancers perform with full feeling from the heart. The amateur dancers are still learning through physical imitation. The real movements of the dancing are the physical expression of the intentional emotional feelings. This is applied to all the movie actors or actresses in the film-world.

 

In the Tai Chi practice, the fingers moving gracefully and powerfully through the air are stimulated by the emotional feeling of the brain. The movements of fingers are one of the principle modes of physical expression. One of the first things an infant learns to do is “point” at what they want. When we talk our fingers automatically move in conjunction with our thoughts. When we are angry our fingers clench and tighten. When we are relaxed or falling asleep the fingers are released and soft.

 

The fingers and the toes are the devices which display the slow movements of Tai Chi Chuan as feeling Yi activates the Qi flow to create the moving fingers and the pressing toes. As the qi flow gradually increases, the energized fingers slowly form the palms or fists as they expand outward from the base of the toes, resulting in the slow motion of Tai Chi Chuan.

 

The biomechanics of finger function that are initiated in the cerebral cortex are intricate. The five fingers are controlled by two different nerve systems. The median nerve originates in the brachial plexus, from nerve roots that emerge out of the spinal cord in the base of the neck. The median nerve activates the index finger, the middle finger and the thumb. The pinky finger and the ring finger are connected to the ulnar nerve, which comes from the neck and runs down the arm and through the elbow.

 

In regard to the dynamic science and how it relates to Qi flow, “The median nerve triggers the index finger (the most active fingers), middle finger and thumb to boost the Qi flow for an action. The ulnar nerve activates the pinky finger and the ring finger to defuse the Qi flow or to set up for action. The pinky finger is more active than the ring finger. I call the pinky fingers the “pre-action fingers.”

 

“When we turn or rotate the pinky and ring finger, the effects are softening of the rib-muscles, and releasing of the tailbone, flattening of the arch of feet, and discharging by the inner thigh muscles. This state of Yi brain is the pre-action or setting up for an action. When we spin or twist the index finger, the middle finger and the thumb, the toes fasten onto or press into the ground while the body becomes substantial and the inner thigh muscles contract. Through this elegant system of stimulation and response, the Yi of brain stimulates the remote expression devices of the fingers and the toes into an action.

 

So, the pinky fingers “turn” and the index fingers “spin”. Turning sets up leverage for spinning. Turning is negative and spinning is positive. Without turning it is difficult to produce the effect of spinning. Spinning must be initiated by the pre-action of turning. This yin/yang interplay expressed through the fingers is a natural phenomenon.

 

We often unconsciously “turn” and then “spin” as we perform different tasks, “When we want to unlock a door and insert the key in the lock there is an automatic reaction of lifting the pinky fingers as the big toe and inner thigh muscles are released. This is a set up for the big toe pressing or gripping onto the ground, the inner thigh muscles contracting and the index fingers “spinning” the key to unlock the door. In the kitchen, the pinky fingers help to lift the knife and the index fingers do the cutting.”

 

The fingers and the toes are of the utmost importance to our life. The fingers enable us to write, type, gesture, grab and much more; the toes enable us to move around from one place to another as needed and help us to maintain our balance and to support movements of the fingers. Both the fingers and the toes serve us as devices to express the brain’s intention and feelings while helping us to complete and fulfill our desired daily activities.

 

The benefits of Tai Chi Chuan in daily practice include boosting the energy Qi flow that lubricates our joints and enhance mobility, reducing aching and pain by clearing Qi blockage in the meridians; and helping the fingers and the toes move freely and flexibly, which allows the martial artists to have the rapid actions of their quick punches or kicks. The most important contribution made by our fingers and toes is to work like a handyman or handywoman, helping us to move through our daily tasks more quickly and effectively.

 

The intentional feeling Yi directs the energy Qi flow, generating the physical expressive devices of the fingers and the toes to fulfill our desires. The interplay of the Yi, Qi and responsive fingers and toes is the central fundamental, central organizing principle of the Tai Chi Chuan practice. It makes our fingers and toes more active and helps our hands to handle tasks much faster. At same time, it makes our toes more active to help our feet move quickly and freely.

 

My daily Tai Chi practice makes my fingers and the toes very active like “Supper-active fingers” and “Supper-active toes” which maintain my quick punches at 5 meters per second and allow my feet to walk up ten flights of stairs daily as I wish, even at age 87. People are amazed that I am still actively teaching my Tai Chi classes. Soon, after the pandemic is over, I will be back traveling out of town or out of country to teach my workshops.

 

We are the natural human beings with full passion and compassion of the feeling mind in the brain, enabling us to do the things that we want to do. Therefore, feeling is everything, as reflected in one of the indications in the Chinese Tai Chi classics: (以意行氣以氣運身) which means “Yi facilitates the energy Qi flow and Qi circulates throughout the body.” This preserves our body in good shape, and boosts mobile abilities of our fingers and toes, promoting us to function like a super handyman or handywoman to fulfill our desires and make us more productive and more fully contributing human beings in our modern society.  “October 29, 2020”

 

This is a newly written article. Any comments and questions are welcome at: http://www.wccchenonline.com

William C.C. Chen Tai Chi Chuan, Inc.   1 East 28 Street, 7th Fl. – New York, NY 10016  Tel:212 675-2816

     

   <- click here to return