Artikle by Patrick A Kelly
The true purpose of Taiji is the true purpose of our sojourn on the Earth. All true Taiji has an external level, 3 internal levels within the Deep Mind and the level Beyond the Mind. Though outwardly based on physical exercises for health and self-defense, all deeply refined teachers aim to lead their students through the body to the realm of Deep Mind, then gradually, step by step, working their way through the 3 levels Jing, Qi and Shen before reaching the Beyond and the final realisation of freedom from the 3 worlds of human existence.
External Practice – This is concerned with body positioning, balance, weight, speed, contracting and relaxing the muscles, calming the disturbed emotions and quieting the thinking mind – then using these skills to physically interact first with a partner, then later life. Typically 4 to 8 years is spent on the external level – depending both on the initial condition of a persons system and the intensity and intelligence of their practice. Beyond this, many do not go.
Internal Practice – This is based within the Deep Mind Energy Sphere whereas the external level is based in the physical (brain-consciousness, hormonal balance and body structured movement). The 3 internal levels – internal body level, energy level and mind level – can be named: Earth, Man and Heaven; Etheric, Astral and Celestial; or Jing, Qi and Shen. The internal levels are trained within the Taiji Form. No separate exercises, such as standing meditation or sitting meditation, are required – though pure mind-energy exercises may complement the inner-methods of the Taiji movements at a later stage.
Progress from External to Internal – From the very first exercise, this progress is built into true Taiji training. It would be an unfortunate mistake to aim to strengthen only the external first then hope to approach the internal later. It is 4 to 8 years of internally aimed external effort that can open the door to the true internal. Unfortunately, when Taiji is taught and learnt primarily for the purpose of healing (with emphasis on soft, pleasant outer conditions and little effort required from the practitioner) or overemphasising self defence (which while requiring effort thereby strengthening the body and personality structure, also inevitably builds the outer ego), then reliance on and attachment to the body is increased, suppressing the influence of the small inner voice and its natural innate aspiration towards the Beyond, thereby further obstructing the already narrow door to future true inner progress.
Progress within the Internal – Once over the threshold, then intensity of effort and purity of motive are the 2 important factors that will irresistibly lead to deep development. Intensity of effort causes change on a deep level, which unfortunately also stimulates growth of the ego – often on a subconscious level. Only purity of motive will ensure that the inner-growth strengthens the hold of the True Self, rather than the false self (ego) which if left to grow will bring all internal progress to a halt. To deliberately direct all results of inner training to the benefit of the True Self (of yourself and those connected with you), then consciously remember this aim when beginning to practice or whenever results seem to appear, is the base method for gradually purifying inner motives. Only to the degree that you have purified and understood your own inner motives will the motives of those around you become clearer. Until that time of understanding arises try to see others in a positive light or the ego will entrench itself by placing you at a higher position than you really are while placing those around you lower – this being the most obvious outward sign of the ego at work.