We human beings just by the way we stand represent all our subtle conditionings. Physical posture reveals psychological state.

Tai Chi Chuan books talk about Yin and Yang in Push Hands and we certainly know when we are in Yin  and when we are in Yang in Push Hands, but throughout we try to ensure that our expressions remain in the central channel.


“Direct transmission – the highest way of learning – no words, just become.”

If you choose and fail, at least you have chosen.
If you fail to choose, you have merely failed.

Are we headed towards the highest common goal or the lowest common denominator?’

Beyond realization, it is the actualization from repeated imbibing & experience that really matters.
We all strive towards becoming?

Subject: Blocks on subtle system
Topics covered during discussions and teaching:

  • A catch can manifest as physical pain in the body,
  • Sifu suffered right shoulder injury years ago. Physical treatment of this injury did not address the cause, in Swadisthana chakram.
  • Going deeper, the cause may only be the symptom of a deeper underlying cause (another subtle block).
    The subtle system is quite complex.

Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2023 20:24:20 +0000 (UTC)
Recorded by Sipos Aron


  1. On Sifu’s performance of Jade maiden:
    Virginia: “It looks easier than I think (it is).”
    Watching Sifu doing the form, he appeared to internally be playing out all the details of the form but externally expressing what was possible without exertion.
    I had an image of a solar system – all the movement came from deep within. And the surface of the body, the head and the limbs were like planets following their natural celestial path.
    Waltz-like, mesmerising.

  2. Virtuoso vs. Master

    Virtuosity only exists when there is an audience. It is characterized by an ostentatious capacity at the highest level; dynamic, intense and often dramatic. Often determined and highly focussed, the virtuoso has a thorough intuitive or learned capacity to read and manipulate emotions in the viewer/listener. This emotional vocabulary typically consists of an intimidating sense of awe, passion, exhilaration and celebration. It is more often associated with younger body types as it requires a high amount of physical effort.

    Mastery exists outside of the performer/audience geometry. It typically involves an ease in the act which downplays, rather than draws attention to the difficulty and complexity. Many of the qualities of mastery require a high level of alertness in an observer to detect, as the indicators of depth of understanding are often very subtle. When this depth is observed however, it often brings communication of subtler emotional shades, and a broader emotional palette generally. More descriptions of mastery that come to mind – effortless, self-realized, moving, and often humility. Because of the slow nature of accruing the experience necessary for mastery, it is typically associated with older body types.

    Tim’s Timbre

  3. Skype lessons are a way of teaching over distance, however, using technology to record and analyse lessons is dangerous. It overrides the natural protection inherent in the teaching of Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan, which is that students only see, remember and write down what they need / are able to do at any particular point in time. It negates the ephemeral nature of the transmission of knowledge. Ours is a living, breathing knowledge and documenting it should only be undertaken with greatest caution.
    Documenting knowledge should only be done by masters.
    Knowledge can be documented more permanently, but only in a “collective instructors’ guide” after a particular item is submitted to all instructors and all agree that it should be included in the guide.
    ** The pace of teaching. I understand that this may be more my personal issue:
    There is so much knowledge and so little timeIt seems that we are rushing from one thing to the next,
    I want to enjoy the effortless flow. I want to be able to savour the movements and enjoy the confidence of knowing I have achieved a particular milestone. There is always more and more and more to learn. But if we are just rushing through, it becomes frustrating for all. I would rather give up mastery than enjoyment of the journey.

    • Sifu has asked us to document over the years, so that the pearls are not lost altogether when they come out, because they tend to have timeless value. I feel that documentation in the sense that Gregor has remarked on doing, and has suggested now putting a time limit on, lacks that timeless quality: yes, the method is necessarily ephemeral, because it is Tai Chi. That means joining the flow and not holding yourself to a particular point in the river when what was to be learned when you were there has flowed past, in addition and in contrast to the idea of attempting to extract too much too soon.
      I disagree about a need to cull notes after a time, as they provide a record of growth, which may be useful to look back on some day, or to relate to past experience – but precisely as such: a record of the student’s own state of learning and observation at a series of points in time.
      I think, however that some of the frustration will be relieved if there is less “academic diligence”. It relates also to letting go. In spite of the push (internal or external), the pace is yours, the student’s, dictated by what you are ready for each day. It’s better to do what you can during lessons, recall what you can without crutches, and next lesson you may move on or you may need to revise. The crutches let you move in the short term more quickly, but the pressure builds elsewhere and will have to vent in a bigger burst later.

    • Thank you Ray and Danya for your consideration of my email and sharing your views.

      I agree re it being a surrender issue that I’m dealing with at the moment.
      The image that comes to mind is of getting caught up in learning to read when that is something that later on just is second nature; a tool to develop other skills.

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