Think And Do

Energy - Qi

Tan Tien

This is the core of the body's energy. Think of this as the fireplace-it is from this point that all movements emerge.
Where is it located? You can focus on your abdominal region, just inside and a bit below the navel.
Breathe into this spot. Be aware of this spot continually when you practice your Form.


"Life force", "vital force", "vital energy"

It is critical to a profound and meaningful Tai Chi practice to understand the most basic of all principles and concepts: the notion of Chi. Chi is life force, or energy. In Yogic culture, the word is Prana; in Chinese, Chi; in Japanese, Ki; Greek, pneuma. Many Westerners are reticent about acknowledging Chi. It is not tangible or measurable. We are now beginning to study this concept in the west, but we have sophisticated and scientific concepts for it.

To understand chi, it helps to stay simple. Remove ourselves from technology, advanced and complex thinking, the search for truth and knowledge. It helps to merely sit, preferably outside. Take time to BE and notice and experience. See how you feel and what your thoughts are. Are you enjoying your time outside or are you thinking about your responsibilities back inside? Do you see the trees, or the ocean, or, for that matter, the sidewalk? What does the sun look like? Is the moon high in the sky?

Ancient cultures enjoyed their surroundings as a matter of course. They respected the Earth and all living things on Earth. It is no accident that it is referred to as Mother Earth. There was always a connection among people, animals, plants, the water and land.

Why? Because all things possess chi. Everything has Chi. There is a natural flow and balance of energy throughout the universe. And the universe will always exist in a state of balance, where one force does not overwhelm or subjugate another force. This force materializes itself into the physical objects that we see around us, all living creatures, and, of course, ourselves. As the universe exists in a natural state of balance, we strive to remain in a state of balance. Disease lies in imbalance. It is in too much of one thing at the expense of another that we become "off."