Ralph wrote a post titled Peace and Quietude which he stated:
My teacher said to me recently that one of the keys to understanding Taijiquan is attitude of mind, this is one of the first things to learn.
I realized that developing Zhan Zhuang is not necessarily about physical endurance [although I accept that it may be for some] it is about state of mind, meaning that in order to stand for extended periods of time, one needs to be in a state of quietude.
I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of how yi (intent) leads qi, but the question often arises, how can we gauge our level of yi? I remember back in my college days, I was easily able to stand for 40 mins without a problem. The first time I tried zazen (zen meditation training), I didn’t really have any issues calming the mind, I had issues with my knees and ankles hurting.
Fast forward a bit to more present time and I can definitely notice a difference. Life is not as simple as it was during my college days. Work, family, world of warcraft make their way into my thoughts regularly. I’m constantly trying to ‘take the mind back to the breath’ during static posture training.
Another thing I’ve noticed is the years of working at a computer is starting to manifest itself in my shoulders and neck. Sure, I try active sitting and reminding myself to relax, but when we’re playing fire fighter in our daily routines, it’s hard to keep the lessons of taiji in mind.
Today is Friday, and as such, I’ve put on a nice Hawaiian flower type shirt to remind myself to slow down a bit. To quote a comment by Rick Matz:
“Speed” is quite often an illusion.