Addendum to ‘D. L. Bartilink, “No Special Effort”, and the “Best of Ways”‘

The comprehension of the long and short of inhalation and exhalation can enter into the sense of place, and be embodied as the posture.

I’ve just finished a work, D. L. Bartilink, “No Special Effort”, and the “Best of Ways”, from which the quote above is taken. I wrote the work to describe an experience I had, and to outline the elements that I felt were important in the experience.

There’s nothing I would actually add to what I wrote, but I would like to mention two quotes from the literature of Tai-Chi that speak to the activity that emerges as the sense of proprioception comes forward:

“The millstone turns, but the mind does not turn”: the turning of the millstone is a metaphor for the turning of the waist. The mind not turning is the central equalibrium resulting from the sinking of ch’i to the tan-t’ien.

“The millstone turns but the mind does not turn” is an oral teaching within a family transmission. It is similar to two expressions in the T’ai-chi ch’uan classics which compare the waist to an axle or a banner. This is especially noteworthy. After learning this concept my art made rapid progress.”

(“Master Cheng’s Thirteen Chapters on T’ai Chi Ch’uan”, by Cheng Man-ching, trans. Douglas Wile, pg 67)

When old Master Chien-hou taught people, he always quoted the Classics: ‘The feet, legs, and waist must act together simultaneously.’ He also quoted the line: ‘It is rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist, and manifested through the fingers’…

(“Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on Ta’i Chi Chuan”, Cheng Man Ch’ing, trans. Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo and Martin Inn, pg 105)

I’m sure that the waist is a key part of how pressure is obtained in the “fluid ball” of the abdomen, and consequently of how the comprehension of the long and short of inhalation and exhalation becomes embodied as the posture; I wanted to share the excerpts from the Tai-Ch’i classics about that here.

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