Words of Wisdom --- Philosophy II
By David Chen. January 2005.
Taiji is always open to everyone,
But not everyone is ready for Taiji.
If you want to be relaxed, no one can stop you.
If you don't want to be relaxed, no one can help you.
Open your mind and broaden your vision in order to appreciate the differences in the world.
One cannot describe an ocean to a frog in the well.
One can open a locked door by breaking in---
a display of power.
Or by getting a key, though it would take a longer time---
a display of wisdom.
You can learn all the secrets in one hour.
Or you can work on one principle that
will benefit you a lifetime.
Everyone has the wisdom.
You need the curiosity to discover it.
A teacher's responsibility is to point out the direction.
It is the student's responsibility to drive there.
Taiji practice is like driving a car.
One can drive it for racing, traveling, daily commuting,
or just an easy ride on Sunday mornings.
We're all driving the same car,
but have different pursuits behind the wheel.
You may be driving slowly in the valley;
just follow the map; eventually you will get there.
If you enjoy circling in front of a cheering audience,
you are not going anywhere.
Learning how to push is a technical study.
Learning how to yield is rather a philosophical study.
Only Taiji philosophy is able to consolidate
different physical interpretations of the art.
Taiji training can help us out run the danger.
Taiji philosophy can help us to not become a target.
Technical guidance is meant to measure and explain.
Philosophical guidance is meant to inspire and cultivate.
To mix a hard technique with a soft style training
is like mixing sugar and salt in a glass of water.
Softness is not an external display of the skill,
it is an internal quality derived from the skill.
Softness is like a gentle wind---
with the capability of developing into a storm.
Taijiquan Classic stated:
"First be extremely soft, then become extremely powerful."
It is very difficult to be extremely soft; however,
once reached, there's no need to become extremely powerful.
There's an extremity in strength and power---
as in the physical world.
There's no extremity in softness and yielding---
as in both the mental and physical world.
There's a soft quality to skill,
and there's a powerful quality to skill.
The two qualities should not compete;
the potential of each should be cultivated.