Introduction to Wuji: The Art of Stillness
Wuji can be traced back to ancient times as a form of core training for martial arts. This simple standing practice unleashes the power of your mind to heal chronic pain and illness, dramatically improve your health & energy levels, reverse the effects of aging, and cultivate inner calm & stillness.
Wuji: The Art of Stillness – Part 2
In the second part of this article we will continue to discuss the correct method to practice stillness, or wuji. Wuji is the stillness before and after tai chi movement. When we practice wuji our only concern is stillness of body and mind.
In Part 1, we discussed the proper method of standing. In this article, we will discuss the inner process of relaxation and stillness.
Part 2: Inner Alignment
Close your eyes and breathe calmly…
Ask yourself the following questions to increase your awareness of each part of your body:
- Focus on your feet. Do you feel equal weight on both feet?
- Feel your knees. Is one knee higher or lower than the other? In front of or behind the other? Is there any rotation of one or both knees? Are your knees directly in line with your toes?
- Feel your hips. Is one hip higher or lower than the other? In front of or behind the other? Is there any rotation/flexion/extension of your hips? Are your hips directly in line with your knees and toes?
- Feel your spine, beginning at the bottom. Feel each individual vertebra – Is each vertebra level with the one below? Is there any rotation? Side bending? Forward or back bending?
- Feel your shoulders. Is one shoulder higher or lower than the other? In front of or behind the other? Is there any rotation of one or both shoulders? Are your shoulders directly in line with your hips, knees, and toes?
- Feel your elbows. Is one elbow higher or lower than the other? In front of or behind the other? Is there any rotation of one or both elbows?
- Feel your wrists. Is one wrist higher or lower than the other? In front or behind the other? Is there any rotation of one or both wrists?
- Feel your hands and fingers. Are they hanging equally by your sides?
- Feel your nose. Is your nose in line with your navel?
- Feel your ears. Is one ear higher or lower than the other? In front of or behind the other?
- Feel the distance from your ears to the tips of shoulders. Is the distance the same on both sides?
- Are your eyes level? Are they looking forward?
- Feel the position of your head. Is it leaning to the left or right? Forward or backward? Is there any rotation of your head to the right or left?
PART 3: LETTING GO
Imagine standing under a gentle, warm, waterfall… Feel the water flowing downward, from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, and into the ground… As the water flows downward, feel it dissolving all of the tension in your body… Gradually let go of deeper and deeper layers of tension… From the top of your head through the bottom of your feet, let go of all of your tension, and let it sink down into the ground.
PART 4: STILLNESS
With eyes closed, slowly and gently allow your body to become more and more still; let go of any extraneous thoughts until your mind becomes completely quiet… Remain in wuji for as long as your feel comfortable. Gradually increase the length of time that you practice daily. Practice this standing regularly until you can clearly and comfortably manifest these rules. Then, apply these same rules in other static postures. And lastly, apply them while in motion…
Gradually apply the principles of Wuji in your daily life.
Please also see article on Wuji and Zhan Zhuang.
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You can get Wuji Standing Method online here.
You can also get the audiobook version here.