Prepare for study. Follow the basics.
From the I Liq Chuan System Guide.
"Learning is not to accumulate or imitate... Put your intention on your attention in order to become a reflective receiver... Do not think or judge... With mindfulness we learn, or look into our body, feeling, mind and nature."
Some Thoughts On Zhang Zhuang or Standing Post
Like most things, it's quality not quantity that counts. Meditation for a long time is to build up your ability to maintain ease. If your body is at ease, then it can help the mind be at ease. If your mind is at ease, then it can help the body. This feedback cycle makes for good progress in bringing tai chi principles into everyday life. If you lose the ease in your training it is very difficult to move forward. This is a tough one for many people to accept. Ease helps you to find and maintain neutral in mind and body.
If you are not already, I would emphasize feeling the point of contact with the floor and mind the breath.
The basic initial postures I have been shown are the wuji posture with arms down and several variations of holding the ball. I feel that you can use any posture, but I have my students practice only wuji and holding the ball for a long time until they can maintain the breath and feel the poc with the ground clearly before i move on to other postures and routines. After holding the ball, we do various shapes that support I Liq Chuan jibengong.
ILC shapes can be anything, but we start with NSEW, then the 8 directions then postures from the form. Make sure that you keep an idea of the neutral lines and all limits of strength. Be sure not to overdo.
Martial ZZ and Health ZZ are two different things. I have a whole health series of postures and movements, but only after these basics. There's no point if there's no ease to build upon.
The 13 Points
- Center of Gravity Force - Center of the feet
- Perineum pointing down to the balance beam line
- Dantien - Suction & Condense
- Mingmen - Project & Expand
- Crown - Suspended
- Sternum - Suction & Condense
- Qua - Maintain the energy on the center of the hips
- Drop shoulders over the hips
- Tucking of the ribs
- Nine solid & one empty on the feet
- Elbows always wrapping down
- Knee pointing to the toe
- Balance the body of Yin & Yang
It is helpful to think of the 13 points as 'anchors' for awareness. These anchors help the student train well and follow the curriculum. After some time, awareness expands so that the 13 Points become one feeling. This marks the first stage of 'Harmonizing With Yourself' and the first realization of understanding what is meant by 'Become a Reflective Receiver'.