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TaiJi, Psycho spiritual aspects of training (continued)




Patrick has explained that our motive for practice influences our spiritual development. Our motive relates to the intention within the deep mind. On a practical level this can be explained in terms of pushing hands. When the impulse to push a person arises in the mind the body will usually contract. The contraction at the moment a push is delivered appears to be connected to a less pure motive such as ambition, domination, control, fear, anger, the wish to win etc. These kinds of motives influence the type of force that is expressed via a push. To issue a push as the mind deepens using a relaxed force requires a motive that is not encumbered by negative emotion. In terms of training and working on ourselves psychologically this is a useful feedback loop and can help us understand where we are at with regard motive.

Patrick has emphasized the importance of the motive changing over time. At a certain level if the motive is not purified the process that we train can become blocked. The motive in Taiji influences the intention and the body movement. Going deeper within ourselves is really the only way to work with this. Patrick once gave an example of how the motive can influence a person's progress. Master Huang, Patrick's teacher, had a good student who at a certain time in his life had some trouble. He became involved in something dubious and as a consequence his motive changed and his Taiji became blocked.

To clarify this idea further Patrick has explained to his students that in the deep structures within the mental, emotional and physical bodies there are hidden motives on each level and it is by refining these motives that an individual consciousness can slowly develop. As the three bodies: mental, physical, and emotional are purified more contact with our spirit is able to come though. Eventually when we have realized ourselves it is the spirit that directs us not unconscious desires.

The psychological spiritual aspect of Taiji is present from the day we begin and continues throughout our training. In the beginning this may not be conscious however as we progress this will become more conscious. It does require an intention in the direction of going deeper. The process we train works on our total system: body, mind and spirit. Whether we are conscious of it or not our motive influences our development. It does not matter so much what the motive to start Taiji is in the beginning. If an individual is drawn to this method the deeper part of them will understand its value over time and the motive will slowly change. If the motive does not change it is unlikely that a person will continue.

The work we do in Taiji requires perseverance and a willingness to 'invest in loss' as suggested by Master Huang Xingxian's teacher Cheng Man-Ching, otherwise the obstacles encountered along the way may interfere with the training process. If we do not refine our motive and make the effort to go deeper we will not find the true value of this practice. From my experience this is a great practice worth embracing.


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