Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wu Ji (Wu Chi) (Part 2)

This blog posting has been extensively updated. See here for the updated version.

My last essay discussed the concept of wu ji. It symbolically represents the “great emptiness” of the original universal void. It is the point of balance between yin and yang. This essay discusses some of the inner aspects of wu ji.

The first step is to relax in the posture for a few moments. Stand as still as a tree and pay attention to any sensations you feel. Do not try to change anything. Just pay attention to the sensations. Progressively relax your body from the top down. Look forward and relax your eyes without focusing on anything. Relax your jaw, neck, and shoulders. Relax your arms and hands, allowing them to hang loosely. Allow your breathing to deepen gradually and expand your diaphragm.

Use your breathing as a point of focus. If your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. Empty your mind. An empty mind can better sense the flow of qi. Be aware of any feelings of comfort or discomfort. Be aware of any muscular tension. Do not be judgmental. The goal is to develop your ability to sense what is happening in your body. Awareness of your body develops your self-awareness.

Standing in wu ji is the ideal posture for the balanced flow of qi. All the places where qi is not flowing become apparent. Areas of poor qi flow become uncomfortable or even painful. Discomfort during standing reveals places where your body is not functioning properly. Your natural instincts are to move when you are uncomfortable. Move your body to eliminate painful postures, but try to maintain the posture when you are merely uncomfortable.

One method to eliminate the discomfort is to imagine your breath moving to the area of discomfort. Imagine your breath entering and leaving your body at that area. With every inhale, bring healing qi into your body. With every exhale, expel stagnant qi. Allow the healing qi to eliminate the discomfort.

Another method to eliminate the discomfort is to image the discomfort dropping through your body toward the ground. Allow it to fall through your feet and into the ground. When the discomfort leaves your body, it should be replaced by a feeling of comfort.

Try to stand in wu ji for a few moments every day. It seems very simple, but it will be very difficult the first few times you try this. The time will drag on seemingly forever. Boredom will drive you crazy. Be persistent and these feelings will pass. Over a period of several weeks, gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing. Remember though, quality is more important than quantity. Do not force yourself to stand when you are distracted.

© 2010 Eric Borreson