Excerpt from 'Tao and T'ai Chi Kung'
Various English transliterations of Chinese words will often be found to represent different and important ideas A case in point is the Chinese transliteration for the English words energy, limit, and will.
The sound of all three words in Chinese is chee.
The word for energy is often transliterated chi in books on T'ai Chi Chuan, however, the chi in T'ai Chi Chuan means limit. This kind of problem arises from the fact that as many as 400 different Chinese ideograms are pronounced with the same sound. One need only look in an English-Chinese dictionary to discover this simple fact.
Some definitions in this book may conflict with the reader's notion of what the word means. Please remember the 400-to-one ratio of ideas to sound and the problem will melt away.
When the same sound expresses more than one idea in this book, different spellings are used; the term is defined on first usage. Specifically, chi means limit, ch'i means will, and Qi, after the common practice in books on Acupuncture, means 'energy.'
T'ai Chi Chuan symbolizes the ideal transformation of body and spirit into a potent, unified existence. The first step toward T'ai Chi Kung is T'ai Chi Chuan, a discipline of body expressed through form. But even this first step has its own first step: the mind must grasp the eternal principles at the root of correct movement, the stillnesses that manifest in motion. This is the Tao. By uniting these principles with disciplined movement, Tao and T'ai Chi Kung teaches a path for the student to follow toward enlightenment....
The use of the term Kung Fu to mean 'Chinese martial arts' is one of the great errors of modern American usage in this field. In fact, Chinese martial arts are properly called 'Wu Shu' and are divided into 'inner power' and 'outer power' schools, called Nei Chia and Wu Chia, respectively. Mastery in one of these schools is either Kung Fu Nei Chia, or Kung Fu Wu Chia.
Kung means mastery or perfection. Since the T'ai Chi is the balance of Yin and Yang, then T'ai Chi Kung can mean 'the perfection of balance' or 'attunement with the Tao,' the way that the universe is supposed to unfold.
Since T'ai Chi is literally translated 'Great Limit,' in contrast to Wu Chi or the 'Empty Limit,' it refers to the Manifest Reality. It can also be translated as the 'perfection of the Manifest Reality.' These are different ways of expressing the idea of spiritual enlightenment.
This book is an attempt to reawaken the knowledge that T'ai Chi Chuan and T'ai Chi Qi Kung are major techniques of Taoist Yoga with potentials that extend beyond the physical level.
To a large degree, the practice of Hatha Yoga exercises has been divorced from he full practice of self-development (sadhana) in Indian Yoga. However, the roots, the larger spiritual framework, have not been completely forgotten. This fate of isolation from spiritual roots, however, has befallen T'ai Chi Chuan.
I am not a 'lover of tradition' who wishes to set the record straight. I am a teacher of esoteric philosophy, and as such have devoted a long time to teaching the practical application of the principles of spiritual development. This has been with the end purpose of producing recognizable transformation in my pupils, to see them evolve on the path towards spiritual Self-realization....
Sample pages from the book. Used by permission.
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Review of The Tao of Tai Chi: The Making of a New Science by Bill Douglas
This book has been lauded by mind-body and Tai Chi experts around the world as: “visionary,” “magical,” “a book the world has long needed,” a book with “universal implications,” “a book you can contemplate and read again and again,” “a tectonic shifting point for the realization of love and compassion in the world,” a “wonderful book that will obviously impact the world,” “connecting art, philosophy, and science with the simple elegance of an opening flower.” Its author is a global organizer, the Founder of a global health education event celebrated annually in over 80 nations, known as World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and World Healing Day.
You may have read books on Taoism or Taoist philosophy before that inspire and expand your mind. What makes The Tao of Tai Chi: The Making of a New Science such a stunning work and must read is that it does not just talk the talk. Its author has literally transformed the planet by following the tenets of Taoism, and shares in this book not only how it happened to him, but how it can profoundly unfold the greatness trying to bloom through you and your life – and he assures you, and builds a solid science based case that this can happen. His nearly 60 year journey of the mind and spirit, involving travels around the world and experiences that some would call miracles, and his practical globally known impact on governments and institutions worldwide, is a stunningly entertaining story, as well as a cosmic how-to book that can shift you, your life, and the world around you.
The Tao of Tai Chi: The Making of a New Science is a profound story of how one man used Tai Chi and Internal Arts as a model for following the prescriptions of the ancient Chinese seminal book on Taoism, the Tao te Ching, to not only transform his life, but to actually have a massive healing impact worldwide. Yet, it is far from one man’s story. It is a book showing how the ancient book of Chinese philosophy, the Tao te Ching, can be a guide for everyone, and how Tai Chi and Qigong mind-body sciences can not only profoundly improve one’s health, but can be powerful tools to learn how to navigate the Tao, the Way of the Universe, as described in the Tao te Ching.
This book elegantly weaves science, spirituality, and real world events that will leave you profoundly excited about the future of humanity. It offers down to earth, practical self-help tips on how Tai Chi, Qigong, and mind-body practices can improve performance, health, mental acuity, and productivity. Yet, with the turn of a page, soars into descriptions of amazing other-worldly events the author experienced that will raise the hair on your arms and fill your heart and mind with wonder and awe. And then with the turn of another page you will find a logical science based explanation of these mystical occurrences that will leave you with an electric feeling that spirituality and science are not that far apart, and that blurring of the lines may by painting a hopeful future for all of us, a future more beautiful and auspicious than you have ever dared to dream could be possible.... - Amazon Review
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