The internal arts have long been criticized for being to slow. Some have said practicing slowly does not help at all. What they have missed is going fast all the time will damage not only your body but the mind as well. Below are a few articles about the health benefits of slowing down: 8 Reasons to Slow Down Get Healthy and Happy by Slowing Down Ghandi is reported as having said, “There is more to life than speeding it up”.
Just finished reading a small book name The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (TED Books) and throughly enjoyed it. You can also see his TED talk here. The way he writes and talks is extremely calming. Those who are seeking more happiness and enjoyment in life can benefit from embracing stillness and making a choice to go “nowhere”.
I have long heard that Taijiquan is good for preventing falling in elderly people. Why is falling bad for the elderly, well the main reason is risk of injury. As we age our bones and muscles become more brital and tight. A fall can break the bones or tear the muscles. The consistent practice of Taijiquan can keep our muscles flexible and bones strong. This principle is mentioned in the Daodejing: When he is born, man is soft and weak; in death he becomes stiff and hard.
Here is a good article that characterizes what many internal artists can go through. Where beliefs can inhibit growth. http://internalgongfu.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-beliefs-can-inhibit-internal.html One then has to ask the question how do our beliefs or world views inhibit growth in all areas. The attitude of being like a child or empty is probably the medicine for the disease.
Here are wisdom nuggets from the 2012 Workshop with Ha Sifu: It is the internal sensation of lightness that really counts! Protect your equilibrium by not fighting or resisting. Be Yin to every Yang! Techniques are limiting. Touch the equilibrium and not the weight.
Yup, I meant ‘pain meditation’ and not ‘pain medication’. The following link “Meditation puts pain in its place” is a very interesting read. Enjoy!
Here is a video I found on YouTube of Chen Taijiquan master Chen Xiao Wang doing push hand with Xingyi Ba Qua master Liao Bai from Taiwan. I had mixed feelings while watching this video clip. It seems that the need to one-up another is cross-cultural which is disheartening especially with an opportunity to learn and grow by sharing among masters from differing martial arts. The comments on the video also ranged from out-right rude to over-the-top flattery as well.