UNDERSTANDING WHY TAI CHI COMES FROM WUJI
Now I understand fully the terms “Tai Chi comes from Wuji, and from Tai Chi will go back to Wuji.” In fact, the term does not apply to Tai Chi Chuan practice only, the term applies to our whole life, and the whole universe, including our galaxy and the other outer galaxies.
-- Joko Riyanto
I have just returned home from attending your wonderful Intensive Chi Kung Course. I could not thank Sifu more!
Yesterday morning and evening I practiced wonderfully at the garden of my home.
This morning at about sunrise I accompanied my beloved mother, (who is 78 years old and currently visiting my family from her home town), to a public park where she could join a group to practice Wai Tan Kung.
At the park I practiced “Pushing Mountains” which we learned from Sifu during the course, and at the period of calming down at the very end of the season, while standing still and enjoy the stillness and inner piece, I felt the urge to do some forms of Tai Chi Chuan.
I let go and started doing the forms, and then I experienced new sensations, Sifu, which I never experienced before. Suddenly I began understanding many things! I remember Sifu's advice to go with the chi flow without worrying about the forms (whether I did the forms correctly or not), and I still could feel your presence, Sifu, even though Sifu is so many kilometres away there at Sungai Petani, I just felt that you were standing, smiling, and watching me practice with your love and caring! I could feel it, really feel it! I could even see your smiling face (perhaps with my third eye).
I will try to describe with my limited English what my understandings were, which I derived from my direct experience this morning:
When the chi was flowing in my whole body, instead of letting the chi flow go as self manifested chi flow, I let my intention to command the chi flow to be manifested as the Tai Chi Chuan forms that I have been practicing every day for 2 years. Yes, I just went with the chi flow, but this time in harmony with the body movements required for Tai Chi Chuan forms, and in harmony with my breathing, without worrying about the forms.
Before I knew it, I did the Tai Chi Chuan forms very joyfully, and soon I forgot everything; I just enjoyed the exercise. I felt my body flowing in unity like a big round ball, with the dan tian as the centre, and my legs, arms, and head as the outer surface of the ball. The gaps between my limbs and head were filled with dense air or energy from the surrounding area, as though the surrounding air was part of my round body. I felt that I was part of the Universe!
Soon afterwards, I just felt that only my dan tian was moving, the other parts of the body just followed it automatically, like a continuous mass. I felt strong and powerful, yet at the same time relaxed.
After some very enjoyable time, I just knew that it was time to wrap up, and then I just did the closing form, and I concluded the session as we have learned from Sifu.
The amazing thing was that I was able to do the patterns freely, not restrained by the sequences or the order of the patterns as I usually did before.
Now I know why the preparation form is named “Wuji Stance” and the commencing form is named “Beginning Tai Chi”. When I was standing upright, I enjoyed the inner piece (this was said by Sifu on the very first season in the course), and when I did the commencing form, I could feel the chi already flowing, then what I need to do was just let my intention go to enjoy the chi flow as the Tai Chi Chuan forms.
Now I understand what Sifu meant when Sifu said that the form is the least important factor. (It does not mean that the form is not important). In fact now I can do other forms — any forms — as a means to manifest the chi flow in my whole body. But I know of course that the most suitable form to manifest the chi flow as martial art would be the Tai Chi Chuan or Shaolin Kung Fu forms.
Now I understand fully the terms “Tai Chi comes from Wuji, and from Tai Chi will go back to Wuji.”
In fact, the term does not apply to Tai Chi Chuan practice only, the term applies to our whole life, and the whole universe, including our galaxy and the other outer galaxies. Being part of the universe, my body also behaves the same way as the universe behaves. The Tai Chi forms only try to reflect the process of the Universe.
Now I can feel the chi flow (which Sifu said as life force during our deep meditation state at the first season of the chi kung course) every moment, even while I am writing this e-mail, not only when I practice the Chi Kung exercise. Isn't it wonderful, Sifu?
Another fact that I am very happy now, Sifu, is that I am blessed to be able to remember almost every words that Sifu said during our season in the course, especially those helpful words that Sifu said during the time when all the participants were in a deep state of meditation. And the ability to understand many things through direct experience, not by intellectually. The intellectual or logical thinking will be only needed later, when I want to describe the experience.
Do I understand correctly, Sifu? Did I do genuine Tai Chi Chuan as Chi Kung exercise this morning?
Yet I know that I have not done the Complete Tai Chi Chuan training, because I have not practised Pushing Hands, combat application, and sparring. But I know that I am on the right track, I have already the great method, and the great Sifu; all I need now is to be a good student: I will try my best, and sincerely, to be a good student. I am happy with what I have now.
I am not in a rush; I will practice, practice, and practice: Sifu has already given me the skill and ability as well as the philosophy. I enjoy the practice, every moment of it.
My short term plan is to practice the Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung, and/or TaiChi Chuan forms as Chi Kung Exercise; apply the wisdom (including the Ten Shaolin Laws) in my daily life with my family as well as society.
Later, when Sifu considers I am good enough to learn Wahnam Taijiquan, I will attend the Intensive Course in Tai Chi Chuan with Sifu; and my long life plan will be to enjoy life in gratitude to God, every moment of it while I am still in my present body; and later to be reborn at the Western Paradise.
I will avoid evils, do goods, and purify my soul.
Thank you, Sifu.
Your loving and thankful student,
27th April 2005.
Sifu Wong's reply
Thank you for your heart-warming letter. It is the kind of letter that will make any teacher happy.
Congratulations for your wonderful results, though, actually, I am not surprised. Not only you are a good student, you have good spiritual roots.
You also manifest what my own teacher, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, told me many years ago, that "it is not a question of who started learning first, the one who achieves the intended result is the more accomplished." This statement is particular meaningful to those who mistakenly think they have accomplished much because they have spent many years learning. Many people may have learnt Tai Chi Chuan or chi kung years before you, but they may not be as accomplished as you.
This, of course, does not mean you do not continue learning and practicing. What you have attained, called "satori" or spiritual awakening, while wonderful by itself, is just the beginning of a long but most noble road to the greatest fulfillment, that is the union with God, Allah or whatever name different cultures may call the Supreme Reality.
Your experience in chi kung and Tai Chi Chuan is an excellent example to show these arts as spiritual cultivation. Tai Chi Chuan is an internal martial art. You have accomplished the internal dimension of Tai Chi Chuan very well. You can learn the martial dimension, including Pushing Hands, combat application and sparring, in my Intensive Tai Chi Chuan Course which you are most welcome to attend.
Some people may wonder why you should bother with the martial dimension when you already have accomplished much in the spiritual dimension. They did not understand that besides begetting benefits very useful while we are still living in this phenomenal world, like good health, vitality, mental freshness and combat efficiency, the martial dimension of Tai Chi Chuan also contributes to spiritual development.
It is very significant that you understand why the preparation form is called "Wuji Stance", why the commencing form is called "Beginning Tai Chi", and why "Tai Chi originates from Wuji, and will return to Wuji" not intellectually but from direct experience. It is even more significant that you realize the inter-transformation of Tai Chi and Wuji applies not just to Tai Chi Chuan but to our whole life, and the whole universe, including our galaxy and all outer galaxies.
It is the most significant that you intend to apply our Shaolin Wahnam arts to enrich your life and the lives of other people now and here, to enjoy life every moment in gratitude to God while you are still in your present body; to avoid evils, do good and purify your soul, and later to be reborn at the Western Paradise. I am very proud of you.
2nd May 2005.