by Dennis Watts

When we practise our Tai Chi, it is important for us to make sure that this time is free from any distractions. This allows us to go within ourselves, to focus on what we are doing and the movement of Chi and Jin within us. When we do this, we make a connection that can have a very positive effect on ourselves.

To help get more from this practice I would like you to think about the use of positive thoughts and images. Let’s think about the difference between the words “imagine” and “image”. The Macquarie Concise Dictionary definition of “imagine” is to “form a mental image of something not actually present to the senses”. Its definition of “image” is “a likeness or similitude of a person, animal, or thing”.

The word “imagine” means to “pretend, and if you “imagine” or “pretend” you are pushing an object such as a car, your body will not treat the action as real and your movement will not be strong and clear.

On the other hand, if you “image” that you are pushing a car, you have to adjust your body and posture exactly as if you were in fact pushing the car. You must feel its weight and the resistance as you exert force against it, and feel the counter force in your legs. This is a positive action, and if you treat this action as real, your body, Chi and Jin will too.

The action of to “image” is a very important point in training Tai Chi. To image a person in front of you as you do a movement, helps to correct the position of the hands and body. If you know the application of this movement, it will help you to correct the flow and coordination of the body, plus your Chi and Jin. If your focus is only on the energy side, it will help you to feel the movement of Chi and direct that energy with a positive feeling to the area that you wish to energise.

To image will help you make your Tai Chi experience a positive one, and bring your Tai Chi form alive.


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