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Four Fundamental Qualities of Tai Chi Movement

by Sifu David Goldstein

Part 3

The Quality of Jing

Jing is the quality of serenity and mental quiet. It is a mindful, internal quietness. Release thoughts of work, or the endless list of things that you must do before tomorrow. Release the tension of thought and think of nothing but the quietness of the moment. Release tension in your face and gently smile. You may momentarily close your eyes if it helps. Once you begin to feel mentally light, at ease, or floating focus on what your body is doing, but on nothing else. Your breathing should be soft, smooth, and effortless. There should be no feeling of anxiety, worry, or fear. Accept the present; take notice of your body and your surrounding as an indifferent observer. A gentle, unforced smile will help you to be calm, confident, and tranquil.

With regular practice you will be able to reach deeper levels of Jing and it will be easier for you to return to this state. The greater your level of Jing the more easily you will be able to practice Chen and Song. Unlike some meditative states in which you turn inward and tune out the outside world, Jing should feel serene inside but allow you to be highly aware of your surroundings. You should be focused, but without the feeling of effort or strain.

As you improve your Song, it will also enhance Jing. Once you develop Song, your mind becomes Jing as well, and as your mind becomes more Jing, your Song will improve, thus setting up a positive cycle.

Jing helps you to maintain focus while staying in Song and allows you to more easily sink your Chi achieving greater Chen.


In the final part of this article we will discuss the quality of Huo.

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