3-Step Taiji Sitting Meditation 太極打坐

While in the movement forms of Taijiquan we are much occupied with our body, sitting meditation offers us a great opportunity to occupy ourselves exclusively with the mind. The mind also plays a central role in the movement forms, as it is the starting point of every movement and control. This ability to penetrate even the smallest units of our body with the mind is trained separately in sitting meditation. In this way, one can develop fullest attention without distraction.

Sitting meditation serves as an important component of the highest goal of every Asian martial art: the merging of the dual with the non-dual, which is also called unification with the DAO or enlightenment.

Thus, form training supports calmness and sensitivity to sitting, and sitting in turn supports form training. The latter in that the clear and deep mind worked out here is transferred from meditation into the forms - just as the silk exercises allow the principle to be understood, which is transferred from there into the forms. The dynamic of the whole then gradually leads deeper and deeper into understanding, which finally culminates in awakening.

The three stages each promote an important aspect of the movement forms and one of spiritual development:

Stage 1

  • Development of calm and serenity
  • Development of Dantian

Developing calmness and composure is not only healthy and leads to a harmonious daily life, but we become able to sit for long periods of time, which is important for the higher levels of meditation. Dantian awareness is crucial for the correct execution of any Taiji movement. This first level of sitting meditation is a combination of still sitting and quiet arm movements.

Stage 2

  • One-pointed concentration
  • Taking over Dantian through sheer mental power

Concentration is an essential factor of mental control and crucial for the subsequent ability to experience authentic emptiness and thus the DAO. Having developed dantian through seated movement, the mind now takes over complete awareness and guidance of dantian. Only in this way is inner movement possible. From this 2nd stage onwards, meditation takes place only in external motionlessness.

Stage 3

  • Developing authentic emptiness experience
  • Developing the ability to move from the unmoving

This is becoming one with the DAO. A long but attainable process. When the mind is in its original immobility of beginning, then we can observe how movement first emerges from this. We experience the emergence of the Great Whole, the Universe to all life and ourselves. At the same time we can let a completely pure movement arise from the deepest point of the mind and lead it through the whole body without deviations and obstacles. This is considered perfect Taiji movement and a true unity of body, mind and spirit. The wall to eternity is broken through.

To be able to experience and practise this mentally and physically would be the 5th level and highest achievement in Taijiquan.