There are several Chinese words for pin yin, pronounced jing (also spelled jin), these including; quiet, force, and semen. The tai chi character for ‘mental quietness’ is the same as the Chinese character for ‘quiet’; internal force is often call the internal jing, and semen is considered closely related to qi. In this article, we will discuss jing as an internal force.
In classic tai chi it is said, “The yi drives the qi, and the qi drives the jing.” This means that the mind, body and spirit work together, as an integrated force, with the yi being your intention or mind-power, the qi your life energy, and jing your internal force. The practice of tai chi is a means of getting to this stage of integrated force. In the West, we often consider the end-result to matter most. Wholesome jing is the ideal end result of using the internal principles and external forms.
I perceive wholesome jing as a direct and pure internal force, and, just like wholesome food is good for you, wholesome jing is the true essence of tai chi that is good for all tai chi practitioners. In a sense, it can be seen as the “real tai chi”.
Wholesome jing has several essential ingredients:
The mind is focused. Your mind must be quiet in order to foster the qi. A stressed and jittery mind is no where near as effective as a mind focused on the tai chi moments.
– As well as being mindful – be aware of what we are doing, the environment and the self.
The state of Jing mind is also an clear alertness that is like in the still quietness of a deep rain forest, any sound no matter how small, will be crystal clear. In this state the qi flows unimpeded, thus deliver the maximum Jing. This is enhanced by the controlled smooth, slow movements. Focus at executing the movements as exact as possible enforce this clarity.
The eye is the window of the mind. Your vision indicates your intention (yi). Thus, there is a strong correlation between your inner self and the direction and quality of your gaze. During tai chi practice, looking eye level – at the point where you intend to deliver energy – is helpful in creating wholesome jing. The quality of gaze relates to whether it is intense, tranquil or detached…
The vision is focused at the dominant force; hence your vision will enhance right energy circulation.
The dan tian directs. Jing comes from the feet through the dan tian and is then expressed by the hands or feet. The dan tian is the commander. Coordinate your whole body with the dan tian and song (loosen) all joints and muscles to allow the qi – which is stored in the dan tian – to flow through, the more song the better qi flows.
Key is to eliminate other movements such as head, neck and shoulders. Allow direct communication between the dan tian and the hands to execute wholesome qi and hence jing.
Spirals are everywhere. Look carefully, no matter what style or which movement, within each there can be a spiral force. A powerful wholesome jing is most effectively expressed in spiral. Spiral force is known as the silk reeling force and is the core power of Chen-style tai chi. In Chinese, it is named chan suu jin. During tai chi practice, imagine the spiral of a screw thread path. The spiral can be any length of that path’s curve, generated by movement of the dan tian. The spiral can be tight and sharp, almost like a circle, or a gentle curve that can be barely visible in the form of a gentle spiral. When you have spirals in your mind, you will create spirals.
As your ability to make spirals progresses, connect the movements into a continuous path; as a horizontal figure 8 in three dimensions. This can be practiced during the Wave Hands in Clouds movement.
In summary, incorporating tai chi principles fosters the qi (life energy) to be strong and wholesome. The dan tian (commander) coordinates the qi so it is efficient. Chen (sinking) gives a firm supporting base for power, and Huo (agility) enables moving the power which, ultimately, is most resilient and powerful in a spiral. These are the components of wholesome jing, a direct and pure internal force.