Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by gt3, Nov 10, 2004.
Sigh.... see? I told you he couldn't shut up.
Neither can you, apparently, except your post lacked any form of rational discussion whatsoever. I'll just take that to mean you agree with TB's original statement (made before I posted to the thread), that:
Thanks Baubin - I'd kind of worked that out lol
I will do my best to go with your advice - no promises tho, coz I find it very difficult to just take unfair and misinformed criticism from someone who cannot actually read what I am saying in the first place [or be bothered to at least]. If I stay silent it looks like I have no reply, when I generally do. My Taiji teacher used to laugh at me and compare me to a particular chinese folk hero who refused to let go when he knew something was unjust even if the rest of the world thought it was an impossible battle to fight! But you are right and I will try.
BUT FIRST... lol
AZ I am going to follow the wise Baubin's advice and stop bothering to argue with you. I would first like to make (yet another) compassionate gesture (which I am sure you will again ignore and rail against lol ): may I heartily recommend that you read "Games People Play" by Dr Eric Berne? It is a scientific psychotherapeutic study of human behavioural transactions that you may find interesting and insightful. I particularly recommend the section entitled "Now I've got you, you sonofabitch" which is about a behaviour you may recognize.
Good Luck to you
Could we all please just go back to talking about Taiji?
Been headed that way for some time now....
AZ Onyomi and Baubin..... Oo are yer btw?
I think it should be recommended reading for quite a few people here at MAP...(naming no names :love: )
The question is more complicated than it needs to be. All you have to do is ask: what is cultivating energy supposed to do, what is focusing on the dantien supposed to do, and is there another way that we know of to do it.
Then, you get a bunch of people practicing Taiji, see if they can do the things, or are seeing the effects that they're supposed to, and whether or not they're doing anything known to have those effects.
This cane be done by studying people who already practice taiji, other athletes, and the general population, and seeing if there are any differences.
If the answers to the questions are no and no respectively, then taiji is doing nothing at all, and there's no known way to replicate its alleged effects.
If the answers are no and yes respectively, then taiji is ineffective.
If the answers are yes and yes, then taiji is merely a form of excercize that combines things we understand.
If the answers are yes and no, then taiji is a method of excercize that affects us in ways we don't understand.
From there, if the answers are yes and no, as above, test individual pieces of taiji. Test the meditation alone, see what effects it has. Test the form alone, see what effects it has. Test push hand alone, see what effect it has. Test silk reeling, see what effect it has.
Simultaneously, test combinations of two or three in another group of people, and see what effects it has on them.
The most interesting case would be if taiji produced effects not observed due to known excercizes that it contains, and if practiced as a whole, the effects were greater than a simple superposition of effects from the individual parts.
In that case, something we really don't understand would be going on, and you could call it internal energy, or effects of the "dan tien", or whatever you want.
My instructor has done some research along these lines, I'm not sure how comprehensive it was, or what all it entailed, but the results should be published soon - and I believe he's very close to recieving his PhD for the work he's done on the subject.
And there you have it, using science to study the dan tien - through the scientific method, the exact same scientific method used in every single science in existence, including, despite some people's beliefs, quantum mechanics. This study wouldn't be any more difficult to do than most other studies, and is quite viable with our current level of scientific understanding. I may not have 19 years of taiji experience, but I do enough science both at school and at work that I know than an experiment like this would give meaningful results, and would actually be quite useful if you wanted to try to figure out why (or even if) taiji works.
So what were your instructor's results? I think your experiment is a good idea, but isn't it difficult to get a large enough group of people to seriously study Taiji or one of its parts long enough to produce meaningful results? I've wondered what if any kinds of scans or tests they have done on people generally accepted as Taiji or Qigong experts... Heat, blood flow, magnetic fields, nerve impulses, brain waves... (my knowledge of science is very basic, so I'm just throwing out random ideas here). If you got the Taiji master and someone with little or no experience to perform the same movements while monitoring a variety of such variables wouldn't that provide a better idea as to what was actually going on?
There have already been many studies of the health benefits of Taiji done scientifically - I believe most have been either favourable or inconclusive. The British Medical Association (BMA) recently began recommending Taijiquan as a useful form of exercise for persons recovering from heart problems (a complete U-turn on their previous stance that stated only cardio-vascular exercise was worthwhile for such persons btw ) It has been shown to relieve hypertension and decrease the rate of falling amongst older people. Unfortunately however, scientific methods cannot explain HOW these results are produced by Taiji in each case.
When the BMA accepted the validity of accupuncture as a treatment (due to overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness) and began to prescribe it on the NHS they were at a loss (again) to understand why it should work so they came up with the (imo) wooly statement that it works with the 'bio-electric energy' of the body. Anyone who is experienced in qi work will tell you that 'bio-electricity' is one aspect of qi but it is certainly not an equivalent 'scientific' term for the totality of qi - the term is a compromise so that the BMA (a science-based organisation) can sanction its use in 'official' medicine. Accepting unknown quantities is unacceptable for scientists it seems. (LIMITED...)
Regarding the suggested scientific analysis of Taiji and the dantien - I will happily wager that any study undertaken will come up with a similarly compromised result or an inconclusive one.
Who would you test and for how long? The major benefits of Taijiquan come after five or ten years or more of practice ime. People of different ages respond differently. And what Taijiquan would you test? Yang style? There are twenty versions plus in circulation lol. I see people benefit over a two or three year period in terms of stress levels and posture/balance. I also see people progress more quickly or not at all - there are way too many variables in human beings to get a clear measurement imo
I have a particular student who has come off all blood pressure medication and halved his anti-depressant dosage since training with me for the last two years - I have others who remain unchanged physically but are happier people anyway. We are not machines to be calibrated and serviced - we are much much more - science's reductionism insults our uniqueness as individuals imo (that's a statement of opinion not fact btw so I am entitled to it )
Any conclusive result is more likely to be reached by a quantum or string approach than any other which of course will be theoretical / possiblity / probability based and out of touch with Joe Public's attachment to empirical science.
But hey you go for it - knock yourself out
Me, I'll just carry on being a deluded old ignoramus - but a happy one
Yaab, yaab, yaab!
That's what forums are for: To set free the crazy horse (mind) that un-enlightened creatures all have.
BTW, I never hunted for deer. So am I still a Buddhist?
Nope - just an ijit
HI Taiji, Just bought the book "Games people Play" on your recomendation. I hope it's a good read or I might get the feeling to debate with you again lol.
You'll love it - check out "yes but" lol
Yes but, yes but, yes but, yes but !!!!, has changed to hang on a sec !!!! or
I could use what if lol.
you are so going to pay for this comment Taiji, just wait until I get to debate with you now lol.
We can, under certain conditions, know our physical self well-enough, and know our mind well enough to recognize, scrutinize, and visualize that which occurs in our own bodies.
Philosophically speaking, western science has from day one, stated that the mind is the most powerful tool we have, and that it alone holds the key to our physical and mental well-being.
Cancer for instances starts in the brain. When you smell something, that too occurs in the brain. When you see an object in front of you, your brain is there in the mix.
You can believe the energy away (by denying it), but that doesn't make it truly go away.
All one has really done, is shut off the connection between the brain and that which goes on inside the body.
Western science cannot prove it works, since it is mind related. They can however, touch the surface of such. Qi is an individual physical experience. There is nothing spiritual about it. There is a connection between all the bioelectrical process that occur in the body, and how the mind perceives these things.
Qi=Energy. If one always goes back to this statement, no matter what, then they will do fine.
The essence of qi is found through relaxation and balance of the mind and body.
Through proper Taijiquan and Qigong, this becomes a reality.
Science has studied the above with documented end results. They cannot prove the process, but who cares. It has worked for thousands of years, so why not just go with it.
Internal/External M.A Practitioner, TCM Researchist, and Christian Minister...
Although the brain is involved, it is the final step in which observations are processed. Smell for example begins in the nose with olfactory sensors. I am new to this thread so I'm not sure what you mean by saying that Cancer starts in the brain. I thought cancer started with cells in the body that were growing out of control. For example, melanoma cancer starts with benign nevi cells that get radiated enough so that they drop through the epidermis and enter the bloodstream and get taken to all sorts of different organs, inducing uncontrolled growth.
Law of conservation of energy. Unless it transforms into something else, it doesn't go away.
Bioelectrics in the body can be summed up to cellular membrane depolarization and hyperpolarization. Each cell in the body has a resting potential of about -70 mV, and voltage gated sodium and potassium channels vary the ion concentrations inside and outside of the cell to create depolarizations termed "action potentials" that stimulate everything from movement to sensation. I don't know if its humanly possible to control things like that in your body on a microscopic level, but hey anything's possible.
I think this is a truth that is exemplified by any sort of physical activity. Never see tense baseball swings or golf swings. Never see runners clenching their teeth and fists and every other muscle in their body.
Anyway about the initial question of this thread regarding the dan tien, I'm sure its been stated in the last 8-9 pages somewhere (didn't feel like reading it all to check) but dan tien is awfully close to center of gravity for human body. Maybe coincidence? maybe not?
All existence is spiritual imo especially fundamental life energy (qi) - but a natural spirituality free of religious dogma....
Only when resting with weight evenly distributed in both legs tho - as soon as you enter form the cog moves through the qua and sole of foot and shifts between them as you move, but (lower) dantien remains in the centre of belly - so yes a kind of coincidence, but a healthy one. Dantien is a field of energy not a thing as such imo/e
It is the centre of your universe.
Heheh how deep.
life will run as deep as you let it...hehe
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