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About Taijixue

Introduction

Already thousands of years ago, methods were created to help a person get in harmony with himself and with nature, thereby opening the gates for him to penetrate into the secret of life.

Such methods, which require no more than your own physical and mental forces for their application, have been known to various cultures of mankind. Many of those methods have been lost. Others, however, have been developed further until today, just as it has happened within the lineages of traditional Chinese health care and search for truth (Yangsheng-Xiuzhen).

The traditional Chinese culture of health care and search for truth (Yangsheng-Xiuzhen)

The traditional Chinese culture of health care and search for truth was formed as a result of the cross-fertilisation of different cultural currents. These are above all the three great philosophies Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, as well as the schools of shamanism, medicine, martial arts and divination. In Daoism and Buddhism, complete methodical systems have been developed.

In Chinese Buddhism one speaks of three important schools, the three key-schools (Sanzong) – Chanzong, Mizong and Tiantaizong. In Daoism one speaks of five important schools, the five secrets (Wumi) – Taijimen, Dandingmen, Jianxianmen, Fulumen and Xuanzhenmen.

The traditional Chinese schools of health care and search for truth have a history going back thousands of years. They have evolved their knowledge in master-to-student lineages. This implies a master and lineage holder who knows and understands the entire contents of his lineage. He trains a few students, of whom one becomes the subsequent lineage holder.

It is not unusual that these schools keep their knowledge concealed from the public. But any holder of a traditional Chinese lineage knows about the eight important schools of Buddhism and Daoism (Sanzong-Wumi). A lineage holder who doesn't know about these schools either has lost contact to his roots or cannot be a holder of a genuine traditional Chinese lineage.

Self-proclaimed Daoist or Buddhist masters and lineage holders in China and the West exist notably since the 1980s. After the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution suddenly thousands of masters appeared from nowhere. Simply due to their large number, it is unlikely that they all belong to a traditional Chinese lineage. With their half-knowledge, on one hand, they have spread a lot of blunders and misconceptions about the practices of Daoist and Buddhist health care and search for truth. On the other hand, they have contributed to make this culture popular in the world.

Taiji-school (Taijimen) and Taiji-knowledge (Taijixue)

Taijimen, the original school of Taiji, goes back with its roots to Laozi (6th century BC) and the Yellow Emperor (3rd millennium BC). It was formally founded in the Tang-Dynasty (618 - 906 AD) and had kept itself concealed from the public since then, with the consequence that even its very existence was no longer known to any outsider.

But in 1989, its present lineage holder, Fangfu, commonly known as Lu Jin-Chuan, announced the school again by publishing some of its contents. The methodical system of the school had been completed and the social conditions seemed favourable.

By making known the authentic contents, Fangfu aims at correcting some of the blunders and misconceptions about the practices of Daoist and Buddhist health care and search for truth that have been spread by self-proclaimed masters. He wants the old tradition of his school to advance further in interaction with modern Western culture for the benefit of the health care and search for truth for Eastern and Western people alike.

In 1993, the Taiji-knowledge (Taijixue) was founded on the basis of Taijimen. The traditional contents of the school were adjusted and complemented by lineage holder Fangfu to suit the needs of modern society. The application of the knowledge in society in areas like medicine and philosophy was expanded.

The Taiji-knowledge now consists of two complementary main components – the path of realising Dao (Taiji-Daoxing) and Taiji-culture (Taiji-Wenhua). The path of realising Dao is about meditative self-practice to cultivate body (Xing), life force (Qi) and mind (Shen) as a means of personal health care and search for truth. Taiji-culture is about transferring the abilities and insights gained from the meditative self-practice into society for the benefit of others. This mainly takes place in the field of Qi-medicine as the application of abilities to perceive and control life force (Qi), as well as in the field of philosophy as the application of special insights.

The path of meditative self-practice is the basis of Taiji-culture. It is communicated in the context of the training system Taiji-Qidao.

With the foundation of the Taiji-knowledge (Taijixue), the old name Taijimen as the denomination for this lineage was abandoned. This is also due to the fact that the name Taijimen had already been adopted by other groupings, which don't belong to the original school of Taiji.

The Taiji-knowledge contains the essence of the knowledge and wisdom of traditional Chinese health care and search for truth.

Nature and culture

According to the two complementary main components of the Taiji-knowledge, human existence can be divided into two main aspects: nature and culture. Nature is the basis of human existence. Each human being has a natural life, which initially is independent of society and culture. But for his survival, a human being relies on society and culture. Both aspects are important and require care.

The path of realising Dao is dedicated to the care for the natural life. Taiji-culture is concerned with the care for the existence within society and culture.

Usually a human being tends to overemphasise his role in society and neglects his natural life. Consequently he loses contact with the core of his being. On the path of realising Dao, a human being can nourish the basis of his life and discover his original nature.

The path of realising Dao can be understood as a return to nature. To enter the realm of nature, a human being needs to overcome his social and cultural conditioning. In particular, this means to question and transcend the accustomed limits of perception and thinking.

Existence can be divided into three realms – the physical realm, the realm of the life force (of Qi) and the mental realm. All the three realms are actually one, the distinction originates in human consciousness alone. The accustomed limits of perception and thinking restrict human insight predominantly to the physical realm. On the path of realising Dao, consciousness increasingly opens to the realm of the life force (of Qi) and the mental realm.

With the opening of consciousness for the yet hidden realms of existence, the highest meditative insight can be prepared – the insight into the fundamental character of existence, which means the insight into the creative force that governs all processes of life: Taiji.

What is Taiji?

Taiji is the key concept of traditional Chinese philosophy. It was first mentioned by Confucius in the introduction of his commentaries on the Book of Changes (Yijing). The meaning of the concept however had already been described by Laozi in the Daodejing as the great Dao (“great path”, Da-Dao).

Taiji refers to the state before the very first beginning and after the very last ending of any kind of existence. It is the formless foundation of all kinds of existence. In the state of Taiji, all forms of existence are contained as a potential, but they are not manifested yet.

Taiji includes the cycle of growth and decay and is its driving force. Each form of existence arises from Taiji and after its ending returns to Taiji. In other words, any kind of form arises from formlessness and returns to formlessness. Seen from the perspective of form, this means birth and death. Seen from the perspective of Taiji, this means perpetual transformation.

To realise Taiji means to realise the secretly operating creative force. To have the creative force work on yourself undisturbed by social and cultural conditioning, and that way cultivating body, life force (Qi) and mind, is called the original practice of Taiji.

The original practice of Taiji is formless. That means there is no predefined procedure of practice, but any kind of procedure can occur naturally. The instruction consists of clues how to clear the way for the natural working of the creative force. The practice is supported by a transmission of life force (Qi). This transmission is essential, because the practice cannot be explained sufficiently by words alone. All verbal and intellectual concepts are restricted to the sphere of social and cultural conditioning. To enter the original practice of Taiji, it is necessary to leave this limitation behind and, free from assumptions, retreat into the state of non-desire (Wuwei).

In the state of non-desire (Wuwei), direct access to the working of the creative force can be found. Natural procedures of practice keep unfolding, changing continuously. These natural procedures of practice are an expression of a process of harmonisation. The practitioner aligns with himself and with nature, just as well as he extends his capacity of insight. With the original practice of Taiji, body, life force (Qi) and mind return in a natural way to their unrestricted state of being.

The original practice of Taiji can be outlined by its three principles, which are also the leading Daoist principles of health care and search for truth:
(1) non-desire (Wuwei) as the practice guideline,
(2) nature (Ziran) as the method and
(3) returning to the source (Fanben) as the goal.

Taiji-Qidao

Taiji-Qidao is the training system in the Taiji-knowledge. Here is instructed the path of realising Dao. The communication of the traditional contents has been put into a new form that takes into account the demands of living in modern society.

Taiji-Qidao emphasises the application of life force (Qi) for its meditative self-practice. This implies firstly that a transmission of Qi takes place in order to support the meditative self-practice, secondly that the practitioner's perception enters the realm of Qi, and thirdly that the effect of the meditative self-practice unfolds from the level of Qi.

A human being can be seen as a unity of body, Qi and mind. Body and mind are the two opposing extremes of this unity, Qi is their connecting middle, the bridge between body and mind. By means of Qi, both body and mind can be rebalanced. A practice that focuses on Qi involves the whole being.

The basic training of Taiji-Qidao comprises three levels of training – Qidao 1, Qidao 2 and Qidao 3. Each level of training covers up to two deepening training courses. In addition, training courses for other exercises are offered, which help overcome specific difficulties and develop particular aspects.

On training level 1, the introduction into Taiji-Qidao is provided. Here the pivotal practice of the meditative self-practice of the Taiji-knowledge, the original practice of Taiji, is taught together with its background theory. Qidao 1 is offered in Germany and Europe by authorised teachers, whereas the deepening training courses on training level 1 and all other training courses are conducted by lineage holder Fangfu. On training level 1, the participants also obtain a transmission of Qi by lineage holder Fangfu. This is the so-called seed (Zhongzi), which supports an advantageous progression on the path of practice.

On training level 2, the original practice of Taiji is complemented by exercises to promote the perception and control of Qi. These are the exercises of holding the ball (Baoqiu) and of sending Qi out from and pulling Qi back into the hands (Faqi and Shouqi). Holding the ball (Baoqiu) means concentrating Qi between the hands until a Qi-ball is formed. To enable the participants to perform these exercises, lineage holder Fangfu opens the respective meridians of their hands for them.

On training level 3, theoretical information about the eight important Chinese schools of health care and search for truth is delivered. Also the checking and treatment of Qi with the hands is initiated. In this context, lineage holder Fangfu cleanses and strengthens the Qi of the participants' hands.

The exercises to promote the perception and control of Qi can be seen as a preparation for the application of Qi-medicine. But they are also important with regard to the meditative self-practice.

Taiji-Qidao is a long-term path of self-cultivation and deepening consciousness.