Properly for many individuals the “Seeking of Stillness within the Motion” in the practice of taijiquan is properly the most difficult skill to acquire. As to many individual’s mind’s are full of thoughts about their busy lives, that many individuals cannot seem to switch off, causing many to become anxious, tense, frustrated, irritable, stressed and even angry. Within the practice of taijiquan many individual’s place all of their focus on learning the movements and remembering the order that they proceed in, their ultimate aim is to develop a relaxed body not realising that they need to calm and still their mind first if they want a fully relaxed body.
Obviously, it can take many months and years of dedicated practice to gradually begin to develop a calm and still mind within the practice of taijiquan. But in today’s very fast and stressful modern lifestyle that many people live, hundreds of individuals seemingly suffer with mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, frustration that can lead to anger issues. It is through the practice of taijiquan movements that the individual can gradually begin to discipline their mind to fully concentrate and be present at all times, without allowing any thoughts of their past or future to enter into their mind to distract them, causing them to become more anxious and tense within themselves.
Within the practice of taijiquan there are a few techniques that are used within its practice to help anchor the individual’s concentration and stop distracting thoughts from entering into their mind. The first technique that is commonly used to help anchor their mind, is to co-ordinate the individual’s movements with their breathing, allowing their breathing to dictate the speed of their taijiquan actions and learning to become more slower in their actions, can help to calm the mind. Secondly, the next technique that is used to anchor the individual’s mind alongside the co-ordination of the breathing and actions to stop any distracting thoughts from entering and affecting their ability to focus, is the correct timing of their movements like harmonising the top and bottom or left and right sides of their body, so that the individual’s whole body moves as a complete flowing unit.
Gradually the individual’s mind will become calmer and stronger in their ability to concentrate and be in the present at all times. Totally in control and aware of their every physical action, as the mind becomes quieter and more Still the individual’s body also becomes more relaxed, but as the mind acquires greater Stillness, it is able to then develop a more deeper connection of the mind & body relationship, it is able to feel, sense, guide & lead the movement of Qi within their body as they perform their taijiquan movements.
As it is quoted by Laozi in chapter 15 of the Daodejing. Who, by the power of their Stillness, can make the clouded water slowly become clear. Who, by the power of their Serenity, can sustain this progress until life slowly arises.
The Chinese have always treated the practice of taijiquan as a form of “Moving Meditation” that connects the art of the heart/mind (Xin Shu) together through the “Seeking of Stillness within its Motion”.