Minding Our Minds

Experience is subjective - each of us sees a situation slightly differently. How does our relationship to the Chi influence our perspective? 

TCC e-Newsletter April 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force 

This month: Minding Our Minds

“For each state of mind there is a corresponding character of Chi and, in turn, each aspect of Chi influences the state of mind.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator


This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force

Discipline of Gratitude: “Five years ago my husband was recovering from surgery to save his life from cancer.... His recovery was short-lived, and he died three months later. I have been paying attention to my life's new direction. I have three fabulous children married to wonderful people. I have four amazing grandchildren who fill me with joy. I am thankful for what I have in my life and that I continued to live. Now I have the opportunity to refocus, and live purposefully with a discipline of gratitude, finding the good in life. It's my responsibility to bring light where there is darkness, healing where there is pain, and joy where there is sorrow.” – SB, Richfield, MN

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Effort of No Effort: "No thought, no mind, no problems. Focusing on the soles of the feet. Yinning and yanging, one leg in emptiness while the other leg full. Emptiness of weight. Weightlessness in the forward and back movements. Flowing from the tan t'ien. No effort, a slow steady swim through air." – KL with DM, Wildwood, IL

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Empty Cup: "In Heightened Awareness, Justin Stone writes: 'For one to follow the methods of the book in working toward heightened awareness ... it is necessary to "empty the cup." A full cup will hold no more.' I considered what I'd like to remove from my cup (fear, worry, envy, resentment, anger, disappointment, busyness) to make room for gratitude, love, sharing. Then i realize my error. Again, my cup fills, this time with anticipation, expectation, a prelude to disappointment. By seeking, I may miss what (if anything) comes. Better to be empty." – GG with DM, Wildwood, IL

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Interrelatedness: "It may be difficult for some to understand how the outer and the inner are related and how the circumstances of our lives can be affected by the quality of the Chi. But unless one feels that all life is an accident and all events coincidental and without cause, it would be relatively simple to comprehend..(how) all things are intertwined (and) the interrelatedness of all life." – Justin F. Stone 

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Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

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Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us  subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

Best Reason To Practice TCC

People who practice T’ai Chi Chih regularly often report feeling more joyful, experiencing considerable health benefits, and more. How does this happen? Justin F. Stone, originator of TCC, explains here how balancing and circulating the Chi, or Vital Force, brings about such change.

The Best Reason To Practice

by Justin F. Stone

Karma is an important and frequently used word, so it is important to understand what it means. In the Sanskrit language, karma means “action,” that and no more. So, when we glibly speak of “our karma,” we really mean the fruit of our action, not the action itself. Even this is not totally correct. The motivation behind our action is what establishes our karma – that is a result and not blind destiny.

Usually the motivation that causes us to act is the result of our established “habit patterns” (vashanas in Sanskrit). This is cause and effect. We establish patterns of thought and reaction, and these – formed by ourselves – coerce us into acting in certain ways. So we have created the very force that molds us. Should we not be careful in our thoughts and the habits we create?

There is always a result, neither “good” nor “bad” (which can be seen as “favorable” or “unfavorable” from a personal viewpoint), which is appropriate to the action. When a gun is fired, there is recoil commensurate with the force of the shot. This adequately explains karma for us. People usually believe not what is logical, but what they want to believe. Thus their actions are rationalized. This has no effect on the inexorable karma, which is not concerned with sentiment or rationalization. As one practices T'ai Chi Chih, the quality of the Chi definitely changes. So many say, “I really can‘t remember what I was like before TCC.”

As the Chi is circulated and balanced, habit energies tend to fade and one no longer feels compelled to follow dubious paths of action. One now feels more in control of (and responsible for) his or her actions.

This is “burning the karmic seeds.” It is the best reason I know to practice TCC, aside from the joyful feeling such practice brings. The serenity and better health are the results of this balancing and circulation. And it is so easy to accomplish.

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Reprinted with permission from the February 2017 issue of The Vital Force. Original public in the December 1992 issue of The Vital Force.