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Needles in Cotton

 This morning,  in my qigong class,  I introduced the classic t'aiji image  -- a needle in cotton -- that like so much of t'aiji and qigong, is delightful and mysterious.  What it signifies to me is  -- is nothing less than becoming t'ai chi.   what I mean by that is that you will change and in a magnificent direction.   One day -- after years of  waving your arms around gently and stepping firmly and turning your waist  as instructed,   one day,  you will feel this odd new ... connection.   Your breath enters and leaves, you might feel a tingling in your wrists and suddenly your limbs are weightless.   It's so hard to convey.  I feel I"m not succeeding and I'm not sure that this writer,  Danny Dreyer,   does the job much better but I"m going to let him try.      I'm excerpting from his book,  T'ai Chi Walking,  to better explain it

“NEEDLE IN COTTON: GATHER TO YOUR CENTER
AND LET GO OF ALL ELSE
A fundamental principle in ChiWalking that has been taken from T’ai Chi is Needle in Cotton. In the practice of T’ai Chi, all sound movement has this principle at its source. The phrase needle in cotton depicts the image of a needle resting in the middle of a ball of cotton. It is an image that a T’ai Chi practitioner should remember while practicing this ancient martial art. The needle represents the thin straight line running vertically through the rotational axis of the body, along the spine. In T’ai Chi, one practices gathering energy (chi) to this centerline and initiating all movement from this centerline.
In ChiWalking, your spine is the needle and your shoulders and arms, hips, and legs are the cotton. The more energy you gather in toward your center—your needle—the more you must let go of holding any energy in your extremities and imagine them to be as light and airy as cotton. ”

Excerpt From: Danny Dreyer. “ChiWalking.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/chiwalking/id381481397

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