Friday, May 22, 2009

(Part 3) Suggested Mental Unification Paradigms of Wujifa Practices

Intention, actions, and congruency, are so important. Also, understanding the need for verification as well as connecting with an “openness discovered,” what could be called by some as beginner’s mind are simply suggested keys here.

Acceptance and assessment of functional ways, and being practical at the same time hopefully are some of what I have dared to try and share here. The following is part 3 in this series. Hopefully you may find some of these suggestions in what I’m calling mindsets helpful.

Suggested Mental Unification Paradigms of Wujifa Practices (part 3 of 3)

Let me tell you why I believe this topic is so important and what I’ve noticed many people have missed out on when training. What I have noticed personally and with those who train and make good progress is a basic key. This key is the willingness to discover more about themselves or of themselves through being open while training for discovery... that is “in” self discovery. This is what I mean by “in” self discovery: taking time to notice, develop, change, and grow. All the while “in” being open to this knowing that this is also the type of process that changes and will evolve.

Personally, I love the way I continue finding myself returning to this, or should I say, in returning to noticing self and how what I once was has changed as well. We get the opportunity to notice and evolve and develop. In this opportunity, the chance to develop new neuro-pathways (both in the mind and the body) can be revealed. With the practice of functional discernment, there is a potential with this internal and external noticing in one’s awareness as we allow, accept, and notice change. We can both discover ourselves, and the love we have, both (I use the word “both” here as ambiguities deliberately) within and the opportunities that exist all around us... in very functional and in very real ways. Some battle with their training, some notice difficult aspects, yet finding something deeper there in one’s practice, I will suggest, is pretty outstanding, and this process is something I have noticed in those who make real honest progress.

Allowing, accepting, and noticing... keys, I believe, to unlocking the secrets of training. Noticing what is or was hard, or what we would have found difficult are things that can show us more about ourselves. Exploration of the keys to loving, discovering more of ourselves... not in some woo woo fairytale ideal of love (I know that some people have just tuned out as they read that), although I say it in a very functional and real tangible way... noticing connections. This is such a wonderful gift we can gain from training, noticing shifts with external to internal pathways in noticing as they develop and grow as we discover the potential of more of who we are. What I love about what we train in Wujifa is also this opportunity to discover more about who we are... and allow, accept, and notice this as we open the space for us to grow, develop, and change in functional and grounded ways. There are so many reasons people start exploring any art form. Knowing more about Self, for example, as one simply stands is one of those that for me has been a worthy one.

So how big is this concept of functional connection?

One reason why we train is to develop connections: developing connections in the mind as neurons grow, concepts develop, and in the body as fascial systems are discovered and structure is explored, again both, on so many levels... As I said in part one of this series and I am reminded and I will repeat again what Grand Master Chen Xaiowang often said while teaching the principle of his Taiji “one part moves all parts move.” So I will ask again, does he mean in the arms, the legs, and the body as a whole? Or, your physical body and the person you’re pushing hands with for example. Or how movement and intentions are seen, felt, noticed while sparring… or is the concept even bigger than that at some point. This I would suggest could depend on your frame (I use the word “frame” here as an ambiguity too) or the skill level of development with noticing.

I started out posting in this series, talking about some simple concepts for training and I almost hesitated at that point to mention some of this philosophy. I say that because for me it is really about the basics and verification of many, many hours of noticing and practical refinement over time. I spoke of love in this topic of connections too. Yet, so often people are willing to gloss over basics and foundational skills and choose to simply imagine progress and connections and leave the basics and the simplest of practices behind, missing a lot of good opportunities to develop and notice in the most practical ways in these opportunities found in doing their gong fu.

Keys for mental unification, as I’ve said, are often found with congruency, intention, and working simply with the basics. In being practical and if you are “willing” to stay open with your attention to connection... allowing your intention to congruently explore the development of yourself as you train basics in this fashion now... then results will commonly start showing up like fruit on an apple tree. Simply noticing, exploring deeper, being practical and no worries, forcing, or imagining in wanting to feel the woo woo stuff... Functional... is the one simple key... with the body and the mind in so many trainings and in Wujifa practice. So you want to develop internal movement more clearly then develop your fascial connections... relax and ground and get some verification... test it out... being practical about where you are... even the high level masters have pointed out that they don't always do it correctly and that is the wonderful part… to be able to discover new and deeper refinements and growth in this opportunity and in Wujifa liangong and other gongfu and qigong practices.

Hence this is why I believe... for example in practices like Wujifa stance training... it can be so very helpful to explore and notice your mindset, the frame(s) which you are looking through and how these frame(s) color everything else. People may have many different intentions... lead the Qi, quiet the mind, martial intent… I might suggest that noticing the parts like this cannot be called Wuji and/or Wujifa. Yet, when we notice connection and connecting... our intention and attention with being connected... we begin noticing everything as being one... big or small. We are where we start, and so we start where we are and grow. Hence Wujifa as a practice, method, and in principle has a lot to be explored and discovered, and reveals as much about you as you are open to... within... this kind of discovering.

Click here to read: Suggested Mental Unification Paradigms of Wujifa Practices (Part 1)
Click here to read: Suggested Mental Unification Paradigms of Wujifa Practices (Part 2)


  1. Beautiful posts, Rick. Very deep and helpful information.

    What to train is one thing... but HOW to train is another entirely! Thank you.