The heart blooms like a flower. Or it should. The spine is the stem of the flower, the legs are the roots. The head is the stigma, the neck the style, and the deep heart the ovary. When the head and heart are clear then they are naturally fed by energy from the Earth through the spine. When the head feeds on its own thoughts or the heart on its own feelings then the flower becomes top heavy and begins to droop, putting strain on the spine which in time becomes deformed. Meditation endeavours to lighten head and heart so that the spine can become more upright and thereby do what it is designed to do: channel energy from Earth to Heaven.
Good posture uses gravity and core strength to pump energy up from the Earth and into the heart, head and beyond. Taiji is particularly difficult because it attempts to connect directly forward to the Other with the heart, at the same time that the head connects to the Heavens, up and behind. So our Taiji is a constant process of balancing the desires of Heart and Head, that is, yielding. When achieved the resultant energy is soft, delightful and quite unique.
The internal dialogue, or rather monologue, that interminably maddening stream of garbage (it would be presumptuous to call it consciousness), has been installed to protect us from the onslaught of reality: to protect our tender precious hearts from the gash and dash of sensory experience. It becomes, with age, a tough skin of opinions and habits of mind, through which real life finds it harder and harder to penetrate. Eventually the skin becomes so impermeable that the person enters a sort of limbo: not yet dead but also no longer alive. This is why the main thrust of our work is struggling to achieve some inner peace so that we can start to truly listen to something other (than self).
Our journey, needlessly protracted though it tends to be, is simply from head to heart, from head-mind to heart-mind. The head perceives the world as a collection of objects, and of communication as a calculated exchange, whereas the heart feels the world as flows of energy, the principle flow being from itself. When the head operates at the expense of the heart we have what the Buddhists call suffering and what Nietzsche calls resentment: a state of serious disconnectedness which leaves a tragic void in one's soul that can then only be filled with an idle disconnected rant and complaint at one's overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction and anger. To try and make sense of this rant – one's internal dialogue – is the wrong way. Instead one must find a practice to wake up the heart so that that terrible feeling of emptiness can slowly change to a burgeoning bubbling of heartfelt energy. This, via the heart, is, I believe, the only way to a healthy soul.