Positivity is the natural rise of energy throughout the body that manifests when I sink and relax into correct posture (one with the sacrum in correct alignment – "bum in"). This rise gives a delicate lift to each and every cell, supporting and suspending, so that each cell relies less and less upon its neighbours for support, and can thence relax its sticky connexions and learn to vibrate of its own – sing its own tune. Such an energized body – an intense humming multiplicity – is better able to yield – to dissolve and become appropriate to the events that befall it. Negativity is anything that blocks, prevents or resists this rising energy and its creative potential.
Taiji, on one level, is about the process of actualization: the principles governing being and becoming: how things appear from the void and disappear into the void: how the future spews into the past – the External. In this sense taiji is a means to investigation – it enables us to better understand the world and its workings. For me it is a far superior method than any offered by the usual channels of education (university in particular) because it appreciates that for one's understanding to deepen one's energy must strengthen and refine, and so that becomes its main concern – energy work. On another level however taiji is (or contains) an ancient ritual practice passed down through the ages from master to student, a practice designed to tune the adept directly into the workings of the Tao (to use our terminology). This is the Internal aspect of taiji and in many respects it is the opposite of its external counterpart. The Internal doesn't aim to clarify or to understand but simply to connect and stay connected. It has no interest in clearing the air to better see but instead draws a veil or cloak over the external world – a gentle mist – in order to foreground that connexion. This connexion is pure heart and is out of linear time.
When the student of taiji gets serious and settles into a daily practice regime, life takes on a new dimension. Taiji, when done seriously (regularly, selflessly, with life-long commitment), opens up a relationship with the Tao, and the student enters a new world of energy, spirit and destiny. All other relationships draw one into the world with all its things, thoughts, feelings, events, successes, failures. The Tao has nothing to do with this; it is pure mystery, and anything that exists, whilst on one level being an expression of the Tao, is far more an expression of separation from or resistance to the Tao – its very existence means that it is no longer party to the mystery. The problem for the serious student is to somehow live a life constantly juggling the world and the Tao. We cannot live without the world – we must nourish and be nourished – but equally we cannot live a true life without the Tao. There will always be conflict, not least because, in our wisdom, we have built the world largely to deny the Tao.
In taiji we wrest ourselves out of the mind and back into the body. When I am in and of my physical body I reside in my dantien – belly and lower back – and every action I make starts there. When in my mind I live in my head, and this will always inhibit and upset the working of the body – like putting a stopper or cork in a bottle – whatever's inside can only circulate within and so nothing comes out, except in dribs and drabs.