As I mentioned in a previous post on Cultivation, the goal of a cultivator is to have a free unrestricted flow of chi (Qi) in the body/mind. The biggest problem of restricted Chi (Qi) is tension. This tension manifests itself in many ways both easy to see and feel, as well, in ways hidden from perception. There are probably as many ways to manifest tension as there are snowflakes. So there are many different Arts that address those tensions from many different perspectives and over the years a cultivator gets better at finding those pockets of tension and suggesting, through the playing of these Arts, to let go. It is an unlearning process. One thing that I love about the many different Arts I have engaged over the years is that they cultivate the body/mind for a free flow of chi, leaving those moments of free-flowing chi to the creativity and discretion of the cultivator.
What do you do with free flowing chi? Create! What do you create? That is up to you! Chinese doctors use it to heal, musicians use it to bring themselves and community into communion with something larger than themselves, Astronomers would use their body/minds to explore the cosmos, painters would paint, warriors would be warriors, poets would craft words to describe and transport other minds to specific places of observation, Mystics would use that free flowing Chi to connect to the Mystic, sculptors would sculpt , Mathematicians would calculate, Christians dive deeply into their love of Christ. Sometimes all these (and more) would even be practiced by the very same person. I have seen this first hand from my teacher, Sifu Fey. It is mind boggling.
When Chi is free flowing and you create and extend outward more Chi begins to flow. You must give it away to get it. It becomes a profound conversation with something larger than yourself. No matter what you shine the light of your body/mind towards it becomes a deeper conversation.
There is Work/Play involved here, however, many hours of it. This morning I engaged two Arts. the first was Da Cheng, Which means the “Playing the Grand Achievement”. It is not much of a spectators sport as you are either standing perfectly still or moving very slowly, to cultivate the body/mind for a free and unrestrictive flow of chi. The second was an Art I created as a tool for investigating the I Ching, my Fall River Form. Note this has already been done, as the Original form of Tai Chi , the Nei Chia Chuang, Is an amazing investigation into the I Ching. However, I wanted to see how one would go about creating an Art, knowing it would yield insights as to the Arts I already play. I was correct. I am even more in awe of the Arts I have been taught because I can see how complicated it is to not only come up with the idea for investigation but then creating movement and imagery that supports the original idea. It is kind of like trying to reproduce the sculpture David from a slab of Marble. You may not get to the original creation but you will certainly learn many things you didn’t know in the process. It is a great deal of fun and has been years of play. The term, Kung Fu, means an investment of time and effort to learn a discipline or skill. That is what it takes to be a cultivator.