There is one thing that is more important than anything else in a battle, and that is fighting spirit. You may have the best general, who knows the battlefield well and is also an expert strategist, but if his soldiers do not have a high fighting spirit (morale), he might still lose. Remember, SPIRIT IS THE CENTER AND ROOT OF A FIGHT. When you keep this center, one soldier can be equal to ten soldiers. When his spirit is high, a soldier will obey his orders accurately and willingly, and his general will be able to control the situation efficiently. In a battle, in order for a soldier to have this kind of morale, he must know why he is fighting, how to fight, and what he can expect after the fight. Under these conditions, he will know what he is doing and why, and this understanding will raise up his spirit, strengthen his will, and increase his patience and endurance.
It is the same with Chi Kung training. In order to reach the final goal of Chi Kung you must have three fundamental spiritual roots: will, patience, and endurance.
Shen, which is the Chinese term for spirit, originates from the Yi (the general). When the Shen is strong, the Yi is firm. When the Yi is firm, the Shen will be steady and calm. THE SHEN IS THE MENTAL PART OF A SOLDIER. WHEN THE SHEN IS HIGH, THE CHI IS STRONG AND EASILY DIRECTED. WHEN THE CHI IS STRONG, THE SHEN IS ALSO STRONG.
All of these training concepts and procedures are common to all Chinese Chi Kung, and you should also adhere to them when practicing Tai Chi Chuan. To reach a deep level of understanding and penetrate to the essence of any Chi Kung practice, you should always keep these five training criteria in mind and examine them for deeper levels of meaning. This is the only way to gain the real mental and physical health benefits from your training. Always remember that Chi Kung training is not just the forms. Your feelings and comprehension are the essential roots of the entire training. This Yin side of the training has no limit, and the deeper you understand, the more you will see that there is to know.
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