Starting and Resting Position Wu Ji

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Stand up straight.

Your feet should be close together - touching each other.

This aids in the improvement of balance; however, a stance with the feet 7"-15" apart may be more productive and efficient for many persons. The toes should be pointed straight ahead. Both feet should be flat on the floor. Relax your body. Stay balanced and centered.

Clear you mind and set aside the work and worries of the day. Smile! Refer to Mantak Chia's comments on the "Inner Smile." Keep your head up and look forward. Your eyes should be open, with a soft and wide angle focus. Breathe in and out in a relaxed, easy, and regular manner. Keep your lips parted slightly.

Your arms should hang down in a relaxed manner at your sides. The palms of your hands should face your thighs. Relax the shoulders and let them hang down. Some recommend that you keep the tip of your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

This posture is often called the "Wu Ji" posture in Taijiquan. It is the resting position, the position before any motion begins, a state of "grand emptiness." It is the primordial condition - empty, free, motionless, without qualities. It precedes the movement of Yin/Yang both logically and temporally.

The classics talk of Wu Ji giving birth to Tai Ji, emptiness transforming itself into the manifold of cyclic dualities. Our course, our bodies are never completely at rest: our hearts contract and relax, our blood moves up and down, we breath in and out, our two feet and two arms help keep us in balance as we stand, our mind may be calm and focused but billions of neurons are quite busy in our brains creating that phenomenon we directly apprehend as consciousness. So, the "Wu Ji"

state of this posture is more symbolic, allegorical, or figuratively interpreted. Students should note that this posture is very similar to the Yoga posture of Tadasana - the Mountain Pose.

We should stand like a Mountain: strong, stable, unmoving, grand, still, aloof, above the mundane, powerful, accepting but unbroken by the storms of ideas, emotions and worries.

Also, please refer to my instructions for Wu Ji in the Zhan Zhuang (Standing Like a Tree) webpage.

The very best book on the power of Wuji qigong is by Jan Diepersloot:

Warriors of Stillness: Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts. Also refer to


Tao of Yiquan: The Method of Awareness in the Martial Arts. Simply standing can have great benefit.

When you see excellence, you should try to surpass it. When you see the opposite, examine yourself. - Lao Tzu

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