A mighty tree is deeply rooted in the earth. Its foundations are unseen. It draws its power from the soil from which its seed first grew.
Rising upwards to the heavens, the tree's great mass is still. Countless creatures move across its surface, but the sturdy trunk is calm. It is silent and unmoved, filled with energy.
From its tiny root hairs in the earth to the buds and blossoms far above, the inner power of the tree is circulating, day and night, and season after season.
Feeling wind and rain, and stretching to the light, its delicate, innumerable leaves breathe freely in the energy of space.
This is the inner strength of Standing Like a Tree. Beneath you is the earth, a sphere of power, fertile and immense. It sustains all living beings, as we rest and feed and grow. As you stand and gently soften, inwardly relaxed, the earth's great power feeds your energy.
Above us, expanding without limit, is the galaxy in which we live. Its energy is spinning in a universe of vast, immeasurable power. As we stand, relaxed and vertical, our brain, our senses and our vital organs begin to open, like blossoms in the light.
"To know the riches of the martial arts begin by standing still," Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai once wrote. "The foundation is Zhan Zhuang - the practice that refines the flow of energy throughout the human body. Zhan Zhuang transforms the weak into the strong and makes the awkward agile. Stand without moving - each of your cells will work and grow. Your blood will move at full capacity and bring your vital functions into harmony. You stand in stillness, apparently inert. Within your being, you are filled with strength."
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