Philosophical Foundations

The philosophical basis of Tai Chi Ch'uan can be found in the / Ching and the Tao Te Ching. The two basic principles of Tai Chi Ch'uan can be found in the following quotes:

By attending to Chi and relaxing completely, you will be able to be like a new born babe.

Tao Te Ching

Chapter 10

Yin and Yang in succession is called Tao

I Ching

Ta Chuan

The concern of Tai Chi Ch'uan is with the cultivation of Chi. This is accomplished through relaxation and breath control. Through this process the entire body is revitalized and the individual is, thus, bom anew. He is like a newborn babe. But Tai Chi Ch'uan is not merely concerned with the revitalization of the individual's body, but with his spiritual development and enlightenment. If man is able to flow from positive to negative and from negative to positive, he will be in harmony with the universe. To be in harmony with the universe is Yin and Yang in succession. Yin and Yang in succession is called Tao. It is the goal of the student of Tai Chi Ch'uan to become one with the Tao.

The formal exercise of Tai Chi Ch'uan is a flowing process that moves through a positive and negative series. As life is a continual flow so is Tai Chi Ch'uan a continual flow. The body is guided through the form of Tai Chi Ch'uan by the flow of the mind and the flow of Chi. This entire process is meditation in motion. Through this meditation the student will achieve enlightenment.


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