A dragon flying through the sky
The Book of Changes
By Dr. Henrik Jäger
The Yijing is one of the world’s great books of wisdom. It is simultaneously simple and clearl structured, and hard to understand. The sinologist Henrik Jaeger, who links the Chinese classics and Taijiquan in his training and teaching, explains the structure of the Book of Changes as a guide for a deeper understanding of life and one’s own situation. From insight grows responsibility for one’s own actions. After this general introduction, Henrik Jaeger will examine the significance of the Yijing for Taijiquan in the next issue.
Taijiquan as a self-defence system
By Ulf Angerer
Although it is common knowledge that Taijiquan arose as a fighting system, nowadays there are only few people who practice it correspondingly. Ulf Angerer presents the training system he practices, in which the use of the art in actual self-defence situations is learned in two phases each lasting several years. A detailed analysis of the individual movements of the Taiji form and a way of training oriented towards the possible applications are intended to train body and mind in such a way that they can respond intuitively and optimally in an emergency.
Absorption and transformation
The transformational phase Earth
By Joachim Stuhlmacher
Earth forms the centre of the five transformational phases, due to both its position in the centre and its identification with late summer, which can be seen as the middle of the year.
In classical Chinese medicine not only the stomach and pancreas are assigned to this element, but also the heart. At the Earth level its impulses can be transformed into action, into practical everyday life. The main tasks of the centre are absorption, transformation and distribution – not only of nutrition but of everything that we need to »digest«. Joachim Stuhlmacher demonstrates that the stabilising function of the Earth element also plays an important role for the immune system.
Earth – being at home
By Ursula Rimbach
In order to illumination the transformational phase Earth, Ursula Rimbach explains the various transformational phases in the light of their respective historical relationships. She regards the essential potential of Earth as being embodied in motherly acceptance and nurturing. With a balanced Earth element we can feel at ease in our environment and also achieve calm. We have a stable foundation for further development. However, if our foundation is disturbed or unsettled, then body, soul and mind are also affected negatively. Qigong and Taijiquan can help us to »return to the centre«.
Movement art based on a Chinese legend
By Kong Shenfang and Jan Harloff-Puhr
The Chinese martial arts not only look back on a long tradition, but continue to undergo lively development. One example of this is Mulanquan, created in the 1970s and specifically intended for women. It is based on Huajiaquan and, like this older art, is named after Hua Mulan, the famous female war hero. When developing the new art, Ying Meifeng integrated her knowledge of Qigong, Taijiquan and other martial arts, rhythmic gymnastics and stage choreography and created various forms that have a dance-like quality and place special emphasis on aesthetics. Kong Shenfang and Jan Harloff-Puhr give an account of Mulanquan, the effects of which on body, mind and soul are the result of both energy-related aspects and athletic training.
Daoism and wholeness in modern physics
By Dr. Imke Bock-Möbius
Ever since Fritjof Capra’s »Tao of Physics«, or even earlier, people have been making connections between modern physics and Eastern philosophy. Dr. Imke Bock-Möbius does this explicitly from the perspective of Qigong, which she regards as a practical form of Daoism in the here and now. In Qigong, practitioners can experience a state of naturalness in which the unity of the Dao can be experienced. This can form a path to mystical insight which represents a complementary element to the scientific pursuit of knowledge.
In the second part of the article, due to appear in the next issue, the physicist surveys the implications that quantum physics research conducted in the previous century has for the dominant world view, especially for the phenomenon of »entanglement« which in turn illuminates the unity of nature.
Jia – the family
By Wang Ning
The family is the most important building block of Chinese society, and its interests are assigned much more importance than individual concerns. The character expresses both the idea of cohabitation and the “domestication” necessary for this. Wang Ning explains that the hierarchical order within the family, with its rules and commitments, also functions as a model for order within the political system.