Tai Chi Ruler
The basic method in Tai Chi Chih [tai-chi ruler] uses a circular breath that
is long, slow, fine, and continuous. As you inhale the breath penetrates
deeply and you gently pull the perineum up and "nourish yourself" while
allowing the breath to propel the movement of the hands. This method
combines the prenatal and postnatal chi at the center and fills the hands
with chi so that the soft gung can be developed in the arms.
After finding the correct stance [see
side bar] hold the
ruler with your palms in front of your abdomen. Imagine a circle in front of
you and put the ruler on the bottom with the weight in the back leg. Inhale
and gently pull the perineum up as you rock forward and circle the palms
from the bottom of the circle to the top. Now smoothly begin to exhale and
relax and rock back into the back leg and complete the circle with the hands
The Taiping Ching is the earliest revealed Taoist scripture known from
literature. A first version of the text was presented to the Emperor Cheng
of the former Han in 32 B. C. E.
Translated from- Tai Chi
Chih Prenatal Chi Kung
By Chung Du Che
Tai Chi Ruler- Five
Tung, Huang, Yao, Do, Ching
moving, this is the posture of Jup-tien [Greater Heavenly Circuit] turning
in circles as if the flow becomes one around the body. The circle of
breath and palms turns the circuit of chi up the spine and down the front
of the body. This exercise suits a person who is strong and free from
illness. It cultivates T’ai-chi “soft gung” in the arms, legs and whole
body and it is for martial arts training only.
Huang-to swing or
sway, like the leaves of a tree, which fall to the water and make the
water ripple- the ripples are continuous. The blood of the body is all
connected. Through the practice of the Tai-chi Ruler moving in circles
the blood will be activated and cleared. Huang suits people with illness
of the stomach, liver, sinews, waist and kidneys. It may be practiced by
rocking, or swaying of a cradle. This is a very quiet posture like
rocking a baby’s cradle. Because of the gentle swaying the chi and blood
will be very calm and relaxed. This form suits people with insomnia,
weakness of the heart, and neurosis. This is used by older people and
people in weakened condition.
tremble, like the rain beating on the surface on the water, the ripples
become big wave and splash. This exercise suits people with acute liver
illness, cold energy, and chronic disease. It may be practiced by
younger, stronger people also.
Ching- quiet, this
is considered the most important one of the Five Word Formula. Move,
rock, sway, and tremble all must be done quietly. This eliminates the
three fires: Heart fire, Liver fire, and Sexual fire. This process
nourishes the pure chi, which in turn nourishes the prenatal chi.
Explanation of the Five
is very often taught because it can be used by anyone in any condition.
Tung is used only in gung-fa wu-shu. Do is used in soft
postures. A big wave in a storm creates muddy water, which cannot be used
is a bridge toward Huang. Yao is done during convalescence and it may be
changed as needed according to the circumstances. Ching, quietness,
relates to stillness but within quiet there should be subconscious
movement. If you do not stir the still water then it will become stale.
T’ai-Chi Ruler Seated Practice
For many years Tai-Chi Ruler
has been used in clinical situations and in hospitals in China. Usually this
type of practice is done seated, or even lying down, by convalescencing
patients. There is much to learn form this aspect of the practice as seated
practice allows you to focus more or moving the arms with the circular
breath and less on the legs.
Wear comfortable clothing,
which does not restrict your breathing or circulation. Sit erect with feet
shoulder width heels touching the floor, if this isn’t possible it’s all
right if the knees touch. The upper thigh should be almost horizontal and
the angle of the knees should be between one and ten degrees. The upper
body remains the same as in the standing practice with spine straight,
shoulders, and elbows sunk. The sternum is depressed and the back ”lifts up”
while the whole body relaxes. The mouth is closed softly and breathing is
The height of the chair should
be a little higher than the knees so when seated your heels just touch the
floor. This position can be adapted to the individual’s circumstance, for
example the feet can be flat on the floor or the exercise can be done from a
wheel chair. The chair must be steady and the seat flat. You can sit on the
side of a bed and perform the exercise also.
Both hands hold the
ruler and the body sways with its slow oval movement. Lightly close your
eyes and focus your Yi [conscious mind] and concentrate on your lower tan
t’ien. Relax and regulate your breathing to two breathes per minute as you
slowly make the oval movement with the ruler between the palms. The
circular movement is 5 inches in circumference and does not come too close
to the breast at the top or the knee at the bottom. Slowly move in quiet
oval “rounds” front to back, allowing the upper body to follow
subconsciously as if you were drunk. After 100 days change the focus point
to your third eye.
Seated practice can be
done in conjunction with the standing practice or alone. It is suitable for
older and weaker patients and for people living in cities who have sedentary
lifestyles. This is especially for people who need to exercise but can not
for whatever reason.
Wooden ball training is done standing or seated using a special round
table with a lip around the edge that keeps the ball on the top. You touch
the ball very lightly and move the ball in circles with your intention, not
muscular force. This practice teaches you to extend your chi beyond your
The ball is made from Willow or other hard but light wood. It is eight one
half inches in diameter.
The table- is 23 ½ inches tall and 23 ½ inches around. It is made of hard
wood and the top is two inches thick. The surface is concave; the middle
dips 6/10s of an inch, and the rim is raised ½ inch. These dimensions are
the traditional ones passed down. They can be adjusted to the individual’s
requirements, the top of the ball should be at a height that is natural and
same as Horizontal Fishing
The ten fingers lightly
press the ball.
With the left foot
forward both hands rotate right to left with the right foot forward rotate
left to right.
Both hands lightly stick
to the ball; the hands and ball rotate the body. The movement should be
slow and steady. Mind, hands and ball should be joined as one, turning
slowly without stopping.
The body leans forward
as the weight rocks forward and the rear heel raises up. Hands go forward.
When the weight rocks backward the ball and the hands rotate back and the
heel of the back foot goes down and the toes of the front foot go up.
After 2 ½ minutes change
the feet and the direction of the rotation. This makes five minutes total
for each exercise.
The function of these exercises
is to make the arms relaxed and soft so that the chi fills the whole body.
The chi is pushed from the heel to the legs, from the legs to the waist, to
the back, arms, and hands to the fingers and finally to the ball. This
exercise gives you “whole body strength”, it steadies the chi and “trains
Relaxed and natural,
light and easy, easy and steady, nourish the chi.
Slow and fast, to very
fast; fast and slow should be natural and relaxed.
This stage uses the same postures as Stage One but they are performed with
the knees bent lower. The actions of hands and body are the same as the
previous exercise. These exercises differ from stage One in these ways:
The movements in Stage
One were on a horizontal plane, now these movements are done on a diagonal.
As the body rocks forward the movement slowly goes from the lower posture to
the horizontal fishing posture from Stage One on a slant. When the body
rocks back the movement slants from the higher position to the lower
As your body moves, in a
slanting way, forward slowly let your concentration move the ball forward.
As your body moves backward slowly let your concentration move the ball
When the body rocks back
the perineum should relax every time.
Touch the ball with all
ten fingers only. Your hand motivates the ball, the ball motivates the
hand. Let your mind rotate the ball continuously.
Five minutes and then
change the stance [put the other foot forward] and change the rotation of
the ball. Ten minutes total for each exercise.
Nourish yourself as you
practice, up and down should be natural.
Action is motivated by
Sticking but not
ORAL TRANSMISSION wooden ball
Practice your ball without
palms touching the ball,
Use the ten fingers tips and
When your Yi moves, the ball
It’s so cohesive, so slow and
soft that the ghosts have to stay away.
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