Monday, October 14, 2013

A Connection with the Earth

"And all the times I was picking up potatoes, I did have conversations with them.  Too, I did have thinks of all their growing days there in the ground, and all the things they did hear.  Earth-voices are glad voices, and earth-songs come up from the ground through the plants; and in their flowering, and in the days before these days are come, they do tell the earth-songs to the wind ... I have thinks these potatoes growing here did have knowings of star-songs." 
-  Opel Whiteley, 8 years of age, The Singing Creek where the Willows Grow - The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley, Penguin, 1994. 

"Heaven is right beneath our feet."
-  Henry David Thoreau

Earth - Quotes, Poems, Sayings

"Without a true connection to Earth energy your Taiji will be weak and your Taijiquan with be nothing more than a distant goal. You’ll be like a young sapling that can be uprooted by even a child.  Watch some videos and concentrate on the player’s connection to the ground.  Do they look like they could be pushed over at any time?  Can you see the Earth energy rising up the body, spiraling through the waist coming out through the hands?  Do they start and end each form completely rooted?  Most players have spent all their time learning the movements of the forms and have neglected the connection to earth.  They are without root and it is a foundational imperative."
-  Rod Morin, Rooting and Connection to the Three Energies
  "One ability that Tai Chi uses to develop serious power through internal ability is called root. The skill of rooting involves the ability to use mind intent to drop your center of gravity down below the ground.  Although rooting involves mind intent, it is more than just visualization. If you practice rooting, you will be able to actually feel the weight of your body dropping down below the surface of the ground. When you practice drills with partners they should be able to feel it too. This way, if you use root in a combat situation, an attacker will be able to feel your root as well so that you will feel to them like a concrete slab stuck deep into the ground. In other words, you will be very hard to push over.  When you first learn root, you begin by practicing standing in one place. However, you can learn to keep your root in the ground while you are walking or in a combat situation. It is possible to learn to drop your root deeper and deeper even as you are fighting.  Over time, you can develop your root so that it is deeper in the ground and contains more and more of your compressed body weight. Some Tai Chi masters can have a root that is 50 feet or more below the ground. To an attacker, being hit by someone with a really deep and strong root can feel like being hit by a 300 pound gorilla."
 -   Richard Clear, Root: A Secret of Combat Tai Chi's Internal Power

Rooting in Taijiquan and Qigong  This webpage includes an introduction, selected quotations, a bibliography with links, and training suggestions.  

Taoism: Resources and Guides

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