Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

A place to discuss health and fitness, including healthy diets, etc.
Post Reply
ZhengShen
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:27 pm

Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by ZhengShen »

Greetings:

Taiji is a big part of my life - I practice a pretty rare style called Wu / Hao. I realize that there's no historical connection between Taiji and Buddhism - but my Taiji training does seem to really support my Buddhist practice. I'm curious if there are other Taiji practitioners out there - and how they have integrated Taiji with Dharma.

Thanks!

Zheng Shen
Soma999
Posts: 502
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by Soma999 »

Tai Ji is a very good practice for physical wellness and for the brain. It has energetic benefits also.

If you feel better, good health, good energy, it will benefits your practice.

Tai Ji is closely related to qi gong, and Qi Gong is sometime done in temple. There was a form strictly taught to monks, but after cultural revolution and the escape of some masters, those form are taught to lay people.
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 14483
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

ZhengShen wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 12:51 pm Greetings:

Taiji is a big part of my life - I practice a pretty rare style called Wu / Hao. I realize that there's no historical connection between Taiji and Buddhism - but my Taiji training does seem to really support my Buddhist practice. I'm curious if there are other Taiji practitioners out there - and how they have integrated Taiji with Dharma.

Thanks!

Zheng Shen
I’ve done it for a few years now, Sun and Yang. My dad does a Wu Hao form actually. I have done other martial arts for quite a while as well.

Anyway, while not Buddhist it’s not really incompatible. I guess if you got to the point of Daoist yoga for the purpose of (Daoist) enlightenment and cultivation it would be an issue, but truthfully if the purpose is just health, balanced life, etc. it’s a great thing to do.

You should also know there is some debate about just how strictly Daoist Taiji really is. No one knows for sure but often origin stories and claims of lineage in Chinese (and other) martial arts are….complicated to say the least.

It can be said with some degree of confidence that Taiji as an exclusively spiritual practice is probably modern. Look at Chen, it is the original form and is clearly a lot more overtly a martial art.
Don’t you see what’s wrong with the world today? Oh Everybody wants somebody to be their own piece of clay.

-Marvin Gaye
Bristollad
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by Bristollad »

The Geshe at the centre where I first started learning about Buddhism was asked about Tai Chi (I also belonged to a group that used the Dharma centre for Tai Chi retreats). He replied (after observing us for three years) that he thought it was good because we didn't get upset when we fell over, we were happy to help out around the Centre and were adaptable to circumstances, unlike another (Hatha Yoga) group who were far too serious and demanding of the residents and volunteers.

For me, tai chi still provides the physical base for my meditation practice and allows me to manage my social anxiety.
User avatar
Virgo
Former staff member
Posts: 4376
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Uni-verse

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by Virgo »

Bristollad wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:22 pm The Geshe at the centre where I first started learning about Buddhism was asked about Tai Chi (I also belonged to a group that used the Dharma centre for Tai Chi retreats). He replied (after observing us for three years) that he thought it was good because we didn't get upset when we fell over, we were happy to help out around the Centre and were adaptable to circumstances, unlike another (Hatha Yoga) group who were far too serious and demanding of the residents and volunteers.
:rolling:

That is actually hilarious. He was low key very funny.

Virgo
User avatar
Matt J
Posts: 1375
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by Matt J »

I've found there is always a conflict if one is a lay person with a job and a family. Practicing Taiji in a serious manner usually requires at least two hours of practice a day, and that tends to put it into conflict with dharma practice. It may not be as much of an issue for monastics and retirees, or extremely motivated people without families, but I find that eventually if one is a bit serious, a choice will have to be made.
ZhengShen wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 12:51 pm Taiji is a big part of my life - I practice a pretty rare style called Wu / Hao. I realize that there's no historical connection between Taiji and Buddhism - but my Taiji training does seem to really support my Buddhist practice. I'm curious if there are other Taiji practitioners out there - and how they have integrated Taiji with Dharma.
"The world is made of stories, not atoms."
--- Muriel Rukeyser
ZhengShen
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:27 pm

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by ZhengShen »

Matt J wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 12:09 pm I've found there is always a conflict if one is a lay person with a job and a family. Practicing Taiji in a serious manner usually requires at least two hours of practice a day, and that tends to put it into conflict with dharma practice. It may not be as much of an issue for monastics and retirees, or extremely motivated people without families, but I find that eventually if one is a bit serious, a choice will have to be made.

You make a very reasonable point! Though to some degree, that true just of being a serious martial artist with a job and relationships. The commitment it requires is considerable - though I can't claim to practice two hours a day (yet). However, I do do silent recitation of Nembutsu when training. Now, that may mean I'm not doing either will full focus - I get that - and I'm not sure my Taiji teacher would approve. But it's workable for now at least. Thanks for the reply!

Zheng Shen
ZhengShen
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:27 pm

Re: Buddhism and Tai Chi (Taiji)

Post by ZhengShen »

I practiced Sun - that's actually what led me to Wu / Hao - and amazed your father practices - it's so rare, that I don't often run into people who have even heard of it. And I agree the Daoist connections with Taiji are more tenuous than sometimes supposed. I'd see it as coming from the general Chinese worldview and cosmology - but not necessarily Daoism... There's also some interesting new research on how original Chen is by Douglas Wile, just FYI.

I’ve done it for a few years now, Sun and Yang. My dad does a Wu Hao form actually. I have done other martial arts for quite a while as well.

Anyway, while not Buddhist it’s not really incompatible. I guess if you got to the point of Daoist yoga for the purpose of (Daoist) enlightenment and cultivation it would be an issue, but truthfully if the purpose is just health, balanced life, etc. it’s a great thing to do.

You should also know there is some debate about just how strictly Daoist Taiji really is. No one knows for sure but often origin stories and claims of lineage in Chinese (and other) martial arts are….complicated to say the least.

It can be said with some degree of confidence that Taiji as an exclusively spiritual practice is probably modern. Look at Chen, it is the original form and is clearly a lot more overtly a martial art.
Post Reply

Return to “Wellness, Diet and Fitness”