Recent Ni-isms

April 25, 2004: Cultivating both the internal and external simultaneously or Merging the Lights with the Tan Tien

On a ride to the bank Master Ni: “Most ignore the inside and cultivate the outside. Many spiritual schools ignore the outside and only cultivate the inside. Some schools cultivate the inside and then move outside. But I cultivate the internal and external together. Merge the external lights (pointing to the eyes) and internal light (pointing to the brain) in the lower tan tien (pointing to the stomach) as one.”

July 1, 2004: Re: the state of Tai Chi in China - Master Ni on his 90th birthday

Master Ni just returned from China. I visited him on his 90th birthday. He seems just as vibrant as ever.

I asked him: “Did you see any Tai Chi?”

Master Ni: “Yes. Many did Tai Chi in the park every morning. But they were straight rather than curved. Fast rather than slow. Broad rather than slight. Broken rather than continuous. Uneven rather than steady. Not good for healthy. They think good for martial. Maybe not.”

June 2003: Master Ni: “Push without pushing.”

My commentary: There is no ‘without pushing’ when there is no intent to push. Some forget the push - focusing so obsessively on the ‘not pushing’. Others forget the ‘not pushing’ as they are so focused upon the push. Others neglect both. It is important not to neglect either part of the koan. One of our quests as we become more advanced is to balance the two components. This means that while the push becomes invisible to the eye that it still exists.

November 2002: Step Right - Look Left

Master Ni: "Step Right - Look Left [one of the 13 fundamentals of Tai Chi] has to do with the opposition of right foot and left hand, and vice versa." Therefore stepping right means looking at your left hand, no matter where it is.