chapter  22
18 Pages

Taijiquan as a Unique Living Embodiment of Chinese Philosophy

Its essence, content, and terminology
WithKit Chunyu

The taiji philosophy is founded on the basis of the yin and yang notions, which give rise to a set of principles about the truth of myriad things in this cosmos that taiji practice should observe. In a word, taiji principles need to be followed and then realized through taijiquan practice, especially through solo dance, and meditation, so as to allow one’s sensation of taiji to grow inside body and the mind. It is in sense that we may say taijiquan is a living embodiment of Chinese philosophy. While the notion of qi represents the idea of monism in Chinese classic philosophy and cosmology, the notions of yin-yang and five agents do not really reflect dualism and pluralism, respectively, but “a dynamic monism through the dialectic”. The centralization and decentralization as a pair of yin-yang movements are known as kaihe in traditional taiji terminology. Central tranquility is one of key notions and one of most important techniques in taiji practice.