The Importance of Standing Meditation

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One of the most important exercises of Taiji training is the standing meditation, or “Zhanzhuang”. It basically entails maintaining a stationary posture over an extended period of time.

So why is this seemingly effortless exercise so important? Well, to give a simplistic answer, when we are practicing standing meditation, we are spending quality time with the most important person in this world: ourselves.

This is the time when we rein in our mind and focus on the present moment. There is no other activity to distract our focus and attention. We begin to learn how our body works, how our muscles tighten and relax alternatively, how we become more sensitive to minor movements of our body.

So why are all these important? There is a Chinese saying: know yourself and you will know your opponent. We are after all sharing the same anatomy. Our bodies more or less work the same way. Thus if I have a better understanding of how the body works, I would have an advantage over my opponent during pushing hands.

It is quite sad to know that most Taiji practitioners do not include standing meditation as part of their daily practice. Should they spend just ten minutes a day doing this exercise, I believe they would discover for themselves how important standing mediation is.

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