CHAPTER 18: THE MARVELLOUS ART OF BAGUAZHANG

Grandmaster Wong in a typical Baguazhang pattern, "Green Dragon Tests Claw"


(This chapter is selected from an unnamed and undated classic on Baguazhang, published in Chinese.)


The Unity of Pre-Heaven and Post-Heaven

The “Classic of Change of the Zhou Dynasty” mentions that “The circulation of one energy of pre-heaven Bagua, following the law of nature, issues from Taiji, and is the real body before it is broken. Post-heaven Bagua is divided into yin and yang, and can be beneficial or harmful."

(Editorial Note: The “Classic of Change” is called “Yi Ching” in Chinese, or “I Jing” in Romanized Chinese spelling. It was published during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). In Chinese, it is shortened to “Zhou I”, which means the “Classic of Change of the Zhou Dynasty”. “Taiji”, spelt as “Tai Chi” in English, literally means “Grand Ultimate. Figurative, it refers to the Cosmos. Bagua, spelt as “Pa Kua” in English, literally means “eight trigrams”. It refers to a symbol with eight trigrams that represent eight fundamental principles of reality. “Bagua”, which is in Romanized Chinese, is pronounced as /pa kua/ in English.)

(Editorial Note: As mentioned in the Classic of Change, the universal energy where there is no differentiation, flows in the Cosmos, and is called pre-heaven Bagua. It is the original body of everything there is before this undifferentiated original body is transformed to the phenomenal realm, where myriad things which are differentiated can be classified as yin and yang, as beneficial and harmful. This phenomenal realm where things are differentiated into entities, like mountains and streams, people and animals, is called post-heaven Bagua.)

(Editorial Note: The Bagua symbol is arranged in a octagon represented by a trigram, or three lines, where each of the three lines may be unbroken as one continuous line, or broken in the centre into two parts as a broken line. The eight trigrams of the Bagua are called “qian” which represents “heaven”, kun” which represents “earth”, “li” which represents “fire”, “kan” which represents “water”, “zhen” which represents “thunder”, “xun” which represents “wind”, “gen” which represents “mountain”, and “dui” which represents “lake”.)

(Editorial Note: These eight trigrams are arranged in two different ways called pre-heaven Bagua, which symbolizes the undifferentiated Cosmos where there is one universal spread of energy, and post-heaven Bagua, which represents the phenomenal realm where energy is differentiated into myriad entities like mountains and streams, people and animals. The arrangement of pre-heaven Bagua starting on top in a clockwise direction is “qian”, “xun”, “kan”, “gen”, “kun”, “zhen”, “li” and “dui”. The arrangement of post-heaven Bagua starting on top in a clockwise direction is “li”, “kun”, “dui”, “qian”, “kan”, “gen”, “zhen”and “xun”.)

(Editorial Note: It is worthy of note that the Chinese have south on top. Hence, in the pre-heaven Bagua, “qian” which is on top of the octagon is at the south position, and “kun”, which is at the bottom, is at the north position. In the post-heaven Bagua, “dui”, which is on the right side of the octagon, is at the west position, and “zhen”, which is on the left side, is at the east position.)

During the transformation, the original body, i.e. the undifferentiated Cosmos, is affected. Before the transformation, there is no birth, and it is called “wu-wei”.

(Editorial Note: “Wu-wei” literally means “no action”, and figuratively it means “spontaneously”.)

The miraculous aspect of “wu-wei” is smooth movement despite in the opposite direction, reverse-storing pre-heaven yang and smooth-transforming post-heaven yin, restoring the original face before birth.

(Editorial Note: This passage may sound mystical to many people. Its meaning is as follows. The undifferentiated Cosmos can remain to be undifferentiated despite its transformation into the phenomenal realm because of its spontaneous ability symbolized as yin-yang. Yin, here, represents non-movement, and yang represents movement. Yang is constantly transforming universal energy into myriad things, but yin restores the myriad things into universal energy. These transformations are both smooth and reverse, i.e. complementary.)

This prevents yin energy harming the original body. If the original body is injured, it is the birth of the phenomenal realm. It is called “you-wei”.

(Editorial Note: “You-wei” literally means ”yes-action”, and figuratively it means the right action is being done. Its counter-part, “wu-wei” is often explained as “don’t do anything and everything will be done for you”. Many people are puzzled how could everything be done if one does not do anything. The secret lies in the counter-part of “wu-wei”, which is “you-wei”. First do something appropriate, then don’t do anything. “Wu-wei”, preceded by “you-wei”, is recommended in qigong practice. First perform the appropriate technique, then enjoy the resultant energy flow.)

The essence of “you-wei” is the application of the reverse while being smooth. Smoothly retreat post-heaven yin, and reversely restore post-heaven yang. This will restore the face of the phenomenal realm, and enables yang energy to return to the real body.

(Editorial Note: Yin and yang are innate in the original body. In other words, in the undifferentiated spread of universal energy, there is a natural tendency for energy to remain still, and to move. This innate tendency of yin-yang transforms the undifferentiated energy into differentiated myriad things. But the essence of “you-wei” is to restore these myriad things back into universal energy.)

The reserve of smooth movement of pre-heaven, reversely store pre-heaven yin-yang and “wu xing”, or five elemental processes, and return to the womb of one energy, smoothly transform post-heaven yin, and protect this one energy.

(Editorial Note: “Wu xing” literally means “five movements”. It is frequently translated into English as “five elements”. Here, I translate “wu xing” into “five elemental processes”. It is because “xing” is not elements, but movements or processes.)

Editorial Note: “Wu xing” is symbolized by metal, water, wood, fire and earth. These five symbolic terms do not refer to the elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth. They represent the processes symbolized by metal, water, wood, fire and earth. The ancient masters did not say that the world is made of these five elements, but they say that there are myriad processes in the world, but all these myriad processes can be represented by these five symbols.)

In post-heaven, the application of the reverse in a smooth way refers to the smooth retreat of post-heaven yin to restore it to where it was before its transformation, to return it to pre-heaven yang, so that the yang energy is restored to its original body.

(Editorial Note: For example, in post-heaven or the phenomenal realm when we see a tree, it is actually universal energy in pre-heaven or the transcendental realm. How does the tree become universal energy? The transformation is done by yin-yang.)

The reversed application in a smooth manner of post-heaven, is the smooth retreat of yin and is returned to initial birth before manifestation, is returned to pre-heaven yang, and returned to its original birth. Yang is health, and yin is smooth, and is seen again the original face.

(Editorial Note: The differentiated myriad things in the phenomenal world is actually the same as the universal spread of energy in the undifferentiated Cosmos.)

This is the original material of pre-heaven and post-heaven uniting together. From here is established “qian kun”, and again it creates the tripod vessel, to operate reversed movement of pre-heaven, to create nine-return seven-reverse great elixir. Now the pre-natal symbol is moved to post-natal symbol to know the real body before its transformation, to operate the “wu-wei” and natural way.

(Editorial Note: The material in both the transcendental realm and the phenomenal realm is the same, it is universal energy. Literally “qian kun” refers to the two trigrams in the Bagua symbol that represent “heaven” and “earth”. Figuratively, “qian kun” means the Cosmos. “Tripod vessel” refers to a grand bronze vessel on a tripod where the elixir for ever-lasting life is created. Figuratively it means spiritual cultivating methods. “Elixir” here means immortality. “Nine-return seven-reverse” is a method of Taoist spiritual cultivation.)

This is to show the whole picture, where smooth movement in a reversed manner is operated to transform post-heaven yin. The real body is affected. Operate the way of “you-wei” transformation, using techniques to lengthen life. Employ the reverse in smoothness to restore pre-heaven yang. Whether before and after, unify one. There is no wastage of use. Nine-return even-reverse are related to great awareness.

(Editorial Note: This is the whole picture of the transformation form the transcendental to the phenomenal, and from the phenomenal to the transcendental. The undifferentiated Cosmos is affected when it is transformed into the phenomenal world, where appropriate actions are used to lengthen life. On the other hand, when spiritual cultivators cultivate to return to the transcendental Cosmos, the progress is reverse. Whether it is before or after the transformation from the transcendental to the phenomenal, or vice versa, it is the same Cosmos. There is no wastage of application in either direction of transformation. Spiritual cultivation methods are used to attain immortality or to merge with the Great Void.)

There is no need to talk more about the golden elixir. But here the meaning of golden elixir is explained. Gold means energy is strong and solid. Elixir means the form of circulating energy throughout the body without blockage.

(Editorial Note: It is futile just to talk but not to cultivate. Nevertheless, the meaning of golden elixir is explained. It means training qigong to build a strong flow of energy round the body without any blockage to attain immortality or merging with the Great Void.)

Generally speaking, the strength of a fist, whether top or bottom, internal or external, is like one. This is the matter of changing tendons. Now we borrow the unified picture of pre-heaven Bagua and post-heaven Bagua to understand that the force in martial art belongs to real force.

(Editorial Note: In martial art, irrespective of how internal force is applied, it is the one and same internal force. For example, irrespective of whether you strike your palm to an opponent’s head, or kick him below, whether you cause your opponent internal injury like damaging his internal organs, or cause him external injury like breaking his arm, it is the one and same internal force. When we understand that the transcendental realm and the phenomenal world is the same Cosmos, we can understand that the energy that generates internal force in martial art comes from the same energy that constitutes the Cosmos.)


Pre-Heaven and Post-Heaven of Baguazhang

When we start to train martial arts, we follow the methods described earlier. But we must first of all know the principles of the unity into one of pre-heaven and post-heaven. We must also understand that internal and external techniques are unified into one method.

(Editorial Note: In Baguazhang, the style of martial art mentioned here, internal and external techniques are unified. In other words, there is no differentiation into what are internal techniques and what are external techniques. When you defend against an opponent’s attack or strike an opponent with a palm or a kick, for example, your techniques are both internal and external – there is internal force, and there is external movement.)

If the two are differentiated, it can be described that pre-heaven is the body of post-heaven, and post-heaven is the application of pre-heaven. If there is no pre-heaven, then post-heaven has no roots. If there is no post-heaven, then pre-heaven does not materialize.

(Editorial Note: If we have to differentiate between internal and external, we can say that the internal is the body of the external, and the external is the application of the internal. For example, when you strike an opponent, you need internal force to make your strike effective. Internal force is the body of your strike. On the other hand, you need to strike to apply your internal force. Your strike is the application of your internal force. If you have no internal force, your strike will not be effective. If you do not strike, your internal force does not materialize.)

Although its principle mentions that pre-heaven is the body, there is no external patterns that constitute the form. It is just the operation of “wu-wei” as the way. Practitioners must not just practice its external form, otherwise pre-heaven will not be complete. Although post-heaven has form as its body, it operates in “you-wei” in the way of change. Thus, it can preserve the energy of pre-heaven.

(Editorial Note: Although the art is collectively called Baguazhang, its form is always changing and never confirmed to external patterns. Baguazhang should be performed with proper action as the way. Practitioners must not just practice the external forms of Baguazhang, otherwise the purpose of practicing Baguazhang is lost. The purpose of practicing Baguazhang is to improve combat efficiency and health. In other words, by practicing the external forms of Baguazhang, practitioners must improve their combat efficiency and health. Although there are external forms in Baguazhang, the forms are constantly changing in response to correct action. In this way the purpose of practicing Baguazhang can be fulfilled.)

However, before practitioners have mastered the martial art, as if there is difference in smooth flowing, stretching, reversing and contracting. This is the differentiation of intention. Actually it is the lacking of strength in pre-heaven and post-heaven. Thus there is differentiation. But in the principles of martial arts, generally speaking, there should be unity of pre-heaven and post-heaven. This is the one energy of the Cosmos.

(Editorial Note: However, before practitioners have mastered Baguazhang, it may appear there are different Baguazhang movements, such as techniques that are flowing smoothly, techniques that stretch, techniques that move in the opposite direction, and techniques that contract. These different Baguazhang techniques are symbolized as myriad things in the phenomenal world which is different from transcendental Reality where there is only one energy. This occurrence is before the mastery of the art when practitioners just practice the external Baguazhang forms and have not become more combat efficient and healthier. But when the art is mastered, in the principles of martial arts, generally speaking, there is unity of practice and purpose. There is only one Baguazhang – not one Baguazhang for demonstration and another for combat efficiency and health.)

Speaking from the perspective of pre-heaven, it is the invisible aspect of internal force in martial arts, which is called “xing” or “nature,” and this nature is the Bagua in a practitioner’s body, and is called the pre-heaven.

(Editorial Note: The invisible aspect of martial arts, as in Baguazhang, is internal force. This internal force constitutes the nature of the art and this nature in Baguazhang is the Bagua in a practitioner’s body. Bagua, which literally means “eight trigrams”, symbolizes eight principles of the world. Hence, this martial art is called Baguazhang, which literally means “Eight –Trigram Palm”, because the palm, instead of the fist, is normally used in this art. This concept is represented as pre-heaven.)

Speaking from the perspective of post-heaven, there are body appearance, yin-yang, open-close and stretch-contract. From yin-yang is born “si xiang”, or “four appearances”. Each of the four appearances has its yin-yang, which is called “qing”, which literally means “emotions”. “Qing” here refers to hand, feet, body in movement and action. All these constitute the visible part of Baguazhang, which is represented as post-heaven.

Here, we speak of pre-heaven and post-heaven separately for convenience.

(Editorial Note: The visible, external forms of Baguazhang is represented as post-heaven. In Baguazhang external forms, there are various body positions, techniques that are represented by yin-yang, opening techniques, closing techniques, stretching techniques and contracting techniques. Techniques that are retreating, closing, withdrawing and defending are referred to as yin techniques. Techniques that are advancing, opening, reaching out and attacking are referred to as yang techniques.)

(Editorial Note: Form yin-yang, which is symbolic, is born “si xiang”, or “four appearances”. The four appearances are major yang, minor yang, major yin and minor yin. In “four appearances” there is also yin-yang. Major yin and minor yin are yin, whereas major yang and minor yang are yang. In major yin, represented by two broken lines, there is only yin. In minor yin, represented by a broken line on top and a continuous line below, there is yang in yin. In a typical Baguazhang pattern, “Green Dragon Tests Claws”, for example, if you use it for defence, it is yin. If you use the same pattern for attack, it is yang. If you use it to defend, but at the same time you strike your opponent, your application of the pattern is minor yin. If an opponent attacks you, and you respond with ”Green Dragon Test Claw”, counter-attacking him, but simultaneously deflecting his attack, your application is minor yang.)

(Editorial Note: “Qing” normally means “emotions”. But here it refers to the movement and action of the hands, legs and body. Collectively, they are called the three external harmonies. The three internal harmonies are “jing”, “qi” and “shen”, which means essence, energy and spirit. The three external harmonies of hands, feet and body, and the three internal harmonies of essence, energy and spirit, constitute the “six harmonies”, which is an important concept in Chinese martial arts.)

The human heart is heavenly principles, heavenly principles are the human heart. Intention is manifested from the heart. The four limbs of the body are directed by intention. This is the result of energy in martial art. Hands and legs listen to the instructions of energy. One must practice this control systematically and progress gradually. Since birth till death, there is no energy that depends on tears. Thus the practitioner can perform to his limit according to his nature. To the limit of his nature means he can repeat his initial heart that has not yet manifest its intention.

(Editorial Note: The human heart is guided by heavenly principles, which are virtuous. Intention is manifested from the human heart. All bodily movements are directed by the heart via energy flow. No energy should cause suffering, as symbolized by tears. Thus the performance and action of a Baguazhang practitioner are guided by his personal nature, which is innately good.)

But at the beginning of martial art training, the movements of the four limbs must not be totally united with strength. Strength cannot be totally united with energy. Energy cannot be totally united with intention. Thus in martial arts there is differentiation of stretching and contracting. When we train in this way, we can become natural. Practice the principles of unifying pre-heaven and post-heaven.

(Editorial Note: At the beginning of martial art training, one must not totally use muscular strength in his bodily movements. When he generates his energy flow, he must not use muscular strength. While initially intention is used to generate energy flow which in turn develops internal force, when practitioners have become accomplished, they should not use intention every time they execute internal force; internal force should be executed spontaneously, without the practitioners thinking of it.)

(Editorial Note: In the external form of Baguazhang, or any other martial art, there are many different patterns. When we train our external Baguazhang patterns, first we use intention to generate an energy flow to develop internal force, then we spontaneously issue internal force with our external patterns. When we train in this way, systematically and gradually, we become natural in our Baguazhang performance. Eventually we can unite the invisible aspect of internal force with the visible aspect of external forms.)

We must not commit the offences of three harms, and defend against nine important points without losing. Thus, the four limbs and the body follow intention, and perform according to right methods and our ability. Eventually our four limbs and body can be directed according to our intention. Thus we are co-ordinated top and bottom, hands and legs regulated, external and internal united, and the whole body is charged with Cosmic energy. This is the time when the Bagua of pre-heaven and post-heaven are united in one body.

(Editorial Note: The “three harms” are harm to the body, harm to energy, and harm to the spirit. The “nine points”, sometimes referred to as the “nine palaces” in Taoist philosophy, are the eight points of the compass directions and the centre. In other words, in combat we must be able to defend not only against bodily injuries, but also against injuries to energy and spirit. We must be able to defend against all directions, like front and back, left and right, diagonally left in front, diagonally right in front, diagonally left at the back, diagonally right at the back, and at the centre.)


Yang Fire and Yin Water in Baguazhang

From the start to the end, the principles of attaining “yang fire” and “yin water” in Baguazhang are found in two aspects of training. One is to enter “yang fire”. The other is to circulate “yin water”.

To enter “yang fire” is to reverse yin to become yang. It is to add the virtues of strength and health. Thus, it is restoring pre-heaven.

To circulate “yin water” is to apply yang in yin. It is to circulate the virtue of softness and flow. It is to nourish pre-heaven.

In entering “yang fire”, it is necessary to enter it to the six yang of purity. Extreme hardness and health are the utmost effects of “yang fire”.

In circulating “yin water”, it is necessary to circulate it in the six yin of purity. Utmost softness and fluidity are the utmost effects of “yin water”.

(Editorial Note: “Hard” and “soft” are the translations of the Chinese terms, “gang” and “rou”. The English translated terms are not exact, but they are the best available, because the concept of “gang” and “rou” is not exactly the same as the concept of “hard” and “soft”. “Gang”, for example, can be gentle and flowing, and “rou” can be forceful.)

(Editorial Note: Six yang refers to six yang organs. They are intestines, gall bladder, stomach, colon and urinary bladder. Six yin refers to six yin organs. They are heart, pericardium, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys.)

When “yang fire” and “yin water” have arrived, “hardness” and “softness” are mutually present, “hardness” and “softness” are both available, and practitioners are both strong and harmonious. There is yin in yang, and yang in yin. Yin and yang constitute one energy, radiant in heavenly principles, round and round, bright and bright, silent and silent, red and red. The divine baby is developed. A golden elixir, precious pearl hanging in the emptiness of the Great Void, silent and not moving, perceptive and through, always responding always quiescent, always quiescent always responding, originally good and knows goodness in its face, returns to pre-heaven.

(Editorial Note: When a practitioner has reached a very advanced level, there is yin in yang, and yang in yin, merging into one universal energy. While in the phenomenal world, the advanced practitioner is radiant in health and full of virtues. He is charged with internal force making his body rounded, radiating a glow, and he is peaceful and calm with reddish face and body due to good blood circulation. With further cultivation, he develops an elixir of energy called the divine baby infused with his consciousness. He is like a golden elixir, a precious pearl, hanging in the the emptiness of the Great Void, ready to respond to any interference but quiescent at other times. He is good by nature and knows goodness thoroughly. With the opening of his “baihui, which is an energy point on top of his head, he returns to pre-heaven as an immortal.)

One elixir swallowed into the stomach, I will know at the beginning my life is not directed by heaven. Added to high-level kungfu, where a practitioner trains his spirit to return to the Great Void, breaks down the emptiness, be liberated from the body, and is forever not decaying. This is what is known as the spirit attaining immortality but not knowing it. He enters the marvellous realm where the spirit and the form unite, and merges with the Tao.

(Editorial Note: Eating a pill of elixir to attain immortality is a figurative way of saying merging with the Tao through qigong training. The Tao is transcendental and infinite. It is everything there is, without any differentiation of the knower and the known. Merging with the Tao is described by other cultures as attaining Enlightenment or returning to God the Holy Spirit. When one has merged with the Tao, his life is not directed by heaven, because there is no heaven and no phenomenal life.)


Baguazhang Form to Train Spirit to Return to the Great Void

In the study of the way, there are principles of force training and combat application, and there are also principles of the transformation of the spirit. The above explanation on “yang fire” and “yin water” is for force training and combat application. The explanation here on returning spirit to the Great Void is for marvellous application. The techniques for the marvellous application of returning spirit to the Great Void are found in the patterns of Baguazhang.

Hence, open and close, movement and stillness, rising and falling, going forward and going backward, creativity and destructivity, and countless other ways of marvellous responses do not go away from Bagua. Bagua does not go away from “four appearances”, “four appearances” do not go away from “two aspects” (which are yin and yang), and “two aspects” do not go away from one energy. One energy is the technique of returning spirit to the Great Void. It is not different from other techniques which involve hands, feet and body.

(Editorial Note: From one energy are issued two aspects, which are yin and yang. From the two aspects are issued “four appearances”. Form “four appearances” are issued “eight trigrams”, which is called Bagua. Any technique can be employed to return spirit to the Great Void, which is one energy! Any technique involves the three harmonies of hand, feet and body.)

External form should not be executed strength. It should operate with intention. Although it does not mean that there is totally no application of strength, the internal force is due to extreme strength. Energy is focused on spirit. The external form of hands and feet is directed by energy in movement. After some time, the strength of the body is transformed to a stage where one may perceive it or one may not perceive it, where strength is real or empty.

Whenever movement occurs in quiescence, the body moves but it does not know it moves. One does not know that he himself exists. Whenever in combat with other people, there is stretching and contracting, flying about and transformation, like entering the land of nobody. And he himself feels as if there is no motion in his body and in energy, and he does not know whether he is moving or in stillness. Hence, he does not know his opponent exists.

When one has arrived at this stage, he may not move but he can change. “Wu wei” has been established. There is martial art and no martial art, there is intention and no intention. There is no form and no appearances. There is no I and no him. Returning spirit to the Great Void is marvellous in its transformation.

(Editorial Note: In the Great Void, there is nothing else except the Great Void. There are no movement, no exponent, no opponent, no martial art, no intention, no form and no appearances.)


The Art of the Marvellous

Obtaining the purity of heaven energy is called “jing”. Obtaining earth energy is called “ling”. When both heaven energy and earth energy are obtained, it is the art of the marvellous.

(Editorial Note: Ordinarily “jing” means “essence”, and “ling” means “spiritual”. Using “jing” and “ling” to mean obtaining heaven energy and earth energy respectively is the author’s choice. These two terms used in this way are not common or established in qigong and martial art.)

Those who want to learn the art of the marvellous should chose the right time of heaven, the benefit of earth, weather and direction for training. In one year, there are two types of energy, namely yin energy and yang energy, four seasons, eight parts, and twenty four types of weather. One weather type can be divided into three sections, making seventy two sections. For training, the spot where the yang sun rises turn to the left to circle. The spot the yin sun rises turn to the right to circle. Generally speaking, the direction changes each day. Speaking in details, the direction changes each time period of two hours. This one period of two hours is called time of heaven.

(Editorial Note: The days of a month are named day 1, day 2, day 3, etc until day 28, 30 or 31 depending on the month. Days on odd number are called yin days; days on even number are called yang days. The sun on a yin day is called a yin sun; the sun on a yang day is called a yang sun.)

Benefit of earth refers to choosing a place with rich forest trees, or a place with a majestic temple, or a region with clean houses. This is called the benefit of earth.

Choosing a favourable place to train is to borrow the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, shone by the sun and the moon, with lovely and beautiful aspects of the five elemental processes, and with the same body as the Great Void. One can train the art of the marvellous in such places.

The symbols for the art of the marvellous are the pure and lovely spirit, strong and solid essence, the colour and the form are gentle and righteous, bright, shining and beautiful. The body is easy and beneficial, and the spirit is clear and fresh. The techniques are marvellous, their principles are well established, and quiescent and deep that one may not fathom.

Its energy is expansive like the sky, its extent cannot be measured. This is the description of the beauty, marvels and splendour of a martial art. If one does not know how to choose the benefit of the earth, borrowing the favourable time of heaven, weather and direction, using only muscular strength to train it, although the art can be polished after some time of training, and capable of many variations, it is but a product of muscular strength.

Those who do no know the favourable time of heaven and benefit of earth, cannot receive the marvel and splendour of heaven and earth. Generally, in the space of heaven and earth, the beauty of anything has received the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, and has received the radiance of the sun and the moon; thus it can become a beneficial thing.

The way of martial art is the same. Thus, great sages whose heart stretches for millions of miles, whose body includes myriad things, have the same body as the Great Void. Hence, when their heart moves, its principles flow through heaven and earth, are manifested in great distance of six harmonies, amid the centre of myriad things. Nothing is without this influence.

When the heart is still, its energy can return to the centre of the heart, quiet like a silent chamber, there is not one thing around, and it merges with the Great Void as one body.

It is said that great sages are not like ordinary men. How can the great sages stand alongside with heaven and earth? It is because the great sages have received the righteous energy of heaven and earth, determined to cultivate the way and possess their magnificent body. Their body is like nine heavens, the interior and the exterior are one, with a lovely and transparent body, without any polluted energy in them.

When their heart thinks, heavenly principles result. When their body acts, it is the way of heaven. Hence, even without action, and without thinking, people will follow them. The great sages can have the same body as the Great Void, and stand alongside with heaven and earth. The principles of martial art can be united as one, with the way of the great sages. Students must put in effort in this training.

A Baguazhang class

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