The Understanding of the Thirteen Postures

1. The Xin (mind/heart) motivates the qi, directs it to sink, so that it can be stored and concentrated into the bones.

2. Let the qi motivate the body without hindrance, so that it will effortlessly follow your xin (mind/heart).

3. If the shen (spirit) is raised, there will not be any sluggishness. This is the meaning of the crown being suspended from above.

4. There should be agility in the interaction of the yi (mind intention) and qi, so that it [the qi] will be circular and lively. This is what is meant by, ‘changing substantial and insubstantial’.

5. When executing fajin (releasing the force) the body should relax and sink. Focus on the one direction.

6. When the body is upright, loose and tranquil, the feet will support all eight directions.

7. Direct the qi like threading the ‘nine bend pearls’, by flowing continuously it reaches everywhere unrestricted.

[When the qi flows throughout the body] the jin (relaxed force) is like tempered steel, overcoming all solid defences.

8. Have the appearance of a falcon preying on a hare. Concentrate the shen (spirit) like a cat stalking on a mouse.

9. Be calm like a mountain and move like a river.

10. Store up the jin (relaxed force) like drawing a bow, discharge the jin (relaxed force) like releasing an arrow.

11. Seek the straight in the curve, first store then discharge.

12. Force is released through the back, the steeps change with the body.

13. To receive is to release, if it disconnects then reconnect.

14. In moving forwards and backwards, there should be folding. In advancing and retreating, there should be changes of direction.

15. Extreme softness yields to extreme firmness and tenacity.

16. Only with the ability to inhale and exhale, will there be agility.

17. When qi is cultivated naturally, there is no harm. When jin (relaxed force) is stored, there will be a surplus.

18. The xin (mind/heart) is the commander, the qi is the flag, and the yao (waist) is the banner.

19. First seek exspansion while opening then seek contraction while closing. It will lead to perfect refinement.

20. Its said: “If the other does not move, I do not move. If the other has the slightest movement, I move ahead”.

21. The jin (force) seems song (relaxed), however it is not song (relaxed), it is about to expand, although it has not yet expanded. The jin (relaxed force) might disconnect, but mind must not.

22. It is also said: “First the xin (mind/heart), then the body”.

23. When the abdomen relaxes, the qi sinks into the bones. When the shen (spirit) calms, the body becomes tranquil.

24. Keep this in xin (in your heart). Remember; when you move, every part moves. When you settle every part settles.

25. When moving forwards and backwards, the qi sticks to the back and permeates into the spine.

26. Internally be acutely aware of the shen (spirit), externally appear calm and relaxed.

27. Step like a cat. Transmit the jin (relaxed force) like reeling silk from a cocoon.

28. The yi (intention) should be on the jingshen (spirit), not on the qi, otherwise the qi will stagnate. With qi, extra-ordinary power will develop. Without qi there will only be li (brute strength). Qi is like a cart wheel and the yao (waist) is like the axle.

Reference: Taijiquan Wuwei: A Natural Process translation by Wee Kee Jin 2003
ISBN: 0473097818

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