Yiquan Master Wang in Zhan Zhuang - a Practice that Complements Taijiquan

Subtle and powerful, a challenging exercise in ease, Universal Post is a standing meditation exercise that embodies the principles of Tai Chi Chuan in stillness.

It is a deeply beneficial practice.  In the short-term, Universal Post facilitates a calm mind and comfortable body, both warming and cooling you in appropriate ways, relaxing your spine and opening energy pathways to improve your overall physical functioning.  In the long-term, practicing Universal Post allows subtle and powerful qualities to arise in an individual.

Kuo Lien Ying, a modern legend who brought Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi to the United States, was reported to have learned the Universal Post from his friend Wang Xiang Zhai, the famed creator of the art known as Yi Quan or Da Cheng Chuan, who was one of the first Chinese internal martial artists to teach standing meditations openly.

Standing meditation (Zhan Zhuang in Chinese), is a significantly under-valued and under-recognized element of internal martial arts practice, even in China today.  Many who practice Zhan Zhuang along with Tai Chi forms will assert that standing is a faster method of developing one’s Gong Fu than even practicing forms.  Ironically, one of the main reasons that few practice this faster method of development is that sustaining the practice itself requires significant patience and independence.

Ancient Poem of the Universal Post

The universal post is a mystical form of martial arts
We can never fully understand the way it is done
It seems like an embrace with a smiling face
Guangping Taiji Master Kuo Lien YingYou use your strength from within
You are relaxed and use no force
It is like clouds floating in the wind from all directions
You use forces from the universe to substantiate your strength
Your strength comes from your breathing
You do not hold fast, leaving a lot of room to move
You do not bend to great strength
 So smoothly you move and so naturally
Your breathing and your limb movements should not be impeded
It is like moving in space
In and out of the highest peaks and clouds
Gliding through air and clouds
Floating along with the winds
Graceful yet composed
Always contain calmness and peace
Head upheld high with pride
You embrace the world below you
As clear and pure as an underground brook
Like lead turning into silver spinning the moon
Looking into an antique mirror to look deep into your soul
Your cup is filled to the brim
Absolutely free of restraint and free of self
You could fly as though you had wings
Head towards the limitless horizon
Like throwing a pebble into the water
The circles get larger and larger
With your hands you push open the limits of the universe
You embrace from within
Heaven and earth and the ten thousand things capture your thoughts
Universal Post as Practiced by Kuang Ping Taichi PractitionersThe eyes look outside with determination
Up and down your strength flows
You push and you embrace continuously
Your thought should be pure
This should clear your mind
This should curb all illness
You always return to the center
You can attack or defend at will
You must have a will of iron
The principle of this s to strengthen
To go for happiness and health
Your body will benefit from this
This has been handed down from the ancients
This form of exercise can help you without limits

Pasted from  The Tai Chi Boxing Chronicle by Kuo Lien-Ying, translated by Guttman.

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