This blog post was originally published as a podcast in June 2009. I’m slowly transcribing all of my podcasts, to share them with my readers who either cannot play podcasts on their computer, or who simply prefer reading instead of listening.

In the second year of the syllabus, it’s all about using the form to explore ten principles, which are based on Yang Cheng’fu’s ten important points, which is something you can go back in the old books and you can find those in there for yourself; you can look at them, and you can see what they said about them back then, and what we say about them now.

We’ve just done week 28 out of 30 for the second year, and as part of that tonight we looked at two principles, because we’ve been spending the last ten weeks of the third term doing a whistle-stop tour, a review of all ten principles just to make sure that people have a good idea of what they are trying to achieve with them, and because people go away on holiday etc and have had to double up tonight [I obviously meant catch up – Ed].

I had one of those “doh!” forehead-slapping moments as part of that tonight because, although it is blatantly obvious, I only just realised tonight that of course the principles go together, just like yin and yang. [Mrs H at this point helpfully pointed out that forehead-slapping is surely the sound of one hand clapping – Ed]. I’d never noticed that before; it’s so obvious, and I’m feeling very foolish about it. [It is good to admit these things, for one day we all forget what it was like when we were at the beginning of our journey … and that is when we lose our way – Ed].

The principles we looked at tonight were Continuous Movement and Stillness In Motion, two principles that absolutely complement each other. You can take any move of the form, and you’ve got Continuous Movement firing off, and it is being supported at all times by its exact opposite, which is a lack of movement – Stillness In Motion.

To explore Stillness In Motion a little bit more, what we were looking at tonight was the difference between stillness and Stillness In Motion. Stillness is where you stick, where you stop and you feel that you have stopped. Stillness In Motion, by contrast, is where you’ve become more efficient, and you’re still moving but you’re only moving that which needs to be moved.

So for me that was a very entertaining class tonight, and for me very educational, even though I’m the one teaching it, and I hope you find this point helpful too in your practice.