TuiShou: Cultivating Mindfulness and Inner Harmony through Taoist Practices
TuiShou, more than just a preparation for free combat, is a captivating and therapeutic practice that promotes well-being among QiGong practitioners. When performed correctly, it cultivates a multitude of skills while providing therapeutic benefits. During TuiShou, the body is gently massaged, and the spine harmoniously moves in sync with the arms and legs. The mind remains undistracted, focused solely on the sensations within the body, allowing one to fully embrace the “here and now.” The mind doesn’t wander in different directions, as it fills every cell of the body with attentive presence, enabling adaptation to the ever-changing forces imposed by the “opponent.”
In TuiShou, if one is not present, vigilant, relaxed, and focused (relaxed yet always full and ready), they will never be able to adapt to the thousand fluctuations of force imposed by their partner. To truly be “free,” one must effortlessly navigate through “problems” (the disharmonies that stiffen) with minimal effort. The centers of gravity support the world, while the arms ensure the body remains balanced, guided by the principles of Yin and Yang, the two extremes that keep one aligned. Even when in motion, you will remain centered, maintaining a harmonious balance between the two bodies, without any conscious “thinking,” as everything follows the “Way of the Tao” and is free from ego and aggressiveness, which only serve to stiffen both the mind and body, constraining them.
To practice TuiShou correctly, it is essential to relax the body, mind, and spirit, and solely rely on the flow of forces—the very forces studied previously through QiGong. Without a solid foundation in QiGong, such as ZhanZhuang and ShiLi, one cannot fully comprehend the purpose of TuiShou, as it is based on that specific kind of “force.”
Without QiGong, TuiShou simply becomes a contest of strength, a competition of who can push harder, devoid of its true significance. It is also true that due to cultural differences, QiGong is often not fully understood. Therefore, those who engage in internal arts immerse themselves not only in a “new practice” but also in a new “world,” a new way of “thinking and acting.”
The Mind as an Uncontrolled Wave: According to Taoism, the mind is often likened to an uncontrollable wave that sweeps us back and forth, preventing us from experiencing peace and harmony. Endless thoughts tie us to the past and project us into the future, robbing us of the ability to fully live in the present. The mind becomes an obstacle to our happiness and connection with universal energy.
The Practice of Ceasing Thoughts: The Taoist practice of ceasing thoughts is a way to break the cycle of incessant thinking and achieve a state of inner calmness. This doesn’t mean suppressing or denying thoughts, but rather observing them without judgment and allowing them to pass like dissipating clouds in the sky. In Taoism, it is stated that the tranquil and non-reactive observation of thoughts helps us restore balance and rediscover our authenticity.
Living in the Present Moment: Taoism teaches us that the only moment we have is the present. Focusing on the present moment enables us to appreciate the wonders of life and connect with the essence of the Tao. When we are fully immersed in the present, our thoughts subside, and we can perceive the beauty that surrounds us. This state of mindful presence allows us to embrace each moment with gratitude and embrace life in all its fullness.
The Benefits of Ceasing Thoughts and Living in the Moment: Ceasing thoughts and living in the moment bring numerous benefits to our daily lives. Firstly, it reduces stress and anxiety, as it is often our thoughts and concerns about the past or future that cause distress. Secondly, it allows us to develop a greater self-awareness and awareness of the environment around us. This heightened awareness leads to a more authentic and meaningful life. Lastly, the practice of ceasing thoughts opens us up to the beauty of the present moment, enabling us to fully savor experiences of joy and gratitude.