Standing Meditaion

Tadasana, Wuji, Zhan Zhuang, Yi Chuan

Zhan Zhuang (Standing Like a Tree) Meditation

Rooting Deeply Into Tranquility, Power and Vitality
A Chinese Meditation and Qigong Discipline

    Links    Resources    Practices    Quotations    Notes


Compiled and Indexed By
Michael P. Garofalo

April 25, 2008


© Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2008
By Michael P. Garofalo, All Rights Reserved.





Standing Meditation
Tadasana, Zhan Zhuang, Wuji, Attention, Yi Chuan, Standing Like a Tree
Bibliography, Links, Resources



Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient:  The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness.   By Will Johnson.
Boston, Shambhala, 2000.  137 pages.  ISBN: 1570625182.  MGC.  

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners
By H. David Coulter.  Foreword by Timothy McCall.  Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 
Body and Breath, 2001.  Index, bibliography, appendices, 623 pages.  
ISBN: 0970700601.  2002 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Health, 
Wellness and Nutrition.  

Awareness Through Movement; Health Exercises for Personal Growth.  Easy to Do Health 
Exercises to Improve Your Posture, Vision, Imagination and Personal Awareness.   
By Moshe Feldenkrais.  San Francisco, Harper Collins, 1972, 1977.  173 pages.
ISBN: 0062503227.  

Behind the Zhan Zhuang Training  7Kb.  

BodyStories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy.  Expanded Edition.  By Andrea Olsen in collaboration
with Caryn McHose.  Barrytown, New York, Station Hill Openings of Barrytown, Ltd., 1998. 
Index, bibliography, 168 pages.  MGC.  ISBN: 1581770235.

Breathing: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes

Chen Taijiquan 19 Form.  By Ren Guang Yi.  This short form was created by the
contemporary Chen master Chen Xiaowang.  Instructional videotape, 48 minutes.
Step by step teaching of the 19 movements, and demonstrations.  Some instruction
in Zhan Zhuang standing meditation.  

Chi Kung: The Chinese Art of Mastering Energy.  By Yves Requena.  Healing Art
Press, 1996.  120 pages.  ISBN: 0892816392.  

Cultivating Stillness: A Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind.  Translated
with an introduction by Eva Wong.  With a commentary by Shui-ch'ing Tzu.  Illustrated
by Hun-yen Tsu.  Boston, Shambhala Press, 1992.  156 pages.  MGC.
ISBN: 0877736871. 

Ecstatic Body Postures: An Alternate Reality Workbook.  By Belinda Gore.  Foreword by 
Felicitas Goodman.  Santa Fe,  New Mexico, Bear and Company, 1995.  Endnotes,
284 pages.  ISBN: 1879181223.  

Eight Section Brocade Qigong    Eight Treasures Chi Kung.   By Michael P. Garofalo.   
Instructions, notes, links, bibliography, quotations, and charts.  225Kb.   Baduanjin,
Pa Tuan Jin, Eight Silken Treasures, Ba Duan Jin, Pal Dan Gum, Ba Duan Gin, 
Pa Tin Kam, Otto Pezzi di Tesoro.  Between each of the eight postures is a period 
of Wu Ji. 

Five Animal Frolics    Wu Ji is used to rest between each Frolic, and afterwards for 

Flowers in the Sky: Emptiness in Full Bloom     

"Fong Ha on Yiquan Practice."  Interview of Fong Ha by Robert Teachout and Kiren
Ghei.  T'ai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
February 2005, pp. 26-32.  

Gardening and Meditation

Google Index - Zhan Zhuang

The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi.
By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive
recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.

History of Yi Quan

Meditation: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes  

Qigong LInks

The Oak Tree in the Courtyard

Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body (The Tao of Energy Enhancement.  By Bruce
Kumar Frantzis.  Illustrated by Husky Grafx.  North Atlantic Books, 1993.  Second
Edition.  174 pages.  ISBN: 1556431643.

"Un Pas Vers la Vitalité," Une Expérience Energétique dans L'approche des Troubles 
Anxieux et Dépressifs.  Quebec, June, 1998.  

Philosophy of Yi Quan

Remembering Wu Ji.  By Jonathan J. Dickau.  17Kb.  

Re-realize Zhanzhuang.   Li Jiong.  

The Spirit of the Garden    Over 2,700 quotations, poems, sayings and proverbs 
arranged by 130 Topics for gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way.

Standing Chi Kung
Meditation.   12K

Standing Meditation for Tai Chi.   By Cynthia McMullen, LMT.  8Kb.  

Standing Meditation Links    

"Standing Still Like a Tree."  By Victoria Windholtz.  T'ai Chi: The International 
Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan
: Volume 19, No. 6, December, 2005, pp. 6-9.  

Stand Still - Be Fit    

Stillness in Movement    Sifu Fong Ha.   Intergral Ch'uan Institute.  

Subject Index to the Cloud Hands (Taijiquan and Qigong) Website

Sun Style of Internal Martial Arts

Taiki-ken - Zhan Zhuang

Taijiquan and Standing-Posture Meditation (Zhan Zhuang).  By Chen Yaoting.  15Kb.  

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Guides, Bibliographies, Links, Quotations, Resources, Notes  
All Taijquan forms begin with Wu Ji, a period of time to compose oneself, relax,
gain control of attention and concentration (Yi - Mind).  The length of time to 
stand in Wu Ji varies between Taijiquan styles.  Master Sun Lu-Tang recommended
long periods of Wu Ji.  

Tao of Yiquan: The Method of Awareness in the Martial Arts.  Volume 2 of the Trilogy:
Warriors of Stillness.  Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts.   By
Jan Diepersloot.  Walnut Creek, CA, Center for Healing and the Arts, 1999.
Index, notes, 272 pages.  MGC.  ISBN: 0964997614.  

"Traditional Chinese Therapuetic Exercise - Standing Pole."  Wang Xuanjie and J.P.C. Moffett.  
Foreign Language Press, Beijing, 1994.   

Trees and Mysticism

Trees - Quotes, Poems, Sayings   

"The Vital Importance of the Qigong Tree Hugging Experience and Installation."
By Steven Kh Aung, M.D.  Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and 
Fitness: Spring 2005, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 36-43.  

"La Voie de L'énergie," Maitre Lam Kam Chuen.  Le Courrier du Livre, 1994.  

Walking: Bibliography, Links, Notes, Resources

Walking - Quotations

Warriors of Stillness: Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts
.  Volume 1.
The Teachings of Grandmaster Cai Song Fang.  Qigong Qi of the Center,
Essence of Taijiquan.   By Jan Diepersloot.  Walnut Creek, California,
Center for Healing and the Arts.  Glossary, 226 pages.  ISBN:  0964997606.  A study
of Wu Ji meditation and its T'ai Chi Ch'uan applications.     

Warriors of Stillness, Volume 2: The Tao of Yiquan.  By Jan Diepersloot.  

The Way of Energy: Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise
By Master Lam Kam Chen.  New York, Fireside, Simon and Schuster, 1991.  A Gaia Original.
Index, 191 pages.  ISBN: 0671736450.  This book can serve as a fine introduction to 
Zhan Zhuang.  It is the first reference book on Zhan Zhuang in English for the Western reader.
The foreword is by Professor Yu Yong Nian, D.D.S., an highly respected expert and author
of books in Chinese on Zhan Zhuang.  Master Lam Kam Chen had 50 years of experience
with the practice of Zhan Zhuang when he wrote this book, with the assistance of Richard
Reoch, in 1991.  Master Lam studied with numerous masters in Hong Kong, Taiwan and 
mainland China before moving to London in 1991 to open a medical clinic.  This book is
strongly influenced by "the form of martial art known as the Great Achievements Shadow
Boxing, Da Cheng Chuan," created by Wang Xiang Zhai (1886-1963), who was also 
a Yiquan Master.  Master Lam presents a series as follows: 1) Wu Ji, Holding the Balloon,
Holding Your Belly, 

The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing.  By Kenneth S. Cohen.
Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 
427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  MGC.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive,
informative, practical, and scientific; probably the best qigong text.  Chaper Ten, 
Standing Like A Tree, pp. 133-147, discusses standing meditation.  "The Chinese
term for Standing Meditation is Zhan Zhuang, "Standing Post.""

Wild Goose Qigong:  Links, Bibliography, Quotes, Notes   

Willpower: Quotes, Links, Bibliography, Resources

Wuji Gong:The Infinite Beginning.  Presented by Master Cheng Bingsong.  Instructional
videotape.   Telephone: 209-473-4993.  

Wuyiquan: Zhan Zhuang  

Yiquan.   By Karel Koskuba.  

"Yiquan and the Nature of Energy: The Fine Art of Doing Nothing and Achieving 
Everything."  By Hong Fa.  California, 1994.  

Yi Quan Online  

Yiquan: Power of Mind.  Karel Koskuba.  31Kb.  A very good read.  

Yoga: Guides, Bibliographies, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes   

Yoga of the Mahamudra: The Mystical Way of Balance.  By Will Johnson.  Rochester, 
Vermont, Inner Traditions, 2005.   151 pages.  ISBN:  0892816996.  

Zhan Zhuang   

Zhan Zhuang.   In German.     

Zhan Zhuang: Details Anatomiques.  

Zhan Zhuang From an I-Chuan Perspective.   By Gregory Fong.

Zhan Zhuang: Meditar Como Un Arbol

Zhan Zhuang Qi Gong   In German.  

Zhang Zhuang - Foundation of Internal Martial Arts.  By Karel Koskuba.  33Kb.  An excellent
informative article on the topic.  

Zhan Zhuan Gong (Estar Quieto Como Un Arbol)   A very good article with photographs in 

Zhan Zhuang Gong: Postures for Rooting   

Zhan Zhuang Gong Music.   Wind Records, 2000.  CD.  ASIN: B00004SR3K.

Zhan Zhuang: Posture de L'Arbre   French

Zhan Zhuang: Standing Like a Tree




Zhan Zhuang
Enter the Heart of the Trees
Practices and Methods


1.  Wu Ji 
     Basic Standing Posture

Stand up in a relaxed manner.
Your feet should be separated from 6" to 18".  
      Master Sun Lu-Tang kept his feet together for Wu Ji.  Keeping your feet together
      will require more attention to balance and holding to the plumb-vertical.  
      A rule to use is "Place your feet at a "comfortable" distance apart."  
      Some keep the inside of the feet aligned with the inside of the armpits.
Both of you feet should be pointed straight ahead and flat on the floor.
      Some turn the feet slightly outward to up to a 45° angle.
You should feel stable, centered, rooted to the earth.
Relax your body (Sung: loose, untensed, open, relaxed, calm).
Clear your mind.  Set aside your thoughts on the work and worries of the day.
Keep a pleasant look on your face - a soft gentle smile is beneficial.  
Keep your head up and look forward. 
Your eyes should be open, with a soft and wide angle focus.
       Use the method of looking/seeing called ping shi or "level gaze."
       Some close the eyes during Wu Ji standing meditation.  
Breathe in and out in a relaxed, easy, and regular manner.  
       Use the abdominal breathing techniques.
       Breathe deeply and exhale fully.
       Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
       Keep your lips parted slightly.
       Breathing should be natural, relaxed, and not requiring your attention.  
Your arms should hang down in a relaxed manner at your sides.
The palms of the hands should face the thighs and lightly touch them.  
The palms of your hands should face your thighs.   
Relax the shoulders and let them hang down.
Some recommend that you keep the tip of your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth.

"This posture is often called the "Wu Ji" posture in Taijiquan.  It is the resting position, the position
before any motion begins, a state of "grand emptiness."  It is the primordial condition - empty, free, 
motionless, without qualities.  It precedes the movement of Yin/Yang both logically and temporally.
The classics talk of Wu Ji giving birth to Tai Ji, emptiness transforming itself into the manifold of 
cyclic dualities.  Our course, our bodies are never completely at rest: our hearts contract and relax,
our blood moves up and down, we breath in and out, our two feet and two arms help keep us in
balance as we stand, our mind may be calm and focused but billions of neurons are quite busy
in our brains creating that phenomenon we directly apprehend as consciousness.  So, the "Wu Ji"
state of this posture is more symbolic, allegorical, or figuratively interpreted.  Students should 
note that this posture is very similar to the Yoga posture of Tadasana - the Mountain Pose.  
We should stand like a Mountain: strong, stable, unmoving, grand, still, aloof, above the mundane, 
powerful, accepting but unbroken by the storms of ideas, and avalanches of strong emotions 
and real worries. "
-  Michael P. Garofalo, The Eight Section Brocade Qigong   


Empty Standing Posture: Wu Ji Zhuang


Be sure to read the detailed and informative instructions for Wuji qigong given by Jan Diepersloot:
Warriors of Stillness: Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts.  



"Start in a standing position, with your feet parallel and spaced a shoulder-width
apart.  Slightly bend your knees.  Your back should be straight, with your buttocks
tucked and your pelvis thrust slightly forward.  Your shoulders must be relaxed and
your chest slightly concave, with the chest muscles relaxed.  Do not slouch or round
your shoulders too much.  Your body should be relaxed.  Focus your eyes straight
ahead, mentally lining up your nose with your navel."
-  Jane Hallander, Tai Chi Chuan's Internal Secrets, p. 17


2.  Embrace the One  (Ping Bu Cheng Bao Zhuang)

     Holding the Cosmic Ball
     Holding the Sphere of Qi
     Being Mindful of the Sphere
     Holding the Balloon
     Hugging the Tree



3.  Holding the Belly



4.  Standing in the Stream  



5.  Embrace the Moon




6.  Opening and Closing Hands

     Sun Style Standing Qigong



"Furthermore, "single whip" always follows a sequence of two movements called 
"open hands" and "closed hands." In this position, the body is posed similar to wu ji 
(empty stance)-a basic posture in xingyi. The palms face each other, as they open then 
close. These movements are used to cultivate the qi, center the practitioner and harmonize 
the movements with the breathing. This movement is a variation on taiji practices that 
visualize the "energy ball," the sensation of qi in the hands. During "open hands" the 
energy ball is expanded with an inhalation; during "closed hands," the energy ball is 
compressed and made denser, like a collapsing star. "Single whip" expands the 
energy ball once more, so that it engulfs the entire body."
-   Gene Ching, Radical Taiji: The Rising Sun of Taiji



Opening Hands, Closing Hands
By Michael P. Garofalo

"Standing at the Mysterious Pass
Centered in the Eternal Now,
Balanced in Body and Open in Mind,
Rooted into the Sacred Space,
Motionless as the Golden Mountain,
Fingers around the Primeval Sphere.

Dragons and Tigers are still dreaming -
Ready for Rebirth. 

I breathe in, the World Breathes Out.
The Gate of Space opens;
Heaven moves and Yang is born.
The hands move out, embracing the One.
The mind settles and is clear.
The Dragon Howls,
Ravens fill the Vast Cauldron,
Mind forms melt like mercury,
Spirit rises in the Clouds of Eternity.
Yin appears like the moon at dusk.

I breathe out, the World Breathes In.
The Doors of Emptiness close;
Earth quiets and Yin is born.
The hands move in, entering the One.
The body settles and becomes whole.
The Tiger Roars,
The Great Ox is nourished by the Valley Spirit, 
Substances spark from flaming furnaces,
Essence roots in the Watery Flesh.
Yang appears like the sun at dawn.

Dragons and Tigers
Transformed within the Mysterious Pass -
Chanting and Purring.

-   Michael P. Garofalo, Opening at the Mysterious Pass
    Opening Hands and Closing Hands





7.  San Ti

Trinity Posture (Heaven, Man, Earth)

     Sun Style Standing Qigong.
     A standard on guard posture used in Sun style Hsing I practices and qigong, and in
     other Xing Yi styles.  



Xing Yi Nei Gong: Xing Yi Health Maintenance and Internal Strength Development.
Compiled and edited by Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell.  Includes an instructional
videotape featuring Tim Cartmell.  200 pages.  "Xing Yi Nei Gong  includes (1) 
the Sixteen Nei Gong exercises handed down by the famous Xing Yi master 
Wang Ji Wu (1891-1991) described in detail and shown in clear, easy-to-follow 
photographs of Wang Ji Wu's disciple Zhang Bao Yang (1922- ) plus historic 
photographs of Wang performing the same set, (2) invaluable 25+ pages chapter 
on Xing Yi's foundational Standing Practice (San Ti Shi), (3) Xing Yi Written 
Transmissions on all aspects of practice, taken from hand-copied manuscripts 
handed down from 3rd and 4th generation practitioners Dai Long bang and 
Li Neng Ran, (4) Xing Yi Five Elements Long Spear power training exercises 
demonstrated by Zhang Bao Yang."  Plum Publications



7.  Bear Spirit Standing Posture

"The Bear Spirit Posture:  The name of this posture is derived from a wonderful carving of 
the Northwest Pacific Coast Indians in which the Grandfather Bear Spirit, the Great Healer,
stands behind a shaman who holds the pose.  It is very old and, of all the postures, is the
most widely known.  Evidence of it has been found in countries throughout the world, and
historically it has existed from 6,000 B. C. to the present."
-  Belinda Gore, Ecstatic Body Postures, p. 49.  See my comments on Wu Ji.

     Five Animal Frolics






Standing Meditation
Tadasana, Zhan Zhuang, Wuji, Attention, Yi Chuan, Standing Like a Tree
Quotations, Sayings, Poems

"Standing Meditation is the single most important and widely practiced form of gigong,
integrating all elements of posture, relaxation, and breathing previously described.  It
is a way of developing better alignment and balance, stronger legs and waist, deeper
respiration, accurate body awareness, and a tranquil mind."
-  Kenneth S. Cohen,  The Way of Qigong,  p. 133.



"This practice is part of an ancient Chinese health system of exercises.  One of the first
references found about this type of exercise is in the Huang-Ti Nei Ching (Classics of 
Medicine by the Yellow Emperor
, 2690-2590 B.C.E.) which is, by the way, probably one of the
oldest books in the medical field.  This posture, practiced and transmitted secretly in 
martial arts circles, has been openly shown to the public since the last century.  
Wang Xiang Zhai, a very famous martial arts master of that period in China, made of
this technique the base of a new martial art that he called I Chuan (Mind Boxing).  He
used to say, "The immobility is the mother of any movement or technique."  
-  Victoria Windholtz, Standing Like a Tree



"Although there is no obvious movement, they are deeply engaged in one of the most
demanding and powerful forms of exercise ever developed.  It is so utterly focused on 
deep, internal growth that it literally requires learning to stand like a tree.  It is known in
Chinese as Zhan Zhuang, "standing like a stake', or "standing like a tree." It is pronounced
"Jan Jong", or in southern China, "Jam Jong". 
-  Mater Lam, Kam Chuen, The Way of Energy, p. 11



"Classical admonitions for standing practice include: keep head upright (raise the baihui
and the body straight; eyes gaze forward and level; hollow the chest and raise the back 
(careful, does not mean "hunch"); relax the waist and huiyin (perineum); sink the shoulders 
and elbows; extend the fingers; keep the kua (inguinal crease) open and the dang (crotch) 
rounded; tailbone hangs straight down; weight balanced over yongquan (bubbling well 
points behind balls of feet); qi circulates freely and completely throughout body."
-  Michael Jones, Zhan Zhuang




"The most basic method of training is zhan zhuang.  Zhan zhuang is an exercise common to
many Chinese martial arts, including Taijiquan.  Usually, the practitioner stands with the arms
held as if holding a large ball.  However, the zhan zhuang exercise can be practiced using any
of the end postures of the Taiji form.  During "standing" practice a static posture is maintained
for a period of time while using just enough strength to maintain the posture.  ...  Benefits
of zhan zhuang include deep relaxation, strengthening of the legs, and increased internal qi.
The first requirement is to have a calm mind.  This can be achieved in a number of ways - for
instance, concentrating on the Dantian, paying attention to one's breath, or silently counting.
Through standing practice, emphasis is place upon developing awareness of maintaining the 
most efficient and relaxed structural alignment necessary to hold the position.  Prolonged
practice, along with enhancing postural awareness and tranquility of mind, greatly develops
the strength of the legs.  When the legs are strong and can bear weight firmly, then the upper
body can relax and sink down into them, making the top more flexible.  ... Taijiquan requires
lightness and sensitivity in the upper body.  At the same time, the lower body should have a 
feeling of extreme heaviness and connection to the ground.  This feeling is often compared
to a large tree with deep roots.  While the branches move and sway in the wind, the trunk
is solidly anchored by its roots."
-   Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan, 2002, p. 106.



" Stand naturally, the hands loosely at the sides. The ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles 
should all be aligned when viewed from the side.  Close the mouth, and place the tip of the 
tongue on the upper palate behind the teeth. The eyes may be open or closed.  
Fangsong (relax the mind and body).  Mentally repeat the verse ‘weight balanced, mind 
balanced, listen behind, qi balanced in the dantien.”   
Slowly bend the knees, lowering the center of gravity, and relax the hips.  Shift weight to the 
right leg.  Sink down, and lift the left heel, followed by the toes. 
Step out to shoulder width, with weight still on the right leg. Slowly shift weight back to the 
center of the body, so it is evenly distributed on both legs.  
Mentally repeat the verse “weight balanced, mind balanced, listen behind, qi balanced 
in the dantien.”
Beginning from the medulla and proceeding downward, relax each vertebrae in the spine, 
counting to 9 for each vertebrae.
Slowly raise the arms to a shoulder height and width position, as if holding a large ball. 
Depending on one’s fitness, the arms may be held at a greater than shoulder width. As the 
arms rise, simultaneously sink the hips more. Relax.  Keeps wrists and fingers loose 
and relaxed.
Mentally repeat the verse ‘weight balanced, mind balanced, listen behind, qi balanced 
in the dantien.”
Assume a posture with the chest concave, shoulders and hips relaxed, the dantien area 
relaxed, the back straight. When all these requirements are met, your body will feel comfortable.
Hold this position for a set period of time. Beginners should work gradually to a time frame 
of at least 20 minutes.
Mentally repeat the verse ‘weight balanced, mind balanced, listen behind, qi balanced 
in the dantien.”
"Very slowly lower hands to the sides, standing up as they drop, but not completely. 
Keep the hips relaxed.
Allow the qi of the shoulders to flow downward to the hips: the elbow qi to flow downward 
to the knees: and the qi of the hands to flow downward to the feet.
Mentally repeat the verse ‘weight balanced, mind balanced, listen behind, qi balanced 
in the dantien.”  Relax any tense areas in the body.
Slowly shift weight to the right leg.  Lift heel and then toes of the left foot, and move it inward 
next to the right foot. Place first toes, then heels on the ground.
Mentally repeat the verse ‘weight balanced, mind balanced, listen behind, qi balanced 
in the dantien.”  Count silently to 9.  Stand up fully."
-  Hun Yuan Zhuang, The Practice of Zhuang Gong




Walking Meditation
By Sayadaw U. Silananda

"Let us now talk specifically about the practice of walking meditation. If you are a complete 
beginner, the teacher may instruct you to be mindful of only one thing during walking meditation: 
to be mindful of the act of stepping while you make a note silently in the mind, "stepping, 
stepping, stepping," or "left, right, left, right." You may walk at a slower speed than 
normal during this practice.

After a few hours, or after a day or two of meditation, you may be instructed to be mindful 
of two occurrences: (i) stepping, and (ii) putting down the foot, while making the mental 
note "stepping, putting down." You will try to be mindful of two stages in the step: 
"stepping, putting down; stepping, putting down." Later, you may be instructed to 
be mindful of three stages: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving or pushing the foot forward; 
and (iii) putting the foot down. Still later, you would be instructed to be mindful of four 
stages in each step: (i) lifting the foot; (ii) moving it forward; (iii) putting it down; and 
(iv) touching or pressing the foot on the ground. You would be instructed to be completely 
mindful and to make a mental note of these four stages of the foot's movement: "lifting, 
moving forward, putting down, pressing the ground.

At first yogis may find it difficult to slow down, but as they are instructed to pay close 
attention to all of the movements involved, and as they actually pay closer and closer 
attention, they will automatically slow down. They do not have to slow down deliberately, 
but as they pay closer attention, slowing down comes to them automatically. 

Although yogis pay close attention and slow down, they may not see all of the movements 
and stages clearly. The stages may not yet be well-defined in the mind, and they may seem 
to constitute only one continuous movement. As concentration grows stronger, yogis will 
observe more and more clearly these different stages in one step; the four stages at least 
will be easier to distinguish. Yogis will know distinctly that the lifting movement is not mixed 
with the moving forward movement, and they will know that the moving forward movement 
is not mixed with either the lifting movement or the putting down movement. They will 
understand all movements clearly and distinctly. Whatever they are mindful and aware 
of will be very clear in their minds.

As yogis carry on the practice, they will observe much more. When they lift their foot, 
they will experience the lightness of the foot. When they push the foot forward, they will 
notice the movement from one place to another. When they put the foot down, they will 
feel the heaviness of the foot, because the foot becomes heavier and heavier as it descends. 
When they put the foot on the ground, they will feel the touch of the heel of the foot on the 
ground. Therefore, along with observing lifting, moving forward, putting down, and pressing 
the ground, yogis will also perceive the lightness of the rising foot, the motion of the foot, 
the heaviness of the descending foot, and then the touching of the foot, which is the hardness 
or softness of the foot on the ground. When yogis perceive these processes, they are 
perceiving the four essential elements (in Pali, dhatu). The four essential elements are: 
the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, and the element of air. 
By paying close attention to these four stages of walking meditation, the four elements 
in their true essence are perceived, not merely as concepts, but as actual processes, 
as ultimate realities.

In the Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, the Buddha taught walking 
meditation two times. In the section called "Postures," he said that a monk knows 
"I am walking" when he is walking, knows "I am standing" when he is standing, knows 
"I am sitting" when he is sitting, and knows "I am lying down" when he is lying down. In 
another section called Clear Comprehension, the Buddha said, "A monk applies 
clear comprehension in going forward and in going back." Clear comprehension means 
the correct understanding of what one observes. To correctly understand what is observed, 
a yogi must gain concentration, and in order to gain concentration, he must apply 
mindfulness. Therefore, when the Buddha said, "Monks, apply clear comprehension,
" we must understood that not only clear comprehension must be applied, but also 
mindfulness and concentration. Thus the Buddha was instructing meditators to 
apply mindfulness, concentration, and clear comprehension while walking, while 
"going forward and back." Walking meditation is thus an important part of this process."

The Benefits of Walking Meditation
By Sayadaw  U. Silananda





Standing Meditation
Tadasana, Zhan Zhuang, Wuji, Attention, Yi Chuan, Standing Like a Tree
Notes and Observations, Questions, Leads

Standing Relaxation and Meditation Posture

"Wu Ji" is the name of the Chinese Qigong Standing Meditation Posture
   "Wu" means emptiness, the primordial undifferentiated Ground of Being
   "Ji" means the limit, the boundary, the terminus, the end point

"Tadasana" is the name of the Indian Yoga Standing Meditation Posture
   "Tad" means mountain
   "asana" means posture, specific body position, ritual posture



X References:  Wu Ji, Standing Meditation, Zhan Zhuang, Standing Post, Standing Like a Tree,
Yi Quan, I Chuan, Pole Standing






Michael P. Garofalo's E-Mail

Valley Spirit Tai Chi Chuan Club

Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood, 
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA






© Michael P. Garofalo, 2006, All Rights Reserved



Zen Poetry

Cuttings: Haiku and Short Poems

Master Chang San-Feng

Sun Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cold Mountain Sages

The Spirit of Gardening

Walking and Tai Chi Chuan

Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan

Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung Website









Alphabetical Subject Index


Cloud Hands Website
Taijiquan, Qigong, Taoism, Classics, Weapons: Sword and Staff

Fitness and Well Being Website

      Gardening, Meditation, Walking, Yoga, Strength Training,
      Fitness for Older Persons, Aerobics, Relaxation  

The Spirit of Gardening

2,700 Quotes Arranged by 130 Topics, History, Guides,
     Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of Gardening 


Green Way Research
Online Publishing, Research, Indexing, and Services
     By Michael P. Garofalo
     Red Bluff, California 


Valley Spirit Center
Michael and Karen Garofalo
     Red Bluff, California


Web Guides, Bibliographies, Links, Directories, Lessons, Quotes, Notes


Alphabetical Subject Index


Above the Fog  -  Zen Poems   

Aging Well   

Alphabetical Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Website   

Ancient Goddesses - Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Prayers, Songs

Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi): Tiger, Bear, Crane, Deer, and Monkey

Arthritis Therapy - Exercise: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung      

Bagua Zhang (Eight Trigrams Boxing)    

Bear, Standing Bear, Level 1 Ranking, Valley Spirit Taijiquan

The Bear: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Bibliography - Ch'i Kung

Bibliography - Taijiquan     

Bicycling in Northern California    

Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)  

Blog - Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong by Michael P. Garofalo  

Blog - Green Way by Michael P. Garofalo

Blog - Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo     

Book of Changes (I Ching) and Qigong (Dao-yin)

Blog: Green Way

Breathing and Taijiquan     

Breathing and Yoga    

Breathing Practices: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes    


Broadsword (Dao, Saber)

Buddhism and Martial Arts    

Buddhism - Tibetan: Shambhala Warriorship, Tantra, Yoga

Buddhist Ethics

California (Northern) T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information

Charkas (Energy Centers of the Subtle Body)

Chan Ssu Chin - Silk Reeling    

Cheng Man-Ch'ing  (1901-1975)    

Chen Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

Ch'i - Breathwork  

Chih - Taiji Ruler

Ch'i or Qi

Ch'i Kung: Bibliography and Links    

Chi Kung Blog  

Chi Kung for Seniors

Ch'i Kung Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California   

Chi Kung: Valley Spirit Center     Red Bluff, California

Chinese Massage

Ch'i or Qi and Taijiquan     

Circle Walking - Bagua Zhang (Eight Trigrams Boxing)    

Classes, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Instructional Program

Classics of T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

Cloud Hands Blog  

Cloud Hands Blog RSS Feed

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Ch'i Kung     

Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan Journal     

Cold Mountain: Han Shan

Comments and Notes on the Yang Style Taijiquan     

Concrete and Visual Poetry     

Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)  (551 - 479 BCE)    


Crane - Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)

Crane, Soaring Crane, Intermediate Program, Level 3, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan   

Cuttings: Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo  

Cuttings: Above the Fog  

Dance and Taijiquan       

Dao (Saber, Broadsword)

Dao-yin (Qigong, Chi Kung)

Dayan - Wild Goose Qigong

The Deer: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Diabetes Therapy - Exercise: Taijiquan and Qigong   

Direction of Movements in Taijiquan and Qigong

Disclaimer of the Cloud Hands Website  

Eight Animals Qigong

Eight Ox Herding Songs -  A Ch'an/Zen Parable

Eight Rivers Qigong

Eight Section Brocade Ch'i Kung       

Eight Silken Treasures Qigong    

Eight Trigrams Boxing (Bagua Zhang, Pa Kua Quan)    

Eight Trigrams of the I Ching

Eight Trigrams and Taijiquan          

Eight Ways of Walking Qigong       

Embrace the One - Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree

Emptiness in Full Bloom    

Energy - Quotations    

Entering Tranquility (Ru Jing) Meditation      

Exercise - Diabetes Therapy - Taijiquan and Qigong   

Feedback, Kudos and Reviews for the Cloud Hand's Website     

Fitness and Well Being    

Fitness for Older Persons     

Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi): Tiger, Bear, Crane, Deer, and Monkey

Five Precepts of Buddhism     

Five Elements (Wu-Xing) and Taijiquan   

Five Stepping Movements of Taijiquan    

Flexibility and Stretching     

Five Elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal)


Flowers in the Sky     

Gardening: Quotes, Poems, History, Sayings

Gardening: Quips and Maxims by Michael P. Garofalo

The Four Gates: Grasping the Sparrow's Tail    

Michael P. Garofalo's Biography

Michael P. Garofalo's T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Practice    

Glossary of Taijiquan Terms in English and Chinese (Pinyin)

The Goddess - Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Prayers, Songs    

Goose - Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)  

Goose - Wild Goose Qigong             

Grasping the Sparrow's Tail       

Green Way Blog   

Green Way Research        

Green Way Research - Taijiquan and Qigong       

Green Wizard 

Gu Shen Taijiquan Journal     

Gu Shen (Valley Spirit) Taijiquan Instructional Program

Haiku and Short Poems     

Han Shan

Hatha Yoga

Health and Fitness - T'ai Chi Ch'uan    

Hexagrams and Trigrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes)

Hidden Tiger, Beginning Program, Level 2, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan   

Hsing Yi Chuan   

I Ching (Book of Changes) and Taijiquan and Qigong

Index to the Cloud Hands Website   

Indoor Cycling, Stationary Bicycling, Spinning   

Instructional Program, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan    

Journal - Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo

Kriya Yoga    

Kudos for the Cloud Hands Website

Kundalini (Coiled Serpent) Energy

Kwang Ping Taijiquan of Kuo Lien Ying     

Labyrinths and Mazes   

Learning and Teaching Taijiquan, Qigong and Yoga

Links and Bibliography: Qigong    

Links and Bibliography: Taijiquan       

Long Form 108 Yang Style Taijiquan     

Martial Arts - Virtures


Massage: Valley Spirit Center    Red Bluff, California

Master Chang San-Feng  (circa 1350)       

Master Cheng Man-Ch'ing  (1901 - 1975)    

Master Han Shan  (circa 750)    

Master Kuo Lien Ying   (1895-1984)     

Master Sun Lu-Tang  (1861-1932)   

Master Yang Cheng-Fu  (1883-1936)   

Mastery, Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Will Power, Strength of Character

Meditation - General

Meditation and Breathing

Meditation and Walking    

Meditation Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California        

Meditation Methods and Techniques  

Meditation Quotations    

Meditation - Standing Like A Tree  

Meditation - Standing - General

Meditation - Wu Ji - The Edge of Emptiness     

Michael P. Garofalo - Brief Biography        

Michael P. Garofalo - Internal Martial Arts Practice History      

Michael P. Garofalo - Resume     

Michael P. Garofalo -  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Practice    

Minding the Breath

Months of the Year: Quotes, Poems, Links     

Mountain Biking in Northern California    

Movement Direction Instructions for Taijiquan and Qigong Forms

Moving Hands Like Clouds:  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong    

Northern California Taijiquan and Qigong News in Cloud Hands Blog  

Northern California T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information  

Northwestern U.S. Tajiquan and Qigong News in Cloud Hands Blog  

Notes and Comments on the Yang Style Taijiquan     

Nature Mysticism   

Nine Movement Temple Ch'i Kung Exercise Set

Oak Tree in the Courtyard    

Old Cloud Hands Website

Older Persons Exercise and Wellness Programs   

Oregon T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information   

Original Cloud Hands URL    

Original Waving Hands Like Clouds URL    

Pa Kua Chang (Eight Trigrams Boxing)       

Photography - Valley Spirit Photography Gallery    

Pilates: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes

Pranayama: Breathing Techniques from Yoga     

Private Instruction by Michael P. Garofalo, Instructional Programs

Pulling Onions: The Quips and Maxims of a Gardener

Push Hands - T'ui Shou   

Qigong: Bibliography and Links    

Qigong Blog  

Qigong - Breathwork

Qigong, Ch'i Kung - Chinese Mind-Body Exercises    

Qigong for Seniors

Qigong Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California       

Qigong: Valley Spirit Center 

Qigong-Yoga Exercise Cycle

Qigong Ruler - Taiji Chih

Qigong Walking      

Qi or Ch'i and Taijiquan   

Questions and Answers in Cloud Hands Blog    

Raja Yoga    

Red Bluff, California, Qigong Classes

Red Bluff, California, Yoga Classes   

Red Bluff, California: Valley Spirit Center 

Red Bluff, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Instructional Program    

Reiki (Ushi Shiki Ryoho) - Karen Garofalo, Reiki Practitioner    

Reiki: Valley Spirit Center    Red Bluff, California

Relaxation and Taijiquan     

Resolve, Will. Willpower, Self Control, Self Discipline   

Resume of Michael P. Garofalo

Reviews of the Cloud Hand's Website     

Riding the Ox - A Zen Parable   

Royal (Raja) Yoga

RSS Feed for the Cloud Hands Blog

Ruler - T'ai Chi   

Saber (Dao, Broadsword)

Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Will Power    


Senior Citizens Fitness Programs  

Senior Fitness - Red Bluff, CA

Sensing Hands: Push Hands - T'ui Shou   

Shambhala Warriorship: Tibetan Buddhism    

Shoong, Sung, Song  - Loose, Relaxed, Open, Yielding, Responsive     

Short Form, Yang Style, Beijing Simplified 24

Silk Reeling    

Simplified 24 From, Yang Style       

Soaring Crane, Intermediate Program, Level 3, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Soulful Gardening

Speaking to the Spirit Meditation

The Spirit of Gardening    

Staff Weapons: Jo, Bo, Can, Staff, Spear    

Standing Bear, Level 1 Ranking, Valley Spirit Taijiquan

Standing Like A Tree - Zhan Zhuang

Standing Meditation (Wu Ji)   

Standing Meditation - General

Sticking Hands - T'ui Shou   

Stork - Bird - Five Animal Frolics

Strength Training    

Stretching and Flexibility

Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Sun Lu-Tang's (1861-1933) Biography   

Sun Lu-Tang (1861-1933): Baguaquan, Hsingyiquan, and Taijiquan Grandmaster

Sun Style Baguaquan     

Sun Style Hsingyiquan   

Sun Style Qigong   

Sun Style Sword

Sun Style Taijiquan     

Swordsmanship and T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

T'ai Chi Chuan Blog  

T'ai Ch'i Classics      

Tai Chi for Arthritis

Tai Chi for Diabetes   

Tai Chi for Seniors

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Bibliography and Links     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information, Workshops      
Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California      

T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Red Bluff, CA  

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Short Form, Beijing Simplified 24, Yang Style     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Links and Bibliography      

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Staff     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword (Jian)     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Valley Spirit Center     Red Bluff, California

T'ai Chi Ruler - Chih

Taijiquan: Bibliography and Links  

Taijiquan Blog  

Taijiquan - Breathwork

Taijiquan Classics      

Taijiquan For Good Health, Fitness and Vitality         

Taijiquan Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California        

Taijiquan Jian (Sword)     

Taijiquan: Valley Spirit Center    Red Bluff, California

Taming the Ox - A Zen Allegory or Parable     

Tantric Yoga   

Tantric Buddhism: Shambhala Warriorship, Yoga

Taoism, Nature Mysticism, Alchemy      

Teaching and Learning Taijiquan, Qigong and Yoga

Temple Qigong - A Nine Movement Exercise Set     

Thirteen Postures: 8 Gates and 5 Steps                  

The 300 Missing Poems of Han Shan      

Tibetan Buddhism: Shambhala Warriorship, Yoga, Tantra

The Tiger: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Tiger, Hidden Tiger, Beginning Program, Level 2, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Tree Qigong - Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree   

Trees - Quotations, Poems, Lore, Wisdom  

Trees - Lore, Magick, Myths, Magick    

Trigrams and Hexagrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes)

24 From, Yang Style, Standard       

Valley Spirit Center    Red Bluff, California

Valley Spirit Fitness and Well Being Website   

Valley Spirit Idea

Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo (May 2003-July 2005)     

Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo (August 2005- )     

Valley Spirit Labyrinths  

Valley Spirit Photography Gallery - Old      

Valley Spirit Photography Gallery - New - Coppermine      

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Club        

Valley Spirit Taijiquan Instructional Program    

Valley Spirit - Green Way Blog       

Valley Spirit Taijiquan and Qigong Journal (5/2003-7/2005) by Michael P. Garofalo       

Valley Spirit Taijiquan and Qigong Journal (8/2005-) by Michael P. Garofalo       

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, and Yoga    

Valley Spirit - Tao Te Ching

Vancouver, B.C., T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools     

Virtues in the Martial Arts

Vitality, Health and Qigong   

Walking and Labyrinths

Walking and Taijiquan     

Walking - Eight Ways of Walking Qigong       

Walking - General Fitness Exercise

Walking - Quotations   

Walking: Valley Spirit Center     Red Bluff, California  

Washington T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information 

Waving Hands Like Clouds:  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong    

Wild Goose Qigong

Will Power, Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Strength of Character   


Wu Ji - Standing Meditation   

Xing Yi Quan   

Yoga Class, TFFC, Red Bluff, CA   

Yang Family Taijiquan Genealogy     

Yand Style Push Hands and Da Lu   

Yang Style Saber

Yang Style Staff

Yang Style Sword    

Yang Style Traditional Taijiquan Long Form 108 Movements     

Yang Style Taijiquan - Notes and Comments     

Yang Style Taijiquan Short Form 24 Movements       

Yin-Yang Sensitivity Training: Sticking Hands - T'ui Shou   


Yoga Blog  

Yoga Class, Red Bluff, CA - Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo

Yoga - Breathwork   

Yoga - Hatha   

Yoga - Kriya     

Yogalates: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes    

Yoga - Red Bluff, CA

Yoga -Tantric

Yoga-Taiji Index

Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree

Zen/Chan Buddhist  Poetry       

Zen Buddhist Quotations   



Valley Spirit Internal Martial Arts Club

Valley Spirit Center - Red Bluff, California


Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities and small towns in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City,
Corning, Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Vina, Tehama, Proberta, Gerber, 
Manton, Cottonwood, Olinda, Cloverdale, Dairyville, Bend, Centerville, Summit City
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, Igo, Ono, Redding, Shasta, Colusa, Willows,
Richfield, Fall River, Montgomery Creek, Alturas, McCloud, Dunsmuir, Yreka, Happy Camp,
Shingletown, Burney, Mt. Shasta City, Weaverville, Williams, Chester, Orland,
Susanville, Weed, Gridley, Marysville, Yuba City, NorCalifia, CA, California.



May 21, 2006


Green Way Research   

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Ch'i Kung     


Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong Blog


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Older Persons Fitness, Exercise, Strength Training, Tai Chi, Qigong, Personal Trainer
Senior Fitness, Exercise, Yoga, Taijiquan, Chi Kung, Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Walking
Mature Persons Fitness, Exercise, Strength Training, Walking, Meditation, Yoga
Senior's Fitness, Exercise, Strength Training, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation
Instruction, Classes, Lectures, Seminars, Training, Lessons, Group Instruction
Over 55 Fitness, Over 60 Fitness, Over 65 Fitness, Over 70 Fitness, Over 75 Fitness
Exercise, Strength Training, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, Walking
Grandmother, Grandfather, Older, Elderly, Great Grandmother, Great Grandfather
Aging, Aged, Old, Senior, Seniors, Octogenarian, Old Ones, Elder, Elders, Senior
Golden Years, Codger, Codgers, Old Man, Old Woman, Patriarch, 
Matriarch, Oldster, Golden Ager, Old Timer, Geriatrics, Gerontology, 
Retired Person's Fitness, Retirees, Retirement, 
Retiree Fitness, Senior Fitness, Seniors' Fitness
Easy Workouts, Light Exercise, Mild Exercise, Moderate Exercise
Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Fitness Yoga, Pilates, Mat Exercises, Mindfulness Exercises
Fitness, Exercise, Strength Training, Tai Chi, Taijiquan, Chi Kung, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, Walking
Personal Instruction, Classes, Lectures, Workshops, Seminars, Training, Lessons Group Instruction