My students say that the most important effect of Tai-chi and Zookinesis training for them is that it helps them to understand other peoples’ behavior. They can understand the turmoil going inside other people and can see their outward behavior in context. They understand that if someone is aggressive towards them, this behavior probably has very little to do with the students but is just an outward manifestation of the other person’s inner problems.
If they then react to that person as if that person were actually not aggressive, the student can calm down the situation. Most people are so unaware of their own behavior that they judge their own behavior by other peoples’ reactions to them. If you act as if they were not aggressive, they may come to believe they are not being aggressive and will calm down.
The student has the confidence to calmly face the aggressive person because they see the situation clearly and, through Push Hands and self defense training, they know they can protect themselves if the other person does become physically aggressive in spite of the student’s efforts.
In order to develop the ability to “see through” other people into their inner workings, you must first see into your own inner workings. You begin by discovering every instance in daily life where you use too much physical tension to accomplish a task. I advised one of my students last week to notice how he holds a pen. How much physical tension is actually needed to write? He discovered that he tensed up his hand and his whole arm as he wrote, using a tremendous amount of energy. By keeping his arm relaxed he was able to stop fighting against himself as he wrote.
Many students realize that they hunch their shoulders during the day. They get better and better at catching themselves doing it. Then they simply stop hunching. There are many behaviors we do during the day that don’t make sense. Once you discover the many ways you are fighting against yourself by using excess tension, you can see that same process in others.
There is another benefit to discovering these unneeded behaviors inside yourself. As you peel off these behaviors you notice that some of the behaviors deal with purposefully ignoring experiences of life. You purposefully tune out these experiences. One of the reasons we all do this is because our culture does not recognize some experiences. One of these is the sense of chi (internal energy) and the dynamics of attention itself.
As students of Zookinesis and Tai-chi, we need to develop a great awareness of these experiences. In many Tai-chi schools, you are told that the experience of chi is like a tingling in the fingers. Actually that feeling in a beginning student is the blood moving through the fingers as you move them. When the momentum moves through the body, it stimulates blood to flow.  And indeed, the word chi is sometimes used as a substitute for the word blood.  
The clue to really experiencing chi is that it is easiest to experience as it moves out from the body and connects with the chi of the environment (like tentacles moving out and feeling things). It is the release of energy from the body that is the students first true experience of chi. In order to achieve this release, you must stop fighting yourself. If you are filled with internal tensions and battles, the chi is locked by these battles.
As you end your battles, the chi naturally wants to flow out and connect with the environment. You can then exerience your environment by more than looking and listening. You can vividly feel everything around you. This is not done through purposeful exertion but by letting go of the unneeded internal battles. This process of simplifying your internal behavior allows you to perceive realms of experience you may not even know existed. The result is that the world is greater and makes a lot more sense.
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