内功 - 我的老师黄性贤的太极点滴
Internal Cultivation - Aspects of the Taiji of Master Huang Xingxian
Patrick A Kelly, 2015
Master Huang Xingxian (1909-1993, born Fujou, China, later lived in Kuching, Malaysia) practiced and taught Taiji with a depth and subtlety seldom seen in recent times. I first trained his Taiji in 1973 and continued closely with him until his death 20 years later. For the benefit of those who, choose to make some effort to follow his teachings, I would like to pass on something of his teaching style and details of the most important aspects of his Taiji.
Throughout his life he constantly refined and evolved his methods – just like his teacher Grandmaster Zheng Manqing who labeled himself "The Old Child who never tires of Learning". Having worked hard to achieve his own understanding, Master Huang did not give away his methods easily but preferred to give hints, then leaving people to succeed or fail according to their own intelligent practice. While initially suspicious of Westerners he gradually warmed to my presence, later emphasising to all that success at Taiji was completely independent of race. He strongly believed in the importance of personal effort saying, "Life is difficult and even when we become older it does not necessarily get any easier, but effort and the progress that comes from it is always fully worthwhile."
Though Master Huang was very much a martial artist in his younger days, he listened to his teacher Grandmaster Zheng Manqing who having explained that Taijiquan has both a martial side and an internal cultivation side, pronounced, "The martial art aspect of Taijiquan is useful but not important". In his later years Master Huang predictably often began his long talks to the students with, "Taijiquan, bu shi wushu (Taijiquan is not a martial art)", at other times stating, "I teach Taiji, not Taijiquan." Privately to myself he went further declaring over supper one evening, "Taiji is not important – the Dao is important." Set enigmatically against this leaning towards internal cultivation was his remarkable, fully tested seldom matched, martial arts skill. It was particularly for the quality and strength of his internal power (Taiji Jin) that master Huang was known and respected throughout the martial art world. In fact I travelled the world widely meeting many Taiji teachers but none compared in martial skill to Master Huang, except perhaps the Wu style master Ma Yueliang of Shanghai, son-in-law of Wu Jianquan. Even then, while on the more important level of the mind and beyond their ability was similar, on the level of the body Master Huang's movement was distinctly softer and more subtle.
而什么是与"外力"对应的"内劲"呢？可以从两个方面来理解。首先，"外力"即为仅用自身外部意识运力使肌肉收缩，使得头脑中的"动"与身体实际产生的动作之间建立微妙的联系。这一过程可以通过不断重复被强化和优化，但仍是停留在一个无意识层面上的。与之相反的是，"内劲"中包括有意识地加强和提炼"意-动"和能量传递的过程，同时将最少的注意力放在加强肌肉方面。换句话说就是，"外力"为在外部身体运动层面上使用意识和意图（由要获取的欲望产生），而"内劲"则为在能量领域和微妙的身体进程层面上（两者本身就导致外部运动）使用意识和意图（由深层次的和清晰的意念努力产生）。但是更进一步讲，在习练福建白鹤拳中生成的内劲是不同于通过正确习练太极而发出的内劲的，其中的不同之处则类似于掷一支矛（白鹤拳）与射一支箭（太极）之间的差异。当习拳者用内劲掷一支矛的时候，其运用清晰的意念力感知并传输强力和能量，最终结果便是产生强劲的肌肉收缩来延伸手臂并将矛有力投出。然而在射箭（此处我们将习拳者的身体比作弓）的时候，身体通过动量（从之前的任一运动得来），惯性（我们自身的质量和对方的质量）和我们接收到的对方的力（拦截）的集合挤压于地面之上。在此过程中肌肉如同弓弦一般进行伸展, 强力和能量在此弹性状态下完成瞬时存蓄, 随后便能如离铉之箭般释放。我们可以在习拳过程中运用对细微事物的意识来对其进行感知和引导，那么最终将能达成对太极弹劲的深度理解。
What is internal power as opposed to external power? This can be understood in two ways. Firstly external power is simply the superficial mind contracting the muscles with some effort where the subtle processes that occur, between the thought of moving and the movement actually appearing, are strengthened and refined by repetition but remain on an unconscious level. Conversely internal power involves consciously strengthening and refining these intermediate mind and energy processes, while paying only minimal attention to the strengthening of the muscles themselves. That is, external power involves using awareness and intention (generated by the desire to achieve) on the level of external body movement, while internal power involves using awareness and intention (generated by a deep and clear effort of will) on the level of the energy field and subtle body processes (which themselves produce the external movement). But further, the internal power that may be developed in say, Fujian White Crane, is different from the internal power developed through the correct training of Taiji. This may be compared to the difference between throwing a spear (White Crane) and shooting an arrow (Taiji). When throwing a spear with internal power, while the forces and energy are listened to and directed with a clear effort of the mind, the end result is a strong contraction of the muscles to extend the arm and push out the spear. However in shooting an arrow (the analogy is of the body as the bow) the body is pressed against the ground by a combination of momentum (from previous movement), inertia (of our body's mass and the partner's mass) and that component of the partners forces which we accept (intercept). During this process the muscles stretch like the fibres of the bow and the forces and energies are stored for a short moment within this elastic condition, then released like the shooting of an arrow. Using subtle awareness to perceive and direct this process ultimately leads to deep understanding of the Taiji-elastic-jin.
When speaking of the Taiji Form Master Huang emphasised relaxing the body, listening deeply and using Yi to direct the subtle processes and internal forces within the body and energy field (Qi). When discussing the Taiji Pushing-hands he linked these with the concept of timing. Timing was the one English word that Master Huang used regularly in his teaching. There is timing in our own body as the subtle movements, forces, energy and mind move through the body. There is also timing in the interrelation of these processes in our partner and our self.
黄大师所说的松身的过程包括三个阶段：松，沉，空。"松"是把身体外在的力量解除，"沉"是让内在的力量上升，"空"是用心最深处那部分去指引内在力量。明白怎么放松身体是足够简单的，但是要达到一种高境界需要很多年的练习。在肌肉紧缩去开始一个动作之后，它们会放松，身体则随着动作的势头继续，最后轻轻落在地上。第二个阶段，"沉"，理解起来会更加困难。它并不是仅仅意味着在下压地面的过程中能量场（气）和身体的稳定，也可能是完全相反的情况 – 体内深处处于弹性状态的强力和能量不断凝聚增强，并最终取代了随着身体放松而逐渐弱去的外力。理解第三个阶段，"空"，则更为困难。因为这并不仅仅是指平复个人内心习惯性产生的浅层无意识思绪，尽管这确实是身外习拳训练的早期阶段。我们需要铭记这样一句道教短语：'空的虚空不是真正的虚空；充满虚空才是真正的虚空 （空非真空，非空即空）'。就像人体的放松能够使得力和能量得以成长和起效一样，这些力量和能量的集中可以引起人内心深处的提升强化（深念，空念或'心念'），在正确的训练下能够逐年提高。然后心智深处所产生的意念开始掌控能量场、微妙力量以及身体本身。
The process of relaxing Master Huang explained more deeply as having 3 phases, loosening, sinking and emptying (Sung, Chen, Kung) – loosening concerns removing the external force of the body, sinking concerns the arising of the internal force, while emptying concerns the directing of these internal forces from a deep part of the mind. To understand loosening of the body is easy enough although to achieve it to a high level requires many years. After the muscles contract to initiate a movement, they relax and the body moves on due to momentum, falling slightly to the ground in the process. To understand the second phase of sinking is more difficult. It does not simply mean a settling of the energy and body as it presses onto the ground, but perhaps the exact opposite – the arising and intensifying of elastic forces and energy on a deeper level which replace the external strength simultaneously drained away by the loosening of the body. The third phase, the emptying of the mind, is even more difficult to understand. Again this does not mean the quietening down of the automatic superficial thoughts that habitually invade an untrained persons mind, though this does represent an early stage of the external training. Remember the Daoist phrase: "The Void that is empty is not the real Void. The Void that is full is the real Void." Just as the loosening of the body allows forces and energies to grow and work within it, so the concentration on these forces and energies gives rise to the strengthening of a deeper part of the mind (the Deep Mind, Empty Mind or 'Mind within the Mind') that arises gradually over the years with correct training. Then the Yi that issues forth from this deeper aspect of the mind takes control of the energies and subtle forces along with the body itself.
要理解和实践松体的3阶段过程也就是理解和实践心念的过程。 黄师傅在他晚年的生活中，为了要（让我们）开始实践心念，用夜晚入眠的比喻明确地讲述了如何清闭每日的肤浅意识，然后再用随之产生的深层意识去掌控内心的习练。心念作用于正常生活的外部层面（存在于物理环境中的浅表心智）以及其3个内部层面（人，地，天的水平中的深度心念）。在内心习练过程中，心念最初先向内开启并稳定在身体的深层意识中。随后它被调整到体内运力（太极弹性劲）的中间状态。最后，它与精、气和神（个人能量场的3个层级）一起进入个人能量场。此外，心智的三相 - 意识（听劲），意图（意）和智慧 都分别作用于上面提到的每一个层面上。其外部体现则是神经系统上的感觉神经（意识），运动神经（意向）和处理神经元（智力）一起运作从而控制身体。
To understand and practice the 3 phase process of relaxing is to understand and practice the mind. To initiate the practice of the mind Master Huang, in his later life, talked explicitly of closing down the superficial daily awareness just as when we go to sleep at night, then using the deeper consciousness that arises to manage the internal training. The mind simultaneously functions on the external level of normal life (superficial mind within the physical world) and on each of its 3 internal levels (Deep Mind within the levels of Man, Earth and Heaven). During the process of internal training initially the mind is turned inwards and stabilised on a deeper sense of the body. Later it is tuned in to the intermediate level of the forces that operate in the body (Taiji-elastic-jin). Finally it is tuned to the personal energy field with its 3 levels – Jing, Qi and Shen. Further, mind has a triple aspect – awareness (Tingjin), intention (Yi) and intelligence – which operate on each of the above levels. This is reflected externally in the nervous system where it is understood that there are sensory nerves (awareness), motor nerves (intention) and processing neurons (intelligence), all working together to control the physical body.
为了进一步了解意识（听劲）听在动作的第一个水平中和在中间内在力量的水平,我们必须知道,我们有5大外部官能（视觉，听觉，嗅觉，味觉和触摸）用于感知外部世界，因而我们也有内部的官能（可以简单地归为5类）感知我们的内心世界。这些物理上存在的传感器或神经末梢类型有 - 疼痛传感器，关节位置传感器，肌肉态传感器，压力传感器和温度传感器。温度传感器和疼痛传感器不直接参与正常运动，使得所有动作受关节位置,肌肉形态和压力传感器所调节（对于在潜意识层面未受过训练的人）。因此，要培养听劲，得慢慢地从5个外部感官重新传递意识到这3个内部传感器。在训练太极架势的准确位置时, 要把精力集中在关节位置传感器。要训练肌肉的变化，一开始紧缩然后放松再伸展和释放伸展，注意力集中于肌肉状态传感器。最初训练对地面的脚上压力和双手对抗同伴的压力，而后身体内部深处的压力特别是在与周围的骨盆碗和腰部的压力，集中于压力传感器。这3大培训都有效得引导对身体热场（热场通常被误认为是气本身）的认识。
To further understand awareness (Tingjin) both in the sense of listening on the first level of body movement and the intermediate level of internal forces, it is necessary to know that just as we have 5 external senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) for perceiving the external world, so we have internal senses (which can be conveniently grouped into 5) for perceiving our internal world. These physically existing sensors or nerve ending types are – pain sensors, joint-position sensors, muscle-state sensors, pressure sensors and temperature sensors. Temperature sensors and pain sensors are not directly involved in normal movements, leaving all actions to be regulated (on a subconscious level for untrained people) by the joint-position, muscle-state and pressure sensors. So to train Tingjin means to slowly redirect awareness from the 5 external senses to these 3 internal sensors. The effort to train the accurate positions in the Taiji Form focuses on the joint-position sensors. To train the muscle changes of, initially contracting and releasing then later stretching and un-stretching, focuses on the muscle-state sensors. To train initially the pressure of the feet against the ground and the pressure of the hands against the partner, then later the pressures that develop deeply inside the body but especially in and around the pelvic bowl and waist, focuses on the pressure sensors. Training these 3 will inevitably lead also to awareness of the heat field of the body (often mistaken for the Qi itself).
要获得对意向(气)更深度的理解, 因而在强化和精炼的训练也是更难的一步. 说到意，黄大师通常引用经典的教法："心（心是存在的深度核心，而不是自然情感）生意（传统中文= 意向或者意愿）。意推动气。气动而身随。由于随着正确发展的意，力量上升，马岳梁大师解释锻炼意的历史性方法是，"只私密传教于内部学校的极少数能真正理解的大师们"。训练意也涉及到比听劲更多直接的努力，就如同激活肌肉比感知感官信息需要更多的努力。最重要的是，我们首先通过集中在身体的或者外部的一个点强化意，因而将我们的力量引导至那个点。为了提高，我们用一条或直或曲的光线取代点，然后为了进一步提高，我们再用变化的球体来取代线，伸至手臂的长度或更加超出，即刻包括了所有的点和线。最终的球体是一个心灵，能量和所有可能的身体运动相结合的独特空间。为了由内在水平定义和深化意，记得意是产生于在意识水平形成的那一刻就非常重要。
To gain a deeper understanding of intention (Yi) and the training involved in its strengthening and refinement is more difficult again. In speaking of the Yi Master Huang usually quoted the classical saying: "The heart (Xin = deep core of being, not emotional nature) generates Yi (classical Chinese = intention or will). The Yi moves the Qi. When the Qi moves the body follows. Because of the increase in power arising from the correct development of the Yi, the methods of training Yi have historically been, as Master Ma Yueliang explained, "taught in secret to members of the inner-schools of the few masters who understood it." Training the Yi involves more direct effort than training Tingjin, just as to activate the muscles requires more effort than to be aware of sensory information. Essentially we strengthen the Yi first by concentrating on a point either within the body or later outside, while directing our power towards that point. To refine this we replace the point with a line of light either straight or later curved. To refine it further we replace the line with the changing sphere, extending to arm's length or a little beyond, which simultaneously includes all points and all lines. This final sphere is the unique space in which mind, energy and all possible body movements merge. In order to refine and deepen the emerging Yi, through the internal levels, it is important to remember that the Yi issues from the level on which the awareness is centred at that moment.
The result of the training of awareness and intention on each of the levels is the development of the third aspect of the mind, intelligence, on each of those levels. Just as a baby through making great (semi-conscious) efforts to walk while using (semi-conscious) awareness to monitor the results gradually develops the moving intelligence and consequent ability to walk and move externally in complex ways, so in Taiji the conscious efforts (intentions) combined with conscious awareness on each of the levels builds intelligence, on each of those levels. Intelligence (understanding, or inner being) cannot be worked on directly, neither does it grow satisfactorily simply by training awareness alone. Intelligence, the most important aspect of the mind, develops only through the conscious interaction of awareness and intention.
训练太极架势发展内在力量。训练太极推手发展运用内在力量的敏锐性。在每一个阶段和水平，随着智力的提升，你内在已经所得到的一切都可以被更好得通过推手同伴得到延伸。在讨论太极推手和微妙过程中的时间以及力量（太极劲），黄师傅经常提起经典的说法：粘，连，黏，随 -- 不丢，不顶。
While training the Taiji Form develops internal strength. Training the Taiji Pushing-hands develops the sensitivity to apply that internal strength. At each stage and on every level, as the intelligence increases, whatever has been achieved inside yourself can be extended through your partner in the Taiji Pushing-hands. While discussing the Taiji Pushing-hands and the timing of the subtle processes and forces (Taiji-jin), Master Huang most often recalled the classical injunction: Zhan, Lien, Nian, Sui – bu dang, bu ding. This can be translated as Touch, connect, merge and follow – don't resist, don't let go. While this is best learnt through physical practice with those who understand it themselves, I can point out that 'Touch' corresponds to movement and the muscle state of contracting, 'Connect' corresponds to loosening and the muscle state of relaxing, 'Merge' corresponds to sinking and the muscle state of stretching, while 'Follow' corresponds to 'Empty' and the muscle state of un-stretching. These 4 taken along with 'bu dang, bu ding' form the 5 elements (Wuxing).
我们能给予黄大师在传播和发展太极方面付出的不懈努力的最大感激，便是精炼，升华和传播他的方法。希望我针对黄老师教学方法中深层面知识的简短总结可以起到一定的推动作用。太极是道教艺术的精华，不论是将它视作一门实践性防身术，一门运用能量流转的强身术，还是一门以提升精神而达到内心永生的高雅艺术，我们都不能失去这样一种扎根极深的传统。如果你问我这40年的太极习拳之旅是否能够确认达成"内心永生"的可能性，我的回答绝对是"完全有可能"，因为理论上来讲，谁都可以达到。但是实际上来说，只有那些准备好用一生的努力去迎接正确引导的人才有机会做到 — 所以就让我们跟随黄大师的足迹，一起延续太极之路！
The best thanks we can offer Master Huang for his tremendous effort in spreading and developing Taiji is to refine, evolve and spread his methods. I hope my small summary above of some of the deeper aspects of his teaching can help to stimulate that. Taiji is a Daoist art of great refinement. Don't lose that deep tradition – whether as a physical art for self-defence, as a health promoting art through the circulation of fluids and energy, or as a high art of spiritual development leading to immortality within the inner realms. If you ask me whether my 40 years of practice confirms this possibility of immortality then I must answer that it is completely true, theoretically accessible to all, but practically speaking available only to those prepared to make the lifelong effort while receiving the correct guidance – thereby following the disappearing footsteps of Master Huang's trodden Way.