All forms of meditation, though similar in concept, are very different in practice. Buddhists see their meditation as essentially a spiritual process seeking mental liberation and enlightenment. However in Tai Chi, meditation largely takes the form of Chi Kung and is focused on the training of consciousness and the development of the vital energy Chi.
Chi Kung is the second prong of the triad that is traditional Tai Chi Chuan. It is said that whilst the Tai Chi Chuan forms give Chi energy direction and speed, it is Chi Kung that is essential to stimulate, concentrate and develop the Chi in the first place.The words “Chi Kung” are made up of two Chinese characters, namely ‘Chi’ and ‘Kung’. Whilst the literal translation of ‘Chi’ is life energy, force or breath, the meaning behind ‘Kung’ is far less obscure and is usually used to represent work and the work place. Thus together the words Chi Kung can be literally and accurately taken to mean a system that works with Chi.
Chi Kung is part of Tai Chi Chuan, however it is also a separate discipline in its own right, with its own set of Masters that focus exclusively on Chi Kung exercises and their applications. There are many styles of Chi Kung. Whilst the outward expression of some are dynamic and contain movement, others may be static and are thus still in nature. Emphasis can differ between styles of Chi Kung, but essentially the goal is the same. Chi Kung works with Chi, and in its ultimate sense the exercises within its system are used to harness and focus our internal energy.
Apart from Chi Kung, we also used various form practices as a system of meditation. When a form is performed accurately, it radiates an image of perpetual motion within a circular frame. Practitioners are deeply engaged with their practice, unwavered by any distractions and are in a state of moving meditation - mind, body and spirit in perfect balance and harmony. This state of mind is also very important in martial applications of Tai Chi Chuan, thus enabling one to achieve the apparent paradox of effortlessness and tremendously power simultaneously. The words Tai Chi Chuan literally translated mean, “The supreme ultimate fist”.