Ba gua circle walking refers to the ancient Chinese Taoist practice of circle walking for meditation and vibrant energy. It refers also to the more recent martial art of baguazhang. It refers also to the ancient oracle of the I ching.
What is circle walking?
Circle walking is a complete meditation and physical exercise method that incorporates central themes such as rest as the foundation of movement, movement as the potential of rest. It is a method rich in the cultivation of receptivity to the way things are directly perceived inside and outside the body as the foundation for a valid creative and personal process. The physical practice is based in walking a circle. Specific stepping methods are used that work deeply into the tissues of the body and affecting the way energy moves and altering the body’s predisposition towards learnt habit patterns that restrict energy flow. It uses adherence to form as the way to abandon form and incorporate change energetically with wisdom rather than through emotions and habit patterns based in preferences to limited perception of the truth of the characteristic of change. Instead of seeing change as tending towards the good or the bad, it is seen as a complex compound beyond good or bad, incorporating the basic components of all phenomena.
What is ba gua zhang?
Ba guazhang is the more modern martial form of circle walking. It is a hybrid between the Taoist monastic circle walking practice and Taoist internal martial arts. Since its introduction to the west it has been taken up increasingly by practitioners for its health enhancing, meditative and enjoyment potential.
Relationship to the I ching.
Circle walking ba gua provides the direct perception potential of the philosophy and ontology of the I ching. Rather than learn about the principles of change, they are directly perceived through our intuition and experience while practicing circle walking. The I ching discreetly proposes unbiased understanding of the characteristics of change. Unbiased change is subject to the highest natural laws and innate higher intelligence. The practice of circle walking ba gua gives direct experience of the truth of the function of higher intelligence. Through repeatedly looking at the characteristics of change, we become emotionally more stable,mentally more clear, physically less prone to fatigue.
Modern day application and usefulness
The 21st century sees rapid and often radical changes affecting lifestyle, moods, needs and emotions. All meditation practices go some way towards helping us deal with change. Circle walking ba gua is a highly potent and easy to learn method that provides rapid insight into change. What appears to be a difficult period of transition can be seen equally in its corresponding form of a positive period. When we enter what we perceive as a period of positive change, it is equally important to be appraised of the potential difficulty. It is not a dualistic ‘either or’ in change. It is seeing change with wisdom, becoming aligned with change to realise personal potential without reference to subjectivity that clouds judgement and affects levels of happiness and moods.
Ba gua circle walking is fun
Walking a circle at various speeds, holding and changing postures, moving in and out of types of changes based on the eight trigrams of the I ching, ba gua presents a meditation method-essentially a means to use the external and internal worlds-to examine change and our response to it. Ba gua is fun. There is form, the form can be abandoned. There is speed, it can be undertaken slowly. It can be undertaken in stillness. The pleasure that can be derived from learning or practicing circle walking ba gua in a group is unrivaled. You will understand without thinking. Wisdom will arise without the need for it to be created. You will have fun without trying.