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The Essence of T'ai Chi by [Liao, Waysun]
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The Essence of T'ai Chi Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Length: 112 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This pocket book presents the basic principles of the complicated, sophisticated and sometimes mysterious philosophy of T'ai Chi . . . made easy to understand by the author's insightful commentary. . . . A worthy contribution to keeping the spirit of T'ai Chi alive."— East and West Series

About the Author

Master Waysun Liao studied t'ai chi with a wandering Taoist and in a Taoist temple in his native Taiwan from the age of twelve. He is the founder and master of the Taichi Tao Center in Oak Park, Illinois, where he has taught t'ai chi for nearly forty years. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (April 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YF1TJ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful summary of Tai Chi Classics by the same author. My Sifu spoke very highly of Waysun Liao as well as Marshall Ho'o, who's works are also available through Amazon. This book, exactly as it's title says, is the essence of the internal martial art of Tai Chi. As a beginner, I have found it a great companion to the physical aspect of the form. If you are serious about the art/philosophy of Tai Chi, then this is a perfect travel version of an even greater book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not really the best Tai Chi book I've read. The book is far too short to go into any real detail but for a quick overview this is great. Its a smaller book so great for carrying around. Definitely more of a beginner intermediate level book in my opinion. More Philosophy than instruction, for a quick read I'd definitely recommend, but if you're looking for in depth instruction or higher level philosophy this probably isnt the right book for you. A beginner who wants a crash course on the other hand might find a lot to love in this little guy.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a pocket-sized slice of Asian wisdom, succinctly covering the history of Chinese internal martial arts, an explanation of chi theory, some basic internal exercises, and a few excerpted "Tai Chi Classics" by revered masters of the art.

Beginners, dabblers, and advanced students could do worse than spend a few bucks on this book; it costs next to nothing, yet it contains genuine, expert advice in a concentrated form. Good stuff.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book focuses more on the underlying eastern mysticism than the actual practice of Tai Chi. That would have been fine if some link was drawn between the philisophical aspects and the physical movements but there wasn't any connection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything I've been looking for... to link Etheric Energy, Chi, Internal Energy, Meditation... in terms of a Taoist Art of Forms.

There are many names for Internal Energy, many languages to convey infinite concepts...Reading here about the difference between External (Hard, Combative) Martial Arts, and Internal (Soft, Flowing) Martial Arts, pretty much nailed it. A very brief history of Tai Chi, written for English speaking audiences, helped convince me that anyone can do Tai Chi, because many haven't caught on to the hidden history - Tai Chi Masters forced to teach war-like leaders. Thus the Forms can be reclaimed by practitioners willing to do the practical work. A difference between Wu-tang (sp.) and Shaolin practice is explained briefly. Along with Buddhist and Taoist 'philosophies' briefly shared as way of revealing Tai Chi.

Whether this practice of Forms is Traditional Tai Chi, or not, is endlessly debatable; but again, debate is not the point of writing down mystical experiences. Doing, Creating, Becoming the Forms is the point. As the book highlights, some Tai Chi teachers are not capable, or ready, to pass on what they have learned. All this as way of introducing the Three Core texts; essentially, three very old (and short) Tai Chi poetry books.

After the brief history, the book starts early on with practical exercises, which use the poetic sensibilities of the Art of War (Mushashi), and the Art of Peace (Ushiba) in a soft way. Exercises that can deepen us into multidimensional awareness through repeated use. Simply put: the first step is imagination. The second step is belief. The third is letting go... beyond belief into the Mystical Self... Something like that...

The book is a good raft to get us into "Beginninglessness" or "Eternal Energy". All contained in a pocketbook. Nice!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read 73 pages out of 110 this far, and I have been pleasantly impressed: having studied Tai Chi a couple of years by now,I find this book be in harmony with "The meditation in movement"-spirit,that has been often used to describe this science of innerarts exercising. I chose this book much because of it`s cover,which I felt was so convincingly inspiring. I warmly would recommend this book to any sincere wisdom-seeker and to everyone,that is interested of human culture. With warm thanksgivings, Tapio.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Get this book if you are interested in power Taiji based Qigong...I dont mind giveing this book a great review but requiring that the review be a certain number of words...that just annoys me and makes me want to skip doing a review at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book starts out with an admonition against bringing preconceived notions to the text. The author then launches into a tirade against Western religion, and how the Eastern religions are a good alternative. Not that I'm a fan of Western religion, but I'm also not a fan of hypocrisy.

Some of the authors other facts are distorted or inaccurate. When referencing T'ai Chi legends that have been challenged by archeologists he neglects to mention the controversial nature of his opinion, instead just stating it as fact.

His translation of the classics also had some problems. I went over some of them with a friend of mine who got her degree in Classical Chinese Literature from Renmen Daxue, and she found there were some key words translated in ways that were quite misleading.

All in all, I think the author projected his own hopes onto these texts. It is a good book if you want to feel good about Tai Chi and the world around you, but I did not find it particularly helpful if your goal is to master the art.
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