The Soul of Taiji
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The Soul of Taiji

Zhang Sanfeng-Wu Baolin Taijiquan

 

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Dr. Baolin Wu and Michael McBride
245 Pages
March 2020
ISBN 978-1-931483-43-8

Description

This tells the story of Master Wu Baolin and how he came to learn Daoist taijiquan from his teacher, Master Du Xinling, at the White Cloud Monastery in Beijing. It introduces the original practice of taijiquan to the outside world, pristinely preserved. Zhang Sanfeng Taijiquan goes back seven generations, starting with Zhang Sanfeng, the founder of the Wudang Sect (a subsect of the Complete Reality School), and continuing through Zhang Daishan and other senior Daoist lineage holders.

Daoist taijiquan adheres to roundness, which symbolizes movement and exercise as well as the key to opening the mysterious life gate. It guides —and encourages us —to a better path, giving our days fulfillment and joy. Among the myriad forms of taijiquan, Zhang Sanfeng taijiquan is singular in that it is practiced in only one direction, following the rotation of the earth, the direction of the winds, the turning of the stars, and the shapes of the planets. The universe is vast and unknown, but according to Yijing, the classic divination text, the universe itself is round. By observing and practicing Daoist taijiquan, one’s self reflects and becomes integrated with the roundness of the universe.

In this rare unveiling, Master Wu, one of only five students to learn this set from Master Du, shares his insights and the secrets to enhancing one’s practice and self-cultivation. It’s an account that is hard-won by over sixty years of training experience. The potentiality of Daoist taijiquan is discussed in great detail, including its health benefits, effects on self-preservation, ability to extend longevity, as well as the path it offers to immortality. We are currently living in an age when the original meaning and intention of our history is at risk of disintegrating and disappearing. With new schools and even universities of taijiquan cropping up everywhere, dilution and misdirection are a growing concern. In order to counterbalance this trend, the original works of Zhang Sanfeng are set here today. May his teachings lead us back to Dao.

Praise

"Taijiquan is a form of health preserving exercise worthy of
promotion. Learning  taijiquan from Dr. Wu is probably the best thing
one can do for oneself."
—Christoph Waltz, Actor, Academy Award Winner

"The Soul of Taiji is a beautifully written and scholarly work. It
offers a comprehensive and elegantly illustrated instructional section
for the student as well as a thorough exposition of the philosophy
that underlies the practice. The story of Dr. Wu’s journey to mastery
is fascinating and inspiring."
—Allan Kreiger, M.D., Ophthalmology, UCLA Medical Center

The Authors

Dr. Wu Baolin is a senior master of Daoist taijiquan, Chinese medicine and qi cultivation. From an early age he learned the most comprehensive system of taijiquan, studying with Master Du Xinling, a legendary Wudang fighting monk, and abbot of the White Cloud Monastery, which for almost a thousand years has been one of the most respected centers in China for the study and practice of Daoist philosophy, medicine and martial arts. Daoist style taijiquan is comprised of three main components: martial arts, qigong, and Yijing (Book of Changes) philosophy, a supreme health and longevity practice. Dr. Wu’s achievements in the three categories, rank him one of the monastery’s highest initiates. In addition, Dr. Wu Baolin is an expert in Daoist swordplay, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, Chinese herbal medicine, and more, reaching the highest pinnacle, making accurate predictions and excelling in martial practice.

Dr. Wu is nationally recognized as an authority in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also has a thorough understanding of Western Medicine, as evidenced by his training and experience. Dr. Wu received his medical degrees from the most esteemed schools in China. He graduated from the National College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, holds a master’s degree from the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and became an Attending Physician at Guang An Men Hospital (China’s foremost combination Western/Chinese medical institution). Several years later, he went to Japan to take part in government-sponsored research and earned his PhD. in Neurophysiology from prestigious Kyoto University. He then served as Director of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine at Takua Hospital in Kildore, Japan.

To understand Dr. Baolin Wu’s excellence in his field, one must go beyond academic credentials. He hails from one of the most prominent medical families in China. His renowned ancestor Qian Wu, an imperial doctor of the Qing Dynasty, was the author of “The Mirror of Medicine”, the encyclopedia work that stands today with the “Materia Medica” (1590) as the basis for all modern Chinese medicine. Xi Zhi Wu, Dr. Wu’s paternal grandfather, was the personal physician of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. Dr. Wu’s mastery has been shaped by the wisdom of seven generations, passed down to him by his family. In addition, the Daoist principles instilled in his young days have given Dr. Wu a sensitivity towards his patients as well as a holistic understanding of the nature of healing.

After working as a physician at Guang'anmen Hospital in Beijing for many years, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1990. Since then, Master Wu has served as a teacher of Daoist exercise and TCM practitioner in Santa Monica, Calif. He has three earlier books:The Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword of Pure Yang (Three Pines Press 2011), Qi Gong for Total Wellness: Increase your Energy, Vitality and Longevity with the Ancient 9 Palaces System from the White Cloud Monastery (St. Martin's Press, 2006), and Lighting the Eye of the Dragon: Inner Secrets of Taoist Feng Shui (St. Martin's Press, 2000). See https://beijingchinesemedicalcenter.com/

Michael McBride is a native of Los Angeles. For the past 24 years, has studied the Daoist arts under the guidance of Master Wu Baolin. He trained in qigong, taijiquan, Daoist swordplay and Chinese medical massage. He has traveled extensively in and around China for more than two decades. He is a coauthor of The Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword of Pure Yang (Three Pines Press 2011).