Song of Form Play
8.1 From outside to inside,
8.2 Complex to simple;
8.3 Mind to no-mind,
8.4 No me, no you.
Continuing from On Learning : Sub-Topic 1.2g here.
SFP 8.1 & SFP 8.2 - this has two meanings. The first meaning refers to how you learn Tai Chi.
When you first learn Tai Chi your movements are crude, big, inaccurate. You are like an outsider to the style.
However, with the passing of time and sufficient practice you will become skilled. You will then enter the gate of real Tai Chi skill. In this sense you have stepped from outside the gate to inside the gate of mastery.
With mastery you will also be able to reduce complex movements to seemingly simple movements. Instead of having to take six steps to complete a movement you can now do the six steps in two steps.
The second meaning is specific to how we practice Grandmaster Wei Shuren's Tai Chi. This method is also found in the 8-step Health Form.
In the context of Grandmaster Wei's Tai Chi the phrase "From outside to inside" is referring to the use of a mental visualization tool to enhance our power by not developing the skill from inside to outside but from outside to inside.
Below is a depiction of how this skill is developed :-
When you have practiced this skill countless time then you will reach a stage of emptiness. At this point your natural power will emerge.
SFP 8.3 & SFP 8.4 - this is an outcome of practicing the skill mentioned above. When your can focus in spite of external distraction this is when you have real focus. This is also when your mind and body can flow.
At the stage of transparency your body will experience a sense of emptiness. This emptiness will prove useful later when you learn to neutralize and issue in the same movement, for example, when you use the 5 bows model to fajing.
Though I can probably write a few more lines on this, I feel this is something best left to the individual practitioner to feel for himself (or herself). Certain things are best left wordless.
If you have the interest to find out the truth of this for yourself consider taking up our online training here.