The Song of the Thirteen Postures

  1. Do not take the song of thirteen postures lightly.
    The source of life is in the waist area.
  2. Attention must be paid to the changes of substantial and insubstantial.
    Let the qì flow freely throughout the body.
  3. Calmness precedes the motion and while in motion, calmness remains. Effectiveness is
    demonstrated by adapting to the opponent’s changes.
  4. Using awareness throughout every movement,
    progress comes naturally.
  5. Be aware of the waist at all times.
    Relax the abdomen and the qì will come alive.
  6. Tuck under the tailbone and be conscious of [raise the shén to] the crown of the head.
    If the head is held as though suspended by the crown,
    the body will be agile.
  7. Pay careful attention in your practice of pushing-hands.
    Let the movement of expanding and contracting, opening and closing be natural.
  8. To be shown the route to the [tàijí] door you need oral transmission.
    Through continuous practice and self analysis comes the [tàijí] method.
  9. If asked the principle of the understanding and its application, answer; the yì (mind
    intention) and the qì are the kings, while the flesh and bones are their subjects.
  10. What is the goal of understanding and its application?
    To keep healthy, and have a long life.
  11. This song, this song of one hundred and forty words.
    Every word contains the truth and whole meaning.
  12. If you do not adhere to the above,
    your effort will be in vain and only a sigh will result.