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Thursday, March 24, 2011


Bubbling Well

The Bubbling Well is a balance, weight, and energetic point located in the sole of the foot, slightly in front of the arch and centered from side to side. In the meridian system it is the same as the Kidney 1 point.
The importance of this point in T'ai Chi practice is multi-faceted. In terms of a postural and balance guide, the idea is that when the weight falls properly on this point one has aligned the weight of the upper body correctly in respect to the base of the lower body. The feeling of this correct alignment is that the foot, even of a weight bearing leg, should be soft and relaxed. It's interesting to note that most of our muscular usage (some tests say as much as 80%) is compensation for poor balance. So as our balance and posture improve, we become more efficient in our muscular use, not only conserving energy, but also freeing the body to move which is a prime contributor to the strength element in T'ai Chi. The awareness of the desired feeling of the foot being soft and relaxed is one of the most important indicators of this correct body relationship.
On the energetic level, the Bubbling Well represents the gate that either permits or inhibits the "Earth Chi" from rising up and entering the body. One again the prime factor here is balance. If the balance is good, the foot relaxes and the energy is permitted to flow into the body. If the balance is poor and the foot is tense, then the energy is blocked. This actually describes a very important aspect of T'ai Chi both as a martial art and a personal growth tool. The importance of Chi § or vitality is understood in all aspects of the practice, but the quality that ultimately determines how much Chi one accesses is not force or effort or desire, but balance. So one can only draw the amount of energy that one is capable of using well.
Grandmaster Cheng, Man-ching taught that T'ai Chi Ch'uan was the study of what he called the "Three Treasures" § which were the Bubbling Well, the Tan t'ien, § and the crown of the head. The Bubbling Well is our earth connection where we establish that quality referred to a having "root". So in many respects, this is the foundation of our practice and must be given much consideration and emphasis. 




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