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The view from the top… where are your eyes during Tai Chi and Qigong?

June 19, 2019

I am sure there are many differing opinions on the subject of the eyes in regard to Tai Chi and Qigong practice.

My first sensei taught me his take on it and it seems to work fine for me and those I teach.

In essence,  I teach to keep the eyes looking straight ahead in direction the head turns.

Now remember,  the head turns in relation to the core, which turns in relation to the lower dantien.  In simple terms, from the waist up,  everything turns at once, as a unit.

I find a lot of my students do what I did when I was new.  As I turned from the dantien I turned my head first as if to see where I was going to go.  It took some time to train myself to relax and lose that desire to look ahead.

It was funny.

I trained myself to stop turning my head but my desire to “know what was coming” was strong.  I used darting eyes to glance sideways to look ahead and then back forward.  My vision bounced yet I saw little due to the battle I was fighting.

As I was saying to a group just this morning,  try this:

First make sure you feel safe and comfortable. Eliminate the need to see if anything is “there”.

You can use cloud hands or even simpler,  just turn without use of hands and arms.

Standing upright, using your core turn as slowly as you can to a corner.  Your belly,  chest, shoulder and head, including your eyes,  all moving together.  Turn slowly to one side, back to center, and to the other side

Relax your eyes

Relax your thoughts

See all that passes before your vision but don’t focus on any one thing

Simply let your eyes see.

Try this a few times to each side, breathing gently, adding in a soft weight shift as you move from side to side.

Allow your body to absorb your surroundings. Take it in while staying unfocused.  A wakeful, moving meditation, focusing on the breath and gentle swaying turn of your body.

Feel the relaxation and just be in moment of life passing through your eyes.




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