The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Kelley Graham on Thu Apr 21, 2022 5:45 pm

Excerpt from https://sifuondemand.com/gravitas
Initially, practitioners must notice that a heavy mind, such as in those who cultivate gravitas, is exactly the opposite of the lightness of mind required to separate bones and meat. If you find yourself in a grim and serious state regarding your NeiJia practice, stop it. Progressing requires that you walk the finest of lines between great effort and lightness of mind.

Curious about other views of Light Yi and Separate Bones and Meat.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby everything on Thu Apr 21, 2022 6:03 pm

don't understand the question or distinction, but will offer some random comments.

for "deliberate practice" for learning anything (for math, golf, tennis, qigong, neigong, neijia, data science, finance, painting, guitar, whatever), there is a certain mind state in "focused mode" that is more helpful. maybe it's the state that meditation helps with to be able to have quickly. perhaps this is some of "shen".

for neigong and neijia, yi>qi is basicallly instantaneous after a small beginner phase, even as a beginner.

thinking relax this, relax that can be much more difficult and slow. yoga seems way better for this. but in the moment, that is "unfolding", don't see why the mentality cannot be "light". people get a little too caught up on specific tissues, but perhaps that is what they really need in that moment or phase.

for Jin: I don't have this that I'm aware of in any repeatable, non-trivial way.

so shen->yi->qi->jin should be "focused" and "instant". I have no idea about heavy or light, bones or muscle.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby wayne hansen on Thu Apr 21, 2022 6:15 pm

Light heavy hard soft
After a little training they are all one
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Ad_B on Thu Apr 21, 2022 11:03 pm

Is "separate bones and meat" an idiom?....similar to "seperate wheat from chaff or sheep from goats" in the context of the question?

If it is then I have a thought re: "Initially, practitioners must notice that a heavy mind, such as in those who cultivate gravitas, is exactly the opposite of the lightness of mind required to separate bones and meat. If you find yourself in a grim and serious state regarding your NeiJia practice, stop it. Progressing requires that you walk the finest of lines between great effort and lightness of mind. "

My job is walking a lot but with 100% situational and self awareness and my learning and practice has been to improve and survive that and this very question is one that's bugged me gravely and with great gravitas so thank you Kelley for positing the question.

It bothers me that many of the classics I've read mention training 'lightness of mind and body' whilst photos and videos of practitioners seem to suggest a significant lack of that (except Cheng Man-ch'ing....he's always smiling) and it doesn't make sense to me.

I know that if I'm working with a 'grim determination' or even neutral mindset then the gait is heavier and the work is harder than it needs to be. By consciously activating the parasympathetic nervous system, getting a dose of endorphins, seratonin, dopamine or what-not and straightening the architecture....and smiling, the work becomes lighter, easier and more productive (less injuries and fewer mistakes).

The bloke Mantak Chia nearly put me off ever studying these art since rightly or wrongly (I don't know) he set off my anti-charlatan spidey-sense at a time when I was evaluating these arts but I've taken from his 'inner smile' and there have been allusions to that sort of thing from other sources.

Anecdotally, I've trained it and tried it in my secular pseudo-IMA/ZZ/TJQ etc situation and the benefits are like the difference between night and day.

Don't we get what we train for?

Q: Does it come down to 'training to be cheerful' as an energising 'wuji' default starting-point to which we return ourselves just as much as we center and realign throughout the practise or daily grind?

I found it worthwhile to Stretch out and back, relax 'songfully', moisten the mouth (as in seated baduanjin 'swim the dragon) moisten the eyes, swallow and smile throughout the day by way of resetting the biology and psychology.

I've read that by making a smile we can signal to ourselves that everything is O.K despite the stresses of work-a-day life signalling the opposite and that this affects our blood-pressure and digestion etc since those things operate in darkness and only have the neural signals from the brain to know what going on......sort of thing. That a smile can act as a bit of a biohack. It makes sense to me as an ill educated layman.

Heavy heart/light heart?....everybody knows there's a difference?

"If you find yourself in a grim and serious state regarding your NeiJia practice, stop it. Progressing requires that you walk the finest of lines between great effort and lightness of mind"

Personally I'd agree.
Last edited by Ad_B on Thu Apr 21, 2022 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Bao on Fri Apr 22, 2022 12:00 am

"Curious about other views of Light Yi and Separate Bones and Meat."

What practical implications does it have?

How do you practically train this?
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby LaoDan on Fri Apr 22, 2022 5:20 am

I don’t think that “separate bones and meet” is a common idiom and it would need to be explained. I am assuming that it may be referring to the skeleton providing the upward structure for the body which allows the muscles to relax and hang downward??? I do not use the idiom, so I cannot really comment without its meaning being clarified.

Is “light yi” referencing the opposite of “heavy mind”? Is “cultivate gravitas” more referencing shen rather than yi? Is the question related to how shen and yi relate to each other, and how they influence the physical body?

The entire post is rather unclear to me.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby origami_itto on Fri Apr 22, 2022 6:23 am

LaoDan wrote:I don’t think that “separate bones and meet” is a common idiom and it would need to be explained. I am assuming that it may be referring to the skeleton providing the upward structure for the body which allows the muscles to relax and hang downward??? I do not use the idiom, so I cannot really comment without its meaning being clarified.

Is “light yi” referencing the opposite of “heavy mind”? Is “cultivate gravitas” more referencing shen rather than yi? Is the question related to how shen and yi relate to each other, and how they influence the physical body?

The entire post is rather unclear to me.


Yes I believe your assumption is correct here and he is referring to the Bones Go Up, Meat Goes Down idea.

Regarding the lightness of Yi. I believe it does have something to do with Shen as well, the Shen with which we approach a given task.

I think it is easier to pick up on in weapons/object training, particularly in accuracy and target training. Bringing too heavy a vibe to the concentration blocks performance. There's like a goldilocks zone, as always, where you need to be gathered and focused but not so much so that you are stiff and sluggish. You want to be clear about your intention but get out of your way and let the heart strike the target, so to speak, but that's not a Taijiquan idea per se that I'm aware of.

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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Kelley Graham on Fri Apr 22, 2022 9:38 am

LaoDan wrote:I don’t think that “separate bones and meet” is a common idiom and it would need to be explained. I am assuming that it may be referring to the skeleton providing the upward structure for the body which allows the muscles to relax and hang downward??? I do not use the idiom, so I cannot really comment without its meaning being clarified.

Is “light yi” referencing the opposite of “heavy mind”? Is “cultivate gravitas” more referencing shen rather than yi? Is the question related to how shen and yi relate to each other, and how they influence the physical body?

The entire post is rather unclear to me.


Thanks for your comments. 'Separate Left and Right' is dependent first on 'Separate Bones and Meat'. Also, it is true that, 'While The Bones May Rise and The Bones May Sink, the Meat Always Remains Sunk'.

I look at it - and these are my own words - 'Heavy Yi Brings Wild Qi, while Light Yi Reveals Mild Qi'. The problem for the beginner is that the only Qi that can be perceived is Wild Qi. The underlying body-mind confusion from conflicting assumptions or 'unclear yi' about the intention of training creates noise within movement. Wild Qi is just able to overcome that noise and be subjectively perceived as various 'subtle energy circulations'.

Relevant Excerpt from https://sifuondemand.com/gravitas:

As for a concrete training methodology, there are several requirements during practice. What movement you choose doesn't matter, although certain movements help. In order of dependency:

Clearly distinguish Shen ( Refined Warrior Spirit ) from Yi. This takes some meditative work, but with the Standing Mental Model it becomes clear that these feelings arise from different sensory networks. Confusing the two leads to 'Heavy Yi and Wild Qi'.

In general, this means do not strive for any positive outcome.

1) Notice the interactions between Shen and Yi->Qi. Avoid anything that imparts Heavy-ness.
2) Be intentional, intentional learning in this context means your expectations govern outcomes. This is the most difficult aspect to understand.
3) Mind the Slack. By maintaining slack as the object of your moving mediation, you are cultivating the mental model and movement primitive that together stimulate the deep sensory networks needed to condition the tissues to clearly perceive that the bones and meat are already separate. This reinforces the Yi.
Last edited by Kelley Graham on Fri Apr 22, 2022 9:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Quigga on Fri Apr 22, 2022 10:25 am

How do you sink Qi without heaviness (been there done that, maybe)? How does Shen rise without lightness? And how does a person maintain enough neutrality to not be swept away in this training?

Honest questions... :-)

One teacher of mine tried moving me like you did it in one of your videos Kelley. He lightly touched in my forarms, I felt very little local pressure on my skin, something then moved to my feet and wanted to move me. Very easy to just let the energy go out towards the ground for me... Just let it go to where it wants and let your legs stomp it into the ground. Could also turn it into an attack, but was first time I encountered something like that. Meaning, I don't know how useful such skills are.

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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby everything on Fri Apr 22, 2022 11:00 am

totally lost now, lol
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Apr 22, 2022 1:37 pm

Separating B&M is about specific parts of the body and alignment
When sinking the elbows both sink
As with the knees
The spine should rise the flesh sink
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Kelley Graham on Fri Apr 22, 2022 1:58 pm

Quigga wrote:How do you sink Qi without heaviness (been there done that, maybe)? How does Shen rise without lightness? And how does a person maintain enough neutrality to not be swept away in this training?

Honest questions... :-)

One teacher of mine tried moving me like you did it in one of your videos Kelley. He lightly touched in my forarms, I felt very little local pressure on my skin, something then moved to my feet and wanted to move me. Very easy to just let the energy go out towards the ground for me... Just let it go to where it wants and let your legs stomp it into the ground. Could also turn it into an attack, but was first time I encountered something like that. Meaning, I don't know how useful such skills are.

LDT Daoism
MDT Confucianism
UDT Buddhism

All is mind substance and Tai Chi can be a way of experiencing it.


Those fingertip videos are from a looong tiiiime ago. I wasn't aware that anyone still remembers. :)

Separate bones and meat is a big topic. Qi is sinking all the time, Shen is rising all the time. That is not to say these are directly related, they're not. Our inability to perceive this as normal and everyday is tragic.
Last edited by Kelley Graham on Sat Apr 23, 2022 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Kelley Graham on Fri Apr 22, 2022 2:25 pm

Quigga wrote:... And how does a person maintain enough neutrality to not be swept away in this training?

Honest questions... :-)

...


This is another big question. First, neutrality isn’t quantitative, it’s either there or it’s not. Training to see this takes a long while. Being neutral isn’t like ballast, anchoring you against change. Neutral is change. If you are neutral and your training develops internal capacity ( the stuff that supports internal power ), there’s nothing that can be swept away, ‘cause nothing attaches. Hard to answer better without more shared experience, which the internet cannot provide. :)

The shorter answer is: don’t strive for neutral, train your capacity to change your expectations. Changed expectations, applied over time, will change your mind.
Last edited by Kelley Graham on Fri Apr 22, 2022 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Strange on Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:48 pm

for your consideration, this "lightness of mind" may come from not having expectation/intention/aim
of obtaining increased skill/power/etc in one's training: "I'm just enjoying this/I'm just doing it".

I find that the "problem" is that with "modern", result-oriented thinking/mindset, this can be a difficult
"requirement"; and may create. for the practitioner, a "you-can't-get-there-from-here" situation...
unless one "changes" one's mind
Last edited by Strange on Fri Apr 22, 2022 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Yi of Separate Bones and Meat

Postby Quigga on Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:18 am

Yo I'm just a beginner, there's no reason to fight me :-)

Neutrality = change, so you got what I implied, cool
Capacity of changing within - like many other things, can't be quantified. Can't exactly quantify emotions or feeling sensations, let alone spiritual stuff

Consolidating / concentrating / taking a gas or fluid, making it more tangible, increasing density

WW posted a text in that mentioned consolidating softness into hardness

'when relaxation becomes substantial'

Swept away was referring to the person's ego undergoing the training and changes - swept away, like fire running wild, Qi sickness, whatever

Sharing is caring, much obliged Kelley
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