Life is an endless journey. It is like a highway that extends infinitely into the distance, so why not make your journey as happy, healthy and fulfilling as possible with the practice of Zhan Zhuang Gong?
The art of Zhan Zhuang Gong (pronounced Jam Jong Chi Kung and translated as Standing Like A Tree) is the vehicle and roadmap in which to travel and navigate our path.
It was developed in China over many centuries of empirical, practical and down to earth research. Monks used it as a way of making their bodies a strong foundation for their minds and their spiritual search. Later, warriors practised it, knowing that by standing still they could generate speed and explosive power. For both monks and warriors, mental clarity under highly demanding circumstances was essential – the practice of standing still gave them the perfect tool.
Also influenced by Taoist philosophy, which believes in active nothingness – that “not doing”, is doing something. With Jam Jong we do nothing when standing still, yet we gain energy from within, just like a tree. The very basic act, standing on the ground with a good posture and developing a sense of our place on this earth is a means of rediscovering ourselves and our basic goodness, without any expectations or preconceptions.
As the mighty tree grows, its deep roots, powerful trunk and spreading branches appear motionless; however, the tree is growing from within, slowly and silently. It is this stillness and inner relaxation that helps us replenish our energy and restore strength naturally.
Standing like a tree, alone and unmoving, you come to understand everything that happens within you. You feel the reactions taking place. The feeling never stops, it goes on and on… this is the Way. No matter how far you go you will never come to the end of all the wondrous things there are to discover.
This is the vision of life so beautifully encapsulated by the ancient Taoist classic of Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching, one of the earliest references to Zhan Zhuang:
“Standing alone and unchanging,
One can observe every mystery,
Present at every moment and ceaselessly continuing –
This is the gateway to indescribable marvels.”