As part of being able to separate substantial and insubstantial, a great practice is what is called the Mother Meditation. The practice gains its name from the idea of a mother and child walking together. The mother leads the way and the child follows. How that applies in taiji meditation is as follows --
- We start with manifesting a taiji ball between our two palms (like holding a beachball between our palms, in front of our chest for example).
- After manifesting a taiji ball, the ball needs to be split into two. Now instead of holding a beachball, we have two basketball sized taiji balls, one in each palm (or for beginners split from a single basketball sized taiji ball into two softball sized taiji balls).
- Assign one ball the role of ‘Mother’ and the other ‘Child’. Now in a form like ‘long and short hand’,
- in even stance (not bow and arrow), let the Mother lead and the child follow.
- From side to side it goes. If this is done correctly and the two balls are ‘talking’ to each other, the child ball (and therefore the hand attached to the child ball) will automatically start to follow the mother. After a few repetitions, reverse the roles of Mother and Child.
- After getting a proper grasp of the above, reverse the roles now, so that the mother drives the child (and switching roles). So instead of the child following the mother, the mother will drive the child.
This kind of practice is very important in order to be able to do martial techniques, but also to be able to clearly be able to tell the substantial (mother) from the insubstantial (child).
The two distinct phases of the practice, work on using the yang power to manifest the yin power. When the power manifests in application on the insubstantial side, it generates empty force or mysterious force!
Later on, the rotate oar meditation forms are empowered using this very concept of mother meditation.
The following video demonstrates how mother meditation can be practiced in a two-person context.