Xīn kōng Gē
Gē yuē. Shǒuxīn kōng. Shǐ jiàn huó. Zú xīn kōng. Xíng bù jié. Dǐng xīn kōng. Shēn yǎn yī.
Song of Empty Mind
The song says
With palm empty, the sword is lively.
With the center of the foot empty, the footwork is nimble.
With the topknot empty, the entire body is one.
Commentary and Notes: This short “song” describes the body once one is
free from premeditated action. Simply put, when one is not predisposed
to use a certain cut, one is free to cut in any manner. Likewise, when
one is not planning on stepping here or there, one will freely move
anywhere. When one is not thinking ahead without attachment to a certain
action of set of rules, but “empty” in the moment, one is free from
dogmatic actions, and can clearly see without the filters of habit and
prejudice moving with true freedom.
The topknot refers to a daoist
hairstyle where long hair is wound up into a knot that sits atop the
apex of the head, held in place by a peg. “Keeping the topknot empty”
means not hanging the head, inclining the body forward, nor titling the
head back, so that it is pulling the body backward off balance.
Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method – Selected Translations with Commentary from a Manual of Chinese Swordsmanship
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