Nurturing the Small, a Taoist expression that is used in the studies of Internal Boxing. Stillness within incubates and enfolds upon itself as cascading waters search for their source of origin. That is, qi searches for qi and seeks to unite. Qi gathers, unites, enfolds, and emerges.
Small refers to qi settling within qi. That is, within the activity of qi there exists a nucleus of stillness, from which the utterance of motion is born. Within stillness of qi there exists a nucleus of motion. Thus, through mutual attraction, unification and transformation are conceived. Small, therefore, is the nucleus, weather active or still.
Nurturing is like that of xia cha (sipping tea). Slowly, gradually, steadily, sipping the qi of the earth and heavens. Patience is the door from which gathering of the qi circulates within the Small. To endow the movement of qi to surge one must hold the Small with absolute steadfastness from which movement rushes forth as a spring emerges from a mountain's hidden cavern.
Nei Jia Quan fa (Internal Boxing methods) emanate from Nurturing the Small. Movement cannot merely be understood through stillness, nor stillness by movement. If this were so, one would merely study a wagon and exclaim that he now understands the true nature of a horse that is about to pull it. Hence, Nurturing the Small must be studied, comprehended, and practiced so that Nei Jia boxing [Taiji, Bagua, and Xingyi] can touch the Primordial Essence. As the Essence is inexhaustible, so shall one’s nei jia quan gung fa (internal boxing development/enhancement methods) be imperishable.
My father [Sun Lu-Tang], taught such secrets to all, and those who wisely practiced these teachings had attained profound palm skills under the expanse of Heaven.
The first method to be learned elicits qi to gather in an area beyond one’s body by concentrating the mind-will. Where pure mind-will is directed, qi shall arrive. Sitting or standing, the method remains exact and unchanged.
Both hands assume the posture and hand formation similar to that of the Kai-Her posture in our family’s taijiquan. The hands round slightly; the mind-will leads qi from the tan-tien, exhale and the qi moves and resides in the palms. This process must be practiced several minutes as a preparatory method to pulsate qi to and fro. By practicing this traditional qigong method qi is now substantially gathered and excited, ready to move beyond one's body. This method can also be performed while sitting.
Next, concentrate upon a single point directly in front of the two palm centers, thereby creating a triangular shape that is equilateral. These three points form the inner realm of a circle which is to be filled with qi. The mind-will stirs the elixir [qi] in the tan-tien through several concentrated breaths. Upon an exhale the mind-will directs the qi into the palms; continuing the exhale, move the qi beyond the palms and into the center of the circle. Once the qi reaches the center it quickly expands and presses upon the three points which holdback/contain the qi [the qi must not move beyond the circle]. With each subsequent breath the qi gathers within the circle and density is sensed. Such density gives birth to heaviness of qi or lightness of qi. In this method we must achieve the sensation of heaviness which aims to compact the directed qi.
Inhalation and exhalation continues, the three points seek expansion, but are restrained. This respiration process continues for a period of 5-20 minutes.
Following the final inhale, exhale while lowering your hands and draw the qi within, embracing and uniting it within the tan-tien. The body, mind-will and qi are now prepared to practice taijiquan, xingyiquan, baguazhang or any quanfa (boxing method) chosen. This is also the preparation to practice striking specific points on the body during specific times.Bradford Tyrey (http://martialtraditions.com/index_files/Page870.htm)