When I do the Taiji form, I can choose to concentrate on the internal issues or the external issues, but it’s difficult to do both. Either my hands and feet are correctly placed, or my breath is correct, but rarely are both true at the same time.
Except. Except that the part of me that notices these things sometimes doesn’t notice they’re not correct. More often, when it doesn’t notice, and doesn’t try to control it, both the breath work and the body placement are correct. This part is the ego, and it’s in my way.
When you do the marshmallow-and-spaghetti test, kindergartners start with the marshmellow. CEOs and high powered business types start with the pissing games and the dominance displays. But kindergartners build the taller tower. Ego isn’t in their way.
The superior ruler, according to the Tao te Ching, does everything by doing nothing. The effectiveness of good Taiji practice, apparently, is to not be there.