After the dough is kneaded it has to be flattened by hand, cut into strips and the strips kneaded into rounded strands. These strands are then placed into a pot in a circular manner.
The master said that the strands had to be stacked tightly so that it would not collapsed on top of each other. The master demonstrated how they would do it fast and continuously as if their hands were a machine.
The apprentice tried it and the stacked strands collapsed.
The master said that it is important that there be no space between the strands.
This reminded me of how in some parts of our Taiji practice we would come real close and eat up our partner’s space so that he cannot move into our space but instead is forced to move around us, slowing him down and exposing himself as a target in the process.
The second thing this reminded me of is that if you have too much space in your posture during push hands your partner could jam himself into your empty space and cause your posture to weaken and collapse, in the process also causing you to lose your balance.