If there is an art, a single art that a human being should learn, that would be The Act. Every split second, every moment at least several changes in
our environment are attacking our senses. We may seem calm to the outside, but our systems of awareness are doing a hard job. We have to handle
mentally our desires, our inspiration, our state of self expression. Thus or mind is occupied in continues loops of analysis, self-discipline and
decision making. And we do it well. Indeed, homo sapiens is very good performer of this Act.
However, amongst the masses you will find poor performers as well. And of course, also masters of the art. Its slogan, "Carpe Diem" has become the
phrase symbol of the moment we seek, the unchanging present, but yet, how much we are "into it". And most importantly, how we can improve our humble
selves in that art!?
As a long practitioner of Internal Martial arts, I would say, there is only one way to go: Motion.
Every motion holds the "Key" of Carpe Diem, however this key can only be obtained by both practicing Motion(all humans do it by nature) and
understanding Motion. You might find that the first requirement is not a big deal. But I would ask you this, how many people try to understand it? And
that makes the crucial difference in the process of obtaining the key. Only a marriage(alchemical one) of the practice and understanding of Motion
would do. Separately they are like a root without leaves and stem, or a blossom without nectar.
That said, I must right away encourage you, because you will be surprised how many ways there are to obtain the understanding necessary for the
This first post of "The Act" will contain a theory over the intricate balance between the participants of the Act - The Yield.
Yield, seen throughout the eyes of Eastern thought is not resistance of a force, even contrary, it's adaptation within the momentum of the incoming
force. But let me borrow the words of a better author on that topic:
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I began a new beginning class under less than desirable conditions. The room was too small for the number of students. The mirror didn’t go all
the way to the floor. The space itself was a rectangle, not a square, so one side or the other was having difficulty in watching me. Some students
found this frustrating and disappointing.
In tai chi, we learn to take what is and then find a way to use it to our advantage. There are lots of ways to work with a crowded oblong room.
The first would be to let go of the mental irritation of having to deal with the room/crowd. Letting that go, you might see how you can merge with all
these bodies energetically, find a way to fit in just so, so that everyone can fit in, and then see if there might be some way to find comfort in
this. Perhaps all these students are giving you support and lifting up your energy and helping move you simply through your connection to them, like
leaning on a good friend. You rest on them. Let them lighten the burden. Non-doing in a crowded subway!
Can you yield in life too much? Doesn’t that set up a condition where you might become a doormat? If you yield yield yield are you allowing
everyone else and their mothers to tromp over you so that they get what they want, leaving you behind in a dust cloud? Tai chi has another quality,
that of being “rooted” in the ground. The wind may blow, but the bamboo only bends. You don’t lose your bearing.
In tai chi, the question is not whether to yield or not to yield. The question is HOW MUCH and the proper timing of the response after you yield
(the return.) When the activity is going well, we tend to laugh with each other and respond with curiosity. When it is going poorly, we tend to get
mad and want to win or leave the game as soon as possible.
"How Much" the teacher said... Indeed, the whole article was about this phrase. The intricately put measurement of something unmeasurable. A paradox
of the universe. "How hard", "when", "where", "who"... All similar concepts. And all bound in Motion!
Thank you for reading, hope I brought something of interest in your day and of course feel free to contribute and ask odd questions.
P.S. The bolding of the text is mine, just to make sure you don't miss that point.
edit on 9-7-2017 by Argentbenign because: P.S.