Beware the Taiji slump. It is only the lower dantien that connects and roots into the Earth so that the upper dantien can reach for the Heavens, leaving the middle dantien (heart) free to interact with whomever I'm facing. This means that I need to get used to splitting my mind three-ways so that I can work all three connexions at the same time all the time.
Try to remember the feeling of a heart rent by grief or rejection – lost love. The unbearable openness, the known world crumbling. The good student feels this as truth, and that gives her the courage to not only bear it but, through decades of practice, to eventually transform it to bliss. The poor student feels simply pain which they endeavor to avoid at all costs. The mediocre student also feels it as pain, a pain they pull away from only to realise that it was simply the pain of being intensely alive. They must then not only live with regret but also with the knowledge that, in all likelihood, they will always lack the courage.
If therapy aims to heal the wounds, or at least plaster them over, then spiritual work opens them up and encourages them to bleed. Wounds, traumas, are not negatives to be vanquished for the sake of an integrated ego – conformity, but gateways to the soul of creativity. Ask any artist worth their salt.
When the heart drops the belly rises, and when the belly sinks the heart lifts. This is the nature of relationship in Taiji – never locked, always equilibrating – elastic. A locked relationship is one ruled by anxiety. Equilibrium, founded on trust and relaxation, is always breathing, expanding and contracting, letting go only to return, differently.