It takes a strong back and a soft front to face the world.
Casting an opinion (indeed, opening the mouth to speak) is like a dog pissing on a lamppost – little more than adding one's own stink to the general stench – a crude way of claiming ground.
Without the strict discipline of meditation – that hard-won stillness of body and quietness of mind – the Great Emptiness at the source of mind would unhinge any mind open to it, and tip it into madness.
We do not possess an ego. We are possessed by (the idea of) one.


Nature is never finished.
The source and essence of the internal chatter is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of loneliness, fear of evaporating if ever it were to cease. It stems from a lack of faith in spirit.
By excluding myself; by excluding myself, I’ll grow.
Hunter-gatherers do not have religion as such. They see spirit everywhere, in everything; they are animists, and to them everything is alive. And, living in natural environments, they are quite right since natural things contain spirit: the spirit of creation, the spirit of place and connexion, and the spirit of duration or span, and so they are alive, though maybe not organically so. Man-made artefacts and environments are artificial and are largely devoid of spirit. They can acquire spirit over time and with correct use, so an old church or cathedral has much more and better spirit than a new supermarket, and an old set of well-worn tools has better spirit than a new unused set. However, as our lives became more removed from the natural, it required the invention of a remote transcendental God and a mythical Garden of Eden where lost spirit thrives naturally, awaiting our return.
cultivate virtue with resolute deeds

yielding attains the middle outside and submits to the firm
Before I started Taiji I worked as an improvising musician for a few years. What I could never understand at the time was that my best performances inevitably came when I felt wretched, and my worst performances came when I felt great. I had to admit that creativity – moving people with spirit – has nothing to do with how one feels, and everything to do with how well connected one is with spirit at large. This connexion we call authenticity, and it requires a raw vulnerability, painful to experience and difficult to sustain.
do not tarry long but push on
All spiritual disciplines implore us to live in the present: to break habits, abandon conditioning and live authentically, here and now. However, to live selfishly, hedonistically, here and now, at the expense of the future, at the expense of our childrens planet, is not what they mean. This is the difference between the presence of a master and the presence of a child. The child's spontaneity is because it has neither fear nor thought of past or future, whereas the master's spontaneity is the result of his embracing both past and future and funneling them into the present. This is what we call growing up or understanding and it is the source of the master's gravitas. In some way they really do have the weight of the world on their shoulders.
I worked in such a way that I could say that it's not me.


gentle without, strong within

In order to accrue the energy required for the spirit to break free of the clutches of ego, one must live an extremely strict and disciplined life.
those who wish for truth take joy in doing the work