30.10.14

"…the ego ridicules the spirit and it should be the other way around…"
To fail in everything, and still creep forward.
One cannot think and be present at the same time. And it is our duty, as spirited martial artists, to live a life where every situation demands presence.
We no longer have any excuse, only alibis, for turning away from this responsibility.
Just imagine how much strength you'd need to wield and crack a giant whip of around 60kg. This is the strength needed to put the body to energetic use.
"Just pray that if you ever get into a fight you don't have time to think."

When the heart begins to open, and operate as it should, we realize that it is the seat not only of feeling but also of memory.
We don't realize this because we no longer remember a condition prior to it, but when the mind thinks or calculates it doubts the heart. This doubt casts a pall – a heaviness – over the heart, effectively ruling it out as a usefully functioning leader of action, requiring the mind to make decisions instead. This is disastrous because the mind, eminently capable of working things out in its own time – on its own – is hopeless at working in real time – its timing is always off because it neither listens like the heart nor transforms like the heart. The head uses time whereas the heart makes time.
Art is all about feeling rather than knowledge. In particular it is about new feelings, feelings that have never been felt before. So, what makes us martial artists is that we work with feelings rather than techniques as such.

29.10.14

"A man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others."  And hence partner work.
The first time I experienced good posture – one capable of not only enduring spirit but also of generating spirit – was during, and after, heavy squats. The spine has to be strong and even otherwise it would fail.

Correct posture is a function of right attitude to what's outside yourself more than it is a matter of alignment. A function of your ability to simply be joyfully present for the Other. Correct posture is an ethical statement.
The mind is naturally lazy and resents both the body and physical work. So, the first stage of taiji: relaxation, pacification, passivization, should be appreciated for what it is: only the first stage. The second stage is very much the opposite: getting into movement and intensity – tension, but a passing tension: energy. For this the work rate needs to be upped, not necessarily the hours but certainly the intensity, the passion, the speed. The Form is no longer a slow, flat, drift through space and time, but a breathing, heaving body, working faster (or slower) than the mind can manage (control). Movement for its own sake – energetic and energized. This is the martial aspect of taiji – fighting the enemy – your own mind; a fight from which spirit naturally rises. The sheer joy of physical work.
To live otherwise, and better. No, not better, but more justly…
Good teaching brings about transformation, in both the student and the teacher. Such is only possible by example; words will not suffice.
I have my work cut out…
"All I know is that my best work has come out of being committed and happy."

28.10.14

…the organism's attention to self-maintenance ultimately leads to a form of rigid and life-denying self-enclosure…