There is a possibility of a kind of reverence for the whole of creation which I feel we all ought to have in our bones, a kind of pantheism. If the word 'God' is to have any use it must include everything. The only way to know anything is to consider yourself a student of histology, finding out as much as carefully controlled common sense can find out about the world. In so doing, you will be contributing to the histology of God.
The workshops will focus on the principles of Tai Chi, particularly correct bodily alignment through relaxation, poise, rooting and interaction. When the body is correctly aligned then gravity and its inevitable kick-back from the Earth naturally cleanse the mind, cleave the body into its component parts, store and issue energy from the various centres (chakras), and encourage an awareness, at once immediate and developing, of the interacting energies of the particular situation and the general condition. Then our actions – our creative endeavour – issue and spring naturally from this alignment (rather than the calculating mind), casting off the past in the process of moving on.and
Physically the work will concentrate on relaxing and spreading the feet and hands, softening the hips, unravelling the coccyx, loosening the sacro-iliac so that the pelvis can open and close, freeing the shoulder girdle so that the heart can leap out of the chest, and opening up the vision/awareness from the back of the skull.
The work will then enable energy to flow and express more freely, revealing simple but profound energetic truths, and showing us our place within this energetic reality.
From this place spirit and heart readily and openly express themselves, taking us into areas of creativity, self-expression and communication.
Not dribble of sand through neck of a glass
but the rattle of scree beneath the tread of a man
as he makes his traverse, as he climbs
between sheer heights in a resonant place and hears
no sound but the pipes of the wind
and the drum of each breath
and the shedding away of stones at every step.
Callous is something that hardening leaves behind what will be soft if there is a genuine interest in there being present as many girls as men. Does this change. It shows that dirt is clean when there is a volume.
For me, the giant of 20th century literature. She took creative writing so far forward that the world still hasn't caught up. She understood, very early on, that man is (or should be) moving away from object and objectification, and into process and connexion. She studied psychology under William James, doing a final year dissertation on automatic writing. She had enormous confidence, intelligence and talent; and some pretty amazing friends (Picasso, Matisse, Whitehead, Hemingway...). She would write at night in near darkness, entranced, scrawling in a large, barely legible hand, dredging her unconscious for the secrets of humanity strangled out of our awareness by the individual and collective thinking mind. The University of California Press have just published a new Selected Writing edited and introduced by Joan Retallack.
A single-weighted posture is one in which you can readily transfer all of your weight to either leg and lift the empty leg by relaxing down, with no tilting of either the pelvis or the spine. If your stance is too long or wide – is double-weighted – then your legs can't knit together properly, and the hips and sacrum will not be able to relax, diminishing not only your power and lightness, but also shielding whole areas of your psyche from the spiritual cleansing of Tai Chi. The natural healing of Tai Chi can only be effective if the principles are obeyed. The most important of these is relaxing into things – the earth, the air, the other person, the work, the movements, the principles, life's pressures and pains – in such a way that we receive a natural return. This requires correct alignment and non-attachment: a willingness to allow energy to flow without becoming attached to it. The best way to do this is to try to always be aware of the energy flowing in the opposite direction. Then you can nestle between.
We should not neglect the civilisation of stone. Civilisation of minerals may be the oldest civilisation taking part in the evolution of our beloved planet. Even if stones do not seem to move on the physical level, they may represent the most fluid field of consciousness upon the planet.
Giving each millisecond & millimeter equal, careful attention. The connected & connecting flow through these pieces is then a compassion. It comes, to begin with, from the breathing and from the moving – as though there is a subtle resistance to the flow which forces an attention onto every part of that flow. When you relax into the flow and into the resistance – let it support you rather than work against it, then the spirit is free to dance (spirit is weightless so knows no resistance). To effortlessly move into resistance there must be a source of energy that wills engagement – a magnet that will naturally suck you forwards. This is the heart.
As they say, you can’t help someone else if you can’t help yourself; and you can’t help yourself unless you know how to help someone else, or help yourself as if you were someone else.
To be of one mind: impulsive. To be of one nature: invulnerable. And to swaddle this mind/nature with softness – an engaging amenability – a living motor – always slightly ahead – drawing the world into and through, and dragging you with it. If your softness is your humanity then your nature is your inhumanity – not of your species but of Nature herself.
The strategies and habits we've developed to survive life's pressures are precisely those we need to give up to advance spiritually now; especially if those habits have proved eminently successful. When we repeat a habit we are effectively locking ourselves into the person who first established the habit, which means we are refusing the transformative processes of life. Such processes are welcomed when we start to relax into life's pressures – when we start to admit, through our actions, that every part of life is meaningful. By meaningful I mean full of spirit.
Today I learnt that Bethlehem is in fact Bet Lekhem - House of Bread, and Gethsemene is Gat Shmonaim - Oil Press. Also the original name for Jerusalem was Shalem which means whole and is of course the same root (pretty much the same word) as Shalom meaning peace; the implication being that peace comes through wholeness. They didn't teach us that at Sunday School.