The real thing is always an imitation
Consider new plum blossoms behind the zendō

Philip Whalen


To teach – to transcend possibility with branching inward present. As it spreads the essential knowing a natural code of relationship deeply grounded in an enfolding pale deference. The radical theorem – an imperfect marvel ends in poetry.
and out spring some sparkling thoughts

Taught in London today

Thanks for coming if you were there

See you next time if not


Most knowledge is hindsight – making sense of the past – organising memory – and as such is trivial. Real knowledge is foresight – seeing or sensing the future – for which I require depth, probity, discipline and above all grace.
Stress is a sign of resistance. The easiest way to resist is to ignore. Ignorance is a sure path to suffering.
Finding center is about realising that I don't need to apologise for being here : I have an absolute right to the space I inhabit and therefore since I am alive that is vibrating I have not only the right but the responsibility to affect my environment and everything in it with the fact of my presence that is my energy : things around me should sing my tune as I theirs.
lift one foot the earth turns

Philip Whalen


Up front (down back)

So does Mara
I inhabit a world where flamboyant codices dissociate my mind as if it were made from deerskin.

Jackson says Merry Christmas


A pelting deluge drenching my mind. Creation, not separation.
God is the deep intelligence – the depth – pervading the vast web of connexion that is existence / universe / cosmos. When a system of connected entities reaches a certain size then the energetic resonance of the multitudinous connexions naturally harmonizes and coheres into what we could call intelligence. An intelligent system (being) possesses strategies for self-preservation and self-renewal, and these involve remaining whole – holding onto the component parts. The problem here is that the intelligent systems we are members of – families and societies – will naturally hold us back from breaking free. Hence the Tibetan adage that our greatest enemies are our nearest and dearest. What we often fail to realise is that ego is also an intelligent system that contains – possesses – us. As, of course, is spirit, but in a very different way.


It is not nature
that needs guarding
it is us.

Peter Riley
A cool, crisp edge and a warm heart.
The journey continues with an unusual spiciness in the heart.
Inspired by John Cage's experience, I sat in an anechoic chamber for five hundred hours over a period of two years and listened to the sounds of my own body. I began to correlate different states of consciousness with the different sounds of my nervous system. Being a trained musician, I noticed that the high-pitched sounds of my nervous system consisted of several sounds in different intervals. Then one day I brought two tuning forks and tapped them. Immediately I observed that the sound of my nervous system came into resonance with the sound of the tuning forks. It was then I realized that people can be tuned like musical instruments.

John Beaulieu


this is far into the woods where the deer hide from the hunters

John Taggart
Just how strong do these legs need to be?
If spirit is an aromatic invitation then essence is the warm glow of health from the hearth.




Let the attention settle in the marrow of the bone.
Refuse to lose heart : the choice is always yours.
Relish work.
Nothing out of place.


All that needs to change is how I relate.
Peace is when the nagging stops.
Everything falls into place.


The sea is like God’s big eye, where the edges of our own eyes bleed into the ocean, in saline ratio and roundness.

Eleni Sikelianos: For a Panel on Poetry & the Environment
The ravages of time destroyed by hermetic effort and perseverance in the field.


Tension is often just blocked energy that needs creative release. In fact all release should be creative – should offer something positive to the world : joyfully. Joy is the feeling of creation.


It is wrong to see softness as an accommodation of the other through judicious adjustment. The first stage of Tai Chi training is not softening to yield but softening to present – softening to find centre. Without an unambiguous centre – a precise location of where and who I am – there is no clear sense of what needs to yield. The centre is that core about which everything can soften but without which nothing has meaning or consequence.


Energy is freedom.


Pushing Hands

Truth stands radiant – the erotic dimension where nothing happens. Let all this madness play an important social role. There is nothing at the end, yet what is born is part of the renewal, torn between. Still shining in your quiet mind, I was so moved I began blurting, you are not a stranger. What inner urges prompted the belief that keeps me homeless? Your failing ego brimming over with provocative humour.
Open enough not only to admit the unexpected but to actively encourage it.



The elevated heights my destiny draws me towards can only be achieved by plumbing ever greater depths : central equilibrium.
The secrets are inside my body.



There is no substitute for standing. A stance should be comfortable – not too deep – otherwise pain in the legs will kick in before the body is energized causing tension : grimacing. The energy that slowly manifests in the body should help me through pain barriers into ever greater intensity and relaxation : depth. The freedom I am after is deep deep down. Freedom for the average person is the ability to wander at will from one pleasurable sensation to the next on the shallow plane of mundane arbitrariness; they have no sense of using strict discipline and hard work to break through to deeper more fulfilling planes where the abiding energy is intensity of spirit. The discipline and work condition my character and strengthen my soul – make me a worthy vessel.


. . . missives to a vacancy inherent in the effort to say anything at all.

Joseph Massey


When the Earth is encouraged into the bones, especially those of legs / pelvis / sacrum, and the chi settles in the belly, then the body fills with spirit : an aliveness so much faster than mind that the only word to describe it is Before.


Between true body and true mind there is nothing. They are two faces of the one reality. When body and mind separate both cease to be true : can only get it wrong. The wedge betwixt body and mind is thinking.


I want to reach into it for understanding and a hug.

Mairead Byrne


If the legs are too straight then our base is unstable : we don't have the ground. If the legs are too bent then we cannot issue energy. There is always a trade-off between strength & power.

Photo: Yoel Dvoriansky

Beginners' class starting tonight in Poleg.


The world is round.

We claim to know this fact, but do we know it as principle? Do we let it permeate everything & everywhere?

If the world is round then everything in it is also round. This is how energy works.


All we have to learn is to be silent. To put our desires aside. To put the impulse to possess aside. And to learn the faithfulness of the daily practice.

John Main
Strong enough to support yet soft enough to receive.


Tai Chi is a martial art incorporating & teaching the Taoist principle of Yin/Yang.

It assumes that only tension in body & mind prevents us from fulfilling ourselves.

Fulfilment begins when we stop being forceful and become energetic.

It starts with relaxation – opening to gravity – & simple movement to build an energetic connexion with the Earth.

From this connexion we build other connexions and thereby do things.

We are always just the middle-man : a channel for energy.

Always just.


Mind robs the heart : discourages.


We want to be special and we want to belong : to possess and to be possessed. These are the two desires – attachments – that make us fuck it all up.