Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself,
(I am large. I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman


Heart is the perfect mix of spirit and soul and its manifestation is love and what my teacher called "love's offsprings:" faith, sincerity and courage. Heart makes you large. It is not an energy – doesn't do work, but it gets things done, more by persuasion and seduction than by action.


I myself try to aim in the direction of clarity / centeredness / compassion. These things aren’t separable – if you’re clear and centered then compassion is the only natural response to situations / if you’re compassionate you radiate clarity and centeredness / centeredness is the pivot upon which the others find their balance / and so on.

Alan Davies

Heaven & Earth

In Tai Chi we bring together Heaven and Earth by extending equally into them. It is the spine in both its physical and energetic aspect that extends. This extension stimulates the energy centres or chakras to open upwards and downwards, like flowers forever unfurling. It is my compassion – my heart – my need to share – to connect – that turns these centres outward.



Surround and contain the other: embrace their physical body and contain their heart within yours. This is often enough to get the job done, or at least start it off on the right footing.


There is no there;
it’s all degrees of here.

Rachel Blau Du Plessis


Tao is Universal Heart.


Sight is where the eye hits.

Louis Zukofsky



Knowing comes from experiencing reality in the absence of thought. When my mind is quiet and settled then my body becomes radiant – I become fully physical – and that radiance penetrates the world and I then know that world. This is far superior to normal sensitivity where I finely sense the world and then filter that sensory information through my neuroses causing me to colour everything I see with my own arrogance and enabling me to only experience that which I am predisposed to experience.


Process is what we're all in the midst of.

Alan Davies


Fullness is a matter of heart.



Putting the other first is not a matter of deference or service, it is a matter of fully seeing the other – seeing their fullness – their full magnificence – not in relation to oneself but as an absolute entity: letting them take your breath away. This is the greatest gift you can give another and is a basic necessity for a teacher: only when he truly sees a student's fullness can that student start to consciously realise it: the teacher catalyses an already inevitable process. His seeing permits realisation.


The movement, so hard to initiate correctly, becomes perfectly easy once the correct internal connections are found. They are to be sought in a very delicate manner.



Linking the inklings.


Besides diet and daoyin, there are two things crucial to the maintenance of health: combing of the hair and washing of the feet.

Qing Nong Lu, ancient Chinese text

Body & Mind

The body learns at its own pace, and there is nothing the mind can do to speed up the process other than by keeping quiet. This is very difficult for an intelligent person used to learning things quickly, and such people will tend to use their over-active intelligence to force their body to give a semblance of physical correctness by pedantically copying. But this is never right, and what's more it wont become right in time. Mimetic efforts should be minimally total: don't just ape the master's movements, copy his mind and spirit too, otherwise your movements will be beautiful and your mind will be endlessly busy ensuring that beauty.


One year old today. What a year!



Opening up is at once exciting and terrifying because we don't know what that opening will allow in. And opening, if it is done without desire, has a delicious and irresistible natural draw to it – it attracts. An unconditional welcoming opening space is always soft: seduces and softens as it receives. Yielding is taking whatever comes, and what's more, being grateful for whatever comes. The gratitude is just an expression of my belief in life: that everything has meaning and significance, certainly beyond the satisfaction of my desires, and that everything is in its rightful place. Everything that enters my opening space poises me more delicately and more precariously on the brink of being – the lip of life – excites the spirit and rends the heart. Opening means a breaking heart. This is why it's so damn difficult.


The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.

Morehei Ueshiba


It's not a matter of reframing – looking at things differently; it's a matter of recentering in order to connect. My center must be in the thick of me so that I can be in the thick of it. How do I get physically involved in even mental processes: dance the mind.
The poet, the artist, the sleuth – whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely "well-adjusted," he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists between antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power, is manifest in the famous story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." "Well-adjusted" courtiers, having vested interests, saw the Emperor as beautifully appointed. The "antisocial" brat, unaccustomed to the old environment, clearly saw that the Emperor "ain't got nothin' on." The new environment was clearly visible to him.

Marshall McLuhan



Spirit lifts when I see beyond that which I am predisposed to see: when I join the newness – the striking immediacy – in each and every moment.

Spirit drops when it is not required – when actions and thoughts follow habitual patterns rather than respond honestly and immediately to the environment: when life is not lived fully.
Truth is in the connexion.


The hollow muscular organ which in vertebrates keeps up the circulation of the blood by rhythmic contraction and dilatation.
The heart as the centre of vital bodily functions; (the seat of) life.
The region of the heart in man; the breast, bosom, chest.
The seat of feeling and thought.
The mind, intellect; especially (the seat of) one’s inmost thoughts and secret feelings; the soul.
(The seat of) perception, understanding, or memory.
(The seat of) the emotions, especially love, as opposed to reason. Frequently contrasted with head.
Susceptibility to emotion; feeling, sensitivity. Also, kindliness, cordiality.
Purpose, inclination, desire.
(The seat of) courage, spirit.
(The source of) energy, enthusiasm, or ardour.
Disposition, temperament, character.
Substituting for the person.
As a term of endearment: a loved one.
A man of courage or spirit.
A central part; a vital or essential part.
The centre, middle, or innermost part of anything.
The part of a time or season when its character is most intense; the height, depths.
A central part of distinct conformation or character.
The vital, essential, or working part of something. Also, the best or most important part.
Vigour, fertility.

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary