Our arms start from the back because they were once wings.

Martha Graham
The tail needs coaxing.
The heart too thinks, but lovingly.
with this
vast extension


It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture.

Isadora Duncan
My ability to confront – face – the world depends largely on my willingness to look inside and confront myself – thoughts, feelings, perceptions, fears, emotions, decisions, tensions, motives, machinations, manipulations. Without such inner honesty and courage my experience will always be heavily coloured – tainted – by my own lack of peace. And confrontation is all that is necessary; analysis does not help. Simply face, look and see. Only then will "heart to heart" have any meaning.
calm & clear
you are less
and can start


We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practising dancing or to learn to live by practising living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

Martha Graham
Nestle into life
the sun
in my


Easy mind, light heart. A mind that is too easy hides a heart that is too heavy.

Franz Schubert
Forgiveness is the process of letting go – the past, the hurt, the suffering, the desire, the need. It creates space – a loving space – which naturally fills with energy. We call this space Heart.
Bright spark
Healthy & valuable
helps us dwell
in short verses


The right thing is to work.

Vincent van Gogh
Turn the spotlight inward.
mind & body
calm & joy
pass it on


It boils down to this: Can I touch the other and make them (feel) better.
the long run
in yourself


I think the key is staying loose, eyes open, available and even vulnerable, open for a pass. It’s downright athletic.

Bob Arnold
Being part of a group focuses my attention on the group's agenda but necessarily blinds me to other possibilities. It's time to leave when the comfort of membership outweighs the challenge.
welling up
a chance


It is of the greatest urgency – even an ethical matter – that we be able to reach one another.

John Cage
Root is an angle into the ground.
Mellowed by a sense of mortality : the promise of continuity.


At their finest, human beings are not of this world.
embrace your heart with mindfulness and tenderness

Thich Nhat Hanh
His tenderness – aliveness – was trying to break free from his coldness – of feeling strong – stuck behind people.
begin the
this practice


weaken ambition and strengthen bones
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw
Force is a means to an end : energy is a process.
What is real
is not
the world


The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung
I have heard it said that force is simply too much energy. This is not so. Force requires me to regard the world as a collection of objects for my own manipulation, whereas to use energy I must become a member of an energetic system in which I have no more significance than any other.
I trust trust

Bob Arnold


Softness is uncovered; hardness is imposed.
Play is an approach to action not a form of activity.

Jerome Bruner
To use force hold on and tighten. To use energy release and extend.


Spontaneity, play and creativity : the well-springs of life.
It is in the space between inner and outer world, which is also the space between people – the transitional space – that intimate relationships and creativity occur.

D W Winnicott
Hardness is resistance : a stubborn refusal to yield. A stone is not hard – it does not resist – it is just itself – solid and firm – and given time even water will wear it down. Hardness fights, stuggles, shields – protects property – and in that struggle it constructs an empire : a monstrosity built on fear.


Unconditional love is not a sentiment but a willingness to be open.

John Welwood


Losing control to find a finer balance.


We dream the root to leaf the now.

Ronald Johnson


The opposite of love is not hate but fear. Love is not in the feeling but in the connexion. In fact love manifests by yielding to the connexion, and results in energy and softness; whereas fear manifests in a need to control, and results in force and hardness.
Struck by the daemonic.


When the hips release then so will the shoulders, and when the sacro-iliacs release then so will the neck and jaw.
to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow
from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither

Samuel Beckett
Hardness is the result of parts being fused together : it obscures detail.


Tai Chi is the celebration & investigation of connexion.
Linearity of hardness : circularity of softness.


The health of living organisms is maintained through the free-flowing circulation of energy.

John Welwood
Just do the work, without excess and without expectation.


What was it like when our sense of smell dominated experience? Forever catching traces of what was and what will pass. Sniffing – short and sharp – through wide open airways – nostrils flaring to catch the scent – not just aroma but fleeting spirit – the joy as it flies – and riding the wind with my own spirit – homing in on sources and origins – the body tense in exactly the right way – elastic and toned – all diaphragm.
Joy is the result of a healthy, flexible, fluid and fully functioning spine.


Attentiveness & wonder


Spinal hygiene


Heart, then, is a direct presence that allows a complete attunement with reality.

John Welwood
By nature we are passionate creatures, and only by training rational.


When we talk of being disconnected we mean from one's own heart.
Take a deep breath and move on.
Madness & naivety


Invest in loss.
There are two things I hate: analysis and power.

Sviatoslav Richter
Reach deep into the birth of freedom.
Meaning & diffusion


An artist must possess Nature – he must identify himself with her rhythm . . .

Henri Matisse
The manifold between carries a destiny more than abstract: scenic resonance – the fortunes of the other hand.
Assuage the febrile mind.


We must eliminate false hopes, which blind us to real possibilities.

Derrick Jensen
I think it was Charles Olson who suggested that mans' greatest achievement is his vertical gait, something we investigate and perfect excruciatingly in taichi. And I don't imagine that many would argue that our greatest failing – tragedy even – is our tendency to disconnect – separate – from the world we live in. The symptom of this disconnexion isn't just an absent minded day-dreaming or lack of awareness, it is the very act of thinking – or rather thinking about thinking – allowing ones thoughts to generate more thoughts and thereby creating a substitute world rather than letting them be what they originally are and should remain – feelings – impulses to physical action. Such thinking is very much a product of civilization – a luxury activity partaken during those times I do not need my wits about me, which for most of us leading safe and relatively sedentary lives is pretty much all the time. And such thinking really has nothing to do with understanding – with becoming more aware – but is really all about snatching an advantage – progress and profit.


Methods & gravity
The path of taichi is a protracted, though fascinating, process of softening.


Soft: (of persons) gentle or mild in nature or character; inclined to be merciful, lenient, or considerate in dealing with others; free from harshness, severity, or rigour; compassionate, kind, tender-hearted.

I shall call them ‘soft’ technologies: a textural description, intended to mean not vague, mushy, speculative, or ephemeral, but rather flexible, resilient, sustainable, and benign.

Amory Lovins in Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace
Softness puts me in the midst.


Never an excuse not to love.
Softness is putting the other first.