31.12.11

Veritatem facere : make truth

30.12.11

discipline conceived as a means of sobering and quieting the mind, freeing the mind from its likes and dislikes, taste and memory, making it subject to the Mind outside it
Time doesn't just allow change, it demands it.

29.12.11

submitting to the unintelligible
Tai Chi Intensive
London
29 December 2011
Five hours of bent legs

27.12.11

Life is both dreadful and wonderful. To practice meditation is to be in touch with both.
Equilibrium is an event rich in possibility
Soft, slow-moving, and deeply penetrating
Things don't necessarily come together through tension, but they certainly stay together that way; their existence gradually becomes a matter of survival rather than celebration, demanding a general state of anxiety – maintaining life rather than creating it. Relaxation in taiji is our way of reversing the process of externalization, relaxing so much that we would, were it not for the natural stickiness of our cells, come apart.
10000 hours of deliberate practice first
Taiji is a method for minimizing the External and maximizing the Internal.

26.12.11

We don't so much flow into time as allow time to flow through us. Everything I face or do is time past or passing : I can only experience a fading world. What enlivens us is this feeling of expressing time – of living always on the edge where future becomes past – of being in the process. What depresses us – brings us down and flattens us – is drifting into the gloom of the past.

25.12.11

A turn away from language and into energy. This is the event our humanity is screaming for, and if we fail to make it we're fucked.
Our body is out of balance, because it’s dynamic and it’s not stable, it’s always changing, it’s transient, it’s uncomfortable, it’s comfortable, it’s relaxed, it’s tense, it’s respondent to the weather, to other people in the room, to its own inner nervous system, the nerves are laced all through the body, so the body is always out of balance and that’s how I think of it.

Steve Benson
a constitutive finitude
This terrible solitude ... at the death of the other is what constitutes that relationship to self which we call "me"
In taiji we don't think with the mind, we direct with it. Our mind creates the apparatus that houses our being, not the other way around: we are the experiment taking place within Mind. This is most clear with principles and beliefs; they are mental constructs – axioms – that direct and enable the use of ourselves in the world at large. The use of the mind in this way enables a much deeper relaxation and internalization, but it requires an unshakable consistency; once we start directing with the mind we dare not stop otherwise we will literally fall apart at the seams.
Knowledge is solid; it blocks the way of understanding.

24.12.11

The only certainty in life is death. Or less melodramatically: the future is uncertain; things change. Most cultures acknowledge this as axiomatic, and when it is thought through it becomes clear that at least two worlds must exist: the knowable world, and the unknowable world. The knowable world consists of everything that can be experienced, thought, imagined: everything we could possibly talk about. The unknowable world contains everything we cannot experience or imagine – the world of feelings we will never feel, possibilities that will never materialize. Deleuze called these two sides of reality the actual and the virtual. My teacher calls them the External and the Internal. Science concerns itself with the process of externalization – with exploring the knowable world – making the unknown known. Spiritual work on the other hand concerns itself with a process of internalization – of becoming internal. We can never know the unknowable, but we can enter it and touch it by switching on the unknowable part of ourselves. This is the true nature of Mind – it is the Internal. Our usual use of mind – specifically thinking – is a gross externalization of Mind, designed to objectify the self and hence the world.

23.12.11

Nothing so healing as the human touch.

21.12.11

To relax the mind into its virtual capacity, and free the energy to do what it needs. Most human endeavor instead strives to materialize the mind by thinking, locking up the energy in the process.

20.12.11

Mostly we spend a life avoiding what needs to be engaged and engaging what would be best avoided.

19.12.11

In taiji the connexion supersedes both self and other.
In the Trinity there is, 1 Ipseity; 2 Alterity; 3 Community.
real but not actual, ideal but not abstract

18.12.11

an inconceivable process of dismantling and dispossession

17.12.11

Elbows pulled down, knees lifted up; by mind not muscle.
the infinite finitude of time
In a state of suspense
this pre-originary intervention of the other in me
the capacious heart

16.12.11

A radical equilibrium – from root to other – is inherently unstable. This is its trembling beauty – never more than a trace – an echo – yet lasting forever.
Like a puppet on a string
The Maker of all things took Union and Division, and Identity and Alterity, and Station and Motion to compleat the soul.

15.12.11

making prose plotless by the adamancy of my atomizing
Searching for that which precedes every decision and exceeds all mastery.

14.12.11

13.12.11

the endlessness of the end that is never-ending
Shoulders relax into elbows; hips into knees.
there cannot be anything without the greeting of the other

12.12.11

no going outside of oneself, however excellent, is better than staying still

11.12.11

the undecidable future always exceeds any plans we make for it

10.12.11

the movement of disappearance
"Whatever I do, I do it with my heart, that is the way I am."
an inward nisus
reflecting disappearance itself
Why not be, rather, fully human?

9.12.11

The martial context of taiji indicates that it is simply a way of training the body to respond with lightening speed to feeling.
the provocative otherness of the other
Suspended from above
To be human is to feel, primarily. Sentio ergo sum. Feelings come and go all the time – traces of energy passing through – stimulating us to do whatever it is that we do. How we relate to a feeling depends upon us. We can ignore it – act as though we don't feel – dull and insensitive, we can resist the feeling – harden ourselves against it and attempt to deny its consequences (become a wall), we can hold onto the feeling encouraging it to develop into an emotion (become a knot), or we can simply be aware of the feeling as it happens and allow the body to respond appropriately. This last approach we call yielding.

8.12.11

The individual is the seat of a constant process of decantation, decantation from the vessel containing the fluid of future time, sluggish, pale and monochrome, to the vessel containing the fluid of past time, agitated and multicoloured by the phenomena of its hours.

Samuel Beckett
A mind not so much silent as without commentary – unpreoccupied.

7.12.11

the accusation that summons
looking for the invisible within the visible, the untouchable within the touchable

6.12.11

all language is an act of persuasion, an attempt to shift desires
like having to pass through a deep valley ... in search of a mouse hole that will lead to freedom

5.12.11

We go deep to dispel the very notion of depth
in the heart of the cloud of the virtual there is a virtual of a yet higher order
an incipient richness
To live out a life

3.12.11

a way of living that reverses the movement that created us, the movement that led from virtual to actual
The test of a good posture is how immediately and efficiently it returns energy.
one must master one's own breath – the most important and vital connection with nature

2.12.11

a state of precultural grace unsullied by language