We are responsible beyond our intentions.


Do nothing : nothing doing. (To resist doing is doing.)
Stress is rarely a problem in itself. It becomes a problem when we forget how to relax and rest.
One of the deepest metaphysical assumptions to modern civilized life is the binary opposition of life and death – they are assumed to be mutually exclusive to the extent that the more alive I am then the further I am from death and vice versa. Any experienced warrior (in short supply nowadays) will attest to the lie in this assumption, and will also stress that to be really alive one must not just face death but evoke death – call upon it to attend and witness ones actions, thereby lending them the power and gravitas of the choiceless life.
Freedom from desire not to desire.


Say a body. Where none. No mind. Where none. That at least. A place. Where none. For the body. To be in. Move in. Out of. Back into. No. No out. No back. Only in. Stay in. On in. Still.
half eager, half bashful
daunting & ineluctable
Even the thought of discipline elicits resistance from the ego. The depths are terrifying. If there were no resistance then it would not be an effective discipline – it would not be digging ever deeper but simply passing the time.
Only in fragments can we read the immeasurable totality.
lest the resolve slacken or the repetition become rote
contingent, exultant and necessary
The living present springs forth out of its nonidentity with itself.
Consistency and constancy are the hallmarks of disciplined work, which aims, little by little, to sink a well and tap deep, otherwise inaccessible, energies. Such work is difficult because for long periods there will be no seeming reward and the student will be tempted to desist, hence the need for constancy. And for those driven to seek, the temptation will always be to try new things, in which case they will be perptually scratching the surface, hence the need for consistency.
The true knight of faith is a witness, never a teacher, and therein lies his deep humanity.
the evasions of thought


Sartre has a beautiful phrase: "We are all the for-itself that wants to be in-itself." When I am for-itself then I am self-concerned, thinking about and acting for myself, and when I am in-itself I am generous, carefree, reckless, responding instantly to stimuli without the mediation of thought or consideration.
Form fascinates when one no longer has the energy to understand energy from within itself. That is, to create.
The two aspects of our being: the infinite depth of meaning that is remembering and the ever-renewed surface of life that is perception.
Taiji, when done in the right spirit, is a beautifully effective method for opening up all dimensions of our being – body mind energy soul – to truth.


dexterity in faith is not acquired in a few days or weeks


heathery gulfs of quiet where the wind drowns my life and its old jingles
That for which we find words is something already dead in our hearts.
The present moment is unique – has never quite happened before and can never quite happen again. My practice, which is built upon repetition, must somehow honour and uncover this uniqueness, whilst remaining true to its eternal principles. This is achieved by practising with passion, so that although the form remains largely the same, the content is always different. Passion – spirit – generates difference.
this passionate concentration, this energetic consciousness


close to heart
Resentments spring from self-pity;
self-pity from self-importance;
self-importance from self-indulgence.
Choice weakens.
I am a little world made cunningly
Of elements and an angelic sprite
not the ingenious web of imagination but the shudder of thought
A mind without resentment is a mind at peace.


A creating is an effect that becomes irreducible to its cause.
harbor a future of meaning
I wish only
a total transformation
In the beginning the world was unuttered.
Faith pervades and preserves
an indescribable freshness
(it is with the heart one loves, is it not, or am I confusing it with something else?)
Any teacher worth their salt will eventually stress to the student that it (learning/ teaching/living) is a matter of heart; or love, or more specifically, unconditional love. Love for the sake of love.
dilate your heart
Clearly distinguish full and empty. These are the contradictory affirmations that I must house in my body at the same time. The mind, usually in charge, cannot handle such a demand. Is all it can do is relax, take a back seat, and let the heart be the container. Then, as I do my taiji, it is as though my heart contains my body.
shunning the implications of mastery
Then silence again, broken only by the sound, intricate and faint, of the body on its way.
a liminal world in perpetual transition
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
everything is established by being put into practice
Why deconstruct the old & established? Because unless we are very careful they come to represent the opposite of what they originally contained.


sedulous, serious and resolute
Circumcize the foreskin of your heart.
the terrain of reconciliation
The well-taught (well-cooked) student harbors secrets galore – imprints embedded in her energy by the master over years of exposure. These secrets can only be recovered once the student breaks away from the master and becomes a teacher herself – her own master. Then it is a continuing passion for the work coupled with the inspiration of good students that starts the slow unlocking of this power.
this heart aglow with wonder
Only the provisional can be uttered.
The master transmits instruction either as efficiently as possible – with one word (practise, natural, spirit, turn, relax, sink, etc.) or obliquely: with stories – parables – ancient saws designed to cut through superficial understanding and seep into the heart.
warm our hearts with the old stories
The old and established are signified by well-worn names and concepts. Part of my work should be questioning these names – deconstructing them – prising them apart to expose their truth. The newly appearing are like wisps of smoke or ellusive flashes that need to be captured and caged in new names and concepts in order to nurture and investigate. Once trapped they behave like frightened wild animals that scurry to the back of the cage whenever we approach. We must be gentle and patient to coax them out of the dark and into our presence. Any force or heavy-handedness and they retreat, and we find ourselves working instead with our memory of them. This will make their names simply an extension of what we already know, and thereby deny them their power – their ability to transform, both us and themselves.
the innermost depths of my still attrite heart
the divine event, the eschaton, is always round the corner
When I practice taiji two forces are at play: a weakening and rupturing of the old and established, and a strengthening and consolidating of the newly appearing. My progress depends upon my ability to allow these forces play, and upon my powers of discrimination – my ability to sniff out and discern what, from the welter of new insights, deserves work.
we must maintain two contradictory affirmations at the same time
The truth of an utterance lies not in its veracity but in its power – its ability to awaken and inspire change. This relies as much upon the recipients readiness to listen as the speakers willingness to tell.
the Lord fills His teachers with grace according to the quality and longing of those who listen


Beginner's mind can only look to the future unfolding because it has no past to retreat into. The expert (teacher), on the other hand, uses extensive experience to make what's coming. The most valuable lesson to be learned from experience is that expertise blocks miracles.
an assiduous heart is an open door
The goal of our profession is the kingdom of God. Its immediate purpose, however, is purity of heart, for without this we cannot reach our goal. We should therefore always have this purpose in mind: and, should it ever happen that for a short time our heart turns aside from the direct path, we must bring it back again.
Spirit is not our doing but our undoing.