How proceed? By aporia pure and simple.
extend oneself through patterns of deference
Endlessly relearning the same old lessons. With each pass we go deeper, but only if, in the meantime, there has been a softening. Softness allows understanding.


Poetry is the spasm or black-out of language.
a responsibility to respond

weaken aspirations and strengthen bones
an ongoing space for self-renewal


so given am I to thinking with my breath
The reason I do not eat the flesh of living beings is because I do not want to harm my heart of compassion.
noncoercive action, unprincipled knowing, and objectless desire


let the things themselves speak for themselves
knowledge itself is part of the illusion of the world
The other demands attention, and it is our contention in taiji that this demand is the only one able to break through the cocoon of self – to rupture my isolation and shock me to join. And meeting the challenge of this demand has nothing to do with understanding or knowledge, both of which give me the skill to deal with the anticipated other rather than the actual other. It has much more to do with openness and humility, and a willingness to play.
unconditional hospitality must remain open without horizon of expectation, without anticipation, to any surprise
Glorious prospect, but for the mist that blotted out everything

A simple exercise. I stand, relaxed and willing, before the other. They take hold of my hand and lift. I have three choices: to assist – making my arm easier to lift; to resist – keeping the arm in place, even if momentarily out of confusion or mild panic. (Assiting and resisting are both ways of staying in control – having things on my own terms – and both involve tension.) The third choice is neither to assist nor to resist but to relax, allow my arm to be its full loose weight, and allow the other the effort of lifting it. This third way we call yielding, and is a guarantee that energy will manifest.


a deeply affirmative irruption, from the depths


unburdening ourselves of a mute anxiety
Progress is only possible through the Other.
Progress in the sense of transgression, against myself. Any decision made by me, no matter how reasonable, is, ultimately, made to sustain ego, and therefore neurosis. So, my only real hope for change and growth is by attending to the needs of the Other.

to twist free of the system
One writes to get it off the chest – to erase the feeling – knowing full well that anything grasped and held onto becomes a graven image of a personal (and therefore irrelevant) past better forgotten.
Heavy, serious, solid earth. The earth that is worked upon, scratched, written upon. The no less universal element in which meaning is engraved so that it will last.
As I practise my taiji, slowly, inexorably, but above all willingly, the past of tradition opens up before me and I sink down and forward (never back) into its deep dark recesses. This is a past I can absolutely trust to give endless support and nourishment, a past brimming with secrets which the faint light of my sincerity illumines just long enough to catch glimpses – whispered clues as to how to proceed. A past that requires the utter respect of endless revisiting and constant reinterpretation. Each visit adjusts not only my energy but also my karma, aligning me with destiny as I humbly accept and accede to its demands. In taiji we mine the past in order to better yield to the future.


Poetry is perhaps this: a turning of the breath.
faith is always through a glass darkly
Taiji must contain the energy of the Other. This doesn't mean visualizing them as opponent, but having a heart open to change. For this I need people in my life whom I hold dear (love), and I need an open, welcoming and interested attitude to the stranger (also love).
Heart always bleeds – seeps and leaks – blurring boundaries, especially that between Self and Other.
An open heart/mind is one ready to change.
writing under erasure


I call a poem that very thing that teaches the heart, invents the heart.
a conversation which changes the structure of the soul
truth and meaning are generated, not inherent
Taiji is a method for awakening and developing energy. Relaxing the body and mind frees energy usually locked up in tension and anxiety, and the gentle movements – turning whilst shifting the body weight from leg to leg – stimulates the energy to flow and grow. As my energy refines and strengthens over the years of practice, it becomes clear that the character of this energy has far more to do with my ancestry and cultural traditions than with anything Chinese. That ancestry and tradition goes back a long way – thousands of years (certainly before Christianity crippled my people with guilt and sin) – pre-history. So, as I practice my taiji, which I do because I love it, I have to be aware that my spirit needs to reconnect with that ancient knowledge, which, in the domain of spirit, is still very much alive, and not become captured by Chinese theory, be it ch'i, five elements, I Ching, or whatever. Yin & Yang I consider to be a sufficiently universal and fluid concept, as old as night and day, which can be interpretted variously, that is, however I chose.
Who can ever dare a ‘we’ without trembling?
As soon as a feeling or idea (is there a difference?) becomes verbalized it is set as utterance, and this fixity, far from obliging me to stay true to my word, in fact liberates me from the sentiment and allows me to change. As soon as I voice "I love you" is all I can be sure is that I no longer do, not in the way those words were meant. That love may have grown stronger, may have weakened, may have deepened or may be bored and wanting to move on. Is all anything can do is change, so I must understand that any document or report of a state of affairs, be it photograph, video, utterance, diary entry, memory, is past, a past to which the absolute future bears little resemblance.


Tai Chi Chuan translates literally as Supreme Ultimate Boxing. But it can also be rendered the Way of Yin & Yang, or the Struggle of Yin & Yang.
All human errors are impatience
We are all responsible for everyone else – but I am more responsible than all the others.
How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
I had been mad enough to study reason; I was reasonable enough to study madness.
The old story: a great Master receives a talented apprentice whom he subjects to a strict regime of training – restricting the prentice's life and experience to that of the work and only the work. After many years of devoted labour the student acquires enough kung-fu to understand the world from within his art – he achieves mastery, and necessarily leaves his master's tutelage to make his own way in the world. After many more years of work – teaching, training, and above all, living, he acquires the wisdom and humility to fly free of the art itself. At this point he becomes a Master of the Tao.
An open heart welcomes whatever the future brings, that is, has conquered fear.
The desire to be special – what could be more ordinary?
the mild boredom of order


the recovery and dispensation of spirit
the suspension of certainty, not of belief
Slowly with never a pause plod on and never recede.
So important that the love I feel and express is not love of the same – the known – self – but love of the other. Love for all I cannot know.
this demanding freshness
more simple by far and by far more radical
We are at our best when confronted by the unknown – the incalculable, the unaccountable – alterity. It is on such occasions that habit cannot kick in – there is no established pattern to follow – and our spirit is forced to rise and engage with the singularity of the occasion.
an elemental monastic simplicity
an asymmetrical obedience to an absurd order
The change required is always unimaginable.


a rebellious force of affirmation
an uncanny twist or torsion

enable the teaching to reveal itself (and without it wont)
a voluntary surrender to infection