30.11.12


Curse the system, not yourself.
Attentiveness is the heart's stillness, unbroken by any thought. In this stillness the heart breathes and invokes, endlessly and without ceasing, only Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and Himself God.

St Hesychios

This quote shows that Jesus Christ is primarily the personification of that tiny part of God that can be directly experienced by man. Secondarily he may or may not have been a historical actuality. I guess the Romans in the story personify the rational machine, that part of us that rejects God (heart) in order to pursue knowledge (thought).

29.11.12

Ultimately taiji is simply something that gets done, free of ideas (about how it should be done) and free of feelings (Wow, this feels great! : I wish I wasn't so tired). It has the same goal as all meditation – immediacy of being – to approach pure existence undistracted by anything. Pure being cannot be spoken about – words neither appear nor stick; it is to the distractions that language cleaves. So the meditative mind is one clear of language, including the possibility for words. 

According to the Jewish faith, sometime in the distant past God withdrew from man – he stopped speaking to him – which is why the Jews must content themselves with what was written long ago. I suspect it was not God who withdrew from man but man who withdrew from God – when man started to use the divine gift of language to protect himself from reality (God) rather than to engage with God (reality). It amounts to the profound but subtle difference between speaking the head and speaking the heart.
All my inwardness is invested with accusation.

24.11.12

it is always a third party who says 'me'

Weave an intrigue of responsibility.
flow is always of belief and of desire
The taiji student should refrain from thinking the world as a collection of discrete objects arranged in space, and instead think the world as flows of energy distributed in time. This is useful thinking : using the mind to trace and create energy.

23.11.12

resist the terminus of meaning
Taiji – often presented as the pursuit of perfection – can be demoralizing. It is at these moments that we need to remind ourselves that taiji is not idealistic but in fact very practical; it is not about performing the perfect Form but about winning the fight. In other words it is fundamentally about spirit, and spirit is never formal or ideal. Spirit is all about transformation – yielding – becoming whatever I need to be to get the job done, and it rises when challenged. The teacher must remember this – he must teach with lightness, and not make heavy demands that the students can't honour. The teacher uses his spirit to make the impossible possible, not just for his students but for himself and everything he encounters.

21.11.12


always the same process, never a stable state, always a single event, never a predictable outcome
It is not the [capacity for] violence that sets a man apart, it is the distance he is prepared to go.

20.11.12

Sobriety, which starts off as a state of mind and ends up as a way of being, is the pressure I keep myself under in order to bring intensity and power to my life. Like the lid of a pressure cooker. It ensures that every action comes from spirit.

19.11.12

Stepping among the primary questions
the body is altered attention

Pam Rehm
What is the function of desire if not one of making connections?

The truth we speak about has nothing to do with verification and everything to do with connexion.
A forceful action is one that attempts to get the job done by pushing weight around.
There is a time to go out, to be dispersed in light, and a time to return again, faculty by faculty, to rest in one's own weight.
The short-term benefits of using force are always outweighed by its long-term repercussions.

13.11.12

Relax the one of ego into the two of body.

Root, branches, fruit. Whilst most of us focus on the fruit, the wise man returns to the root.

12.11.12

It is not the
business of
silence to
give answers

Michael O'Brien

10.11.12

I am in love with moistness.

8.11.12

the poetics of the wait and of the threshold
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn ...

4.11.12


It is 6:07 on a Sunday morning – the beginning of the working week here – and I am practising in the local park, having started just before 5. When I arrived it was barely light. A few minutes ago my exertions were interrupted to jot down an insight that idly entered my mind. On resuming my work I distinctly felt my mental activity shift from front brain to back – my mind relaxed out of thinking and back into meditation.
plough on
Daoism, of which taiji is a practice, recommends the negative over the positive – the empty space over the full – neither subject nor object but the space between – the between.
Students often complain that practice is difficult (as if that were a worthy excuse for not practicing). Practice is not difficult, once you get into it. What is difficult is starting – making the switch from the slack flabby living we are used to, to the biting immediacy of physical, and especially energetic, work. Our normal daily lives are mediated to the brim by endless clutter – habits, routines, thoughts, feelings, opinions, sensations, experience, expectations, language, memories, and then the material nonsense : gadgets, appliances, books, wardrobe, friends, family, colleagues, things in general. People feel this madness gives them freedom of choice, but really it just stresses them out with having to choose – they live lives full of choosing and little else. Mediation, which is meant to reconcile – to bring things together, ends up keeping us divorced from reality. This is a general principle – when something becomes habituated over time it has the opposite effect to the one originally intended.

2.11.12

The head is the organ of exchange, but the heart is the amorous organ of repetition.

The one generates the two, and the two suspend the one.
Find great teaching. This is a matter of openness and karma.
Respect the teaching : always put it first, above one's own opinions, thoughts, feelings.
Honour the teaching : practice, practice, practice.
This is the way. And, as far as I know, it is the only way.