Turning, forever turning. Away from what is known, understood, glimpsed; toward nothing in particular. Turning for its own sake; for the sake of the energy it evokes. Turning disrupts vectorial space: no longer uniform or three-dimensional, space becomes alive with ever-shifting centres of intensity. Turning is the one thing Taiji has that meditation doesn't. And this is their fundamental difference: meditation is about acquiring an awareness of unmediated presence whereas Taiji is all about losing one's self in a world of energy.
Meditation without mediation.
Reflect on the content of doubt.
Delete the word.
Place the intricate housing.
Haunt structure.
Give back to history and evolution.
Start again.
Stripped of innate character.
A circle is not sufficiently tortuous.
This eternal question of gravity.
Stopping the world as middle and end.
Expression embodies a difference.
Sensitive aggregates are themselves creative.
Mechanics pave the way.
Unleashing dangerous revolutionary flows.
Absorbed under close surveillance.
This insatiable desire for ambiguous positions.
The invention of new emotions.
Prefabricated models of meaning and commitment.
You will find lift while proliferating escape plans.
A mutant form of liberation.
Concerned neutrals can achieve a revolution.
The paradigm of resistance imprisoned.
Capture the pressing need.
The euphoria of creation is based on conformity.
How can a new identity be enforced?
A return to the tragic note.
It is unclear where this is going.
Who can help but hear a lament?
Strategic belief.
A connection colonized the body.
The intolerable clash of innocence.
An antidote to feeling.
A heterodox incendiary line.
Our shame in being human.
Interdisciplinary vitality.
Unruly practices.
Filtered and go wild.
Crazy textures giving a haptic affect.
Never believe that space will suffice.
A forced peace.
A smooth capture.
Traces of consciousness.
Energy is able to transform.
A higher algebra of spirit.
Inhabiting the body.
The idea.
Irreducible to abstract forces.
To dream nonsense and understand.
Trimmed to basics.
Rupture the collective anus.
Delimit the ignorant.
Locate the blacksmith.
"A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts."
Meditating through the early hours. At one point the dogs started barking, set off by the arrival of wild boar. Strange creatures, they only come at night – huge black shadows that pass very close and make your hackles rise. And this is the thing about meditation: if you relax the mind quiet then the mysterious world of energy will open up and possess you. But use tension (force) and energy will always evade you.


Benefit from the pores of immanence.
Listening is not simply being ready to hear, but being prepared to follow. Ready, always, to change. (Derrida makes much of the fact that the French verbs être and suivre have the same first person singular, so that je suis means both I am and I follow.)


The good student is in love with truth. But also, if not equally, with work. So when she finds something challenging and difficult which she intuitively knows will take her closer to the truth, she rejoices and starts immediately. And the real sign of a good student is that they cannot stop.


Taiji traces time.


...to shake up entrenched habits of mind and received ideas...


Were you there
or here now—
such a slight sound
what was your step makes.


Yielding is a process that creates temporary, novel, ad hoc structures for turning aggressive forces against themselves.
…the subject must free herself from alienation in order to allow her own personal liberty to emerge…
Eschew a life impoverished by certitude.
Even with the best will in the world, the best ear to hear, the best heart, any and every communication is fraught with interpretive variability, and therefore endangered by the possibility and probability of misreading. This is what gives the cosmos, gives Nature, its infinite richness: mutability – the fact that life and existence are effectively a game of Chinese Whispers.
"The name is a kind of provisional formulation of an event, a relatively stable if evolving structure, while the event is ever restless, on the move, seeking new forms to assume, seeking to get expressed in still unexpressed ways."
If the principal focus of your Taiji is not Yielding, and the dominant energy is not Spirit, then it is not Taiji. My teacher would go further and replace the word Taiji in this statement with Life.
Listening with approval; never judgment. Like a good therapist – a psychoanalyst say – who struggles to remain as open as possible so that the patient's mind, feeling freer than usual, can stop thinking (worrying) and start to reveal itself. The analyst says as little as possible – remains out of sight even; just nods and prods every now and then.


reinvent the world every day

todo el corazón
…unsettle binary structural oppositions and set the machine in motion…
Nothing disarms
Like softness.
Thinking is a defence mechanism against the call of spirit. The ultimate act of avoidance: it creates so much internal noise that energy is effectively blotted out of consciousness. When we talk of listening in Taiji we don't really mean listening to words or thoughts, but listening to energy – attending the pain and suffering of the Other, their intention and intentions, and, through the ethical act of yielding, becoming appropriate to that energy. This becoming has nothing to do with thinking about what is heard and then deciding how to respond; such a process always takes me out of real time, out of their time, and disrupts the natural rhythm, the flow, of the relationship. It is more an unconscious, or at least unthinking, change of heart, brought about by a call to respond, a responsibility to rise above the morass of my own suffering and attend to theirs. Nothing is quite so healing as such an act of compassion.


Ever have a feeling of terror and panic when, for example, you see something in the darkness that is momentarily unrecognisable? This is a true response to a world that hasn't yet been identified and named, a world effectively unsullied by language, but clearly rich with feeling. We don't realise it but our usual perceptions, as well as giving us information about the world, push that world away, to a safe distance, at least, giving us, we hope, sufficient time to process the information, and choose a course of action. Meditation is a space and time where/when we endeavour to remove mental formations from the mind. Not only thoughts but any mental acts designed to keep the world at bay – to protect us from the onslaught of reality. Such formations are always fear-based, hiding behind a facade of reason and propriety. To maintain a poised equilibrium whilst being bombarded from all sides by a world intent on getting in and waking us up: this is meditation. The Internal opens up when we have eradicated all interiority, all self, all selfishness; in particular all self-pity.


signifying in a language of mute traces


"Everything depends on the intentionality with which he makes you exist for him."


I am subject, not self. Subject to a multitude of forces and limitations: natural, social, cultural, political, historical, ancestral, relational, internal, mental, destinal, divine. My formative choice is in which to foreground.
poised for passage


...what allows you to see clearly is not a mode of identification, but rather a mode of palpable experience, a pathic mode...

Ever mindful of the Earth's claim to my body. Each joint attached by a taut barely elastic thread of gravitational flux pulling ever downwards. This is how we face death, and this is how we eradicate ego – by allowing it no space in which to flourish. Ego thrives on my selfish and neurotic desire to be free of Earth, free of death.
...the body has both territorial sides which stabilize it, and cutting edges which carry it away...
The honour in living a life stripped, as much as is humanly possible, of all illusion if not delusion. This is the meaning of relaxed shoulders: constantly drawn down by broken (bent) elbows and wrists until gravity becomes embedded in my being. A veil unfurling, dropping to the ground, all around. A connexion to the grim reality of what Buddhists call suffering but which we call life. The life of a warrior.


"I often see through things right to the apparition itself."
Tension is stratified: laid down layer after layer. Relax one and you reveal another, more ingrained, more refractory; each demanding new terms of engagement, new tricks to dislodge.


"The division is that between the contingent, multiple and changeable self of my experience and the essential, simple and unchanging self that I know I must be."

The secret of spirit is that it changes everything, and so all discourse goes out the window.
A movement, a flow, a letting, so rich, that, for all intents and purposes, its dimensionality is infinite. And so, any attempt to represent it, to pin it down or define it, will, necessarily, clot and stanch it. Instead, go with the flow, and rightly see any attempts, from self or from beyond, to regulate it, as the work of the enemy of spirit and process, as an imposition of state. This is the function of meditation: to clear the mind, recognise the enemy, and find a way through.
( g ) l i s t e n i n g


...the essential gap, discrepancy and impropriety at the heart of every identity...
Every concept is accompanied by its equally valid opposite. Take the beautiful concept of destiny: the singularly significant life, a divine thread invested by the gods, the resonance of greatness echoing out from an evental assembling of power that a life can be when the destined focus their mind and spirit. This is always accompanied by the equally beautiful concept of multiplicity: a life lived as a series of almost arbitrary situations, void of singular power, by the absolute awareness of the sacredness of every possibility. Destiny is for the hero, strong of spirit and strong of ego, destined, above all, to suffer in the struggle to fill a life with power. Non-destiny is for the non-hero, void of ego and significance, yet full of a gentle spirit that invests each trivial action with poetic grace. The Greek tragic hero and the Zen master.


Movement, real movement, is terrifying because it is always a movement into the unknown.
The heart doesn't take sides, doesn't argue. Is all it desires is connexion and love – giving and receiving. It is the organ of pure compassion. Both male and female: rushing forth to penetrate and settling back to receive – embrace – simultaneously.


The idea of meditation is not simply that I train my mind to give up its neurotic chatter, but that I strive for such whilst the body is aligned and aligning energetically. Spiritual work – that which endeavours to free the spirit from the ego – requires a rigorous physical component – real hard work. This is not to say that the energetic has the same structures and follows the same rules as the material – nothing could be further from the truth. The two fundamental laws of the commonsense material world: that of cause and effect, and that of non-contradiction, simply do not apply to spirit because in the world of spirit time is otherwise. Time is not something that binds one inexorably to a plodding linear trudge, but a swirl of energy that can be dipped into, slipped through or past, played with, as long as one has the requisite softness, lightness and humour.


A hero is someone who, through force of character and force of destiny, changes the course of things. Things such as lives and history. A hero creates events.


How am I in the world? How is my subjectivity constructed? These philosophical questions are maybe best considered in relation to my attitude to inevitable times of difficulty or wretchedness. Do I try to remove the misery (talk to friends, visit the therapist, get high, etc.) or do I sink into my wretchedness, intensify it, and allow it to open up new becomings that I could neither have anticipated nor imagined. The first approach is what in Taiji we call avoidance: constantly putting off difficulties to a later time. It is a slack and ultimately unhealthy attitude to time and destiny. The latter we call yielding: confronting a problem as it happens, albeit slant, and allowing that confrontation to rouse my spirit and transform me into a capable and inevitable victor. Yielding requires me to believe not only in my own capacities, and in the power of spirit, but in pure time, or, what in Taiji, we call destiny.


"an ethical and political commitment to a life of continual self-transformation, unhindered by unnecessary conceptual and social constraints"
Seek to live the truth rather than know it. An eminently practical philosophy.
When you sink in Taiji the knee releases forwards and out (away), and the hip releases back and in (toward the tailbone). This stretches the femur and tends it to horizontal. Both releases affect the heart: the releasing knee causes the heart to open and melt forward, and the releasing hip causes the heart to focus and centre itself.


The vigilance of one in constant pain.
Listening, as we all know, is immensely difficult. On a simplistic and trivial level, that of receiving information and processing it, we do it all the time with various levels of success. This we call selfish listening because it is a listening by which the self survives and flourishes – a listening that is always comparing what is heard to what has already been assimilated. Taiji listening is largely just this: a listening sufficient to win the fight. True listening, on the other hand, listens from a place other than ego, a place of emptiness where the only thing in attendance is death. A listening with no interest in what is heard. Pure listening. Pure connexion.
Love and attachment (dependency) are inversely proportional.
Freedom requires the utmost vigilance.
The more I release into the ground, the more energy the ground provides, and the more my heart opens and reaches forwards. All the joints of the body must release, not only hips, knees and ankles, but sacroiliacs, vertebrae, shoulders, occiput, jaw. This is our faith.