A teacher, in some area, on some level, is more aware than you, and their skill is to lend you sufficient spirit to be similarly aware. The difficulty then is the struggle to remember when you no longer have the presence of their energy. What you recall of the external depends upon your visual memory largely, whereas what you recollect of the internal depends upon the degree of respect and reverence you have in your heart for the teaching.
Something always lurks beneath the surface. This is why it is so important to trust what you feel (in your heart) rather than what you sense.
"From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached."
Be present, but never overbearing. In other words: listen and respect.
If you relax onto/into your supports they will sustain as well as maintain – they will give you energy and strength. This is especially true of the Earth.

If your humbleness doesn't make you more intense, more dangerous, more transformative, then you're doing it wrong.

Don't commentate; create!
Attend the point of contact with Earth. That's where the main action is. And everything done, thought or said should, ideally, start and come – spring – from there.
Everything and everyone you touch should spring into life.


"The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable."
It is said that this path is impossible without a qualified master.
Feel the reality of the connexion, and mistrust sensation.


"The first duty of love is to listen."
The work is not about mastering a system or an art, but mastering yourself. This is what makes it spiritual.


The master takes you beyond yourself. Without which nothing is really possible. And you've mastered the art when you can do this for yourself.
Follow your nose and choose with the heart. And trust, above all else, your own feelings.

Your chosen discipline and your chosen master will only get you so far. Nothing is complete. And the longer you stick with them the more glaring the holes become. Unless you're so brainwashed you don't notice.
"Faith is an act of a finite being who is grasped by, and turned to, the infinite."

Mastery is a point of ruthlessness.
"It is useless to teach those who do not expect to be transformed."


Real softness gives, stays connected and returns. Elastic.
Depression results when you lose God – when you are lost.
Someone who is really relaxed is not still. They are so full of internal movement that they constantly transform the world around them. They can't help it. This is communication.
love goes beyond the beloved

There's nothing quite so rewarding as giving your energy to someone in real need. And there's nothing quite so exhausting as wasting your energy on someone who isn't.
"Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it."
Nothing quite so obnoxious as a person who has learnt 'to love themselves.' Wankers. That's not love. It's self-indulgence and self-importance. It's delusional. To love yourself requires a lifetime's work uncovering what you really are beneath the conditioning and wishful thinking. It has nothing to do with spoiling yourself and everything to do with painful self-exposure – stripping away the armour you've barricaded your spirit behind and being brave enough not to die of fright.
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." This says it all really. The work is to accrue the strength to forgive. And you are (only) free when you've forgiven everything. Then you'll let go and die in peace. So much of the modern desire for longevity is an ego-driven (neurotic and puerile) holding onto health and existence by people who have rarely, if ever, been really (selflessly) alive anyway.
"Faith is not a question of the existence or non-existence of God. It is believing that love without reward is valuable."

"If one could possess, grasp, and know the other, it would not be other."
I don't care what you think – it's all opinion and it's all shite.
When I'm with a soft person I get drunk.
The union of mind and body. This is our task. Clearly not the thinking mind, you can't think the body, not usefully. It's the mind that remains when you stop thinking and just relax. A tall order I know but without it there will never be energy. So how to stop thinking? Can't use force, not for long anyway. It's a matter of faith, and of learning to love and to live for love and for nothing else. And love, true love, is always love of the other, never one's own, and such love drifts gradually towards love of God, love of the Absolute Other, and meditation becomes prayer, the mind with God, finally.
Wealth, health and longevity. I just can't buy into this obscenely selfish bourgeois dream any longer. I'd rather die.


Resist the temptation to disappear behind or into self.
To believe in something you must first fall in love with it, and vice versa.
There is always a hidden agenda. It's what we call the internal. Try to at least be aware of your own. This is honesty.
Depression results when you resist (the imperative to) change.
The work is a lifetime study of how to love correctly. To love such that that loving intensifies and strengthens spirit rather than depletes it.
What you see is not what you get.
Help others.


Try to remember a time before you became jaded. I think this is only possible when you keep a keen and constant eye on a growing child.
Balance can only be achieved when you stop thinking about it – when you enter real time.
We meditate to find a space free of economy.
Soul develops when you chose to suffer. Not masochistically but selflessly – for others.
With this emphasis on mindfulness Buddhism is losing its soul.
Break loose of the burden and begin to sing.
"Only those ideas that are least truly ours can be adequately expressed in words."

Beware the master who prescribes himself as perfect model.
Heart-mind is supportive; head-mind is destructive – disapproving.
Faith must underpin the work. If you don't believe in practice then it won't work for you, not deeply anyway, not on your soul. Ultimately it's not about how good you are at your chosen discipline, it's about how good you are as a person. And to be good – to be capable of love on all levels – requires, first and foremost, faith. And to improve, to become better, surprisingly maybe, requires hope. In fact, this is what hope is: belief in the possibility of improvement, in a better future.
If something's wrong then things are out of balance.
He in control is not developing, not growing. He may be accumulating – wealth, energy, prestige, whatever – but this, in itself, is an indication that the system has acquired pathological regularities instead of being unpredictably fluid.


The teacher's job is to point you in the direction of spirit.


One takes a position to erase its future possibility. This is softness.
To love a person means to see them as they are. And seeing, real seeing, is only possible when you suspend judgement and allow yourself to be moved; when you let the heart-stopping reality of face-to-face wrench you out of your fantasies. This is the function of love: not just to connect, but to stop the world by putting you out of sync with certitude.
We must realise that views and opinions, no matter how strong and convincing, are mere fantasy. In fact, the more strongly they are expressed and held onto – the more fanatical – the more fantastical, and the more they beg to be let go.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

A meditation session must be attentive enough to catch higher frequencies and long enough to feel lower frequencies. Then you are expanding your range – your humanity. And this added detail and depth radically changes the whole picture – reveals that what you previously took as reality was just a set of stiff unyielding prejudices.
If a bourgeois life is about sweeping whatever's deemed undesirable under the proverbial carpet then a spiritual life is about peeling back that carpet and dealing with your filth. This will always be painful and frightening.
Life is a string of events – energetic encounters – encounters with energy.


A path with heart takes you deeper, but it's a depth that mind could never foresee. This is why it's so important, for soul, to go beyond the mind. The mind always holds back. In a sense this is what the struggle to understand is – not the drive for truth it purports to be but a frantic effort to make the unknown like everything else – an attempt to superficialize reality.


"Depression is rage spread thin."


As any improviser (musician, dancer, artist) knows, the only way to be consistently free and creative, in the sense of not repeating oneself all the time, is to first discipline with thousands of hours of solid ground work, developing technique, range and maturity.

The tragic mistake we all make, on some level or other, is to cheat. In Taiji this usually means adding more tension to an already tense system in order to give the semblance of relaxation and progress. Instead of realigning, and slowly, through practice and patience, plucking up the courage to honestly relax to both gravity and the other, the arrogant student assumes he knows best and adds his own cleverness. This always ends, usually decades later, in tears.
Listening doesn't just mean hearing what's said, it means doing what you're told.
Don't be mean. Don't be a taker. Be a maker and give back, at least as good as you get. This is a principle, which means it operates everywhere on every level. It is THE principle.
Each layer of tension constitutes a blanket between thee and reality. Take them all away at once and you'd either die of shock or go mad. This is why it takes so long; so many layers, so much strength to earn. But, as you see, not strength of body, nor strength of character, but the strength to face a reality that has absolutely no need for you.
"That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane."


True mind is simply heart, or at least issues from there.
The thinking mind analyses the past in order to plan a future. But it can only do this at the expense of ignoring the present. True mind is ever blossoming into the ensuing moment; taking (making) what comes, not passively but creatively.
A change is as good as a rest. Easy things to change: diet, attire, vocabulary.
Forget the competition; they'll destroy themselves and each other if you just leave them to it.
It's all in the endgame.

Meditation is a space where cares and woes (words) pale into insignificance, and being becomes saturated by mind (energy). This is bliss.
If it goes against everything you were ever taught then go for it.

Make sure sensitivity isn't an over-attachment to feeling, otherwise it'll hold you back.
Being present ain't so easy. On the one hand it requires me to let go of the past (pray the past let go of me) and on the other I must connect totally with the flow of energy through me – I must live the continuity of moment to moment – life must become a long unbroken Taiji Form. This is achieved by developing the mind of intent, and honouring the larger mind that is intending me; what used to be called the will of God.


Only when you let it go do you see it for what it is.
The curse of the advanced student is that heavy pall of self-importance that shrouds their practice as they "get into energy," like a leaden cloak of seriousness donned to let the world know they're practising. Beginners don't have this, and great masters certainly don't. But, as my mother would say: It's just a stage. A necessary stage.
Not so much a search for meaning as understanding. And to understand – to stand under – requires, above all, humility and acceptance.
The work is a struggle to see (and eventually become) the bigger picture. This can only be achieved by first developing a strong gravitational centre, so that I can stay together naturally – without force.

The work is a becoming light. An ascension. Only Taiji, to my (extremely limited) knowledge, understands that this is achieved by first becoming heavy/dark.
Don't expect too much from communication. It has little to do with words. It is simply time together, listening, being and, most of all, becoming. It should be light and slight, without the pall of competition. As my grandmother used to say: If you have nothing positive to say then keep your mouth shut.
Each word has as many meanings as there are people who utter it.
"When we are young we are like a flowing river – and then we freeze."
Clinging to a past will make you either bitter or brittle. Better let it go and move on. Easier said than done. This is the work. Nothing to do with garnering knowledge or power or even wisdom. Finally, the great master is simply empty.


Better safe than sorry. Such an attitude is both disempowering and disenchanting in the extreme.

"If you want truly to understand something, try to change it."
This is a principle that only a dictatorial teacher will attempt to suppress.
It is when the external accrues meaning in itself and for itself that we lose (sense of) the internal. The external is simply container for the internal – a structure necessary for the internal to take shape.


The work takes us out of certitude and into doubt so all-consuming it could be called nothingness.
Out of mind and into body. Out of head and into heart. Away from planning a secure future and into creating a surprising present. Change rather than stasis. Process rather than state. Motion rather than station. Spirit rather than brains.
"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."

Tail is homunculus, and as such has more chance to truth than that above. And, paradoxically, being the devil, is less impressionable than the rest, because, when awoken, restless. Heart is not denial of head and tail but their union and balance.


"To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born."
Distorting facts to support a theory. This is something we all do every waking moment.


"The scars left from the child's defeat in the fight against irrational authority are to be found at the bottom of every neurosis."
Depression is an honest (natural) response to a habitual life.


"Faith is grounded in one's body, in one's humanity, and in one's animal nature. It is a biological phenomenon and not a psychic creation."
Don't see different things – see things differently.
A good listener hears beneath the words.

Only the mind is afraid to let go.
My very existence is a separation from God.
"I consider consumerism to be a worse form of fascism than the classic variety."
There's this and there's that, and the art of life is striking a balance.


A living teaching is about spirit; a dead teaching about technique.

Think from the ground.
"If you are bored, you are not paying attention."


The mind dominates life yet we constantly crave experiences that take us out of it.


A jaw so relaxed you drool.
"Education is learning to grow."

Keep going – you'll get there eventually.
So quiet you can hear a pin drop.
Drowning in my own vomit.
"Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death."
We do make life difficult for ourselves. Especially in our use of the legs, which become tired bored workhorses, unable to relax and have fun.
"The purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire."

Letting go of tension is largely a matter of learning to let out your energy. And by this I don't mean throwing your class mates or your students around — that's silly — boys being boys; I mean feeling life as energy surging through you, never to be hindered or halted.
Truth is in the heart, not the facts.
Patient for progress; impatient for life. Life is not something you wait for, it's something you make. Progress, on the other hand, happens despite my efforts rather than because of them, and can never be forced.
Life is the long slow process of learning acceptance.
"The most comprehensive formulation of therapeutic goals is the striving for wholeheartedness: to be without pretense, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one's feelings, one's work, one's beliefs."

The most important part of the body is the lower back: sacrum because it's the juncture of torso and legs, lumber spine because it's where the strength for life – for expression – comes from, and tail, full of natural curiosity and intelligence, without which I endlessly repeat myself.
If fear outweighs enthusiasm then you're not alive.
Bum in, but tail out. To tuck the tail under is stupid. Think of a dog. When it's happy the tail sticks up and wags; when it's unhappy the tail drops between the legs. We are no different. The tail expresses attitude to life.
It's not just a matter of becoming more relaxed: it's a matter of becoming ready. This means spirit.
The teacher is there to help you do better and be better.
Selfless in the sense of gracious.


"It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."
Meditation reveals that mind is simply the upward flow of energy balancing gravity. Mind is prayer – a natural response to gravity and Earth. Plants have this best, especially trees, who spend all day lifting their minds to God. Meditation is a time when we become trees – when we effectively beg God to unravel our crumpled spines and cleanse our hearts.
The thinking mind is a heaviness.
When you have the time, the energy and the inclination then practice is easy – a joy; it almost does itself. This is how it should be. So the real work is all in the preparation: making sure you have the time and energy, and, most of all, the heart, to work. Again, this is ultimately a matter of posture; of poise.


Get a grip.
"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."
To dig deep you need correct instruction from a qualified master of a graduated discipline. Such instruction is always one of spirit rather than technique. If the spirit is right then anything becomes a potentially useful technique.

Coccyx and thymus should work together, and if they don't then the lower back will never become strong enough to deliver correct posture.
If you can't laugh then the tail's frozen. Just give it a wiggle.
Repression is when the reality of your beautiful energy is shat upon by the delusions of your nervous mind.
All Nationalism is Fascism: ganging together to oppress minorities, feeling good at the other's expense.
"The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions."
Don't mistake aggression for spirit.

"Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses understanding."
Parents nowadays are obsessed with two things: that their child should be both special and happy. And yet how often do you see these qualities together?


"There is no coming to consciousness without pain."
Laziness and busy-ness amount to the same thing: no practice.


The tail is not only Taiji's best kept secret it's life's too.
"Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it."

A life littered with little acts of kindness.
At (in) our age it's more realistic to think of salvage than salvation.
Straight jacketed by ego; but free to scream and squirm to our heart's content.
Meditation is largely a time of minor repairs: scanning for leakage and stuffing the cracks.
Saving rather than spending. This is what a spiritual life is all about.


"Maimed, mad, and sexually different people were believed to possess supernatural powers by primal cultures' magico-religious thinking. For them, abnormality was the price a person had to pay for her or his extraordinary gift."
How low do you need to go before it becomes sexual?
Relaxation is our tool for letting go of artificial structures and finding natural ones.

A good story will transport you. That's all that matters.
Perfection that will teach your spine a thing or two.
Potty training was my ruination.
Ego is a prowling black shadow that stinks up everything.
Many of today's electronic music producers get over the monotony by adopting different monikers. If only life were that simple. Maybe it is.
Nothing more depressing than someone who's busy becoming middle aged.

We believe what we see. That's why we need stories – pictures – that make things clear. But who said things are meant to be clear?
Nothing communicates like touch.
If the next stage is difficult then you're missing something.
The arrogance of those who refuse to leave their box or look out of their pen.
Ego starts when we withdraw our heart from God.
If, in the presence of an advanced student, you begin to sense their impatience with your prejudices, then it's time to let them go.
To stop being afraid of death you must connect to and learn to trust rhythms deeper than life.


Always approach from a different angle.
If touching forefingers represent the spark then touching thumbs is the anchor.
Look on yourself as just another  other.
Everything's an instruction, an intrusion.
Nodding the head to mean yes is an encouragement. Shaking the head to mean no is demolition and erasure.
True wit is the ability to see principle everywhere.


"At an early age, we all make decisions about the paths we’ll take during this life. Some are motivated by money and material things. Others are motivated by creating beautiful things and become artists. I think artists take a vow at an early age to accept 'the art life'."


i am a powerful poem producer. while moving. in our minds = we all have private birds. secret places
A modern middle class upbringing is all about the repression of all that is dangerous – within and without – for the sake of (social and personal) conformity, consistency and civility. It sort of misses the point. And is about as far from spiritual truth as possible.
Let down your defences and face your demons: look at them, wrestle with them, become familiar with them, befriend them, because they are not the enemy. Your enemy is the personal and social fear that keeps them locked away.
When you're meditating bolt upright, slowly drifting off to sleep, then if you fall forward you're a closet Muslim, and if you fall back you're a closet Christian. If you repeatedly nod off then you're a closet Jew. Fall sideways and you're a Buddhist. But stay awake, beautifully poised in the middle, and you're a Taoist who, naturally, understands Central Equilibrium.