on the composition of One-ness, way of Realization

“The following short piece was written in 2012: it is now 2018. Coming upon it unexpectedly, I thought, ‘No, this is not quite how I would write this now.’, and wondered if perhaps to take it down. Instead I have decided to let it stay, as a reminder that even our discoveries in awareness change and deepen through the arc of time and experience, and there are still some ready truths herein .” The author.

In our study of Tai Chi, whether it be in learning Forms or making application of postures, it is most often the case that we are exploring their inherent fluid duality.  This is the Yin/Yang of things, as we have learned to pronounce: bravely assuming the ancient Chinese as a short-cut to discussion, its meaning borne out in testing, where each posture, either in movement or stillness, has indeed a combination of these two inseparable Virtues at its core. And yet… and yet…  Beyond satisfaction, where actually does that get us?

Well, certainly it assists our journey. There is no doubt that having an understanding of yin with yang – ‘knowing’ them, as writes Lao Tzu – is to have an insight into supra-universal nature, and we must surely thrill to its spark in us. Yet even that ‘knowing’ does not reveal the whole. It is but a component part. Knowledge alone cannot deliver the self to Oneness; we must have a means, a method.

So then… Tradition tells us to proceed by ways of practicality – though of rugged ascent, it might be said – in order to gain the Unity of Three: Energy, Emptiness, Illumination – which is the composition of Oneness. Yet we can only progress with what we have at our disposal: our Body in action, our reflexive Mind, our Spirit in wisdom. There is no outside agent, none, beyond our inheritance in nature – identified in Taoism as ‘the ceaseless transmission’ – that can assist us. Here, even in company of many like-minded, we are alone… and quite so.

It is in experiencing this, however fleetingly, that our study begins; it is the realization that to proceed in Earth we must rectify our selves to the ways of Heaven. We must become as warriors of loss, losing and losing day by day, and make again the connection of our lives – to Life and to Death.

These are tough acknowledgments, often fearful, and advancing through practice towards them demands no less of the mind than of the body, so that at the day’s end both limbs and mental faculty must ache in weary relaxation.

But we will have achieved much: brushed the dust of desire from the mirror of our minds, polished the accretion of despond from our hearts, bringing forth light. Moreover, we will know our place in Nature, able to move and grow and meditate in Tao, nevermore alone, but released into the consciousness of One.

Here then are our paths of practice ~

   To develop the inner pattern of our being in the interactive balance of yin/yang. This is tai chi: expressed pre-eminently in our Forms, whether learned for the purposes of gaining better health, or for stimulating an understanding of self-defence ~ for which it is a point of entrance.

   To develop and fundamentally deepen our awareness in breath and posture to stimulate the inner pattern – chi kung – allowing the perfect nature of the essential heart/mind. This is wu-hsin, absolute clearness: that place-time where we may experience intuitive insight and the margins of mystery ~ for which it is a point of entrance.

   To develop right-action and right-thought spontaneously together – tzu-jan: true, unstained, whole. This is wu-wei, when we abide in Oneness, when the grace of Spirit shines in our being, signifying the Celestial Realm, way of Heaven ~ for which it is a point of entrance.

Only abide: Wisdom’s moon rises in the mind.

(These notes were originally written to be given out to students at the end of an intensive Study Day)