Monday, 30 June 2008

Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is an effort to throw off sleep... To be awake is to be alive. I have never met a man who was quite awake... I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elivate his life by a concious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or carve a statue and to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium thorough which we look, which morally we can do. To afffect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

There is a magic in this world and I
have dared to try to find it all I know
is magic not that I can know it fully
how it says and stays
so close beyond a grasp
these fingers powerless to close upon it
Theodore Enslin

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Sun broke through in the meadow,awakened bees hummed to the buttercup scent.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

A Zen student once asked his teacher Zen master Ikkyu,to sum up the highest wisdom. The master responded to this enormous question with a single word scratched in the sand; ''Attention.'' The student wasn't satisfied and asked him to elaborate. Ikkyu wrote ''Attention. Attention. Attention.

Like this Zen student I've been struggling with attention. How to be really present in the moment with the internal and external realities. The listening energy we work to awaken and develop in T'ai Chi has helped me to get some more understanding of
attention. We learn to listen not only with our ears but with all our senses. In pushing hands we use our hands to listen to each other. We learn to 'hear' the presence in the touch and with pactice to 'hear ' it is the spaces between touch. That equally rich and meaningful space we could call absence. Space is what allows us to see the objects and absence allows us to know presence.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Open Focus

When I shift my attention to peripheral vision as I begin the form everything softens and opens inside or so it seems to me.
There is a neurological basis for this,research on the brain reveals that when our eyes are in '' sharp focus'', our stress responsees increase; when they are in ''soft'' or ''open'', focus, we relax.
Try softening your focus now. After reading this paragraph, look up at whatever's in front of you. Then, without moving your eyes, allow your atttention to broaden, taking in everything you see. Slowly expand your attention to include everything you can hear, smell, feel, and taste. As your focus opens, you'll stop thinking in words and become more present to the bauty around.

I love this view of 'The Three Sisters',taken above Glaise Beag peer. On fine days it was a glorious view walking home from school.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Thanks to Chris Laver for the pic. What looked like seaweed as we approached the Blaskets turned out to be seals!
If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.
Chuang Tzu