Wednesday, 30 June 2010

We practice for the love of the practice itself (even if it is often hard to get started). After a while it becomes clear that some changes are happening, for me this meant I became more relaxed and open. I look back now and wonder how I lived in that mind full of 'shoulds' and 'oughts', and am very grateful to my teachers for signposting the exit points. When we no longer believe everything we think, when we learn to trust space, emptiness and the softness of our own company life gets really good.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

God has focused the senses to the outside,
therefore man looks outside, not inside.
Now and then an adventurous soul,
in search of immortality,
has looked back and found himself.
Katha Upanishad

Monday, 28 June 2010

Over the years I have learned to be sceptical about my feelings, I have noticed that they are not the 'truth'. For example I rarely 'feel' like practicing. I'll 'feel' a bit tired, and when I begin it may feel as if my body is heavy, and my mind is anywhere but here in the practice. I have learned to mistrust these feelings and stay with the practice, over and over I have seen my mind calm down and my body wake up.So now I will practice whether I feel like it or not. The feelings pass, they were not real. On the odd occasion that the tiredness persists and hasn't been replaced by joy and enthusiasm for and in the work, I'll stop, this IS the time to rest and recharge.
And so I have come to trust the practice to let me know how my body is.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

One of the most interesting aspects of t'ai chi is the way in which it evolves as we practice. One thinks one has 'figured' something out and then suddenly another shift in awareness happens and everything changes. Lately sinking feels very new to me, it is not that I haven't been sinking, the change is that sinking is happening in me. As soon as I let go and relax into the moment sinking happens. I open to the ground or maybe the ground opens to me. At this subtle level it is impossible (for me) to distinguish. Momentarily the separation dissolves there is no me, no outside, and no inside, just t'ai chi happening.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

All matter is vibrating energy, this includes me. In T'ai Chi training I began to regocnise this , and became much more aware of and sensitive to different types of vibration happening in me and in the external environment. Of late I have been paying more and more attention to the silence or space in which all these vibrations arise and eventually disolve back into. When I do this it seems to change the way I vibrate, my body relaxes as does my mind, I'm more 'at home' no matter what company I'm in or what the external atmosphere feels like. My emotions are not as easily tossed about by external events but seem to rest more in that ever present internal space.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

To awaken suddenly to the fact
that your own Centre is the Buddha,
that there is nothing to be attained
or a single action to be performed,
that is the Supreme Way.

Monday, 21 June 2010

There is a gentle, loving, peace-filled silence here and now in this moment. It has always been this way. It is always here. It is right within you and all around you, a stillness, an apparent void, a seeming nothingness out of which everything arises, exists and eventually returns.
- Mark Mc Closkey

Friday, 18 June 2010

I went for my first surfing lesson this week (I'm still aching physically in muscles,and my ego is still recovering.... ). My daughter Jo always wanted to give it a try so I thought why not, the weather is perfect and it will be fun. I was right about the fun and the weather, but I was not prepared for the ' pop-up'. This is the term given to getting ones self from lying flat on the board to standing upright in ONE move. Honestly unless you have tried it you have no idea of how difficult this is (especially if you are over 50 and used to most exercise being soft and slowwwwww). This movement is super fast. Thanks to our great instructor Tom I got up as far as my knees and had a few good waves.
My much younger daughters did get to stand up and surf some waves. And so my ego took a bit of a bashing as I regard myself as being fit and reasonably flexible. It was interesting to watch myself try, watch as I lost hope, regained hope, laughed at my efforts and almost cried with frustration when my muscles just wouldn't do it anymore. Tom says I will definitely 'get' it by my third lesson.
Loving a challenge I have been googling 'pop-up' lessons and you could find me practicing my pop-up any time I have a spare moment. I'm looking forward to surfing a wave like the guy above before too long.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
- John O'Donohue

Saturday, 12 June 2010

" Something broke and something opened. I filled up like a new wineskin.Breathed an air like light; I saw a light like water.I was the lip of a fountain the creek filled over; I was ether, the leaf in the zephyr ; I was flesh-flake , feather, bone. When I see this way I see truly. As Thoreau says , I return to my senses. I am the man who watches the baseball game in silence in an empty stadium. I see the game purely; I'm abstracted and dazed. when it's all over and the white suited players lope off the green field to their shadowed dugouts, I leap to my feet; I cheer and cheer.
But I can't go out and try to see this way. I'll fail, I'll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes.The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle; it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West, under every rule and no rule. The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly , acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance. 'Launch into the deep,' says Jacques Ellul, 'and you shall see'.
- from Ann Dillard's Pilgram at Tinker Creek
( Thanks to Joan for putting this great read my way.)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom."

- Viktor E. Frankl

Monday, 7 June 2010

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me
more than the metaphysics of books.
Walt Whitman

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Love is always Loving you.
Without this Love you cannot breathe,
as without air you cannot live.
Love is Meditation, Meditation is Love.
Heart has no frontiers;
Meditate on This.
You are this Love, You are That.
Simply be Quiet and stay as such.
Sri H W L Poonja