Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Resistance also causes tension, resistance to what is happening in my external or internal world. Developing awareness of the witness in me helps me to know that I am not the tension , the resistance, neither am I the happy or sad moods, these are all states that appear in me. Nothing that comes and goes is me. How amazing when my attention is on the permanent. Asking "Who am I beyond my thoughts ?" leads to the permanent.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tension is a great teacher, now whenever I notice tension in my body I turn my attention inwards feel the tension as fully as possible, and ask it what it is about. There is usually a thought or feeling I'm suppressing, often a recurring anxiety or fear. Sometimes I notice that I just don't want to be listening this conversation, (even noticing and allowing this feeling helps me relax). Later I can take all these thoughts and feelings to inquiry and gain awareness and often a more longterm release from those particular tension 'stimulators'. Why not stop right now for just a minute and look inside . . . . . . .Can you find any tension ? If you find some ask what it is about, notice the belief that is keeping you from being fully relaxed in this moment. You can take this to inquiry (ala Byron Katie) or just allow it and you to be. Even the awareness will help you to relax.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Brain that changes itself ( for Breda )

" If we consider the number of possible neural connections in the brain, we would be dealing with hyperastronomical numbers 10 followed by at least a million zeros.( There are 10 followed by 79 zeros,give or take a few, of particles in the known universe.) These staggering numbers explain why the human brain can be described as the most complex known object in the universe, and why its capable of ongoing, massive microstructural change, and capable of performing so many different mental functions and behaviors." I'm quoting from Norman Doidge's "The brain that changes itself". In this book he links scientific experimentation with personal triumph in a way to inspire awe.
We are introduced to scientists like Ramachandran who discovered a way of using mirrors to 'rewire' peoples brains so the sometimes decade long suffering from phantom limb pain could finally be put to rest. Equally inspiring is Barbara Arrowsmith Young's story. A womam labeled as retarded, she had an assortment of serious learning disabilities. The area of her brain devoted to speech, Broca's area was not working properly, so she had trouble pronouncing words.Also because the part of her brain that helps to understand the relationships between symbols wasn't functioning normally, she had trouble undersatanding grammar math concepts, logic and cause and effect. She couldn't read a clock because she couldn't understand the relationship between the hands. Barbara reversed all of this she devised exercises which worked her most weakened function first and then spurred on by initial success she dasigned exercises for her difficulties with space, her trouble with knowing where her limbs were and her visual disabilities -and brought them up to average level. In 1980 she opened the Arrowsmith School in Toronto where she works on brain exercises with both children and adults so they too can correct their disabilities. As Norman Doidge says " The scientists who make important discoveries about the brain are often those whose own brains are extraordinary, working on those whose brains are damaged. It is rare that a person who makes the discovery is the one with the defect. Barbara Arrowsmith Young is one of these.
The book abounds with stories of people who go beyond, breaking through limiting beliefs imposed internally and externally. An inspiring read for us T'ai Chi practioners who are constantly pushing out beyond yesterdays limits. Each day we improve a posture either in its structure or flow we form many new neural connections. I have always intuitively felt this to be one of T'ai Chi's great benefits. It's good to have it confirmed .

Friday, 18 February 2011

Here is Ward Off Left for Wednesday's Class sorry I took so long to post it. Hope you are all enjoying the practice.

Introductory Form Brush Knee and Push from Heartworker on Vimeo.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Things I Didn't Know I Loved

it's 1962 March 28th
I'm sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked
night descending like a tired bird on a smoky wet plain
I don't like
comparing nightfall to a tired bird

I didn't know I loved the earth
can someone who hasn't worked the earth love it
I've never worked the earth
it must be my only Platonic love

To read all of Nazim Hikmet's poem click here

Friday, 11 February 2011

Here is a story (one I really enjoyed) from William Dalrymple's book Nine Lives. This one is about the Sufi Saint Lal Shahbaz Qualander. 'One day Lal Shahbaz was wandering in the desert with his friend Sheikh Baha ud-Din Zakariya. It was winter, and evening time, so they began to build a fire to keep warm. They found some wood, but then they realised they had no fire. So Baha ud -Din suggested that Lal Shahbaz turn himself into a falcon and get fire from hell. Off he flew, but an hour later he came back empty-handed. "There is no fire in hell," he reported. "Everyone who goes there brings their own fire, and their own pain, from this world. "'

Love is not an illusion.
In Love all illusion is lost.
Where there is no illusion,
then Love arises.
Nothing belongs to you! It is like the breeze.
Leave your mind free like the breeze
by not clinging to anything.
This is the secret to happiness:
Enjoy the garden,
but do not cling to anything.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Henry Miller
There is a stillness about trees that I love, have always loved. I remember as a child spending hours wandering around a little wood near Uncle Tadhg's house, being nourished (unconsciously) by the Quiet.

Monday, 7 February 2011

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.
Love is always Loving me ! Whenever I lose the sense that life(Love)
is loving me, I take out one of Katie's worksheets and question the
stressful thoughts that have robbed me of my joy. When I have worked
my way through my beliefs about the situation, the wisdom of life shines
through and I realize the opportunity for growth that life is giving me.
Similar stressful situations become interesting, my curiosity is
aroused , instead of shutting down or avoiding the situation,
sometimes I even begin to look forward it happening again.

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.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Cleaning Lentils
A lentil, a lentil, a lentil, a stone.
A green one, a black one, a green one , a stone,
A lentil, a lentil, a lentil, a word.
Suddenly a word, a lentil, a lentil,a word
next to another word. A word, a word, a word,
a speech. A word of nonsense.
Suddenly a song. A song, a song, suddenly
an old dream. A green,a green one, a black one
a stone. A lentil,a lentil,a lentil,a stone.
(translated from Armenian by Diana Der-Hovanessian)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Here are the first two lessons of our form to welcome all new comers to tai chi.I hope your tai chi journey is as amazing as mine continues to be.

Introductory Lessons 1 & 2 from Heartworker on Vimeo.