Learning Tai Chi one comes to recognise the difference between pushing down and opening to the ground.
When we push down the ground pushes back up we become even more separate from the earth. The boundary between us becomes more pronounced. When we learn to open to the ground the boundary dissolves, we become one with the earth, no longer a separate entity resting on it's surface. Somehow through the practice we come to feel and understand these different relationships to the earth.
Something similar happens with partner work , slowly but surely we come to recognise what it is to be 'soft'. We come to know and love the feel of a soft touch , one that melts in to us and dissolves the sense of separation. I have no idea how these transformations come about but somehow the practice reveals these mysteries to us. We somehow learn the difference between a touch from the outside and a connection that feels as if it is already part of us. In the beginning these subtle differences are difficult to discern but with time and practice they seem completely self evident and one wonders how it was possible to confuse the feeling of pushing against someone with the feeling of connecting and dissolving in to them.
Just as dissolving the physical boundary takes practice and a focus on sensitivity, letting go and accepting life as it is takes practice . We need practice to know the subtle difference between really letting feelings go and pushing them down. When we deny our feelings and push them down we create a boundary inside of ourselves and as the pressure on this boundary builds up we become more agitated until something has to give. The body will be trying to dissolve this boundary in whatever way it can. If we are aware we will notice the agitation and reflect on what is bothering us so we can let it go. If we are not aware we will end up fighting with those around us and think that our agitation is their ' fault'.
Lester Levinson said " Letting go is either easy or impossible. " Well for me last week it was impossible , I was pushing down my feelings and blaming all those around me and just couldn't even see at the time that it was about letting go. It was as if I was back in kindergarten with my mind. I was stuck in trying to 'figure things out'. My mind was in overtime looking for proof that I was 'right ' and everyone else was 'wrong' what agony. I kept looking for space and peace in my mind and somehow forgot that space and peace are outside or beyond the mind. Paradoxically when I finally allowed my feelings up and accepted them and myself , the internal boundary began to dissolve ,I began to see how I was projecting my suppressed feelings out and creating a lot of pain in and around me. It wasn't easy to recognise that I was stuck, that I had an agenda and had lost my trust in life. That I was believing 'my way' was the 'right 'way. Thank God
that ' Somehow' I woke up and eventually "Let go " of my agenda and regained my trust that God or some higher power does know what is best.