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Research Association of Laozi Taoist Culture

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I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while now.  A major project at work to blame.  Work on something I hope is going to change my life for the better.   Something I hope will …no, not hope – something I know is going to free up more time, one day, for me to work this blog amongst other things more dear to the heart – dreams unforgotten.

But how I have missed it: this writing.  Writing about the Warrior’s Journey and feeling outside of the gym some progress in life – a sense that I’m being more of myself.   Answering some call within to be all that I am.  What I’ve become.

Work.  For now unavoidable.  Eating my time.

It’s funny.  Part of me wants to complain more about this.  But here,  accepting  again my Warrior’s mantle, I know I should be killing self-pity.

And so I smile to myself.  None of it matters.  Who I have become is still there inside me, and there I do not feel pity.

Self-pity is so superficial.  Shallow.  Superfluous.

Don’t you just feel that right action makes you feel rooted …enacting yourself by doing what you feel you are meant to be doing?  Pity falls away denying no longer who you’ve become, and yes, maybe work does get in the way of that, tired and lacking in time you fall into to thinking “what the hell is the point?” But action resolves it…no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, each step, each act, each doing of what you really want to be doing is freeing, somewhat.

Like what I feel is happening now, for me, writing this.  The angst ridden writer is no longer here, he’s gone – he does not write, he’s full of self-pity, lost without writing – but now he’s no longer here, because of this act.

When I’m training Wing Chun something similar happens:  I begin to feel I am strong, ideas of frailty start falling away, more and more feeling who I am, truly connecting with the strength I know is inside me, always there.

Training a martial art helps me with life, all life:  “I can” –  becoming my mantra.  “I am” – a crescive knowledge of Self.

And there’s a very real feeling the journey’s back home.

The journey’s within.

Maybe these words resonate with you – maybe they don’t.   To me, however, if the world beats us up, knocks us from our sublime centre, it’s always because in the course of time we have allowed this to happen, albeit unconsciously, by  being more focussed on what’s happening out, than what’s happening in

In is where everything’s at, all that we cherish: our peace, our assuredness, our clarity, our magic, all the good things we project on to the world, such as our love for our family – all felt within.

Here my writing’s no different from a martial art, in that as acts, our effectiveness in them relies on us digging far deeper than we do with most things in our day-to-day lives; they call on us to re-jig our focus and bring our essential self more to the fore.

At least I know through my writing that this is the case.  Whenever I try to make my writing “mental” I really, really struggle, and there’s never a feeling that my writing is flowing.

Likewise, with my Wing Chun, a relaxed state is best…

Flow comes clearly from a far more rooted place than the mind, which is frequently skittish unhooked from the heart.

Though it may appear as something we just happen upon, flow is felt as something knowable and known, a resonance we aptly align ourselves with in an aspect of trust, a letting go and letting it happen sort of thing, as opposed to a fight to attain.  Flow comes not from struggle, but an effortless effort, à la wu wei: natural action.

Hooked up, heart and mind aligned, wu wei can also be said to be like being “in the zone”, although that’s only useful up to a point.

As reference to an experience that is commonly known, or at least are able to observed in others we may think of as masters, paragons at the top of their game, whatever that game may be, being “in the zone” as a label points at least to a mode of being in which desirable outcomes are far more likely to be realized than not; it is most certainly there.

However, it says little of the way, or the how to get there; it does not speak at length of how these talents and desires have been explored and expanded, or even allowed to come into being.

In this regard Wu wei speaks more clearly of the harmony we have to sink into to align with our self, the true self at the heart of our being as much as the self we have created through our desire to be more than we presently are.  A self that calls us constantly on, impels us to act.

In denying this self, our discord is clear: we simply cannot expect to be happy being less than we are!

Who we are calls us.  And we truly are something we can never give up.