Echoes of Master Moy

I was recently reviewing my notes from Master Moy Lin Shin and a few ideas ring today as much as they struck a chord with me when I first heard them.  I’ve strung the ideas I jotted down with other thoughts but maintained the intent nonetheless.

You can actually cultivate your internals and improve your health by cultivating each of the five virtues associated with those internal organs.  When we focus on kindness we support our liver like wood supports our houses.  Practicing self-sacrifice stokes the fire of our heart.  Through propriety we strengthen our lungs like metal reinforces a building.  Sharing and learning new wisdom nourishes our kidneys like water brings life to our gardens.  And, when we work with trustworthiness, we support our spleens like the earth provides for our lives.

Another

Let the insides direct the movements.

And another

Play tai chi.  Coil and uncoil the spine, not too fast as you’ll lose control, and not too slow as you have to keep things going.

Taken together, these ideas for the basis of life long practice.  First we must learn the movements for sure, but the movements are but the tip of the Arts.  The art form is something we practice day-to-day in our interactions with people and our environment.  Over time, our practice helps us connect with what’s deep within us.  Once we establish these connections we further our art form by letting our insides direct our movements and interactions.  And, most importantly, it is up to us to find the fun in our daily form.  When we can play with our internal nature and express that through our movements and interactions, we cultivate the best in ourselves allowing our health, stillness, and connection with life to emerge.

Stillness, health and connection to live emerge as we cultivate ourselves through our daily interactions.

emerge
Find the fun and find your life.

 

Out of Nothing, we Emerge

Yang is clear and Yin is murky; Yang moves and Yin is still.
Starting from the root and flowing to the branches, it gives rise to the myriad things.
Clarity is the source of murkiness, movement is the foundation of stillness.
When people can be constantly clear and still, heave and earth return to their places. . . .

. . .Although it is called attaining the Tao, in reality there is nothing to attain;
But in order to transform people, it is called attaining the Tao.

These are some lines from the Taoist scripture of Clarity and Stillness.  There’s additional information about how we are entangled in desires, cravings and ideas about banishing them.  I’ve found some truth in the words within this particular scripture in my personal studies and experiences.

In the movements of martial arts, stillness arises after a lot of practice.  The first time I experienced stillness emerging out of movement is after a day full of tai chi practice at a workshop when I was tired and past the point resistance. I found I hold my body in ways to prevent opening myself to others.  After a lot of tai chi I learned to relax in ways unbeknownst to me before.  My interactions with people became more authentic and open.  Connections were more readily made. I found a stillness I had not known before.  I liked it.  I spent years chasing the experience attending workshops, learning new forms, giving more of my time, meditating and the like.

Then, life hit and I started a family project.  Now practicing the art forms for hours at a time is a luxury.  Even so, I retain the stillness within.  This leads me to an understanding of sorts. Practice is a vehicle to transform us just like the concept of the Tao.  Ultimately there’s nothing to attain.  Stillness is something to be uncovered within ourselves.  Sharing my experience with others in and out of the Taoist arts has lead me to understand stillness is something under the daily routines, our quest to be a hero or heroine, our religions, our gods and even under the god that rules them all. These things are not paths up a proverbial mountain but to the still point within where everything else dissolves leaving us alone in our our truest experience of reality connected with everyone and everything around us.

Joseph Campbell talked about finding that still point in our minds where things drop away. From this perspective the peak of the mountain is where all the paths up the slopes vanish to reveal our experience in it’s rawest form with no strings attached, no religion, no deities, no sense of ‘other’ committing us to the myriad things. Our movements and wandering in life beget stillness.  Out of stillness, all of our movement, interactions and understanding emerges as the forms of our life.

We practice forms to discover stillness.  Once found, our cultivation of stillness allows our forms to emerge.  Stillness is the root of clarity, movement, transformation and ultimately the Tao.