Archives for posts with tag: Chinese Poems

When your body is not aligned,
The inner power will not come.
When you are not tranquil within,
Your mind will not be well ordered.
Align your body, assist the inner power,
Then it will gradually come on its own.
Nei-Yeh (Inward Training, 4th century BCE), chapter 111

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Can you be both martial and spiritual?
Can you overcome your ultimate opponent?

To be martial requires discipline, courage, and perseverance. It has nothing to do with killing.
People fail to look beyond this one narrow aspect of being a warrior and so overlook all the other excellent qualities that can be gained from training.

A warrior is not a cruel murderer. A warrior is a protector of ideals, principle, and honor. A warrior is noble and heroic.

A warrior will have many opponents in a lifetime, but the ultimate opponent is the warrior’s own self.
Within a fighter’s personality are a wide array of demons to be conquered: fear, laziness, ignorance, selfishness, egotism, and so many more. To talk of overpowering other people is inconsequential.

To actually overcome one’s own defects is the true nature of victory.

That is why so many religions depict warriors in their iconography. These images are not symbols for dominating others. Rather, they are symbols of the ferocity and determination that wc need to overcome the demons within ourselves.

Hilly village lanes,
Whitewashed sunlit walls
Cerulean sea.
The laughter of children.

No matter where in the world you go, no matter how many languages are spoken, and no matter how many times cultures and governments clash, the laughter of children is universally uplifting.

The mirth of adults can be variously jealous, insecure, sadistic, cruel, or absurd, but the sound of playing children evokes the ideal of a simple and pure act. There are no concepts, no ideologies – only the innocent pleasure of life.

We as adults dwell upon our grizzled complexities, our existential anxieties, and our preoccupations with responsibilities. We hear the merriment of children and may sigh over our lost childhoods. Although we can no longer fit into our old clothes and become young again, we can take comfort in the optimism of children.

Their rejoicing can gladden us all.

We are too often in a rush for our child is far better for them to fully live each year of their lives. Let them what is appropriate to their time, let them play.
And when their childhood is spent at adolescence, help them in a gentle transition.

Then their laughter will continue to resonate with cheer and hope for us all.

Fire cools.
Water seeks its own level.

No matter how extreme a situation is, it will change. It cannot continue forever. Thus, a great forest fire is always destined to burn itself out; a turbulent sea will become calmer. Natural events balance themselves out by seeking their opposites, and this process of balance is at the heart of all healing.

This process takes time. If an event is not great, the balancing required is slight. If it is momentous, then it may take days, years, even lifetimes for things to return to an even keel.

Actually, without these slight imbalances, there could be no movement in life. It is being off balance that keeps life changing. Total centering, total balance would only be stasis.

All life is continual destruction and healing, over and over again. That is why, even in the midst of an extreme situation, the wise are patient. Whether the situation is illness, calamity, or their own anger, they know that healing will follow upheaval.

Deng Ming-Dao

Relaxation
Is total peace

When you relax completely, there is total silence.
No thought enters the mind, no problems arise from the body, no memories grip the spirit.
This overwhelming sense of tranquility is really all meditation is about.
The neutral stillness of the mind renews the tired soul, and this is regeneration.
Even if you don’t follow a formal meditation program, it is good to sit quietly for a little while every day.
This form of rest should be as regular as sleeping each day.
If you can sit still and just relax completely, you are actually meditating.
All the various forms of complicated techniques and visualization exist because people can’t bring themselves to this very simple state of relaxation.
Their minds are constantly racing, their bodies are out of balance, and the worries of the day weigh heavily upon them.
They cannot let go, so they need a formal routine to follow.
But if you can simply sit down and empty yourself, you will experience a wonderful silence and a deep, satisfying sense of peace.
One should try to return to a relaxed state on a regular and periodic basis.
The simple reason for relaxation is that it renews us. purifies us, and leaves us with a profound feeling of serenity.

It is not a ritual.
It is not a religious obligation.
It is a wonderful state away from problems.
In it, we are poised in our natural state.

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.

Lao-Tzu