One of the most fundamental and delightful experiences in spiritual practice, is the feeling of discovering the essence of something for the first time, regardless of the endless repetition that took one to get there. It is a wonderful opportunity to get a tangible taste of the Dao, the way of no way, the middle ground between using intention and not using intention, being passive and being active, stopping and listening, intuitively and spontaneously moving along life without doing a thing, yet accomplishing everything. Stress free! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
The very thing that makes it possible, is called the Listening Skill.
One may write many books on this topic, yet the essence is quite simple: in its simplest form, applied to “shadow boxing” type of movement (Tai Chi for instance), we “listen” to the subtle hints and currents coming from our “core”, prior to “allowing” that impulse to move our body. Even if volition is called upon to achieve a particular shape or target, we shape Yin (insubstantial, soft) energies ahead of Yang (substantial, hard) energies, or you can say, we lead Yang with Yin. As the Tai Chi classics say: “forget yourself – follow your opponent”.
In this way, our spirit is the horse and our body is the carriage. Some call this “spontaneous movement”.
Quite a simple concept, really. Takes a life-time of practice, but that is the beauty of it – one never needs to ask “and then what?” – the question that allegedly defeated Alexander the Great in India, after he boasted of his intention to conquer the known world.
At this point, it is reasonable to ask oneself: if the body can do this (and it feels divine), why not – the mind? Why not – the whole totality of our being, including our intentions, thoughts, speech, actions, feelings, and perhaps, even facebook profiles. To be this spontaneous, is to be both inspired and inspiring in the most effortless of ways.
Can we perhaps take a back seat, allowing the spirit to wield the tired reigns of our complicated lives, freeing us to “hang loose”, “chill out” and “take it easy”, even as the battering ram of yet another life emergency is heard at the gates of our ego castle?
And why not? For our next installment of Tangible Spirituality 101, let us consider:
Take a back seat. Just watch your life, your energy, your body… then follow the subtle hints and currents, coming from the core of your being. Let the subtle pressure from your inner depths move first, and follow softly, attentively, spontaneously. In this way – stay content. Let your spirit be the horse, and both the mind and the body – the carriage. Surrender the responsibility of living to your higher self and discover the room and freedom that this affords.
It is the most important thing you can do, and the only thing you can do. Something that shall make a positive difference in stress management, as opposed to worrying, stressing, fighting and yes, even nail biting.
No self – no karma. Your actions are not your own. Alas, the human language rattles over such concepts rather roughly. Yet, forgetting to engage in petty squabbling over legalistic matters, this is a a suitable guide for ending stress and strife, when needed most.
The question rises: where is the core of our being. Why not start with the spine itself? Calm spine means calm mind, leading to good “karma” Anything else generates undesirable consequences. Listen, follow, obide in, enjoy the bio-electrical wonder that is our central nervous system. It is like a wonderful, long range antenna. Tune it by mindfulness and let your mind/body/heart expression be the cosmic broadcast by your higher-self, spirit, soul, god, the words are not important.
Do TAI CHI – BE TAI CHI, The Supreme Ultimate interplay of Yin and Yang, the male and female energies, manifesting themselves as reality.
Thoughts from the Energy Center by Zorrik