Tuesday, April 30, 2013

None of My Business

There is an old saying that goes: Tend to your own knitting. This means that you need to take an interest in your own affairs and not be so keen to work on other people. When I first started learning Tai Chi and Qigong I was out to save the world with this powerful new set of tools that would revolutionize the way I experienced life. I was zealously working to spread the Tai Chi gospel of good health, long life, and strange nigh mystical powers to the whole wide world. In other words I had become an insufferable boor. 

The hard truth to accept is that many people do not want to hear about Tai Chi. They are comfortable with other forms of exercise or they have a paradigm that includes a different treatment protocol than what someone who embraces qigong and Chinese medicine would use. It took me many years to realize that this is ok.

There are in fact many cases where people like their illnesses and are defined by them. If those illnesses are taken away then a large portion of their personality is stripped away from them. I suppose the Buddhists were say that it is their Karma to experience such illness. The hardest thing in the world is to simply allow people to be and to accept them for who they are without judgement. I have been working with this concept a lot lately. 

When I teach martial arts one big thing that I often stress is you cannot control what your opponent does. You can however control your response to the attack. You have to accept the attack as it is. You do not fight against it. You have to flow with it or apply force at a point of your choosing. Never let your opponent dictate your actions and do not rely on your opponent reacting a certain way. In short you need to be open to what is actually happening and not thinking about your martial art, your plans, your ideas, your wishes about what the opponent is going to do.

There is a Daoist saying that says one should be like water. Beneficial but not pushy. Water sits in a pool or in a fountain and does not run and leap into a thirsty person's mouth. Water is passive but ever so powerful and beneficial. When we accept that there is only our life and our bodies and minds that we can control then we are in a place of power to be useful to the world just like water. When someone wants or needs help you provide it without being pushy. Otherwise it's none of your business...

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