The T’ai Chi Sacred Marriage of Being & Doing: Living The Way of Nature
T’ai Chi is an ancient art form, where the artist perfects the art of being and doing while attuning with the Tao.
‘An artist is an instrument through which the Universe reveals itself’ – Goldschneider & Elffers
The realisation of the Tao is a magical, ecstatic dance – the dance of yin-yang, of receptivity and responsiveness revealing a sacred reciprocity, the revelation of Nature as Creatrix.
In this magical dance of yin-yang, tensions are transmuted into new dawns of becomings, where being and doing cohere. It is here we taste the Tao (aka, the Shekinah, Akasha, Divine Ground, Nature, Great Mystery, Motherly Space, Ma’at, Aluna, quantum vacuum, zero point field, dark energy, ground-of-all-being, all-nourishing-abyss).
As the quantum scientist Ervin Laszlo notes,
‘The dance of our mind with the quantum vacuum links us with other minds around us… it opens our mind to society, to nature and to the universe. This openness has been known to mystics and sensitives, prophets and metaphysicians through the ages.’
It is what Zhang Bo Duan (of the eleventh century Taoist Classics) refers to as the T’ai Chi Dance of Ecstasy: an embodied immersion of ourselves within the Rainbow River of Chi flowing within and all around us. Words cannot do justice to such an ecstatic state of dynamic non equilibrium, this is an embodied feeling of being and doing laced with love and is quite beyond anything the ego-mind can grasp.
Early last year, I was invited to speak at a Heart Mind Body Spirit festival at the Rainbow T’ai Chi Chi Kung Centre in South Devon (check out the web site, it is guaranteed to make you smile :- )
It was here that I first met Master Peter Chin Kean Choy, a uniquely gifted teacher of ancient Taoist practices aimed at bringing the realisation of the Tao into our daily lives for heart-based living.
The Taoists studied the way of Nature some 2,500 years before Christ. They became aware of the tensions and rhythms of life: receptivity, responsiveness, reciprocity. It is the seemingly opposing tension of receptivity (yin) and responsiveness (yang) that provide for the sacred reciprocity abundant in Nature. It is the tensions that provide for the diversity of life; tensions as crucibles that leverage creativity, innovation, learning and development – no tensions, no music, no dance, no life.
The sacred feminine yin dances with the sacred masculine yang; an act of love making; spiralling, twisting vortices, eddies, undercurrents and waves, giving birth to a sacred reciprocity, an alchemic becoming blended of being and doing, the non-action within action. Self-awareness is our portal into perceiving this ocean of chi energy so that we may live in harmony: somatic, social and soulful awareness feeding our intention and attention.
The waves are never separate from the ocean. The ocean gives birth to the wave, yet each wave has its own unique form, its own distinguishing character while remaining part of the ocean. Every vibration of energy, every body is an expression of Nature. Receptivity originates. Without conscious awareness of our receptivity, our responsiveness becomes ungrounded, no longer flowing with the Tao and dis-ease ensues. We becomes out-of-kilter as we warp our way of attending towards an increasing tendency for ‘having’, ‘wanting’, ‘owning’, ‘consuming’.
In today’s busyness, fraught with stresses and strains, we have allowed ourselves to get caught up in the responsive yang-ness while severing our self-reflexivity from yin receptivity. We have caught ourselves up in our own ego-entrapment, deluded ourselves that the superficial ripples and waves upon the surface of the ocean are all there is. Our materialistic, narrowing-down lens corrupts us, undermining the way we relate with ourselves, each other and the world around us.
It is our natural yin-receptivity which connects us to the Source, to Tao, to Nature. The more we allow our ego-mind’s to separate our receptivity from our responsiveness, the more we separate our inner-sense from our outer actions and the more pathological and carcinogenic we become.
To deal with the symptoms plaguing us – whether it be climate change or debt-slavery – we need to deal with root causes: our way of communing with the Tao. The gentle movements of T’ai Chi are aimed at just this. Radical activism starts here within our heart of hearts, where illusions are shattered and beauty is born.
Bio-logically, we can understand these gentle movements as stimulating our body’s energy channels, helping the natural flow of chi in our muscles, ligaments and organs. This enhances the electromagnetic channels between the gut, heart and brain, helping develop resilience, health and vitality as we engage with the tensions and strains of life.
Also, these gentle movements bring our awareness into our bodies as we sense the subtle energies, in-so-doing shifting our attention out of the ego-chattering brain into the bodymind. This somatic awareness allows for a coherence of our left and right brain hemispheres along with coherence of the head with the heart and gut. It is with this coherence that we open up to our natural receptivity – the yin-ness within. This allows us to gain direct perception of life, unfettered from the abstractions of our ego-awareness and left-brain’s grasping, atomising, narrowing-down tendency.
This opening of our doors of perception allows us to sense an ecological awareness of the rich interplaying ecology of life, an inter-relational orchestra of Nature. This heightens our bodymind’s receptivity to the subtle perturbations within us and all around us. We feel more alive and more present. In turn this allows our responsiveness – our yang-ness – to dance with this receptivity. Our outer actions attune with our inner-sense. Our doing attunes with our being. Receptivity flows through our responsiveness so that we relate to the world around us with an attentive, compassionate, sympathetic, wise attention. From the dance of receptivity and responsiveness is born a sacred reciprocity, as we begin to consciously take part in the Dance of Life. This is the way of the Tao.
‘Know the male,
Yet keep to the female’ – Lao Tzu
As we cultivate this yin-feminine-receptive awareness, we open up to the natural awakenings of our intuition and insight that the ocean of wisdom within and all around us contains.
Mastering the yin-yang, being-doing, inner-outer tensions of life is an alchemic life-process which allows us to open up to the Mind of Nature as we surrender in service to something far greater than our ego-chattering masturbating monkey-minds would have us see.
To align with the Tao is to align with creation and transform our foolish hubris into wise humility. This is at the heart of any regenerative, restorative socio-economic business.
To be in harmony with Nature – this feels like what life is teaching us, and the ancient ways of T’ai Chi, and other ancient shamanic, alchemic traditions show us the way, if we so choose to look.
To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here