One of the hall mark’s of Zen and Taoist training is the idea that you both have to treat what you are learning as the most important thing in the world and that it is the biggest (and Funniest) joke ever played upon humanity. Another way to say this is that you try and balance spiritual urgency with a relaxed motivation. Let’s face it, it is easy after you start getting into the grove of anything, to want that groove to continue well past the time it has started to change or wane. How do people as a whole tend to want to deal with this? The knuckle down, push harder, get more and more serious, bring less and less play. Then they begin to get mired in a morass of their own making. Where everything begins to get heavy and bogged down.
So what’s to be done about the situation? To keep it light. To lighten up. Change the ways you engage your activity. Change the way you think about engaging the activity. Become more childlike, and playful. you let it flow, change and transform. Look at things from a different point of view. I have heard it said many times , that if you are suffering it is because you refuse to give up your position.
I am often referring to Sifu Fey’s Whole Heart of Tao, for information as to how to play Tai Chi, How to engage Meditation, both stationary and moving and within the words, it is alway talking about being more like water. Look at the video up above. It flows and changes, compresses releases, moves to the lowest point, around obstacles, it flows.
In essence , what I am getting at, or had first-hand experience within myself and within groups of people learning together, is you are always trying to get a sense of movement or change, or from Chan terminology finding that state of perfectly strung. If you are over-focusing, it is time to lighten up, not care so much, be more playful and lighter of spirit. There will come a day when you, can swing the other way and be too distracted with too little focus, not concerned enough with the details and they will become mired and unmoving as well. It is a balance, that can be found in small moments or over a broader time scale.
One of the Teachers Charlie Fechter, was on it big time, last night in class. All of the activities were vehicles for lightening up. It has become evident over the years, that everything we play with are tools for looking at ways to engage life. So even if you are not a practitioner and you are about to interact with your child, your spouse, your boss, your job, or anything you do. Pay attention to how you are interacting. Can you find that balance between urgency and relaxed motivation? Can you find that state of flow?