On Stillness and Emptiness
by Ian Sinclair
Tai Chi is the path of balance, peace, and harmony.
But these things are not achieved by waiting for them.
Peace is a struggle.
Balance is a verb.
Gandhi-ji was often called a pacifist. But he did not believe in passive anything.
He was always active in his fight for peace.
It gave his life great meaning, even thought it led to his death.
In comparison, what are the challenges in our lives?
What is preventing us from seeking balance?
Do the fates of nations rest in our hands?
Do armies wait on our words?
Do the future generations of the World depend on what we do today?
In fact they do. It is only the mundane attachments that prevent us from seeing the true meaning of our thoughts and actions.
We must cut through the illusions of attachment and disenfranchisement, of importance and impotence, of hope and despair.
Surrender the ego, act on Love. Go fearlessly into the new day without attachment.
Attachment binds us to inappropriate actions.
Attachment makes us cower in the face of things that have not happened, and makes us cling to things that do not exist.
As martial artists, we seek stillness and emptiness. This opens us to the present. It allows us to ‘cut the line between “before” and “after.”‘ 1
By seeking stillness and emptiness, we hope to master yin and yang, to overcome fear, and to always act in the most appropriate and efficient manner.
Balance is a Verb
– by Ian Sinclair
I seek stillness and emptiness
This does not mean that I am unfulfilled
It does not mean that I do not feel.
Music and poetry still warm my heart.
Tears and laughter carve a path through the mundane
and remember me to the depths of my soul.
They touch that within me which is beautiful,
and remind me of the beauty in my life.
The darkest days of my melancholy youth have long been behind me.
I have surfaced into my own world of hope and purpose.
I finally know love and have a place in the Universe.
But I cannot forget the depth and extreme feelings I knew in my youth
when a poem or a song could push me over the edge.
“Balance” is not an excuse for shallowness.
“Peace” is not a justification for being mundane.
“Harmony” does not prevent hurricanes.
The Kiss of Dawn
– by Ian Sinclair
Each day I rise to kiss the dawn
and breath the morning mist
and like the Sage before me, slowly shift
like the crystal, moonlight-sweetened dew
to caress the morning hue.
And as the night
now growing old
fades to bright
saphire and gold
one with water
one with fire
one with movement
one with stone
cutting past from future
as each moment
claims its own.
1 – Takuan