Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Being of Nothingness

Among the great things which are to be found among us, the Being of Nothingness is the greatest.
          --Leonardo Da Vinci
          From: The Little Zen Companion, p. 181
Even a good thing isn't as good as nothing.
          --Zen Saying
          From: The Little Zen Companion, p. 180
I just listened to an interview on Wisconsin Public Radio with Glen Greenwald, the author of With Liberty and Justice for Some. His thesis: The rise of a lawless elite in this country has led to public acceptance of that elite group--political officials, corporate heads, and the like--not being held accountable for their corrupt, self-serving behaviors. Greenwald and the host of the program speculated that perhaps that ability to function above the law--the practice of a select few--is now causing concerned citizens to Occupy Wallstreet and beyond.

I admit, when I feel discouraged by the people or events around me or the wacky ways of the world, I am deeply grateful for my T'ai Chi Chih practice. Those all-too-brief minutes spent in practice bring me back to the wisdom of the above quotations and help me to remember the value of nothing.

During tonight's T'ai Chi Chih class I asked the group to practice Push/Pull with me as we focused on leading from T'an Tien. I strongly believe that when we remember to lead from our centers, nothing else matters; the rest of the movement takes care of itself. All too often we try to create a movement based on what we think it should be. When we relax into the moment, let T'an Tien lead, and trust our bodies and our senses to guide us, though, we begin to experience the effort of no effort (per Justin Stone). 

For all intents and purposes, that effortlessness guides us (eventually) into the Being of Nothingness where everything is as it should be. Nothing to change. Nowhere to go. No one to be. Nothing to do. What freedom ... to BE nothing and everything. You can't explain it. But you can experience it. Just ... keep practicing.

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