Archive for December, 2013

A Cultivator’s Diary – Part 2 (From my journals 2007)

January 24, 2007

While standing in a semi-horse pose, I realised that once I lost my attention and my mind wandered, that I then felt fatigue or strong tension in my legs and had the inclination to stop. But what came first ? Was it that the stress on my legs led to a feeling of tiredness and this filtered through to my mind, which added its own thoughts of defeat and loss to the mix? Defeat of not being able to keep the posture, loss of muscle power due to old age ?

But trying again to stay present in the pose, I tried to keep my awareness steady, to keep concentrating on my stance, muscles, awareness, trying not to let my mind slip away. What I found when I did this was that I could keep concentration and therefore also keep the pose longer, overriding the stress in the legs. When I finished the pose I saw that I did 9 minutes, the longest one yet. So my conclusion is that the sense of defeat and of loss are there in the background, in the unconscious, waiting to come out whenever there is a suitable physical moment when they can attach to a physiological response.

I know when I get tired I also get depressed. This is the same syndrome. Doing a strong standing pose puts pressure on my muscles, increases tension, and if at that time I lose concentration on the pose, then the first thing which comes into my mind- the first thought that arises- is a negative one that causes me to feel defeated and powerless and to let go of the stance, when in fact I still have energy available to continue, far longer than even today’s 9 minutes.

Perhaps a time to experiment more.

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December 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

A Cultivator’s Diary – Part 1- (My Journals 2007)

January 23 2007

Today I took this journal up to the yoga room, so that I could write when the inspiration strikes.

I was ‘standing’ (Chi Gong Standing Pole) in front of the window, trying to see if my arms were hanging down while at the same time my sternum was straight, my head upright and balanced on my neck, my lumbar spine curved and so on, when I had the feeling that I should give up.

This is an unconscious feeling which from time to time comes to me. You could say that it’s a defeatist, pessimistic feeling, and it would be easy just to ignore it, to say just carry on, what you are doing with your body/mind is good – continue with your practise. It’s the right thing to do, it will give you results.

The results I’m talking about are increased suppleness, flexibility and strength, as well as a proper functioning of the organs of the body, full and complete circulation of chi, blood and lymph etc. The aim is to age without pain and disease and to be able to let go of life in the easy manner of the old Zen monks: just to let life go, as you let everything else go. This is something important to strive for. But what that niggling voice is saying is that all your effort is wasted. You will die; you are a diminishing resource, no matter how much effort you put in your practice. Perhaps you’re trying too hard, are getting a bit obsessive about it, which is also not good. Do you feel like a deadline is approaching, time weighing heavy on you, putting pressure on you to release those hamstrings before it’s too late?

This is all bullshit. You have all the time you need. If you can loosen your hamstrings tomorrow or next month they will not tighten up on you again, even if your practice becomes more intermittent through work.

You are an arrow heading in one direction- towards health, suppleness etc, and you can not go in reverse or go back to unhealthy habits or ways of abusing your body.

Why? Because your mind won’t let you. In the end it is the mind that is changed first and this allows the body to change. People who know say get into the position you want and then imagine yourself into it better, without obstructions, tightness or difficulty and your mind will get your body to ease up and get you there.

Paul Brunton says that time is a mental construct, as is space. If you allow time to rule you, then you are letting your own sense of time have dominance over your thoughts and actions. Try to lose that sense of time and instead feel each instant as an eternal time, a now that extends through all of time. Stay in it but don’t be pushed or influenced by it.

How long will you live to? 85/90/100 ? You are 63 – that means you have at least 20 years and possibly 30 or 35 to live out your time. What can you accomplish, even in 20 years, if you want to do something in film or other work? In 30 years, you can be born, grow up, get educated, get married, start a career and a family- in other words you have vast amounts of time available to you. What you don’t have is youth, and energy, hunger and the enthusiasm born of youth. But you have experience and knowledge and it is the knowledge of the body and mind and how they work that you are using to make up for the missing youth factors. There is no doubt that you have more than enough time, and enough energy to do whatever you want to do. Admittedly what I want to do is very little –

This is the idea of Wu Wei – do nothing and everything gets done. Do less and less- do little. It’s so hard to follow the way of Wu Wei, but in fact you are doing it. You may have fallen into it, it wasn’t a deliberate policy or plan to work out how to live through Wu Wei, but in reality I think you are. So don’t feel guilty that you are doing nothing, don’t feel bad that you are becoming increasingly ‘idle’ – i.e. not hustling, not working hard to get movies made or finding new projects. You are doing all of this, but in a much more laidback way. Luckily your Holy Grail has given you the means to do this, and in this you are privileged. It’s an experiment with life, work and yourself, and you are trying to see if it can be self-sustaining. Live easily and openly just waiting to see what the outcome will be. Will Wu Wei succeed? Is it true? Watch this space.

December 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Living Philosophy – from my journal October 2006

Whatever happens is going to happen. Things will play out as they are going to, and nothing you can do will alter that. The more you try to fight or alter the way it is going, the more frustrated you will be, and the more energy you will lose trying to fight against the flow of things. And the flow of things is the Tao. Relax, lay back, play the cards you are dealt in the best way you can, but don’t get too worked up. Try to enjoy the situation and the circumstances rather than getting angry and worked up, which only hurts you, makes you sour and bitter.  Better to laugh at it all, smile, take it easy and enjoy the ride.

This is real philosophy, if only you could live it like this, rather than just writing about, that’s the test, walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

December 18, 2013 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

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