en glinster, een boom, een golving en een paal
een fietspad, een pad, een pad, en gene kikker
niet het doel maar de voer is het verhaal
vervoering, kunstvoer en ook kunsttoer
ja zelfs een hele kunst toer
open for you, him, her all yours
et même toujours
(ook al rijmt dat niet) dat interesseert ons nl gene flikker
(dat rijmen) wel het fluisteren van Flance-voer.
Le DAO commence
avec : ceux qui savent ne parlent pas, ceux qui parlent ne savent pas.
Nan dit toujours : Le Chinois dit … et puis une phrase plein d’images
ouvert à l’interprétation. Dès lors quelques poèmes :
Le sens d’un rond
Taijipeut être mesuréavec modération.
Taijipeut être étudié sans beaucoup de fond. Mais si vous vous laisser aller,
viennent les sensations,
les chants du printemps, les champs du temps rond,
et son propre ronron.
Er varen eens
Taiji kan je meten, Taiji kan je weten.
Laat je het varen, wat een ervaren.
experience Taijican be a science, you want to know. Itcan be a competition, a first place
to go. When youlet go, and feel the
Taiji and economics
The quadrant of effort and profit and “When faith moves a mountain”. More
effort, more gain? Relax within effort. Health (and not only) is a gift. Enjoy!
The expo on the work of Francis Alys in
Wiels was very impressive: The artist running to enter the eye of the
hurricane, the artist painting a green line in Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, and
the project to move a mountain “When faith moves a mountain”, as shown also in
the 15 min documentary : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eNuqLnFaYA
Francis Alys persuaded the students and
staff of a school to spend together a whole day. They went to a dune and started
at the bottom of that “mountain”. Each pulled a bit of sand in front of him and
stepped forward. At the end of the day, they were all at the other side of the
dune that had shifted 10 cm. A great effort, with a result which is not visible
in the landscape and which will be annihilated by the wind. Nevertheless the
whole team was proud of the work, their work! Something never to forget,
something to remember and to tell about.
The move of the mountain was their (e-)motion.
quadrant of effort/benefit
Shifting the mountain is an activity of maximal
effort for minimal effect. We do not often do this, or promote the idea of it. The
other quadrants are more popular:
·Maximum gain for minimum effort:
the homo economibus way of life (1)
·Maximum gain for maximum
effort: top athletes live this way (1)
·Minimal gain with minimal
effort: this could be lazy persons or smart people?
(1) May come together with the production of waste and pollution and
anomalies such as dope
Minimal gain with maximal effort as with the mountain could be a
kind of artistic way of living.
Where does practice of Taiji fits in the quadrant?
As Taiji is open for all, also the not so talented people in Taiji, my
experience may be representative. My daily “effort” to practice is rather my
pleasure to practice. Nevertheless this effort leads to a fairly amateur (this
may also be interpreted in the good sense) level of practice. So we could say
minimal gain/maximum effort. But I feel that the value is in the practice,
independent of the final result. Such as
in the saying: “The way is the goal, not the destination”. Nan dit: “Taiji pour
le plaisir”. I too like to do Taiji, just as I do like running, even without a
lot of talent. Both Taiji and running can be done at all levels, in a steady
and easy going pace,everywhere and any
time, but preferably in nature as a “natural way of doing” pleasant on its own.
So Taiji does not fit the effort/gain quadrant as practicing is “already the
Taiji fit (at least) with a kind of quantitative approach such as: The more
effort/ we practice, the better?
Taiji is not about effort only, it is
effort AND relaxing.
·Go with the flow, Let it be,
effortless relaxing is neither the subject of Taiji
·Although you have always to
relax, to release … it is relaxing within a form
·Taiji gives an opportunity to
let work everything: the body (not only muscles but also articulations) and the
·Taiji gives the opportunity to
·So it is about
oeffort with relaxing without
orelaxing within effort without
losing the flow of the force
oyou may continue a while this
iterative recursive way …
Taiji is also about balance. Similar as the
equilibrist that uses a long stick to keep his balance Taiji offers the
opportunity to do ample movements of all parts of the body moving differently
but united, while the mind is empty, open, calm and alert. All those movements
and efforts are done in a relaxed way with relaxed shoulders, elbows, fingers,
waist, knees, ankles, also the mind …
Taiji is also about following the Force …
go for the feeling … not the doing
If you only increase the effort, no gain,
no better balance. Some people get even benefit of Taiji without doing Taiji. At
my work everybody knows that on Wednesday at 17h30 Wim has to go to the Taiji
training. They know: he goes or he has a bad temper during the next week.
(Although this has not been tested the last two years). So everybody has
benefit of my Taiji session, but they did not do Taiji themselves. Transcendental
Meditation claims something similar. If 1% of the world population does TM
(perhaps at the highest level where you can “hop” (lift in the air while
sitting in meditation)) the world would be in peace, no war anymore.
So Taiji does not fit a quantitative “more
effort the better” principle. Practicing is “already the benefit”. Especially
when you relax within effort to come to balance. There does not exist a measure
to measure the degree of balance, not for Taiji, not for something else. Enjoy
your practice, if you relax within the effort, the mountain may come to you.
So Taiji is not quantitative, can we at
least enhance the quality of life? The benefit of Taiji which is most often
·It is clear that there was a
period wherein Taiji became “open to all people to get weak people more strong
and vital”. The practice of Taiji by all Chinese intended to enforce the
Chinese nation against all invasion like influences of European colonies and
Japan. The Yang family style that was the first style to be opened to the
public was adapted just for this aim. Today all family styles and standard
styles are widely open to the public (and those that are not, we do not know
of). And all are aiming longevity and health. I have read from the founder of
Sun style that he aimed a healthy live (so not longevity), he himself announced
that his forces were finished at a certain time and he died two weeks later
·Taiji is not about “cure” it
may be that you get exercises Taiji or qi gong as a treatment from a doctor but
for a Taiji practitioner it seems an exception to improve health in case of
·One of my lessons of life came
from running, not Taiji. What you can do as a runner (the marathon, the 20 km
of Brussels and now in my case only slowly running in a beautiful forest) is a
gift not a performance. In case your body is able to “just do it”, you may
consider this as a gift. You may choose to take care of the gift by training to
be able to run x km in y time. But first of all it is a gift, afterwards it is
a performance of what you do with it.
Taiji does not fit either the optimization
of the quality of life. You get your body and mind as it is, just like a gift.
Taiji is a mean to take care of it. When care has been given, good shape and
balance with nature remain as long as possible. You do not speak in terms of gain
and optimization related to a gift.
Every practitioner will have his own
practice, his own sensations and experience. They will talk about other
benefits of Taiji besides enjoying the practice.
·In some cases what is said as a
benefit (I become calm, good for health) says more about the person saying it
than on their practice of Taiji.
·The more one speaks about one
benefit, the less the diversity of possible benefits.
·Some practitioners do not talk
about benefits, maybe because they consider it as strictly personal.
·Just alike the trees in the
Park of Tervuren. They are all different although they respect all nature: they
are rooted, they grow towards heaven and they exchange with the environment.
But no tree is the same as another tree.
There is agreement that Taiji practice has
the opportunity when “well done” to contribute to health, “martial” (in the
sense aggression will be transformed in the void) at least a confident
attitude, balance with nature, balance with others, balance within yourself
including body and mind. We may compare with the seven elements that were
identified as “good life” in the book “How much is enough” of the Robert and
Edward Skidelsky and argue that practice of Taiji creates an opportunity to contribute
5.Harmony with nature
7.And indirectly to Friends
So we enjoy practicing Taiji, we practice
regularly, daily …, a lot or a few, depending on our condition, our body, our
mind, our activities and free time… we do it for the sake of doing it, to care
about the gift of ourselves and the world … with an empty mind … to come and
maintain balance … and having a “good life”, which is not the same as a
fantastic life or the best life.
Nan dit: Taiji pour le
plaisir. Taiji demande du travail. Taiji est pour soigner son corps (et esprit
bien entendu). Vous avez bien travaillé. Pierre-Eli dit : « On a bien