Q: how do you recognize the way of nature? Practically.
First, you have to hold onto something; have attention to hold onto something. Your mind and your body has to hold onto something. How well can you hold? You cannot pay attention to hold onto the body.
First, hold onto balance first. Everything starts with balance. Can you maintain that? That means you are always adjusting. By right, we are always unstable. We can’t be stable; we are always unstable but we are always adjusting. Adjusting to be stable. Adjusting to be balanced—that means maintaining. That means every moment, every second you are changing to maintaining. From changing here to maintain you are observing the nature of change. It’s very hard to hold on over here, but it’s very hard because you have your experience.
Because here it’s very hard to keep attention, to observe. That means if anything surrounding happens, your mind goes off. The training is: can you see your mind go out? If you see it going out, can you bring it back. This is called recognizing the process of seeing the process of what’s happening happen. If only when you can go deep enough to see that separation and clarity, that’s when the KNOWING comes. Alright? Practically, training is maintaining balance.
It’s the first step. Not for power. For if you can’t maintain not to be disrupted, then if you want to push me off you can’t, because I’m maintaining. If I maintain sitting here, can you sit here? No, you can’t not. If you can’t disturb me, you have no place. You’d have to push me off. If something disrupts me, then it’s easier for you then.
It’s about attention. There is no ultimate move. I don’t care what system you train. The ultimate move is ‘who can change better’. That is, who has more attention. If my attention can link more, you have no chance.
Because; before you do anything, I already know.
If you don’t know and I know, how can you be faster than me. It’s like your head pops up and I whack [it], up, whack.
So, there’s no ultimate move: who can change better. That’s all. OK? This is the most important thing. I don’t care what art you train—hsing I, ba gua, tai chi, zhong xin dao, karate—what are you using?
Your body. Your body…and it consists of what? Bone, ligaments tendons, muscles, the skin. And then we talk about the 4 alchemies: BODY: the bone ligaments tendon—the solid part: Earth; Water (the fluids); Fire (heat, aging), the Air (the chi you breathe), and movement inside—so the heat because of moving and energy, there’s heat. There’s water and there’s breathing they pressurize [sifu demonstrates by drawing in and condensing] the air, the breath and all these 4 elements’ compressions… then of course if you understand these 4 alchemies…the 4 pressures equalize the body: from the feet to the hands and the hands to the feet: and the pressurizations connect. It’s all about this: Understanding these 4 alchemies and the relationship of the breath. And the body. That’s why actually, this is the [mindfulness of the] body. Then the Feeling—the feeling of understanding you like, you don’t like…and the feel of Such. Then you understand the Mind (what is attention, what is intention—the mind changes….). Then the Awareness: the awareness is the quality of the Mind itself. And then the Nature of things. The Awareness: everything is the same, because it is the quality of the mind. But the problem is that we don’t recognize our awareness.
So, anything you do you can do without recognizing awareness. …You see…sometimes, when we drive home, we don’t know how we drive home: the awareness is just enough to take you home; but now, the training you want to train back to understand awareness itself; it’s the main tool!
You see, now you are using awareness to train this, to train that…yes? You want to understand ‘this’, this, this, this…but you don’t understand ‘this’. But you are using awareness to train ‘this’.
The right way of doing meditations, the right way of doing meditation—this is DYNAMIC meditations….we are training this to look back into awareness. To really understand that is awareness: is the quality of the mind. Once you understand ‘this’, that ‘THIS’ is the tool, then you can use it in everything.
We are using it in the academy, using it for health, for martial or for daily life, in your work, in anything you touch. So, if you understand this, this is called CULTIVATING YOURSELF: you, your mind—if you are training this, you are training cultivation. It’s your mind you are looking into. It’s not that you are disciplining this, that….no, you are only using that to REFLECT back to ‘this’.
Only when you reflect back to ‘this’ only then is that called cultivation. Or else you’re only training something. This building, we have space here, yes?
That’s why in the school we talk about you learn this subject and that subject. Now, in the university, like my professor Nancy here, we have a program in the college we talk about “Learning How to Learn.”
You learn ‘this’, you learn ‘that’. But you must teach how to learn. Then, your approach is more direct.