How To Pay Attention To The Center Reference To Use It
Q: When you’re talking about aligning the centers, if you were to keep them perfectly centered (center to center) that would be very good?
Q:Now, what you’re saying is each center there’s a certain variance where you’re still on the center but you’re to the right side, say, but slightly off, and if I understand what you’re saying, the next center you need to balance with the previous center but also with the yin and yang…
Yes, but at first, just think of one center: one center and then the 2nd center. The more centers you can hold give you more of a difference to see: more centers then you can adjust.
For instance, like when people do surveying—like looking from one center to see other centers—or they do the measuring, then you know where it goes. But the thing is that maintaining the centers isn’t just ‘one’—it’s because there are different components to maintaining, to maintain it.
So because that’s why we talk about Tai Chi—tai chi is balance. Tai chi, when action comes, it turns into yin and yang so it starts to pivot. When it starts to pivot, you go to yin or yang, right? So that’s where the open close, full and empty come in. But when you start to pivot on movement, you never leave the center. That’s why we talk about ‘from center to yin’ or ‘from center to yang.’ Center with left, center with right, center with up, center with down. All the centers. You can not leave the centers, because center is the reference for you to know.
Center is the cross, it’s the junction point, it’s the fullness point for you to know. For you as a reference to change, to change to know. Once you leave the center, you have no more reference. So your reference won’t be precise and you’ll fall back into experience. Using your experience means you are judging the moment; you aren’t really acting “with” the moment. So this is how you have to pay attention and use it.
That’s why in the first place, it’s the feet with the gravity, then it’s alignment—holding this alignment. Then, also, to enhance the centers, the action of the centers is only through rotation, so you can do open and close, through rotation to hold. Because holding the centers is only clockwise and counter-clockwise, not to get away from the centers. Holding on the centers, then there’s no other movement you can do: only forward backward, up down, left right.
Only that movement. If you try to do any other movement from here that means you are wrong. That means you are not connecting. Then, if you lose the connections, then you are not direct. This is some of the diagnostic list also that you should be able to use. So your training is only here. Don’t do any other thing! If your attention goes to any other thing, that means you are not basing it on the reference. So that means your mind will tell you to do something else and that means you’re wrong already. So, how well can you hold? Now, all the actions, first, are 1, 2, 3. One thing. First in the center, and then the Yin and Yang. Everything starts from here.
“We train to be direct. Direct needs to connect.”
~GM Sam Chin
Let’s go back exploring this through training.
Stand here and feel the joints. Stretch the joint. The ankle, the knee, the hip—everything: stretch it out. Stretch the joint: release. Feel the joint and how it stretches. To feel the bone is from stretching the joint first. So, if you can’t feel the joint, it’s very hard to do action.
Feel the fingers, wrist, the elbow, shoulder, the spine, the hip, everything. Start to raise from feet to the fingertip: stretch it out, and release. Keep on stretching and feeling: how well can you stretch and hold? Then, from the joint you have movement. Only do the joint first. Then you can do part-by-part. Stretch until you feel that the joint has really stretched. Then you’ll feel the ligaments and tendons, then the muscles, up to the skin. From here, absorb the Yin muscles on the front with the joint. Stretch the joint and muscles from the back (ming-men) and you have the project. You must have 3 things here: now with this quality—center of feet, yin and yang quality, you can proceed.
From here you have to FEEL there’s a macro-cosmic cycle: absorb here and project here. First you separate to recognize and feel each. Then, later, you absorb here but still feel the yang expand: it’s a complementary cycle here. The yin grab (initiated with the yin) it’s like this [shows difference]. The yang grab, initiated by yang (project), it’s this. Understand here? It’s a matter of your attention—and how you can see it.
The Feel of Rotation
What is the feel of rotation? Don’t think about words. Feel the sensation of rotation. What is the characteristic, what are the qualities in order to rotate? You want to look into here. If you look into here only then will you know how to approach the training. What conditions are needed for you to rotate? Everything we talk about conditions: conditions must be there in order for things to happen.
Rotate the centers. You must be balanced in order to be balanced in order to rotate. If not balanced, you can’t rotate. Venerable Jiru was talking [at MABA] about the spinning top (child’s toy).
When we play with it, the triangle cone must be balanced to spin—equal on all sides (equal on four-direction sides) in order to do the spinning. If not equal, you cannot spin. Yes? That means you need equal direction energy to hold the center to spin. So when you do a spiral, it has that quality. Consider: why is it that you can’t maintain the spin? Or, if you spin, is it balanced?
All this is the training process to look into. Then the training is only about keep on adjusting, keep on maintaining and keep on balancing. No other thing than here, understand. If the mind tries to say do another thing, you’re already wrong. Why would you do another thing? Your job is only to balance. From balance is action itself. That action is only the correct action. The correct action is only from balance and harmony. If you do more from here, you are doing wrong things already and you are already wasting your energy on things that aren’t necessary.
Because we talk about maintaining and doing it correctly, things manifest. Then how well can you start to connect and how wide can you stretch? That’s only the thing. I just want you guys paying in mind—that is all.
If you think you want something, no—that’s wanting.
You must hold this reference very strongly—that out from here you must be able to go return back. This is the core principles, all the core concepts. That’s why I say in my Path, I say there’s nothing to learn, because slowly as you train you’ll see there’s no extra here. Because to be balanced, to see the thing as it is, it’s just there: to maintain. It’s nothing to create. When you want to say ‘create’ that means examine how do you create—from where? Your creation comes from where? Then if it comes from center it’s not ‘creation’—it’s already there. What is there for you to create? Because it’s already there already.
If you come from the right perspective, there’s nothing new—it’s there. But when you hold over there, you do there, you see there, you know from there, it’s the most balanced—that’s what you call right. Practically, there’s no ‘right or wrong’; then you can say ‘appropriate.’ Appropriate movement, appropriate actions. Because it’s direct from here that nature speaks itself here. Here is where we talk about Wisdom. If you fall back to your past experience that’s accumulations—then you call it ‘knowledge.’ I won’t say knowledge is bad—knowledge is very powerful, as long as you know it’s ‘knowledge’, it’s accumulations and when you use it on other things it’s only ‘judging.’
You judge on it and use it to see if other things fit or not. But we are training not from that perspective. We train to be direct. Direct needs to connect.
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