1 Earth Cycle reflections

26 02 2008

LotusLooking back on things from my blog last year, I also see it has been over a year ago that I started with Heart Chan. So much has changed in the past year, yet in some ways I’m full circle to where I was a year ago. So I question myself on what needs to be changed, what was a good thing. What needs to go, with the new year it is good to clean out one’s house…and mind. Keeping what is needed & used.

I reflect on my Ch’an practice. I am still at it so that means a lot. I am now doing it twice a day for the last 5 months rather than just once daily. I enjoy the space I find when in Zuò Chán ( Zazen). I have found points of merger between the Yin of stillness and the Yang of Motion which can be passed to my Shaolin Students. I can explain the need for both in a balanced training and have included basic meditation as part of the standard warm ups along with Chi Gong. Awake the Body, awake the mind. This was my reason for seeking this out, to make that connection between them, and to understand the basics of how that worked, that was the knowledge I sought. That was the enlightenment I wanted. Although I have just peeped through the door of the training hall, and eaten the crumbs from the table of knowledge I am pleased at where I am. I am grateful to have found the table, & for the crumbs.

Gratitude… there are side-effects to the Ch’an practice. Because it is not just about sitting and going beyond the aches and pains of sitting and relating that to everyday life and going beyond to see joy. As Kung Fu is not just about punches and kicks. Ch’an is not just about sitting, it is also about compassion and gratitude, how you live your life. It is about examining other parts of your life and understanding, all other life touches all parts of your life, you are other life and it is you. We are interdependent. We are the world, the universe, all that was, is or will be. In treating other forms of life with compassion and gratitude, we treat ourselves to it. What we do to our Oceans, Lands, & Air, we do to ourselves and our children’s children. That is the reality of no-duality. This is our spiritual connection to all, our responsibility to ourselves, to care for other life.

Shaolin is Love, A Kung Fu brother once said that to me …Shaolin is about Love, hmmm. I thought about that for a long time. Until I understood more of the Ch’an Heart I did not understand. Our Motion Ch’an is another form of meditation, rather than the distraction of cramps in the leg or that itch, we have the complexity of movement, to connect with yet stay detached, remaining calm, centered, mindful. Connected but not attached. The same as washing dishes, walking down the street, driving a car, sailing a boat, defending your home, family, friends. Ch’an is not just about sitting and meditating. It is about living fully in each moment, compassionately in harmony with your environment. No mater if it is in perceived good or in a bad way, cycle, day. At the Heart of the Shaolin Practice lies, Ch’an ….

The Heart of Ch’an is Love.

A pretty good group of lessons for a year. Now that I can crawl it should even more interesting…

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