Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The question came up about how one stays curious while they study the ordinary in Wujifa. As we have said before there are many different keys one can use that can help them understand the practice of Wujifa. Curiosity and the ordinary are two of the keys we can use to explore the practices and to aid one in making progress within the Wujifa practices. First of all, thank you Dan for asking this question in the comments to the post ‘Ordinary and Extra-ordinary’. Second, are you curious about what the answer might be to this question? Good, let’s see what we can find here.
Heraclitus the Greek philosopher said, “From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, out of oneness come all the many particulars.” In Wujifa we seek to understand the connections that lead to oneness and the more connected we become the more ability we have to engage with many different situations. You could say the singularity is what everything has in common. Then again, this whole concept could be just a little too much on the ‘woo-woo’ side of the fence.
Let’s clarify a few things first. The first is the question of what is one willing to do to create change? How much faith and will power does one have? Many people who talk about wanting change, if they are really honest with themselves, may only wish for change and aren’t willing to do the work that is involved to engage change.
Another common problem that many people have is they believe they can’t do it, so their truth is they don’t do it or only half heartedly try. They believe in their limitations. There is another set of people who believe it may be possible, and then it seems they find every way possible to distract themselves from doing the real work. They believe "it’s not their fault". Another type of person simply makes up stories about how they just need to put the time in. They believe simply practicing a specific type of Zhan Zhuang or practicing some special secret tai chi form or qigong for 10 or more years they will automatically get it only to be disappointed. These people overlooked critical benchmarks, tests, or verified results and applied analytical thinking to their theories. Many may have even worked very hard toward achieving their goals. Missing the opportunities to adjust and correct themselves by simply missing practical and verifiable benchmarks they could have applied along the way.
Questioning, testing, being open to the possibilities yet remaining grounded in where they are in the moment; this we could call being functionally curious. The functionally curious are testing and verifying and exploring the possibilities. This is the real key. Most people are curious for a moment and then close their eyes and fall asleep following without thinking. Remember the kind of curious I’m talking about is more like an explorer or a scientist. The kind of explorers who have “passion” and the kind of scientists who are willing to “test” it out and look for the facts and not simply believing in fairy tales and stories told by others. The kind of curiosity that drives people forward to do the “work” with the satisfaction of finding out for themselves
Aristotle said “Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your means permit.” In Wujifa we say “You are where you are and that’s where you start.”
Maybe I side-tracked a bit from Dan’s question; although hopefully there are some insights above that may be helpful. Here is the bottom line; people become “bored” when they aren’t being congruent.
People give up, quit, make up stories, become distracted when they are afraid to look, really look, at where the incongruence lies. They hide in their stories, emotions, their understandings and beliefs. The ordinary isn’t really all that ordinary when you stay open and awake, testing and exploring. The ordinary is something that only seems common when one falls into a trance. While practicing the basic and the ordinary there are many thing to be noticed along the way.
I’ll end here with a quote from Heraclitus the Greek philosopher also said something like “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Notice the river and the man for what they are these are the secrets to the common and ordinary.