With consistent daily practice in our tradition, your body will become more agile, coordinated, and energized every day. You will develop an internal sense of well being and happiness that comes from your deepening understanding of the natural principles at work all around you. Without imagining, believing, or contriving false hopes, you will become more in touch with the way things actually work. Also you can “realize yourself” by cultivating your potential to accomplish more with less effort and stress. Rather than using force or strong willed effort, you can use an increasing understanding of Dao, the working principles of nature. You will start to be able to see your problems as opportunities, your weaknesses as teachers, and your relationships as mutually beneficial, i.e. benefiting both you and others around you.
Rather than sacrifice yourself physically or mentally, you can learn to sustain yourself and support others to become more beneficent. In our tradition, this is how dedicated practitioners could lead without burnout,
have lasting teachings past their own lifetimes, and even unify warring countries. But this great benevolence started within their own daily practice to balance themselves, calm their minds, and see deeply into the way things work. They used the same movements that you can use now each day!
The beginning movements actually contain the essence of the practice. The more complex forms go out, but weuse them to return to the essence. “The root is the same as the fruit.” So whatever position you hold now, you can start not with basics that later you will abandon for “advanced moves”, but you will be able to always use each movement, and see more clearly how special they are and what potential they hold for you as you breakthrough to deeper understanding.
“Your body is like a road. First you construct it, then you smooth it and refine it until eventually you won’t need it anymore. Your body is a vehicle for your enlightenment.”
– Sifu Tsou
As you become more clear about how your own body and mind work, you will be better able to feel how others work also. In this way, our teachers teach from their own sincere experience rather than what they have heard from others or what they used to do. They will feel what you feel but to different degrees, and will be able to help you by direct experience teaching. This is much more valuable and effective for your progress than transmittingmovements or information through the media, DVDs, internet, or even past “masters”. We will discuss theimportant writings of ancient practitioners, but these books are meant for guiding your practice rather than giving you information.
With a short time of practicing the movements each day, your body will start to become more efficient in other activities. Your mind will be able to remain calmer in more stressful situations, and you gain an inner sense of confidence and joy. You will recognize the principles throughout the day and be able to learn more from each experience throughout the day, whether they are “good” or “bad” experiences. By becoming more sensitive throughout your own systems for greater refinement and balance, you will be able to see in others how to help or guide them without force and “nourish the growth of the 10,000 things”. No matter what job or endeavor you take on, who would not benefit from this?