The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness


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Still Mind Health – Standing Like A Tree

The year of the Dragon is upon us. For the new year, I will introduce a Chinese system of exercise that is sure to assist one’s body to transform into a picture of health and strength — to become like a dragon: strong when strength is needed, supple and soft when not. It is called Zhan Zhuang 站桩 (roughly pronounced Jan Jwong), also known as “Standing Like a Tree”; a form of stance training that demands of oneself total and complete union of both body and mind to carry out accurately. Adding even five minutes of Zhan Zhuang to your everyday routine will deliver a desirable result.

To begin with, first start with simple warm up exercises:

Light arm circles forwards and backwards. Loosen up the hips by circling the hips in both directions. Loosen up the legs as well. Standard repetition count  for these types of exercises usually fall within the 30 to 40 range, so shoot for roughly 30 to 40 repetitions in both directions. The object is simply to loosen the muscles and tendons and get the blood flowing. The best time to do the Zhan Zhuang exercise is in the morning as the sun comes up, but it is also fine to do it any time during the day. Five minutes at night before bed is also beneficial. There is an additional exercise called Ba Duan Jin 八段锦, or “Eight Section Brocade”, but I won’t discuss that in this post. I will reserve this exercise for a later posting, as it is an entire progression of postures and movements in itself. Continue reading

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Run run run as fast as you can, you won’t catch peace ’cause you’re moving too fast!

When, if ever, will it be the time which one has been waiting for? Today, you buy some food to serve as a placeholder until you can buy the type of food that you know that you should be eating. “This will do for now; I gotta run. No time.” Tomorrow. The next day, the day after that; a month; two, three; six months; a year. Still running, still accumulating placeholders. Not just for yourself, but for your children as well, for them and the life around you and them and everyone. Things to tide all the runners over until something better or an ultimate goal comes along, because you must rush, and run, and do this and do that; hurry hurry. But all the while that you are searching for better and ultimate, the quality of the body, the mind, the relationship, degrades like a flame consuming the wick of a candle as it burns. One’s life and the life of those which you brought up around you have been substituted with placeholders, and now there is no returning. The past actions have come, commenced, and gone, but the result remains here in the present. You couldn’t listen to the environment around you because you were moving too fast, and coaxing others to move fast right along with you. Not just within one’s family, but outside as well. When will it be the time to listen? “Where does the time go?” The answer may lie in one’s own pace, for if you move too fast to be bothered to notice things, then one is sure not to notice the passing of time. Only when you must hurry to be somewhere or do something, does time matter, and in such a case, one’s whole day is like that. Finish this so I can move on to that. Clock clock clock. “What time is it?… Oh, I gotta hurry!”. Quick, now run again after the first running, so that you can go run again, and again, and again. “I can only have fun for a few minutes because I have to go run some more.” “This weekend I need to go all out, because next week I must run; quick quick, let’s go!” Run in your head. Run here, run there; run everywhere.

Slow down. Not later; now. Later is later and has not come yet; now is now. Once you wait for later, the effects of your past “now” have already arrived, and your “later” from before is brimming only with regret. You want the past back so you can do it over…. The birth of suffering. Longing for the future and living in the past; your now goes by unnoticed for the sake of illusions.

All there is is now…


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This is Only My Finger… Now, Chop it Off And Look at The Moon!

You can read my words and like or dislike what you read, but in the end it is only your own self that is swayed this way or that. These are just words on a screen. Sure, they serve a purpose, yet they have no purpose. A finger that points at the moon is only a finger, it is not the moon. It serves a purpose to direct the searcher toward the moon’s location in the night sky, but when the searcher finds the moon, the finger is no longer necessary. Forget it; chop it off! Forget words; put them down. Forget my words, they only get in the way.
Do not take my words on faith, otherwise one falls into the trap of delusional knowing. To know, a thing must be seen for one’s self. But if one is to know anything, it should be the knowing of non-knowing. To know non-knowing, you must answer a question: who is it that knows anything?