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The Breath that Cleanses

Peggy La Cerra PhD writes a column in Spirituality & Health Magazine, and I really enjoyed this excerpt from the May-June 2012 issue:

“Although we rarely stop to think about it, we are cleansing and revitalizing ourselves with each and every breath we take. Our bodies are designed to expel an impressive 70 percent of their toxic load via respiration. This cleansing process begins at the cellular level. As our cells convert sugars unto a simple form of usable energy, carbon dioxide is generated as waste. This toxic gas is then absorbed into our bloodstream, transported to our lungs, and released into the atmosphere, when we exhale. Then the plants, with which we share the planet, take in our expelled carbon dioxide and use it to create the energy that fuels their existence. And, fortunately for us, they then release the waste product of this photosynthetic process into the atmosphere – the oxygen that sustains our own existence. “

You remember, it is the science of life we learned in elementary school.

But read on, for she so eloquently illuminates and describes the web of life that this simple lesson reveals:

“In this unparalleled display of the elegance of co-evolutionary design, the plants and animals of the earth are cleansing and nourishing and renewing each other, every moment of their lives – a quintessentially physical phenomenon that displays all the hallmarks we usually ascribe to acts of divine grace and spiritual love.”

I love this reminder that we are always already giving and receiving such nourishment and grace – with every breath we take and give!

So keep breathing, and bring to you what you need.

Til the next move,
Enjoy your practice

Dorian

The Taiji Circle

The Taiji Circle is such a great graphic!

In one elegant and simple design it conveys so much meaning.  A circle with an S curving through the middle, one half white, the other half black, and each side with a dot of the other side’s color in it.

Seems no matter how long this symbol has been a part of my life, the meaning to which it points goes ever deeper.   The symbol refers to the yin-yang philosophy that the dualistic nature of all that we see in the world can be understood not as mutually exclusive contrary opposites, but as complementary to, arising from and dissolving back and forth into each other.  Night becomes day, summer becomes winter, etc.

Qualities, not Things

Yin and yang are qualities, or aspects of things, they don’t exist on their own.  No thing that exists, exists in isolation or absolutely.  And therefore, no one thing is yin, and no one thing is yang – but everything may be yin or yang relative to something else.   And the same thing maybe yin in one regard and yang in another regard, relative to a single other thing. It’s just not as simple as black and white.

No Conflict

Seems to me the human challenge is to recognize the harmony among the opposites. Black and white relate to one another, and black and white have the seed of their opposite within.  I find this incredibly valuable to remember – especially when I am in what feels like conflict with someone else.  Whatever I feel is in opposition, I first notice the seed of that in me, in my position, and then I remember that my position exists in relation to theirs – this gives me the ability to accept their position, without abandoning my own and points the way toward some resolution reflected in the greater whole.

The Whole

Right! The greater whole – the circle in which all this dualistic interplay is happening. For ultimately, there is something which cannot be talked about or described, because it is not subject to the yin and yang of life, but encompasses them both.  For me, this is where blogging stops and the practice of taiji begins. Moving through 108 moves of my taiji form, I feel the harmonious interplay of all the seemingly opposing forces – up and down, advance and retreat, form and emptiness, mind and body, and on and on and on…..

Til the next move, enjoy your practice

Dorian

A Name for My Blog

I write these blogs to help me digest my own taiji lessons, to share my journey with my students, and to possibly, provide some entertaining and sometimes enlightening reading for other travelers on the mind-body-spirit connection journey.

Why call it The Next Move?

I decided to call this whole blog thing “The Next Move” for a couple of reasons.

One is that there is a forward momentum to the phrase, and I am feeling like I could use a little forward momentum in my life, these days.  (Of course, by now, you would think I would know better than to ask for change. Change happens.)

Another reason has to do with the taiji class experience. While learning the 108-move long form of Yang’s style taijiquan, there are many opportunities to study and practice the move we are learning.  And there is also a feeling of anticipation and excitement about learning the next move.  I wanted to bring a little bit of that excitement to this blog.

So, as I go forth into my next move, I hope to keep what I’ve acquired – lessons learned, goodwill, some peace of mind, and let go of what no longer serves – all the worries and fears, doubts and expectations.

I hope you will subscribe to my blog and check back often –

Til the next move,

Enjoy your practice

Dorian