Pic.: Nishant Joshi
I find it very difficult to close my eyes while doing the Tai Chi walk in our Sunday Tai Chi classes. The moment I close my eyes, I lose my body-balance… The eyes open up, instantly. Our sir says, we need to train our mind. “It is difficult in the beginning,” sir reminds us, “but slowly and steadily, if you keep practicing it, you will be able to do the Tai Chi walk closing your eyes.” Then, gently tapping a little below my belly-button, he asserts, “Focus on this ‘man’!”
The ‘man’ is ‘Tantien’… He lives some three finger-width below my belly-button and about a third of the way in toward the back. It is the center of vital energy, movement and physical awareness of the body… Our sir says.
Our sir keeps reminding us, that, a large portion of our troubles brews in our mind… Mind doesn’t easily give up the control. Letting go and surrendering – even though it is for our own well-being and peace… No, it doesn’t come to us easily… The mind just doesn’t let us yield… trust!
So, today, I tried. I started with shifting my focus from my mind to Tantien. I slowed down… Closed my eyes for one step and opened them for four. “Slowly, you will be able to reverse the ratio,” I remembered sir’s words…
“Hey, it is not that difficult!” I heard me telling myself, “After all, I am only expected to walk – Tai Chi walk – with my eyes closed.”
Later, today, we had to choose a partner and do another ‘simple’ exercise…
I said ‘simple’!
Yin and Yang. According to a Chinese theory, these are two forces in the universe… Yin is the passive, negative force, and Yang the active, positive force. According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces in the seasons, in their food, and so on, and will regulate their lives accordingly.
So, today, if I chose to be Yang, my partner had to be Yin. We stood in a combat position… with back of our palms touching… I, being a Yang, had to be active and push hard my partner’s hand… He, being a Yin, had to be passive… And, we had to switch our roles… When my partner turned Yang and exerted pressure on me, tried to dislocate me, it wasn’t easy for me to yield… Mind wanted to be in control… It wanted to be a Yang… It did not want to lose!
“That’s our ego,” our sir pointed, “Yield gladly, consciously… See what happens!”
Kannan was my partner. On hearing what our sir had just said, he looked at me… and I looked at Kannan… We both knew, by now, that the Yin-Yang exercise was not just one more exercise… It was not about winning and losing… There was a deeper meaning wrapped in it!
In Life, everything has an opposite… and they beautifully complement each other… They are inter-dependent… Life simply cannot exist without their co-existence… Light has no meaning without darkness… Life needs death… Heaven needs Hell… The breath has to come in and go out… I will never know happiness without unhappiness… Peace is peace only because of the unrest… When we fought and argued, one of us had to joyfully, consciously yield… Even in physical intimacy, one lover had to give and the other had to take…
And, that – ‘yielding’ - was not being weak… That’s being strong… Wise!
Therefore, today, without saying a single word, Kannan and I were looking at each other, on hearing our sir declare, “That’s our ego”!
The class got over and I was on my way home. When I checked the messages on my phone, there was this PJ from a young girl… “Silly,” my mind first reacted, “These kids have no brains.”
But, then, I read the silly stuff, anyway:
Wife (after a fight): “Tell me those three magical words.”
Husband: “I love you.”
Husband: “I like you.”
Wife: “No, NO.”
Husband: “I miss you.”
Wife: (Getting angrier): “No, No, NO!”
Husband: “Galti meri thi.”
Our sir, also, says Yin is feminine… and Yang is masculine!