One of the things that I love most about practicing arts like Chinese medicine and yoga is that they are direct experiences of very profound philosophies. These are ancient philosophies that are based on systems of balance. For example, if you know how to look at the tai qi symbol:
and contemplate deeply, you may come to realize, that simply looking at something can be a way of understanding the entire universe.
My tai qi teacher is regarded as one of the best push hands practitioners living today. And what is truly amazing about the way he practices, is that he literally uses no perceivable force at all to push much bigger, and stronger people over, time, and time again. I've been lucky to spend many early mornings playing push hands with him, and in this way, gain a direct transmission of many of the philosophical truths about the perpetual changing nature of balance, that both Chinese medicine and tai qi chuan share.
I can remember one of my Chinese herbal medicine professors quoting a classical text, "to know the way, is to invest in loss." This made sense, because getting pushed over countless times by my tai qi teacher had been good preparation. And this idea translates into my clinic when the darkest and scariest moments arise for my patients and they can be seen with an unflinching gaze. Because the absolute nature of the brightest light is genuinely known to be intrinsic to those very same scary dark moments. It is my belief, this understanding requires a great deal of cultivation, and it’s my hope, to inspire the many people I meet to revere the daily practice it requires to achieve this way of life.