Where Moderation Meets Humility
The trip to hike Volan Baru brought together many discussions. I entered this period to resolve the inner conflict I have of frustration. Frustration that my mind and body are strong enough, but since my head injury I often simply am more exhausted from simple acts. This is about how we face our desires. Our ego.
Moderation in Yoga
A head injury is mostly about learning ‘moderation’ or brahmacharya in yoga’s yamas. It is when the individual’s external relationship to the world is out of balance, the individual is left low energy and high frustration. It is about quality rather than quantity of experience.
It might be moderation when falling in love, or your favourite marathon race that you must find for yourself. But in a world of ‘FOMO’, instant gratification and over-information choosing moderation is increasingly challenging.
The constant cycle of ‘more’ and ‘never enough’ means that we have a culture that supports the desire for more perpetual suffering. Each choice for more is a restatement in our karmic cycle that we are insufficient.
A cycle of insufficiency is a cycle of lack. Lack that seeks instant reward is the cycle of modern day suffering seen in depression, anxiety, addictions and other mental health issues. Whether your actions are to reflect on the past, worry about the future or bury your head in booze – you are choosing to live in lack and suffering.
Lack lives in extremes. Bouncing between a high and a low, or just hanging at one of those ends. Moderation is finding the even keel in the middle. Where contentment resides. You must make moderate acts to see the abundance in the quality of the moment.
Empty and Full in Tai Chi
An important concept to understand to become a master in Tai Chi is Empty and Full. This is the mastery of the intention to change smoothly and redirect the flow of energy efficiently. It maintains balance of all 8 directions of force on the body, with the plumb line centred in the torso. You change through use of shifting from what is ‘empty’ and what is ‘full’ weight or energy in the body.
By clearly distinguishing where is empty and full during transitions, then energy is sustained for longer. It is economical kinetic activity in movement to know your weight in transitions. Further, Tai Chi requires that there is always a diagonal cross of full and empty in the body for this balance. The right top empty must meet a right bottom full for balance.
There is no bias towards one or the other, but that both always have a quality to be the other at any time. You must co-ordinate upper and lower body to always balance full and empty. This keeps the centre always in balance.
A beginner exaggerates this fullness and emptiness. But as the movements are refined there is moderation in the energy wherein the master is internally empty and full, yet externally neither full nor empty.
The change comes from intention and the energy follows without ever losing the centre. The qi should never depart from the centre position. If you depart from the centre to adjust your transition, then you shiji ‘miss an opportunity’ and this further wastes energy.
Humility may not be that we think we are better than others. It might be that you misjudge what others can achieve. You are critical, judgmental and lack understanding in how we all differ.
Humility is the acknowledgement and full surrender to the Divine that guides our paths, that is our full alignment to our soul’s purpose.
Where Do They Meet?
That melt down on the second hike on Volcan Baru: the loss of my physical senses and emotional mind was the same experience I have met several times since my head injury. As I fight for what I want and think is best for me, something slaps me in the face and takes away my capacity.
At the Last Supper with Michael and Alex, I saw that these came together.
(1) When we begin to choose moderation, there is space to see the abundance from the universe. We are less frustrated and have more energy.
(2) When we know where is always empty and full, we can make the constant adjustments on our path keeping centred to our Divine nature. We do not miss opportunities and are efficient in our energy.
(3) When we surrender fully to our life’s purpose, we stop driving from ego and relinquish suffering. Life is fulfilling and vibrant.
My head injury showed me other functionality, other perceptions other than what I was born with. I fought very hard to rebuild my mental capacity and physical strength, to close to what I once possessed. I was still in my ego, but learning moderation to see abundance through quality of choice.
After 5 years, I have adapted to know my empty and full. To make choices that keep me centred and do not bounce to extremes of full or empty. The transitions are considered and aware of my energetic shifts as I use my intention with more conscious awareness.
As I stared into the beautiful diamond raindrop I realised that each fight I make I am knocked back by something stronger than this little self. My ego is being forced to relinquish. My soul is taking the driver’s seat and like a little child I shall let her run free!
The knowledge and experiences of Alex and Michael greatly contributed to this post. As with all my work, I do not teach or coach or heal. I am a mirror. If you are open to receive love from the sky, connect deeply with others, and feel your centre then your answer will shine back at you reflecting your true beauty.