Being Human

in life •  last year 

We are all human.We all get some things right and some things wrong.I have recently been on a training day with my Tai Chi teachers who were talking about the founder of the style. He was brilliant at Tai Chi and completely fallible in some other areas. Sadly, it was a failing that cost at least one life when a student invested too much trust in the ‘master’ rather than doing their own due diligence.

This, by the way, does not mean I have any less respect for the founder of the art, just a recognition that we are all human.Sydney Banks, the founder of what is now called the Three Principle approach/understanding was also a human being. He got some amazing stuff right and got some other stuff completely wrong (in my opinion).

Again, this does not mean I have any less respect for Sydney Banks, and I recognise the tendency to follow our heroes uncritically in myself too; so even though I disagree with some aspects of what is taught as the Three Principles, we are all searching out our own understanding and disagreeing appears to be part of that journey.I like this quote from Michael Neil:

“Thought in the moment is always the source of whatever I’m experiencing Mind is an unlimited potential for fresh new thinking.”

Sometimes we can recognise the flavour of our thinking. For example, when we get some bee in our bonnets at bedtime and our frenzied thinking keeps us awake. For me it can help to recognise the flavour and know it’s just a passing ‘taste’. It will last as long as it lasts, it will live in and through me as long as I keep it alive. 

There are skills and habits of mind that will give me more control over thoughts and feelings but the ocean will always be bigger and stronger than my individual ability to swim in a direction – and that is just how it is. I am an advocate of psychological skills, particularly meditation, but thinking you can use a technique to force the mind to whatever you happen to want in the moment is not always going to end well.

Of course the fear is that when we feel something unpleasant and painful that it will last forever and get worse and worse until Bad Things Happen…And in all honesty, Bad Things Can Happen. 

Sometimes we just need to get help.

Yet my experience is that when we begin to recognise and become more comfortable with the flow of thinking and feeling through us, and less attached to it as being really true (at least some of the time) we can be more graceful within both highs and lows. Lows, in particular, are still unpleasant but do not seem to last as long, and we may find ourselves more receptive to helping hands should they appear. I offer that as my experience and for your on reflection rather than evidence based ‘fact’.This way of understanding can become a more global conceptualisation of how life is. 

This is how thinking is. This is how feeling is. There is nothing wrong when we are thinking and feeling anger, anxious, depressed when we realise they are thoughts and feelings, possibly well practised, that are around for a while and do not need to be taken seriously enough to act on the strength of the feeling. 

The strength of feeling only tells you about the strength of feeling, not about possible action you should or should not take.

What I am beginning to have faith in, which I did not before, is that there is a creative potential in Life. There is seemingly always the possibility of new thought and feeling rather than a tired rehashing of the same old, same old. 

And again, what I am beginning to have faith in from noticing it happening, is that as I trust in that creative potential it become more of my regular experience.

I hope this is of some value to you. If you have any questions or comments you can make them in the comments section or by email to [email protected] 

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