Monday, June 1, 2009

Ability to Shift Perspective

I was listening to mike talking about his shoulder alignment at Wujifa class the other day. Rick was telling him not to focus directly on the shoulder but to get an over-all feeling of openness. This is after years of focus on the subtle adjustments and attention to detail that he has put into alignment.

I went to a seminar that was held by a Qigong practitioner who had developed a way of healing eyesight. I took a friend of mine who wore glasses. The man stated that the single best practice for developing ones eyesight, and/or healing it completely, is to look at something very closely, as close as possible to where it almost hurts slightly, then fix the gaze on something as far away as possible, interchanging between the two views.

At class, Dan was asked by Rick to look out into the clouds, not focusing on anything in particular, but to see as far as the eye could see. This was an experiment in perception and Dan, when asked, said he was also able to notice much of the minute details in the foreground of his perception simultaneously.

I was in china learning Yiquan under master Yao Chenguan. He told me that most styles of martial arts keep fajing or fali as a secret that is to be learned after many years of practice. In his system he said it is important that someone, from the very beginning, should learn fali even if they are not doing it correctly. He told me that practicing shili, moli, and a limited amount of fali helps one to get a better grasp and in turn speeds up the development of ones training. Fali helps to develop shili, and shili helps develop fali, as well as moli, all three practices he said help to support the other.

It seems clear that the ability to shift perspectives between the detailed and the 'broader scope' of things is an important part of the learning process, or at least that this is something to consider. So what is it that keeps us fixated or stuck in our perspective? Is it fear of letting go of something that we think we are? I notice that the very thing that causes frustration or friction when people, including myself of course, argue amongst one another is the association. When we associate ourselves with ideas we feel that they are us. And when someone questions what we think is ourselves, we naturally try and defend. We take it as an attack against what we think is us. This immediately initiates our survival mechanisms because we believe that we are being attacked or that we are in danger of being dismantled. Our blood pressure rises, maybe our adrenaline kicks in, we sweat slightly to keep the increased heat down thats caused by our increased heart rates, we tense up. Whether these effects are subtle or quite apparent, they are the result of us defending what we think is 'our' perspective. So can we put this question to ourselves... are we our opinions? Is it even possible? Is our association with various ideas, whether they be religious, intellectual, or otherwise; is that what makes us who we are? Is it possible to not associate with any ideas? Ask these questions yourself if you are simply just following along with what is typed here. I did not write this to entertain you, or to give you another perspective to associate with. This is not another idea to call your own, but a serious inquiry. We associate ourselves with so many things to tell the story of who we are, and i question choice. Can we choose who we are? We choose to associate with our music, our beliefs, our religions or non-religion, our groups.... see? We all have our little groups in life, our own little corners that we choose. Do we feel so insignificant inside? And if you can put this question to yourself... what need is there for these associations? If you have seen the trouble that associations have caused because you have been listening, and inquiring within, and you see the whole process of this association as futile and destructive then the question arises. The question comes as an inevitable result of inquiry, of attention, or listening. If you see the destructive nature of association the question is put to ones self; are associations necessary?

We have this tendency to get stuck, and its not until we are able to see that we are stuck that we are vulnerable to it. And in that vulnerability is freedom. Cause when we are vulnerable we are able to feel, to be hurt, to be happy, to live. And only by sensitivity are we able to respond, not respond with the known; not responding with a prefabricated perspective, but with intelligence. Intelligence is alive, not dead, it is not a result of putting forward the past to meet the present with. Intelligence is not something that is known, it is the uninvited result of listening with everything. It is alive.


  1. This is Rick from the Wujifa blogspot

    I really enjoy this blog and your postings. Wujifa is very wonderful practices! Very cool stuff...

  2. You've done a very nice job with this blog. I'll be visiting regularly.

  3. Thanks, your blogs are great as well. Theres a lot there for anyone to study.