Slowing down has never been more relevant than in today’s world. Forcing things to happen has become a way of life for many people, and the end result often falls short of their expectations, for sense of fulfillment eludes them. One doesn’t have to look far for inspiration to slow down. Take cues from nature. We must learn to tune our wayward minds to nature’s rhythm. Just as day changes to night, and yin energy transforms into yang, we must understand there is a time for every action. For instance, you can’t force the sun to rise early; it will take its time, but when it comes, it does so in splendour. Slowing down lies at the heart of Taoist philosophy. It is the very antithesis of being tense. So, whatever the activity that you are engaged in, learn to relax and you will accomplish your goal in time. The timeless principle of moderation is central to any t’ai chi movement. Wastful action is a cardinal sin. One of the fundamental rules of this ancient martial art is that you should perform a movement to 70 per cent of your potential, for going for 100 per cent sows the seeds of strees and tension, and your body starts experiencing fear and anxiety without you being aware of it. You lose your equilibrium and end up straining your body, which your opponent can use to his advantage. Deadlines increase pressure and reduce joy. The goal of meeting them keeps everybody on their toes, stunting free-flowing creativity.
Concentrate on planning ahead; this can help you tap into your lateral powers — imagination and judgement. Also, cultivate a reflective mood, running through the day’s events at the end of the day. This is where practising t’ai chi, yoga, reflection, and silence can help.
All you need is regular practise and a positive intent. In the words of Confucius: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, so long as you don’t stop.”
–Sensei Sandeep Desai
The Speaking Tree, Page: 02, 6, Feb, 2011