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Old 03-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #11
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Heart leads mind, mind leads qi, qi leads strength

I observe that successful instructors of internals use a pedagogy of working back up the chain: body - ki - mind/intent - heart. In other words, almost all successful teachers meet their students where they are "at" and slowly lead them into greater/deeper understanding so that practice can become increasingly productive. The least successful instructors of internals use a pedagogy that insists that students meet the teacher where they are "at." This isn't necessarily motivated by ill will BTW. I suspect that many teachers want the best for their students and therefore try to (unsuccessfully) jump straight into "the best stuff." This usually ends with a bunch of students operating where they are "at" imitating the outer form reflected by where the teacher is "at."

So a good teacher ends up starting by introducing their students to outer forms of one kind or another (usually ones that a teacher thinks will be easier to bridge back up the chain with) leading them to discover the connection between those movements and the students ki, [some claim not to teach any form . . . and then proceed to demonstrate something that the student copies the form of] intent/mind, and finally heart. Paradoxically, of course, while this is all going on, everyone is acting via the heart - mind/intent, ki, body chain.

I just find it interesting to note that many individuals noted for internal accomplishments share a similar quality of finding that their practice leads them to recognize profound connections beyond just those within their bodies. {There is also sometimes a cultural component that dictates that "accomplished teachers" must leave some profundities, and so they attempt to do so. I'm not writing about this phenomenon here.}

One more thing, I guess that many individuals pursue these studies with a primary motivation of trying to assuage deeply seated fears or to satisfy a profound sense of emptiness. The results of their practice will vary widely due to their primary motivation which they are in all likelihood be completely unaware of. In other words, the choices that an individual makes in their teachers, training, and even understandings (how they view reality) will be fundamentally influenced by their primary motivation. Most individuals will start out in this manner, some will change along the way, many, will not.

It has been pointed out that "men of war" have the primary (heart level) motivation to change at a profound level. Outer circumstances create a "life nexus" which can be leveraged into profound change. (There is also built in quality control.) For many individuals today, this "motivation" is (thankfully) not present. Therefore, one must have somehow create the same motivation inwardly to create that same life changing nexus. This is far easier said than done BTW. Most individuals experience this type of nexus during times of death, birth, divorce, etc. Some leverage them well, others bumble through them blindly a continuous victim of their own ignorance. Theoretically, every moment is such a nexus (folks are dying, being born, divorced, married, etc. every moment) which is why there is the potential to change profoundly at any time. Most of us just slog along though.

It isn't spoken of very often, particularly in "popular modern arts" but many traditions "fast track" this at a certain point of a student's evolution by forcing them into a nexus type situation . . . in other words they purposefully create a life threatening situation that can then be leveraged. Of course this can, and has, been mis-used. In some cases, this misuse has even been institutionalized . . . and so it goes.

Anyway, as they say, "The longest journey begins with the first step." I've been talking (out my ass to the degree that I haven't embodied all that I have talked about) about the journey rather than the essential "first step."

Of course, in that the journey will never be complete without a first step, the first step "contains" the potentiality of the entire journey within it. Kind of like "ichi" in shodo, or kiri otoshi in in ken (or seigan, or kamae, or . . .), or Ikkyo or, blah, blah, blah.

Once again, I recommend finding someone that "can do." Then combine that with hard work in the body and mind. (Think for yourself critically and check empirically.) Test that you are not just propping up your own delusions , and then test again, and again.

I'm on Daddy duty, and so my thoughts are rambling and divided. My apologies!

~ Allen Beebe
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