Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | July 17, 2009

Summer Days, the Ineffable, and Work

Got the day off today, and it’s the first day of summer here in Jersey that feels like the summer of old–hot, humid, the smell of summer in the air. I’m glad I have today off(although I am going to have to go in for about an hour and make next week’s schedule). It reminds me when my brother and I were kids and mom would pack us up and get us to the park, sometimes hooking up with my aunt and my cousin, and we would enjoy the day like crazy. Watermelon refreshed us. We knew how to sweat back then too!

I tend to delve too much into the ineffable. I want to know something that by definition I cannot know. I can experience it, perhaps, and anecdotally, I have had glimpses. The mystical is experienced in mystical practices, contemplation, meditation, tai chi, chanting, etc. It can also be experienced in the everyday. This is an impotant lesson for us to work on, experiencing the ineffable, the mystical, and the sublime truth in the mundane, every day. Gratefulness is important here.

You know how a little kid will draw by just scratching lines and zigzagging over itself on paper, totally chaotic? In a way, the little kid is seeing life as it is, chaotic and haphazard. There are lots of ways the lines start to take shape, start to take on form, start to make sense, start to go in the same direction. In a totalitarian regime, the lines are forced to move in lockstep. Do the lines stay as they are in zen and tai chi? Do they become more circular? Do they trace the tai chi symbol? In buddhism, are there lines at all? In western culture, we learn to draw, conforming to the geometry of lines, squares, triangles, etc. Perspective, the drawing genius of the rennaissance painters.

As for work, it is what it is. Lesson one is that I need to build up my stamina. Ten and eleven hour days running back and forth is hard on this 48 year old tai chi man! Standing still and moving really slowly is my thing! Sitting in silence is good too! Lesson number two, it is great practice for doing tai chi in relating to people. It is wonderful how 6 ounces deflects 1,000 pounds. As for the chaos of the operational side of things, every day I learn how to really do something instead of being shown in a blur, so, in time, it will be easy. It is important for me to stay focused on who I am and who I want to be. There is something special about being a tai chi man in a shoe store. It’s keeping it low key. I’m not some hot shot in satin pajamas spewing tai chi isms. (I’d lov e to be on the cover of tai chi magazine someday! Ha!)

So, presence, the sublime, the mysterious, awareness, rootedness, gentleness, joy, like a mountain in that shoe store! That’s what I’m talking about.


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