Today is the beginning of the Lenten season, it snuck up pretty quickly! But I have been reflecting on the cross, its meaning in the Catholic faith, for Christians, and how it is compatible with the taoist way, the tai chi way. For Catholics, without the cross, there is no redemption. The great sacrifice of the cross is what restores us to the father. What greater love than this, to lat down your life for another. And in imitaton of Christ, we are encouraged in faith, when faced with it, to embrace our sufferings and to pick up our cross and carry it as the Lord did.
But perhaps what is most significant in the cross from the tai chi perspective is the restoration of balance. Tai chi is all about balanced and harmony. For Catholics, the belief is that before Christ, the world was completely out of balance, the pendulum had swung too far in the wrong direction, and in order to balance things out, to rebalance the world, to restore man to harmony, the most extreme action was necessary: death on a cross, which of course leads to the resurrection and the restoration.
In Taoism, suffering is part of the natural way of things. It comes and it goes. We don’t focus too much on one or the other, suffering or joy. We take it as it comes and are zen about it, living in the particular moment. A taoist does not try to force change or bang his head against the wall or try to manipulate the situation in his favor. He does what he is required to do by the laws of right action and then steps back.
Where has the pendulum swung now in our day and age? There is still a need for balancing energy, for harmony energy. As taoists, we have to practice this balance and offer some of it to the worls