Practice is searching

There is a saying that has long been a part of the western tradition: Search and you will find.

Searching, for us, means practice.

In our school our practice is research, and your practice should be research, no matter what you do. Whatever you practise, whenever you practise, you have to ask yourself what you are looking for.

If you ask yourself within the practice: ‘What am I looking for?’, that means you have to be aware. You have to be present. And pay attention: if you are looking for inspiration, usually it is right in front of your nose. But we are not there. I am emphasising this because this is the base of what I teach. No matter what the practice, whether Qi Gong, Taijiquan, or Bodywork, the approach is that we search. We are seekers.

The Role of a Teacher

There is another saying: if the student is ready, the master appears. Which means: don't search for a master. They appear when you are ready. Inspiration comes when you are ready. In the meantime: practice. That is the only way you will get anywhere. Just practice: if you want to feel better, practice, if you want to open a school, practice, if you are looking for a master, for a teacher, for inspiration, practice.

Search and you will find. Not necessarily a master, this person that takes you someplace great. True masters are very rare and I am not one, I am a teacher. And what I teach is that the search is done through practice.

Stillness and Clarity

The base of your practice, the base of your search and of your finding, the base of your understanding and healing, is stillness. This is why the stillness practice is so important in Qi Gong. It is not appreciated in the West, because we are a hyperactive society. People want your money, people want your energy, there might be nothing bad about it, this is just extensive capitalism. But nobody will get your money or your energy if you don't allow it. And there will be more energy and money drawn out of you, if you are hyperactive.

There is a story from the Zen tradition that has probably appeared in different forms in every culture. There was somebody very poor who got offered a diamond from somebody very generous and giving. There is a double meaning here: in Buddhism, the teaching- the Dharma, is considered to be a jewel, a diamond. The story goes that this person walked around, very happy but careless, and then he dropped the diamond into the water. So he panicked and wanted to get it back and jumped in the water trying to find it. But this way everything got more muddy and more dirty. He couldn't find the diamond, we could say, because he was overactive.

In order for the mud to settle down and the water to clear, it is enough to wait. Not to do anything. Which is not so easy. That is why we need to practise it- if it was easy you would not need to do it. But things you can't do, things you aren't able to do, require practice. Then the search is done by stillness. If you become still, the diamond starts to shine.

The Stillness of the Heart is no trick

Metaphorically, what the Buddhists refer to as the diamond is your heart, the power of your heart. When it is bestilled and quiet, it starts to shine. Beforehand it is clouded with a lot of emotions. This is the most common state of things, we are living in this hyper-emotional culture, full of exaggerated expression. One could call it the daily soap, as in soap opera. Our world is like a TV show where every 3 minutes something dramatic happens, and ah and oh! You will feel very alive then but in fact this is a junkie mentality. Literally, in these situations you release certain hormones into your bloodstream, and you become addicted to this kind of stimulation, you start to need it.

Now, to practise Qi Gong and stillness, to find a diamond in your heart, is not a trick. People come to workshops and weekends always looking for a trick, or technique. We normally start the search when things don't work out the way we were expecting so we think: maybe I can improve something, maybe I can do something differently, so then I want to know how, I want the trick. But there is no such thing- at least I haven't found it yet. I found the practices of Qi Gong, I found the stillness practice, but these are no tricks and no short-cuts. On this path, things take time.

Time and the Nature of Things

Unfortunately, things take a long time, because to clear the waters, to let the mud settle, takes time. That is in the nature of things. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just that we don't understand nature anymore. There is a simple example: how long does it take to mess the waters up? How long does it take to bring all the dust and all the mud up? A couple of seconds. Now, how long does it take until the waters become clear?

How long does it take to totally mess one up in an accident? A flicker of a second, that's it. All the rest is just the aftermath. And how long does it take to heal? It could be years.

This is the nature of the things. There is nothing wrong here. Can you see that there is beauty in this? The things are very beautiful as they are, you just don't see them this way. Because we are not still. That is in the nature of things and that is why we have to appreciate time. Time is a healer and time is a teacher. While we are looking for tricks. What are the tricks for? To shorten the time.

Stop looking for tricks and then you start the true research.

The process of Learning

Again, how much time do you need to spend five hundred thousand Zlotys? Imagine: we are in Warsaw, it's Saturday night. Yes, you can do it in one night. Now, how long does it take to earn five hundred thousand Zlotys?

This is the nature of true research, it takes time. And I don't mean looking for the answers on the internet. Of course, you can do it this way, we live in the age of information, but the problem is not that people don't know enough, we know too much already. This is not what I mean when I talk about research, that is not the issue. Your research is stillness practice and time. It is not just 5 minutes, that is a good start. But then it has to become 10, 15 and 50 minutes. You do a bit of research, that's fine, you get an answer. But you shouldn't be satisfied by the answer, you should go deeper. Continue with your research.

The Spirit of Inquiry

When I found my Master, within maybe the first two meetings I asked him- because it was bothering me- I said: ‘Listen, I have a lot of doubts. I'm full of doubts’. I asked him in the hope that he would give me a solution, relieve me from that. Tell me what the trick is.

He went quiet, as usual, not saying anything for a while- a stillness practice, actually.
Then he looked at me and he said: ‘So, you will go very deep’.
And that was all.

Research, stillness and time. Just do your practice.

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Ron Timm Qi Gong Tai Chi Still Power