The Autumn breeze is clear and crisp, calming and peaceful. It touches the leaves of green, yellow, orange and red; all of them flowing gracefully in the breeze. Practicing TaiChi and Qigong in a park near home, I feel this carpet of vibrant reds and golds caressing my feet. The breeze is running through my channels and vessels and each breath of the fresh air fills me with deep calm and joy. This moment is perfect.
While the meaning of life varies during the different stages of our life, the one thing that has been a constant contemplation for many years for me is — breathe and embrace this very moment. Embrace good and evil, sad and joyous, life and death, Yin and Yang, the duality of everything. Life is the meaningful coexistence of all opposites. The seemingly opposites are part of the whole that undergo a constant flow of change and transformation.
When I was diagnosed with lymphoma in my mid-twenties, a time of boundless optimism and big dreams, and when my oncologist had exhausted all treatments possible, I was devastated and went into complete denial for months until one day I was struck with some profound realization during my Qigong meditation. I realized that whatever is happening, comes and goes. I don’t have to look positively or negatively at a situation. Both a positive mind and a negative mind are a noisy mind. I needed a silent, an accepting, and an embracing mind. I needed a mind that is embracing everything that is happening to me at this very moment, be it good or bad. All things show cyclic patterns of coming and going, of expansion and contraction. This is the ultimate constant of nature. This is Dao, the Way of the universe. The Chinese concept of the Dao is this unity, this wholeness that embraces the duality of everything and it is in endless motion and change. It is the source of creation, of all cyclic happenings.
Whatever you are experiencing in the moment can not be any better or worse; it is just the way it is. You have no access to the past or future to make a difference of the present. Why not surrender to what is? Let go of what-ifs, let go of judgements and over interpretations, let go of who you think you are supposed to be, how you think everything should work out, for all these things constrict the flow of Dao. Embrace who you are and whatever the situation is at this moment.
To stay in the moment requires that you cultivate a silent and still mind. Only with a silent and still mind, are you able to listen to your inner voice, which brings the deepest messages that the Dao intends for you; pay attention to all the details around you and watch for guidance. No matter how chaotic the world is around you, you are able to take the reins of control, act with spontaneity and feel an unshakable inner silence and deep peace.
The autumn breeze is so clear, I am breathing to this moment, I am breathing to the eternal perfection of the Dao.
~Master Helen Liang, the eldest daughter of Grandmaster Liang, Shou-Yu, began training in traditional Wushu at the age of 4 under the strict guidance of her father. At the age of 11, she was chosen to train with Sichuan Provincial Wushu School in China. In 1985, she immigrated to Canada and became an official instructor at the Shou-Yu Liang Wushu institute in 1989 (It is now known as SYL Wushu TaiChi Qigong Institute).
During her years of training, she has participated in many national and international competitions and has won a great number of gold medals. She has been featured in many magazines and TV programs including Chinese Central Television (CCTV), Shanghai and Sichuan Provincial television in China, national pay-per-view features in the US, CBC and Channel M in Canada, as well as several newspapers and magazines in China, US, and Canada.
She is vice-president of the Shou-Yu Liang Wushu Institute, and author of numerous videos in TaiChi, TaiChi Sword, Qigong, Liu He Ba Fa (Water Style), Snake Fist, Bagua Palm and Sword, and Xingyi. Master Helen Liang lives and teaches in Vancouver, Canada.
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