I read a book written by Yang Ming Shih, who is the originator of Yang Ming Shih 24 simplified style Tai Chi Chuan in Japan. Unfortunately he passed away two years ago when the book was published. The book is his posthumous works and his final messages to people. The title is…well, it’s difficult to translate into English for me, but is “Lessons of Mind, Breath and Movement”.
Since the book is rich in content and says not only tai chi chuan but also our way of lives, I was so touched and thought that I would like to introduce it here. So, I’ll try to pick useful phrases for our lives from the content and translate them into English.
Lessons of Mind, Breath and Movement by Yang Ming Shih
Chapter 1: Mind 1- 5
Mind is most important for human being. Everything comes from your mind. If you are worrying about something, the matter may make you sick. Your health is made by your mind. You can have rich and broad mind by doing tai chi chuan when you do it without thinking anything. If you do tai chi chuan slowly and peacefully with calm mind, you can charge your energy and force. And the condition gives you good circulation. Blood is life. And the source is your mind.
1. Tai chi chuan is often called moving Zen. Zazen or meditation in Zen Buddhism is meditating with clean mind. You may be able to attain the state whatever you’re doing, cooking, for instance, cleaning, and washing and so on. It’s difficult, however, to attain the state when you’re moving actually. That’s why people do Zazen for calming their minds down. Zazen may be conditioning yourself, especially your mind. If you can condition your mind, the calm mind can condition your society and the hope can achieve a peace to the world. So, I think conditioning your mind, breath, and body is very important not only for tai chi chuan but also for your life itself.
2. Everything you do comes from your mind. Your mind controls yourself. If your mind is broad and sunny, it makes not only yourself but also other people happy. The most important thing is your mind. With such a nice mind if you move your body, you can build up your health and happiness. If you always dwell on something, you can’t live longer. Let’s feel happy when you get up every morning. Let’s be thankful to be alive every day. Healthy mind stimulates you to do something. Your legs and arms and every part of your body are moved by your mind. Everything you do comes from your mind.
3. Your mind is the root or your life. You need all of organs for living, of course, but your mind is the source or your life. Look at cherry trees. Since their roots are deep inside the soil, they can grew up and blossom. I’ve heard that their trunks become red just before blossoming. We feel like red blossoms coming out whole our body in our minds when we practice tai chi chuan. At that time, our blood is circulating all over our body. The circulation is good for your health.
4. Illness comes from your mind which has worries, impatience, and anxiety and so on. If you’re disturbed, it’s difficult to judge anything correctly. We ought to avoid having such negative feelings. And we ought to concern sick people because they tend to interpret words which have nothing into serious meanings. We ought to treat them kindly in a good atmosphere. Your healthy mind makes your body healthy.
5. How do we have such a nice and healthy mind, then? First, you have to stop worrying and suffering. Yes, it’s very difficult to do really. But please remember that. If you can stop thinking such negative things, your mind calms down, you’ll see the truth. Indeed it’s a divine providence. I believe that empty mind is the essence of happy life. Let’s throw small things in your mind away. Let’s leave ourselves to God even a little time a day. The peace of mind leads you a happy life.
How do you like the words of Mr. Yang Ming Shih? I’m going to keep on introducing his book next time.