Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Using martial arts to feel a conversation

Diane may have more to say about this, but I will give you brief synopsis of my experience of the time. Roger first gave us some brief instruction on the i ching. The thing to note here is that the Western mind is very different from the Eastern mind. We Westerners want to assign a fixed meaning to the Chinese elements of energy.  For example, we want Yin to be feminine and Yang to be masculine. But in the Eastern thinking, yin and yang only exist in relationship to one another. Like magnetic poles, you cannot find one by itself.

The mandala came about in the Chinese cosmology by beginning with nothing (a blank, white circle); going to a half white, half black circle to indicate "something and nothing"; then to the mandala to indicate motion of something and nothing.  Apparently the name i ching means the differentiation of manifold things.

Here is a good introduction to the i ching, written by Jung.

The four elements in the mandala are : greater yin (black), lesser yin (the small black dot on the white side); greater yang (white), lesser yang (white dot in the black). They represent the following energies:

Greater yang: interrupting
Lesser yang: redirection
Lesser yin: blending
Greater yin: reception

Roger took us through some martial arts activities in which we experienced all of these activities. We learned the visual analog of really NOT addressing someone. He illustrated what it looked like to feed information in the direction of the person one is talking to without actually really addressing them.

We also learned what it felt like to "interrupt," to "redirect", to "blend," and to "receive."  What was interesting was how some of these felt difficult.  For me, I found redirection quite hard.

Roger pointed out the "interruption" can have many forms.  It is not necessarily forceful.  It always has a RELATIONAL CONTEXT, meaning that it is different in the context of different relationships.  With me, all he needed to do is reach in his pocket to interrupt my feed. I stopped immediately.  With another person, the interrupt energy may need to be quite strong.

It will be interesting this week to see how this feels in the conversations that I am in.

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