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Inspirations

 
Plucking cherry chrystanthemums by the east hedge
I catch sight of the South Mountain
Mountain so gorgeous in the dusk.
flying birds return wing to wing
here contains the beauty of truth
To tell? Already words are forgotten.

— Li Po

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When the leaves fall from the trees, they follow the wind,
and if they happen to drop on the water they just follow the currents.
Your movement and your life can also become an easy happening
that follows the wind and the currents.

— Chungliang Al Huang

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The present moment is where life is found, and if you don't arrive there,
you miss your appointment with life. You don't have to run anymore.
Breathing in, we say, "I have arrived." Breating out, we say "I am home."
This is a very strong practice and a very deep practice.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

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You ask why I've settled in these emerald mountains,
and so I smile, mind at ease of itself, and say nothing.

Peach blossoms drift downstream away deep in mystery:
it's another heaven and earth, nowhere among people.

— Li Po

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Life is a good teacher and a good friend.
Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it.
Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about.
The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation,
a situation in which we . . . can open our hearts and minds
beyond limit . . .

— Pema Chodron,
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

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I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet.
Around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle . . .

—Wendell Berry

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We walk all the time,
But usually it is more like running.
Our hurried steps print anxiety
and sorrow on the Earth.

If we take steps without anxiety,
In peace and joy,
Then we, tool, will cause a flower
to bloom on the Earth with every step.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

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Submit to a daily practice.

Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window
and look out to see who is there.

—Rumi

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Resting is a very important practice!
We have to learn the art of resting.
You should allow your body and your mind to rest.
Our mind as well as our body needs rest.

–Adapted from Resting in the River, by Thich Nhat Hanh

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We can be spacious, yet full of loving kindness;
full of compassion, yet serene.
Live like the strings of a fine instrument –
Not too taut and not too loose . . .

— Jack Kornfield

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An ancient Chinese proverb says:
"Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps the singing bird will come"
Just to know that by keeping your heart young and strong,
it will attract a heavenly bird.
A good attitude, this proverb is saying, opens the door
to a world of joy.

— Swami Chidvilasananda

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As always, the most important of my Tai Ji disciplines is to know
when to stop the thinking words and start the dancing.
My spirit takes my mindbody out to my garden and up to my roof studio,
to dig my legs into the earth and to open my arms to the sky.
I will gather and scoop in all my assets from outside and from within
– I Embrace my Tiger and Return to my Mountaintop.
I survey my panoramic vision and shout with my heart full of joy.
I kick up my heels and soar. I feel just fine . . .

— Chungliang Al Huang
Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain – The Essence of Tai Ji

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Don't go outside to see the flowers.
My friend, don't bother with that excursion.
Inside your body are flowers.
One flower has a thousand petals.
That will do for a place to sit.
Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty
Inside the body and out of it.
Before gardens and after gardens.

— Kabir

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To create outer movement in our lives, we must first find quietude.
we all deserve sanctuary and time out along the way.

— Chungliang Al Huang

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Looking up: blue sky's end.
Looking down: green water's brim.
Deep solitude: rimless view.
Before the eyes,
A pattern displays itself.
Immense, Transformation!
A million differences,
none out of tune!

— Poem of the Lan Ting – Wong Hsi-Chih (353)

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There is no need to run outside
for better seeing
nor peer from a window
rather abide at the center of your being
for the more you leave it
the less you learn

— Lao Tzu

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Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves.

Do not seek the answers that cannot be given you,
Because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps you will gradually without noticing it
live along some distant day into the answer.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

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Take time to become
Re-acquainted with
running down the hill, spreading your arms like wings,
reaching up to the blue sky
on the mountain top, and
extending beyond the horizon
across the sea.

Remember how your body feels
Swimming downstream,
Effortlessly
Being carried away.

Beginner's Tai Chi Book, Chungliang Al Huang p. 28

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