We are born into a world built on the illusion of five senses. Why do I say illusion …? I say illusion because the five senses only allow us a small glimpse of the world.
To discover the deeper aspects of reality one has to learn how to listen – and not with the ears. I mean listen with every layer of tissue and bone and every feeling we register inside of our bodies. The five senses provide us with a lot of information – but all based in the world outside of our bodies. It is the information – our feelings – inside our bodies that truly give us our connection to reality. Depending on how aware we are of what we are listening too, wether we give more value to that information passed to us through the outside world through our limited five senses than to the internal dialogue determines the quality of life we live.
Listening is all about feeling. This is why I love qigong and the internal martial arts – because the ONLY way you can learn them properly and understand them is by taking the time to create space inside and learn to listen to all the information INSIDE. The neijia work on the fine and subtle layers of tissues in the body called the fascia. The fascia are all those tissues that are in and around the bones, muscles and are what connect the tendons and ligaments to our bones and organs. From a purely physiological point of view, the ability to tone and stretch the fascia as one does with qigong and arts like Taijiquan and Baguazhang and Xingyiquan truly will augment a person’s health as one’s fascia is opened and relaxed through the internal mechanics of these arts. On a more subtle level the ability to feel the engagement of the fascia in the body will lead to the deeper listening skills these arts are famous, even legendary for.
In turn, the listening skill of this nature requires a kind of patience that is directly conducive to a deepening of an ability to feel inside – to feel one’s language of feeling that lie underneath the heavier layers of emotions programmed into us from the five senses reality of the outside world. This kind of skill with listening is where the physical arts begin to step across that line of being purely physical into something else. This evolution of awareness is not for everyone. My own personal experience has shown me – like playing Taiji push hands – that there are always gaps in my understanding of self to work on and refine so I can go deeper within. I have been shown that the learning never ends and the courage for the long road is what is required to not just talk the talk but walk the walk.
Listening is what truly opens the mind up to feel beyond the limited information of the outside world and to be able to feel our way into our Hearts and to be able to find Peace in the midst of Chaos.
Listening requires patience like all learning experiences. In the end we have only our own responsibility to ourselves to step forward on our Journey. Regardless of the Path.