【 專欄四 觀．行．錄 】
Richard Moh 莫仁維
Translated by Bob Chang 張尊堡 翻譯
圖片來源/ Richard Moh 莫仁維
Looking back since my youth, the education I received is often times based on the pursual of excellence, getting good grades, going to a good college, and getting a so called dream job. However, I had often times, wonder is that what I want? And often times I feel what I learning wasn’t just enough. There was something more that I would like to pursue, and it wasn’t about economy, math, science, etc. It was something that can bring a holistic learning and well-being.
There are hundreds of thousands of way for such teachings, and each person has a way that fits best to him/her. In Daoyin, the teachings are one such methods. In simple terms, it is a set of movements based on the concept of 具身認知觀. In all the movements we train one step at a time to revive our ability to 覺. With 覺 we may awake some time contemplate about the difference between 生活學 versus 生命學, which sooner or later we will walk the path of 修行. We walk the path of 修行 not in the form of seclusion to monastery, but one of practicing it in normal daily life. Below are some of my understandings and by no means are the descriptions based on academic preciseness nor based on scientific researches, but instead are based on my experiences as a 行著 walker in daily life.
In literal translation, 具身 (jù shēn) refers to the human body. 認知 (rèn zhī) means understanding and 觀 (guān) is observation, self contemplation, awareness, self-awareness, comprehensive observation, self-introspection, looking, and reflection. Putting the words together, 具身認知觀 refers to the self-awareness through the understanding of our body wholistically or the embodiment of the person wholistically. The wholistic body refers to oneness (一致性) of the 三丹田 (three Dan-Tien) or in other terms 精氣神 (Jin, Chi, Shen) or 身心靈 (body, heart, spirit).
The various sets of Qiji Daoyin movements, opens up and strengthens the different parts of our body. And through the process of repeated practices and mixed sequences, we start to learn about our body.
For those who has practiced for several years, we have started to learn not only about the limits of our body, but also have started to learn about the forgotten abilities of our body. Throughout multiple practices over years, we nurture the abilities of focus, persistence, being at ease, courage, etc (refer to the May 2023 issue) and hence begin to learn the 覺or awareness ability.
感覺感覺 Feeling our Feelings
With the busy schedules of the modern world, have we slowed down to be aware of our body conditions? Have we slow down to hear what our body has been telling us? Are we able to hear the pain of different parts of our body? Do we know how our joints function? Do we know our own habits may influence our body conditions? Do we realize how our emotions may affect our physical body? Do we know the limitations of our body or do we know the potentials of our body? It is a beautiful process to slow down, take things steadily and give yourself a few hours per week to be aware of our conditions.
無預設立場的覺 Feeling without presumptions
When we do movement, we feel the dynamics of the body and the interlinks of the nine joints (ankle, knee, hipjoint, lower spine, mid spine, neck spine, shoulder, elbow and wrist) through the eight principles of movements ( 螺旋 Spiraling, 延伸 Extension, 開合 Expansion & Contraction, 絞轉 Twisting (Wringing), 靜心 Meditative, 旋轉 Rotation, 壓縮 Compression, 共振 Resonance). As we practice the movements of the different forms, we take one step at a time to feel and avoid presumptions of the dynamics. It is easy to presume that we understand. However, during each practice, we try our best effort to feel (being aware of) the dynamics instead of use what we were taught to search for understanding. Take the process slowly and be at ease.
覺在當下 Awareness is at-the-moment, at-the-present
Awareness is not thinking, but rather feeling. When we do daoyin, we feel our feelings at-the-moment we do our movements. From this practice, we learn what at the present means. Zen teachings teach us to work at-the-present. For any task on hand, we practice to focus the task on hand at your best effort. Zen is the at-the-moment 覺 awareness.
放慢腳步創造自我放鬆的空間 Slow down and create your space to relax
With the busy schedules and constant information, we strive to slow down, take things one step at a time and find ways to allow our spirit to settle down. Minimize line groups, detach from unnecessary information. Find a quiet place at home, tidy it clean, and let the place be where you can sit, contemplate and relax. These actions are more allow to help us unwind, settle down and thereby allow us to slowly practice our abilities of 覺 awareness, and as such we to have the “dialogue with our body” ( 與身體對話 ).