The Wisdom of Beautiful Whiskers
by Bataan Faigao
47 THE RING
Tonight I will talk about the relationship between Chung Yung (Doctrine of the Mean) and t'ai-chi ch'uan. T'ai-chi ch'uan relates to Lao Tzu to make Wu Wei, which is taking the weak to overcome the strong. This idea originated from water. I am going to give you the general idea of the relationship.The Chinese scale is a good illustration of balance. It shows the center of balance.
The first important point in Chung Yung is balance-- the center of gravity.
Chung Yung deals with the question: How to be a man. To be a man irrespective of the various cultural space/time milieus. Today's generation is infinitely different than man has seen. Great technological advances (like television) make it possible to communicate in a way never before experienced. Yet, when we say how to be a man, we talk about the experience of man wherever and whenever he may have lived.
It has been 2518 years since Confucius and 2518 years since the teacher before him. So for 2518 years there has not been anything as great as the teachings of Confucius passed down. In 220 B.C. all the books were burned, inadvertently. The first emperor of China hoarded the books and housed them in a library in ancient China. The second emperor was quite revolutionary and ordered the destruction of everything prescribed by the previous emperors. The books were burned.The books burned for three months. However, the books of Confucius were found in a secret panel in his house in the year 100 B. C. during the Han dynasty. There were 5 classics and 4 books. There was a gap in the oral teachings (since many of the scholars were executed for treason) so the books were difficult to understand.
There are three religions in China: Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. When we talk of Confucius however, we do not mean religion. With the revolution, Confucius was taken down from the pedestal. There has been confusion in China ever since. Chung Yung talks about how man ought to be, how man ought to act.
There's always a balance. Chung Yung is important in regard to t'ai-chi ch'uan. Together they make a way.
I have been teaching you for ten years. All I am trying to say is that making it in t'ai-chi ch'uan has nothing to do with strength and has all to do with balance.
Shr Jung: right place, right time.
Confucius had no prejudice about whom to teach. He taught everybody who came to learn.
Let me digress from my trend of thought.
The way you are sitting (semi-lotus) is the best method of sitting. 5000 years ago they sat like this. You don't have good health unless your legs are strong. If you sit like this your legs will become strong.
In the womb everything was closed- the ears, mouth, eyes, limbs. Then at the moment of birth everything opened. That's when the trouble started. There was less waste of energy because there were no eyes.The legs really take a lot of the drudgery. Sitting on the floor, the legs get closer to the abdomen. There's heat and warmth. The legs are close to the ch'i . Only in Japan do they still sit like this.
I have learned many religions. In order to learn you have to kao tow. Yet it was all a waste of time. I have kao towed to many religions but they were all false. It was all for money. So, in the last 40 years it has become very difficult for people to cheat me. I had many teachers who were extraordinary men. But it was not interesting. I just wanted to be a human being. I did not want to be a Boddhisattva. It is a little more within our grasp to learn this.I want one more extra day to converse with you. This is a matter of fortune or destiny.
I will go soon, but I will remember you and return. If it were not for Chung Yung , I would have gone a long time ago. Once I get this off my chest, then I will feel good about going away. I will give you time to digest what I said. If you study well, gradually you can learn to teach this to others in farther reaches. It is not just good for you, but also good for me. I have benefited from this. Teaching others is good for you. The teacher also accrues benefits. When we get ourselves right, then we can help others to get right. Here there are about 90 people. I have had tens and thousands of students. If each of you has tens and thousands of students also, can you just imagine? For all to be well and healthy? Understand we want to have a long life. It does not matter what you are doing. If there is no spirit to it, it's not worth anything. Everything has got to do with this spirit. So, this is my hope. What do you think is my hope? Good students! If there 's just one of you, then that is enough to lead the rest of us. If there's not one, how can I set the burden down? How can I relax? I want to give this responsibility to somebody.
I am not holding back. No, I want you to be better than I am. I am not holding back so that you won't be able to beat me.(The other night he let somebody beat him and push him and he said, "See, it's nothing.") I want you to be better than I am. (If the student does not surpass the master, then the master has failed.) So my strongest hope is for that person to come forward. It is difficult and you have not listened to me. You still don't realize what you have learned.When you touch hands with people outside, then you will know. The best in Taiwan is xx, yet when he touches hands with me, it's like the difference between night and day. You don't really know what you have attained. I am leaving in a few months and I have to relieve myself of this burden. I hope you will progress from this point
I am going to be gone before long, so ask your questions.