Saturday, August 30, 2008


Myth 2
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

A gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror—it grasps nothing and it refuses nothing; it receives but does not keep…
Bruce Lee

I have a little site-meter attached to this blog.
It reports on how people find me.
So, I can tell you that many people come here after a Google search for “Laura Croft.”
I have to chuckle.
I must be such a disappointment.

And now, today, I find I want to quote Bruce Lee.
Well, perhaps he’ll boost readership and lead to more disappointed seekers.

Why Bruce Lee?

For once again, my mind was feeling rather vacuous, quiet, and not so amenable to effort. Still, I was clearly awake and needing to look busy at work, so I thought I’d visit Seeker After Truth, the Mystics Reference Repository and do a random read.

There I found a long and thoughtful article written by Bruce Lee.
I also found an explanation (perhaps) of why writing entries here has become so difficult of late.

It was Bruce Lee’s mentioning of “physical loosening” that first caught my attention.
Last week at my Taoist group, a friend had mentioned she could see my hands holding onto these knotted ropes, and that I needed just to let them go.
It was simply an intuitive image that she saw.
But it alerted me to knots and there unwinding and dissolving.

Maharishi spoke of how stressing of the nervous system caused knots. Back in 1972, I thought "knots! - How can you get knots in neurons?" Alzheimers has shown us one way, neurofibrillary tangles they are called.
B.K. Frantzis in his book, The Great Stillness, writes about other kinds of knots. He writes about dissolving subtler and subtler, layer after layer of knots with his Taoist practice, deep within our psyches.
These knots must be dissolved if we are to grow, and if anything,
I have been “dissolving” lately.

So, Bruce Lee caught my attention during my random read:

To perform the right technique in gung fu, physical loosening must be continued in a mental and spiritual loosening, so as to make the mind not only agile but free.
In order to accomplish this, a gung fu man has to remain quiet and calm and to master the principle of no-mindedness (wu hsin).
No-mindedness is not a blank mind that excludes all emotions;
nor is it simply calmness and quietness of the mind…
it is the “non-graspiness” of the mind...

let the mind think what it likes without interference by the separate thinker or ego within oneself.
So long as it thinks what it wants, there is absolutely no effort in letting it go;
and the disappearance of the effort to let go is precisely the disappearance of the separate thinker…

Chuang-tzu, the disciple of Lao-tzu, stated:
The baby looks at things all day without winking,
that is because his eyes are not focused on any particular object.
He goes without knowing where he is going, and stops without knowing what he is doing.
He merges himself with the surroundings and moves along with it.
These are the principles of mental hygiene.

Yes, that’s it. I have been something of a wide-eyed baby of late.
Most evenings I sit in the backyard with my face raised towards the treetops.
I’ve no idea why I do this. It simply seems what I'm called to do.

It’s disorienting a bit, not in the sense that I’m spaced-out or non-functional.
I look at the trees. I throw the kong for Bennie. I pet and placate the cat.
But, all in all, I’m not doing much. And that’s what feels so strange – so empty.

From time to time I have the thought, “What are you doing?”
… Nothing. Sitting.
“Shouldn’t you be doing something?”
(I give myself a long and valid to-do list.)
Then, I’ll look back to the treetops.
It seems more important to simply, deeply experience not-doing anything.

There’s a silence here.
So I look at that.
And "Who is looking?"
No one apparently. "Oh, dangerous ground! No one!"

"Is that a thought or is that an experience?"
I watch some more. Now, maybe this is meditating, but it's not the way I’ve ever done before. It's not anything that I've been taught. Heck, there's nothing to this! ... simply sitting.

Ah, “mental hygiene.”
There you go!
Thank you Bruce Lee.


Richard said...

Hi Pat,
Nice post Bruce Lee etc all. Thanks for mentioning Bruces Frantzis's book The Great Stillness, it is not his most popular book, but in terms of Taoist Meditation is packed full of wisdom. Bruce is one of the few that talks about Inner and Outer Dissolving Method from the Taoist Water tradition. If your readers are interested there is a three part article on Taoist Meditation at the following link:
Best of luck to you...
In appreciation,

Pat Bralley said...

I could only find Part 1, but it was good. Informative like the book.