Ancient writings say “Nature is self correcting.” At first blush this sounds poetic but hard to comprehend. Nature is so difficult to fathom, so impossible to simplify, so far beyond prediction. But ultimately the ancient writings are correct. When we stand back from our fears and our desires we see that Nature resolves everything in its own course. And what does that mean? It’s more than a nice philosophy, it validates the most basic observation humans ever made, namely that Nature has a direction, a hidden organizing principle. Nature continually returns to its own essence, it continually resolves itself and all the problems it creates.
That’s why when we practice Qigong we are often asked just to sit quietly. For some people this is the hardest aspect of the whole process. In fact for a lot of people this is true. Are we meditating when we sit there? Well this is a Chinese art and that makes it very special, very different. With characteristic simplicity the ancient name for this method is “sitting and forgetting”. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could simply forget for a little while each day? But this is purposeful forgetting. It is forgetting oneself to allow Nature to reaffirm its influence, to go about its task of “correcting” itself. This is all so theoretical if you have never tried but it is there, a gentle prodding, a gentle movement back toward something you lived as a young person, before you knew so much, had experienced so much. There’s a famous story about a woman accosting Picasso at an art exhibition, outraged at his work she said, “My ten year old son could paint like this.” Without anger Picasso is supposed to have replied, “Well, madam, it takes a long time to become young.”
Yes it does, sometimes as long as a breath.