Discipline v. Flexibility
It takes inner discipline to create a regular spiritual practice. Whether it’s tai chi, stretching, yoga, prayer, walking in nature, or taking care of others, willpower is required to create a regular practice.
At the same time, Taoism is about flexibility and yielding to natural occurrences. Flowing like water, waving like a willow in the wind, and bending and adapting are all ideals for the “path-less path.”
As we learn and incorporate the practices on this blog (or any spiritual practice), we can find ways to make it fit our lives rather than forcing habits upon ourselves. It may be that only have time to smile to our heart or squat briefly to open our hips.
Even better, we can do practices when they make the most sense, such as one or six of the healing sounds when we need to relax. Or, we can do the inner smile when we wake to tune our body up for the day. Maybe we can do the facial self massage in the shower or open our hips when we’ve been sitting too long.
A simple rule to follow for a spiritual discipline may be to bring ourselves back to balance. When we’re hungry, we can eat. When we’re tired, we can sleep. If we feel lethargic, we can do some movement chi kung. Feeling tightness in our lower back, we can lay on the floor and stretch our psoas muscle to open space in our lumbar. If we feel selfish, we can give to others. Aim for the long term and be easy on yourself.