Tag Archives: Relationships

Wuji – No Limits

Wuji – No Limits, by Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

I wasn’t far from the Firepit, sharing time at a primordial level.  A visit with the Ancestors.  A Community in the Void.  To find answers? 

Or perhaps just to realize which questions to ask?

The fire crackled as the Earthly aroma permeated the crisp night air.  Whorling upward, coiling with widening arms like that of our spiral galaxy, the Milky Way.  Norma-Cygnus, Sagittarius, Scutum-Crux, and Perseus all reaching outward, embracing you, inebriating you with the release of GrandFather Sun’s stored energy.  Burning as brightly as our Dantians within, our Seas of Qi.  A dynamism unmatched.  A gift from the Great Star Nation.   

Where would these forces of Nature take me? 

My intuition instructed me to focus on the flames, the smoke, the forming coals, the glowing embers. They took on their characteristic checkered pattern, those coals, the weaving of flames through wood.  A braiding down the length of each limb as they wrapped themselves in reverse spirals from the smoke. 

But then, something else.

I began seeing symbols etched into these glowing branches.  Hieroglyphics, pictographs, petroglyphs, but not carved or drawn in caves, or on stone walls, or in high temples.  No these were living, breathing messages from beyond.  Ever changing and vanishing with the smoke.

I made mental notes, my own snapshots in time, hoping to recall this mysterious language later.  And suddenly two words in English appeared, embedded in those coals.

“No Limits.”

And then they were gone.  Charred ash fallen to the ground.  Reduced to the same Stardust of their original carbon composition.  Of what we are all hewn from.

I took this as a literal meaning.  There are “no limits” to this lifetime.  Only limitations we place on ourselves. 

But as with all messages of this type, it takes time to solidify, to integrate, to release hidden meanings.  Or perhaps synchronous ones.

***

Present day.  I was running through a QiGong routine and one of the standing meditation poses is called Wuji, or the Bear Pose. 

As you settle into this position, you are elongating your spine, the Crown of your head is pulled up by an imaginary Golden Thread drawing it up towards the Heavens.  You tuck your chin but relax your jaw.  Legs are squared off shoulder-length apart, knees in line over feet that are parallel to each other.  You bend your knees slightly but don’t lock them. Relax your shoulders and your chest. Your hands are held down in front of you dropping to full arm’s-length, wrists bent at 90 degrees with the palms facing upward.  And you sit down [Barely or Bearly 😊],* rolling the end of your sacrum – imagining being connected to a Cord running deep within the Earth’s core – opening “The Gate of Life” or “Power” or the “Point of Origin” [the ‘Mingmen’ point].

You are weightless.

This is also called the “emptiness posture.” 

Later in the day, after finishing practicing some Tai Chi forms, I sit in front of my computer looking for a file about the same.  And what should I stumble upon, but a file outlining the meaning of Wuji or “Wu Chi.”**  I had saved it.  For this very day apparently.

***

Now I’m sure you’ve had days like mine where I start out with an idea of how the day will go, but I diverge from that path.  I mean, I already have a scattered thought pattern, and it is more so lately as I have multiple things on my plate.

But today was different.  Different in the sense of how I circled back to that moment before the Fire, and a message from six months ago, and how that message ties into absolutely everything. 

The file I had saved explained that Wuji or “Wu Chi” refers to the “Unmanifest Aspect of the Tao.”  But what is this “Aspect?”  It is the “state of non-distinction prior to the differentiation into the Yin and Yang,” which in turn, gave birth to “all of the phenomena of the manifest world.”

Wuji or Wu Chi is subject to several literal translations but, ultimately, they all lead to the words “no” or “none” and “limits” or “extreme boundaries.”  Thus, “No Limits.”  Emptiness in any movement or activity.  In this state of mind and body, “Nothing separates me from my surroundings.”

Or yet another way of looking at that would be nothing separates me from “All My Relations.”

There are many translations of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching.  Turning to Johnathan Star’s translation of Chapter 28, we find this concept of “No Limits.”

Hold your male side with your female side

Hold your bright side with your dull side

Hold your high side with your low side

Then you will be able to hold the whole world.

When the opposing forces unite within

there comes a power abundant in its giving

and unerring in its effect.

Flowing through everything

It returns one to the First Breath.

Guiding everything

It returns one to No Limits.

Embracing everything

It returns one to the Uncarved Block.***

When the Block is divided

it becomes something useful

and leaders can rule with just a few pieces.

But the Sage holds the Block complete

Holding all things within himself

he preserves the Great Unity

which cannot be ruled or divided.

There is indeed a state of “No Limits,” but it’s not quite the message as I had originally surmised.  It is a return to that infinite, unlimited, boundless, timeless, undifferentiated state of existence. 

As I return to the Fire, now blazing in my household, I stare into those flames holding tight to what cannot be held, the limitless state of non-duality.  Looking to hold all things within myself, “which cannot be ruled or divided.”

In Metta

* Rabbit Hole # 1:  A note from my Ag School days, I had taken a class in Animal Sanitation and Disease Prevention that was taught by a Veterinarian.  This Doctor had served in the Air Force and had assisted with the development of the ejection seat for pilots.  Of course, they could not use skilled pilots to test this mechanism out, so they looked for an animal with the same hip structure that could sit down like us humans.  You guessed it, they used Bears.  They sedated them and sent them, seated in a jet-fueled contraption mimicking the cockpit of a plane, down a railroad track and, at the right moment, blew them up into the sky in their chair hoping the parachute would open.  The Vet did not report any Bears getting injured.  Just an interesting aside from the so-labeled “Bear Pose” or position, where you sit down, Bearly. 😊

** Rabbit Hole # 2: If you want further reading, you can find this article on the Web, titled, “The Meaning of Wuji (Wu Chi), the Un-manifest Aspect of the Tao.

*** Rabbit Hole #3: Various translations of the Tao refer to it as an Uncarved Block of Wood and use this in various descriptive manners.  I’ve seen it in Stephen Mitchell’s translation, but I don’t believe I saw it mentioned at all in Witter Bynner’s translation.  Mitchell’s is, perhaps, a bit more pragmatic, while Bynner’s is very poetic. Whatever translation of the Tao you may find, enjoy. 

An Accidental Transpersonal Experience

By Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

Warning: This post is about mystical stuff. If you don’t like that kind of stuff you can stop reading now. 🙂

***

Quite a few years back in my undergrad days, I had access to the biofeedback lab at the university.  The goal was using their machines to lower my heart rate and respirations.  To achieve a state of complete relaxation. 

The little tones beeping from the machine you wired yourself up to weren’t a distraction but were an adjunct to assist you with hitting the set goals.  The rate of the beeping reflected the rate of your heart rate and respirations until you were able to lower them to the desired parameters. Thus, heart rate lowered, respirations decreased, no more beeping. 

I would be laying on a mat on the floor. My head on a pillow.  The temperature of the room was warm and comfortable. 

But while I was relaxing in the lab one day, I experienced a “side effect.”  I guess you could call it that.  I had a spontaneous vision, or experience, or a visualization; whatever you wish to call it.  I discovered, just recently, a term for these experiences – transpersonal.

Continue reading An Accidental Transpersonal Experience

The Cape

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I pulled into this Washington State Park.  I wanted to spend a couple of relaxing days on the Ocean.  Rejuvenate my body.  It’s not that my Mind or Spirit needed rest.  My senses had been flooded this trip with such a continual string of breathtaking sights that I was on a natural high.  But I had been punishing my Body.  Pushing myself to my physical limits and beyond.  On the road an average of every six to seven days, without pause, and hiking continuously.  I even needed to do some sewing before hiking again, repair my daypack, as I had managed to tear a few holes in it.

Yeah, a few days on a Pacific beach sounded wonderful.  And besides, I’d have a new experience of staying in a Yurt. 

Continue reading The Cape

The Wrong Lens

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

Radiance Sutras

There is a Place in the Heart where Everything meets.
Go there if you want to find me.
Mind, Senses, Soul, Eternity – All are there.

Are you there?

Enter the Bowl of Vastness that is the Heart.
Give yourself to it with Total Abandon
Quiet Ecstasy is there,
And a steady, regal Sense
Of Resting in a Perfect Spot.

Once you know the Way,
The Nature of Attention will call you to Return.
Again and Again,
And be saturated with Knowing,

I belong here, I am at Home here. 

***

As I attempt to understand the Nature of our Existence, Our Essence, I naturally try to define it with terminology.  And I then end up chasing other terminology to define that terminology.  This process repeats and stretches on into infinity . . .

At least it does for me. 

So, do we really get an answer to those time-worn phrases?  Terminology dissects and divides, which is one of the basic problems with understanding just who and what we are. 

Continue reading The Wrong Lens

Gray Days – Again and Again

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

I began a tradition a couple of years back. A tradition of repeating words. Words that I had written to describe the day and the season we were entering into. I’m a bit late this year as November slipped by, and that’s when I usually re-post this. This November wasn’t as Gray as last, but December is pulling that cloak over this Northern Hemisphere.

While Winter is not officially upon us yet, the days of Autumn have definitely past. Grandfather Sun is still moving South. And the atmosphere is shifting into Gray.

I wrote about this “Gray.” It’s “color.” It’s feel. It’s taste. It’s sounds. It’s moods. And eventually, it’s brightness and it’s “Inner Fire.”

So as we enter this season of hibernation, before the awakening and emerging from the Dream Lodge into the new life of Spring, I share these words again.

I hope you will enjoy them.

Continue reading Gray Days – Again and Again

A Walk About In My Mind

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

Who, then, is “animate” and who “inanimate”? Within the assembly of the Lotus, all are present without division. In the case of grass, trees and the soil . . . whether they merely lift their feet or energetically traverse the long path, they will all reach Nirvana.

— Zhanran the Sixth Patriarch of Tendai Buddhism (1711-82)

*****

As I was walking along the creek’s bank, my head was in a swirl.  So much internal noise, while the outside world remained placid.  Utterly calm and quiet.  The only noises came from the trickling, crystal-clear, emerald water.  The hum of seventeen-year cicadas.  The occasional bee, wearing a cloak of pollen and having a belly full of sweet nectar, barely able to carry its own weight on its flight path back to the hive.  And from the trees swaying, or rather dancing, in time with the Chief Western Wind. 

A Black Swallowtail fritters past, in complete silence.  Not a care in the world.

But, oh so much internal clatter.  An orchestra of out-of-tune instruments each playing a different symphony.  Does this tumult of turbulence comprise what we’ve come to call our Consciousness?  Does all of this internal noise make us “Aware?”  And “Aware” of what exactly?

>>>>><<<<< 

Continue reading A Walk About In My Mind

Are You . . . ?

By Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

There’s a lot to be said for living on the road.

In motion.

Breaking free from all of those forces we allow to hold us down.  Those voices that tell us that we can’t fly.

To live in the moment.  See, hear, feel, smell, and even taste those expansive vistas that take us to other worlds.  That show us there is so much more to life than just a material existence.

And while we are breathing in such vastness in the physical and metaphysical worlds, there is also a lot of time for introspection.  Visiting that inner, mental world.   Of equal breadth.  Time for looking deep within, into our brilliance and our shadows and . . . judging.

Continue reading Are You . . . ?

Hello Dear Friends

By Harold Stearley at Earthwalking

Hello to all my friends in cyberspace!  I wanted to apologize for not being around lately.

You see, I’m in the middle of a Walkabout.

Traveling season.

It is a bit different this year since we are confronted with COVID-19.  Social distancing, per se, has not changed in my wilderness hikes, but it has definitely shaped travel and I do miss out on the human contact and story exchanges that I would normally have at the end of the day in some public forum.

I’m changing locations more frequently this year too.

Less of a base camp and more of an eternal romp.

I’ve also been in many places where I’ve had no connectivity.   Being unplugged does have some nice advantages.  For one, I’ve not missed all of the hateful commentary perfusing the Net.  I’ve also been able to meditate easier, although one can travel internally too far if one is not careful.

I’ll write that story later and tell about how Mother Earth dramatically called my attention to it and how I needed to be “grounded.”  Still healing . . .

On a metaphysical level, for the past couple of years, the Bear has been visiting me in various forms.  And this continues with a new materialization this season.  I’ve recently been blessed with watching some Elephant Seals and I discovered that Marine Mammals, known as “Pinnipeds,” or the “Fin-Footed Ones,” all descend from a common Ancestor called “Enaliarctos.”

Which means “Bear of the Sea.”

It had Bear-like teeth and used flippers to swim.

Apparently the Spanish settlers in California called Pinnipeds “Lobos Marinos.” Or, “Sea Wolfs.”

So comparisons to land mammals is how we land creatures relate.  At least we recognized the power of these mighty apex predators.

Whatever you wish to call them, they are amazing.  Breathing and breeding on land, spending months in motion amongst the waves on the hunt, and being able to withstand the ocean’s crushing pressures for extended periods.  Quite the adaptations.

Us Two-Leggeds might learn a thing or two from these guys.

So anyway, I am crafting stories in my head as I go, but it will be a little while before I get them on “paper.”

Please don’t disappear or give up on me.  I will return . . .

LOGOz

Photo: The Pale Evening Primrose.  I encountered these beauties in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  They are armed with very sharp thorns.  The Beauty and the Beast 🙂

1-Wildflower - Pale Evening Primrose - 1+C1

Hiatus

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

. . . pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process, pause, break, interval, interruption, suspension, intermission, interlude, gap, lacuna, lull, respite, breathing space, time out, recess . . .

Continue reading Hiatus

Calm

Calm By Harold Stearley at https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com

As he was pulled backward, I saw my chance.  Even through my half-swollen eyes.

I fired off two right punches, as hard as I could, and they found their mark on his left jaw.  The look on his face turned from anger to full-blown rage as I turned and bolted down the stairs . . .

***

Continue reading Calm

My Campfire – The Fire Within

By Harold Stearley at https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com

I don’t remember where I heard this expression.  Or perhaps I never did.  It may have sprung into the recesses of my mind.  From a dream.  A whisper from the wind.  An echo from the stars.  But I use it sparingly.  With depth of heart.  For it holds several meanings to me.

“You’re always welcome at my campfire.”

***

Continue reading My Campfire – The Fire Within

Conversations – Selflessness versus Selfishness

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

One of the things I like about Word Press is that our posts can generate some great discussion.  Unlike many other social media pages where, on occasion (ok, all too frequently) I see many hateful exchanges.

A couple of days ago a post of mine generated some great discussion on how governments and local communities attempt to shape social behavior.  The idea behind this is to favor what is usually considered the betterment of the whole community or the country at large.

Of course, this begs the questions, “Who gets to decide what’s best for everybody?”  And “Just because it’s best for everybody (if it really is), why should I be compelled to do it.”

It’s a balancing of interests.

Continue reading Conversations – Selflessness versus Selfishness