Foundation-The Interface Between Ourselves and the World

Generally when we look at a system we can isolate it from its surroundings or we draw a line, a boundary.

“This is where the system ends, and this is where it begins.”

We can look at the main connection between itself and the outside world as the foundation. The part of the outside world to which it connects, is its foundation.

When building a building, the foundation is the first part made.

(The plan comes before the foundation, and the idea before the plan so we could say that the idea is the foundation for the plan, the plan the foundation for the making of the building.)

The foundation is usually a part of the earth, or it provides an interface, a solid link or connection between the earth and the building.

The metal framework continues that link upwards.

If we look at the earth and the building as two separate ideas we could say that the earth, particularly the small square parcel of land that the building is going to sit on, is the foundation in the relationship. It provides stability so that the building can be made and while the building is being made. It continues to provide that stability afterwards.

Relationships with the Inside and the Outside

If we look at ourselves in the context of our relationship with the earth, the earth provides stability so that we can walk run or even stand still. Because of the earth’s size, and the gravity that is a result of that size, the earth provides a foundation for us to change. We may change it in some small way, in the context of individual entities, but for the most part, it remains stable so that we can create or experience the change that we desire.

Looking at ourselves and the earth what we have is a relationship. In that relationship, change can occur easily, change that we desire can occur because the earth is stable.

Within the context of our body, we can say that our body is a relationship, actually a whole bunch of relationships. We can divide our body into two parts, the lower body up to the pelvis and the upper body, from the pelvis upwards. We can call the lower body the foundation, the upper body the expression and we can also use a third part, the center, in this case the pelvis, since it connects the two. We could go deeper, the feet, lower legs, thighs, pelvis, lower back, ribcage, neck, head, shoulder girdle, shoulders, arms, forearms and hands, these are parts and where they connect relationships are formed.

Depending on what we are doing, one model or the other may be more useful at the time.

Foundations or References for Change

Whichever model we use, if we are trying to create or understand a change that is happening in our body, in each relationship we can use one part as the foundation for the other.

Our feet and lower legs can be the foundation for our thighs and pelvis. In this case the thighs and pelvis are an expression. We could look then at the thighs as the foundation for the pelvis and the pelvis the foundation for the lumbar spine. In this case, because we are starting from the ground up, each lower part in the relationship, each part closest to the earth, closest to stability is the foundation and the other part is the expression.

Generally, the foundation is the part that stays still, stable while the expression is the part that moves.

With a foundation we have a point from which we can measure and create the change that we want to create. If we are looking at a relationship then a foundation gives us a reference against which to measure the change that occurs (if any.)

Generally, one would hope, when creating a foundation for a building, say a simple one, the top surface of the foundation is flat and level. Not only that, any mounting points, structural elements are set distances apart from each other.

Engineers create this by first digging or marking one point and using it as a reference to locate other points. Meanwhile these points and the foundation act as reference for the first part of the building. Once that is up, the floor below and the floor above can be used as references for the floors that follow.

Which reference used can depend on convenience and facility, which is the best to use at the time? Which makes it easiest to create the change that we desire.

Absolute and Relative References

If you’ve ever written web pages where even a few links are involved you are already used to this idea. If you know the page you are at and the relationship of the page you are going to you can write a full link or a short link. For example, if the page you are lining to is in the same directory of the same sight you can simply reference the file name.

But if the page is being used as a template or copied elsewhere then in that case you’d want to use the whole address.
In spread sheets we have the same flexibility.

We can reference cells based on the cell names, using the a1 cell as the master reference, or we can reference cells based on our current location, two cells down and one cell to the left. (Absolute and relative referencing)

The address that we use provides a reference, a foundation for the change that we wish to create whether linking to another web page on the web or another cell in a spreadsheet.

Creating Stable References

Generally, in relationships with the earth, the earth is the bigger party, it is also relatively stable and immobile and so it is the obvious candidate for the label of foundation.

In the case of our body, doing something while standing, we can make a part of our body stable, immobile, a foundation for the part that moves.

So while standing we can make our feet, ankles, lower legs strong, so that we can do what we want with our upper body. Our foundation may just be our feet and ankles, or it may include our shins, knees and thighs, and even our hips and our pelvis.
If we look at just our lower body, we can look for the foundation within the foundation, say the feet, ankles and shins, while the thighs and pelvis are the expression, relatively relaxed.

And then our waist, ribcage, neck and head can be the foundation for whatever we are doing with our arms.

Working from the Center Outwards

Another way that we can create a foundation for our body is to work from the center outwards. In this case our spine, pelvis, waist, ribcage neck and head can be made stable to provide a foundation for our arms and legs.

In this case our foundation is at our center.

Once our center is firm, we can adjust our connection with the earth to suit.

This could be like building a mobile home, carting it to its new site, and then setting the foundation to suit the mobile home. Depending on what we are doing, one point of view may be more useful than the other.

We could also look at the earth as one big ball, globe or planet. Rather than thinking about the small patch we are in contact with we could think about the whole of the earth. Then in that context, the earth’s center is the foundation for ourselves. It is the point which gravity pulls us in towards and it is the point that we stand up and radiate outwards from.

Choose Your Starting Point

Whether thinking in terms of center or foundation, the most important thing is to be clear on which is which so that you have a reference for the change that you are trying to create.

If you haven’t got a reference then that can be the first change that you can create. You can pick some part of a relationship to use as a reference and if it is less than ideal then change it and choose another.

Big Ideas and Small Ideas-Elements of a Handstand

handstandI am in the process of developing a training program for people who want to do handstands. I thought this would be useful both for people who practice yoga by themselves, and also for people who teach yoga who want to understand the elements of a handstand so that they can teach it to various levels of students. In the context of Basic Principles and Understanding, I wanted to write this article as an aid to understanding how to break down a complex idea down into simple to understand or do smaller ideas.

Elements of Doing

We can break down the process of doing a handstand into three main elements or stages:

  • jumping up
  • staying up
  • coming down

These elements can then be broken down into smaller elements. In the Jumping up category I can include ideas like:

  • going up and down using feet on a wall (to get first timers used to being upside down)
  • jumping up and down with feet on a wall (to get beginners used to the idea of jumping)
  • jumping up using the down leg
  • jumping up using the swinging leg
  • jumping up with one leg at a time (down leg and swinging leg working together)
  • jumping up from downward dog with one leg
  • jumping up from downward dog with both legs
  • jumping up from downward using the hips as opposed to the knees
  • jumping/pulling up from a forward bend
  • jumping up using the shoulders and hips in a reciprocating action (????)

These are all different techniques or ways that I’ve taught hand stand at one time or another.

The staying up category would include

  • using our connection with the earth to feel where our center is so that we can sense when it is moving away from the center of our foundation
  • recovery techniques for when you feel yourself tipping forwards or backwards and ways of practicing those techniques
  • staying up for longer and longer
  • variations of handstands.

Coming down from handstand would be the easiest section to teach. I would make a joke about how for most of us this is the easiest part, but I have had students who come out with absolutely no control and so this section would be to teach such people how to apply the same awareness they use going into the pose to coming out. Actually, coming out could be a good way to teach people to go in since coming out with control requires control and that control could then be used to help people jump in.

Elements of the Body

We can also break down the body into a number of elements that are key in any of the above three stages. The purpose of breaking down the body into these elements is so that we can practice feeling, controlling and understanding them. The ideal is to get to the point that we can sense each part and respond to what we sense based on what we are trying to do without having to think. To get to that point we can design and use exercises that help us to sense and control these elements individually as well as together in the context of a handstand (or any other action we are trying to do.)

  • the hands, using them to feel and control center
  • the elbows (it might seem obvious to keep them straight but for those that can’t then it can be useful to practice drills so that students can practice feeling when their elbows are straight
  • the shoulders since they control the relationship between the upper body and the arms.
  • our hips and pelvis, since this is approximately where our center of gravity is
  • the legs, a key element in jumping up, and once up they can be used to express the handstand. Reach them up!

I would include practices, exercises and/or drills for learning to both feel and control these parts in a handstand and out of a handstand.

Getting Comfortable and Failing Safely

For people who have never been upside down, a key element is to get them used to being upside in small, controllable and comfortable stages. Hence using the wall can be a key training tool.

For those who want to venture away from the wall, an important tool is giving them the ability to fail safely, some way of falling that doesn’t cause injury. Generally in handstand the easiest way to do that is to shift the hands in such a way that they can fall with their feet in front of them as opposed to behind them. For people not used to moving their hands while upside down, that is something else that can be practice against a wall.
Another key point in both cases is to get into the habit of making sure that our practice area is safe for us to fail within.

Yet another practice, and this takes some balls, is to tuck and forward roll at of a handstand.

Transitions

One of the reasons for doing a handstand is that we might want to use it as a transition from one pose to another or as a pose in a string of poses. As an example, we might to bend backwards into a back arch, then come up into a handstand, and then from there back to standing. And so once we’ve learned or at least gotten comfortable being on our hands, we can then practice entering it from a posture like wheel pose. We can start of with our feet elevated on a table or low bench, or we can use a wall to walk down and up.

All of these ideas are tied together by the big idea of learning to stand and balance on our hands. All of these methods require practice, but because they are all simple to understand, the practicing part can be relatively simple and straight forward.

Also important is that each of these elements is meaningful in the context of doing a handstand but also in the context of learning to feel and control our body. They are readily definable which means that they can be sensed, understood and we can learn the necessary control to do each of them.

The net result after practice is the ability to do a handstand or at least to know what we need to do to do it. An added benefit is that we understand our body well enough that we can apply that understanding to other things that we use our body for.

Teaching, Adjusting and Firm Foundations

Since this program would be geared towards teachers as well as self-practitioners, we could look at the big idea of teaching handstands to a class. A key element would be spotting which in itself is a variation of the same techniques that are used in handstand. As an example, doing a handstand, or any posture for that matter, our connection with the earth is our foundation. In the case of handstand our foundation is provided by our hands, arms and shoulders. These need to be sensitive, stable and responsive in order for the handstand to be done. With our foundation taken care of, in order to stay balanced all we then need to do is keep our center over it.

If we are aware of this as a teacher who is adjusting someone else then we can first make sure that we are in a position so that no matter what happens we have a firm foundation and that we can keep our own center over that foundation. If we aren’t then we adjust how we relate to the person we are adjusting so that we can stay balanced. At the same time, we make sure that in whatever way we adjust the person we are working on, they are able to maintain their foundation and keep their center over it.

In this way we apply our own sensitivity to sensing our students and our relationship with them just as we are teaching them to be sensitive to their body and their relationship with the earth. In both cases we then have the ability to balance, to do what we are trying to do whether it is teach a handstand or do it.

handstands

Foundation-A Fixed Point in the Mind

A foundation is something that makes it easier for us to do what we are trying to do. It gives us a reference for the change that we wish to create. We can also use a foundation or reference for measuring the change that we perceive.

Understanding as a Foundation for Experience

As an example of foundation, I wanted to finish “Understanding Consciousness” as my first project because I wanted the principles that it contained to underlay everything that I do. Part of the challenge has been understanding what it was I was trying to create. A set of principles that could be applied to any situation.

Why?

So that instead of figuring out how to go about understanding, or even thinking about understanding, we can get on with making what we are trying to understand a part of ourselves.

Once we understand, we can get on with experiencing which may be the main reason why we are here, to experience life and in the process understand it.

So what has this all to do with creating a foundation?

For myself, I wanted to understand basic principles first so that I could use them as a basis (a foundation) for everything that follows. In the context of everything that I do, basic principles makes it easier for me to do what I am trying to do and that can be said of foundations in general, they make it easy for us to get on with what we are doing.

In a yoga pose, if we have a stable piece of ground to stand on then we can do our yoga pose. If we are standing and our feet are strong and stable, then we have a foundation for the rest of our body. We can express what we are trying to do. Doing Tai Ji, if my weighted foot is steady and strong then it is easier for me to do the movement that I am doing. Working on a piece of wood or metal, or painting Chinese calligraphy, a firm foundation allows me to create the change that I want to create easily. What makes the whole process even easier is understanding that if my center of gravity is over my foundation then I don’t have to worry about balance. I can stand steady and get on with what I am trying to do.

Adjusting someone else’s yoga pose, if I make myself stable and also make sure that the person I am working on is stable, then I can go about creating the change that I desire, helping the person I am working on learn their body so that they can practice being one with it.

When talking about buildings, a foundation is usually set in stone, immobile. But that is just with respect to buildings. (Although the Taj Mahal is apparently built up on a flexible foundation consisting of layers or stone and wood that allow it to shift in the case of earth quakes…)  A foundation doesn’t have to be fixed, in some cases it can just be a reference point, a place that we know we are going to, or an action that we know someone is going to do.

Where it does have to be fixed, stable and unchanging is in our minds. If we have a stable reference point in our mind then we can more easily create the change that we desire. This can apply to relationships with other people.

A foundation can be built up on each person knowing and understand the other and knowing what they can expect (and not expect) from each other. With both people knowing on what foundation their relationship is built they can act freely within the bounds of their relationship. And so we can also think of a foundation as a way of limiting or defining a relationship. The better we know the foundation or the limits the more freely we can act within those limits.
Now imagine being able to freely choose our foundation. We can do this using our mind. If we choose our foundation sensibly, based on what is happening at the time, we may be better able to create the change that we desire.

The Basics-How Much Practice is Enough?

A friend came over for a visit last night and showed me some brush painting techniques he’d learned from his teacher. We varied between using brushes and bits of newspaper but most importantly (and perhaps the most fun) is that we freed ourselves from style and convention. He’s had more practice than I have but we both played at expressing ourselves freely.

The day before I’d been running for about the third time in a year. I used to run regularly both while I was in the army and afterwards during university and after. I did have dreams of running a marathon but after a half marathon and another run with a lot of fun hills my knee had packed it in. And so for the next 10 years I focused on learning my body through yoga and later tai ji.

Getting back to running has been a chore in part because I’ve had no where nice to run. And then I did find someplace nice to run and so I started in on what worked before, running at a slow pace so that my heart rate stayed within the aerobic range.

Running like an old man I thought back to times when I’d been cross country skiing with friends. The first few outings would be torture and then all of a sudden, after plenty of rests, I’d find I was flying on my skii’s with hardly any effort. Even going up hills (and their are lots of hills in Gatineu Park outside of Ottawa in Canada, I felt like I was flying, to the point that i was easily catching up to and even in places leading friends who had stacks more experience than I did.

I wondered about all the work I’d been doing learning to feel my body and control it. I really wanted to feel like I was flying. Fuck the heart rate. I focused on feeling my body while I was running. Sure I’d run for a little then slow down but at least I was running the way I wanted to. And then my knee flared up and so running fast I focused on my hip, thigh and shin and on positioning them so that my knee felt alright. It worked. For each stride, I felt and positioned my leg so that I could use my whole leg to drive me forwards simply by aligning the bones with the force of what I was doing. Rather than muscling each stride I tried to feel it.

The next day I did something similar while swimming. Most of my time at the pool of late has been devoted to providing an environment for my daughter to get comfortable in water. It’s been about her instead of me…and so yesterday I got to do something for me. simply breast stroke with my head under water most of the way doing a sort of “hold your breath” pranayama while seeing how relaxed I could stay as I approached my breath holding limit.

Using my legs like a frog I gauged the quality of each “kick” by noticing the pool tiles passing below me. I would only kick when I stopped moving forwards and when I did kick I tried to feel my legs as I did so, again using the least amount of energy possible, keeping my legs soft and flexible, as much like the fins of a fish as possible. I noticed things like the positions of my hands up ahead of me, fingers together to reduce drag and while looking forwards pressing my arms bones up to smooth the profile of my head and arms. I felt myself “immersed” in the moment.

Later on that day, after our calligraphy fun and games my friend and I went out for a beer to discuss things like basics. We both agreed that one of the things that allowed us to express ourselves so freely with brush and ink was the practice we’d put into staying within the limits. For me that meant learning characters to the point I could do them without thinking, continually holding the brush upright while noticing my connection with the brush and trying to see everything-be open while I was painting.
With learning the body, I felt that learning the basics enable me to get back to running and swimming with hardly any problems. I thought and still believe that there are body basics that we can learn and practice that can help us in anything that we do that relates to the body, whether it is painting, running, riding a bike or even drinking beer….

So how much practice is enough?

It depends on what we are trying to do. If we find ourselves practicing and doing nothing else, least of all expressing ourselves in what we are practicing for, then perhaps it is time to take a break from practice.

How much practice is enough, it depends on what you are practicing for.

As for me, I wanted to express myself freely with a brush and with my body. I’m not going to stop practicing the basics but I am going to make more time to do what I really want to do, paint freely and express my self.

How does this relate to foundation? Practice is the foundation based upon which we can express ourselves freely, beautifully and meaningfully.

Foundation-A Starting Point for Change

A foundation is a reference for any change that we wish to create or observe or measure.

In anything that we do, once we know what we are going to be doing, the foundation is the first thing that we create.

Creating Stable Relationships

Erecting a building, builders create a base to support the structure. The base is the point of contact between the building and the earth. The base (and framework) of the building create a stable relationship between the building and the earth. It keeps the building upright. We can do the same when building a pose, we can create stability in our pose via our connection with the earth.

Standing on our feet we can make our feet, ankle and lower legs strong so that they support the rest of our body. Prior to that we can make sure that we are standing on ground that is solid and secure.

Within our body, we can look at the relationships between different parts of our body and make one part the foundation for the part that it connects to. Working from the ground up, our feet and lower legs can be the foundation for our thighs. Our thighs can be the foundation for our pelvis. Our pelvis the foundation for our lumbar spine. Our lumbar spine the foundation for our thoracic spine. Our thoracic spine then supports our cervical spine and in turn the head.

To maintain a relationship, we can make one part stable so that it supports the other part.

Support from Above

While we might normally think of foundations as supporting what is above it, they can also support by acting as something that can be hung from. For example a bridge like the Golden Gate Bridge has towers which support spanning cables which in turn support hanging cables which support the road bed. In the same way, with our spine and head stable, we can use them to support the ribs. The ribs then in turn can be used to support the shoulder girdle which then can act as the foundation for the arms.

Knowing and Understanding, Foundations for Doing

Prior to building a building engineers and architects plan and design it. This way the builders know what they are preparing for when they create the first foundation and all that follows.

If when doing a yoga pose (or anything else for that matter) we know what we are doing we can choose how to create our foundation. The “idea” that we have in our mind then provides the foundation for the reality that we wish to create.

With something like our body that is mobile and changeable, the better we understand how the parts of our body relate, and the clearer we understand what we want to do with it at any moment in time then the easier and simpler and more efficiently we can go about creating what we want to create.

This can apply to anything that we are doing or working with, like tools, machinery, designing cars, building bikes, teaching people yoga, tai ji, doing oriental calligraphy. When we understand what we are working with then that understanding provides a foundation for the expression of what we are trying to do.

Foundation in Terms of Chakra’s and the Five Elements

In terms of the five elements of Daoist theory, foundation can be related to the element of earth. The Earth is the foundation for everything that we do, even in activities like flying a plane. (We always need airports to take off from and land at.)

In any posture we can look at our connection with the earth as our foundation, whether we connect via our feet or our hands or our head.
In terms of the chakras, foundation can be related to the root chakra or the first chakra. The root chakra is often related to basic activities like survival. If we continue to survive then we can continue to experience life and express ourselves. And so in anything that we do, if we wish to express ourselves then the first thing that we can do is create a foundation for that expression.

As an example, in the picture I am doing “Side Plank Pose.” My foundation is the outer edge of my bottom foot and my bottom hand. Because these are strong and engaged with the earth they provide the foundation that supports the rest of my body.

Basic Principles

Creating a Foundation is the first of five Basic Principles. They are designed as tools that can be used to apply “Being More Conscious.” To see a summary of those principles and more click here.

Basic Principles

Basic Principles can be thought of as a foundation for understanding and experiencing life. They can be used to understand ourselves, what is around ourselves and our relationship with what is around ourselves. I like to think of them as tools to help us be more conscious in anything that we do. As they are tools for being more conscious it can be helpful to have a way of modeling what consciousness is.

Elements of Consciousness

Primary tools for being conscious include ideas and relationships.

  • Ideas are basic units of meaning.
  • Relationships are basic units of change.

Principles of Consciousness

To make “being conscious” useful, we can divide it into two main functions, thinking and doing. These correspond to consciousness being able to expand across time and space. We can describe and summarize the qualities of consciousness as follows:

  • Consciousness can expand in time or across space.
  • Consciousness is limited in time and space (the more we have in one dimension the less we are in another.)
  • Thinking happens across time (imaginary space)
  • Doing is done across space (real space)
  • Use thinking for problem solving, understanding, defining, determining, reminiscing.
  • While doing, focus on using the senses.
  • Taken together, thinking and doing allow us to experience and understand.
  • Expand consciousness completely into time or completely into space to move beyond the limits of space and time. Consciousness then becomes unlimited or infinite.

Principles of Learning

Principles of learning are designed to help us understand quickly via experience. This understanding can then be used to help us create the change that we desire (or experience it.)

  • Focus on learning small and meaningful pieces of “understanding”
  • Practice using rhythm and repetition to make what we are learning a part of ourselves.
  • To make what we are learning a part of ourselves, practice doing (space) and then looking back at what we have done (time.)
  • Develop sensitivity and learn to control.
  • Take Regular Rests (Rest completely or by doing something else.)

Principles for Doing

While initially we may have to think about these principles in order to do them, we eventually move beyond thinking to understanding. These principles then become “built in.” We can focus on pure doing.

  • Stabilize Foundations
  • Control Connections, direct the senses and choose how to respond to what is sensed.
  • Center unifies, balances and gives a point or purpose to what we are doing. To be centered, focus on feeling and controlling entire self.
  • Look for, Create and Use Room to Move both for ourselves and what is around ourselves. To express ourselves (and for others to express themselves) we need room to move. We can also look for Gaps to Flow through.
  • Express… the idea of what we are trying to do. Based on what is happening now choose what do to and how to do it. Instead of thinking, do it.
  • Experience both what we are doing and what others around us are doing.
  • Understand by taking the experience inside of ourselves. Allow it to sink in so that we can move on to more experiences.

Principles of Thinking

Thinking is a part of who we are. Rather than be a victim or prisoner of the mind we can train our mind and choose the way we think. Some guidelines or principles of conscious thinking include:

  • Know that you can
  • Focus on what you want to do
  • Look for the reason to do something rather than the reason to stop
  • Look for excuses to love instead of reasons to hate
  • Imagine that you are loved

Understanding Consciousness

To learn more about understanding consciousness and basic principles, you can order the book.

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Basic Principles

This is an unusual posting. If you are solely interested in meridian stretch, brain training or yoga then please ignore this posting. It contains an excerpt or the beginnings of a book I’m writing about “Basic Principles.”

Leading the Life
we want to Lead

Basic Principles are a set of guidelines that we can use in any area of life to make what we are doing easier. It would be like buying an Apple computer and being able to use it straight out of the box.

Likewise with basic principles. Rather than wasting time figuring out how to figure out what we are trying to do they are to help us know what we are doing. Once we know what we want to do the idea is then to provide the tools for how to do what we want to do.

The ultimate goal of these principles is to help us lead the life that we want to lead.

Living Life
Elegantly

The basic idea is finding the simple, easy or elegant way to do things or to get things done. But as well as applying to how we do things it also applies to how we relate to others. The idea isn’t to liken people to things (or things to people) but to derive the principles that are common in our relationships to both.

And if we just use that word, relationship, if we focus on that idea then this book is about making every relationship we are a part of a positive one.

And for those that we can’t make positive (after all it does take two to tango) then it offers ideas for how to disconnect from those relationships.

Another way of looking at these principles is as tools for being more conscious.

Sensing
so we can
Choose

Why might we want to be more conscious?

First and foremost so that we can choose the life that we want to lead. That is part of what being conscious is, being able to choose. But prior to choosing we have to be aware of what the options are.

Being conscious means opening our eyes, and opening our heart or mind so that we can sense what is truly possible. Then we can choose.

As an analogy, driving on the road when it is foggy we have to drive slowly because it is difficult to see the limits of the road. However if we drive slowly because we imagine that it is still foggy even though it isn’t, well that is being unconscious. That doesn’t mean that we have to drive as fast as it can. It means that if we notice the fog is gone, if we can then see the edges of the road (and the gaps between the traffic that is on it) then we can drive as fast or as slow as we like. We can choose.

Looking for
Room to Move

Another analogy relates to the “cup is still full” story. In this story the teacher keeps filling the cup even though it is still full. The “lesson” is that if the student doesn’t empty his cup, how can his teacher fill it.

Another point of view of this story is that if the teacher is aware he will notice that the cup is full and stop pouring. If the student takes time to empty his cup and the teacher takes the time to notice when it is empty then the two can work in harmony.

And in that lesson is a principle. Use your senses. Direct them. If you are pouring tea make sure the cup is empty. Or watch for the cup to become empty and then act. (And be sure that the recipient actually desires more tea.)

If we use our senses we can wait for the opportunity to act. We can look for the “room to move,” In this case, a cup that is empty.

We can also look for the way to create room to move.

“You’re tea is getting cold.”

Practicing
INNER Skill

Basic principles are a way of practicing inner skill. Rather than brute forcing something to happen it is about finding the easy way to allow what we want to happen. That isn’t to say that effort is not required. It is to say that when it comes time to apply effort, that effort isn’t wasted. It has maximum effect and maximum benefit.

We get a really big bang for our buck.

In the next installment of basic principles I’ll talk about the basic building blocks of the universe.

In the meantime the regular installments of the email plan you are a part of will resume.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely

Neil Keleher