July 25, 2002: Softness nurture, exertion injures

On Thursday Master Ni stopped the Double Sword lesson a little prematurely.

Wanting to be ‘helpful’ I spoke up saying that he had reached a little further in the previous lesson.

He responded angrily: “I use up my life force on you.”

He then pointed to Kathy the Architect.

“What is the last line of the paper that I gave to you?”

Kathy: “I don’t know.”

Master Ni: “I waste my energy. Nobody cares. Rosie, do you know?”

Rosie: “No.”

Ni: “Does anybody know?”

Me: “Extreme flexibility leads to extreme hardness.”

A sigh of relief from the class that there was some response.

Ni: “What about the second to last line?”

Me: “I don’t know?”

Ni: “In Wu Tang Sword it is important to be hard and soft, fast and slow - Different than Tai Chi which is all soft and a consistent speed. Kathy is soft - this is the real thing.”

I went home and looked up the last line to be sure I was right. I wasn’t.

The last line was “Softness nurtures, exertion injures.”

This has been banging around my mind ever since.

He used ‘hardness’ to get me to check the poem he wrote us and to enhance its importance. Softness wasn’t working so he needed to take more extreme measures to wake us up from our complacent dream world.

the bundle of memories and habits referred to as don