The Tao of Spontaneity

The Tao of Spontaneity

One of the greatest assets you have, psycho-energetically speaking, is your spontaneity.

Responding spontaneously to the requirements of whatever action's occurring in the moment means you're channeling Tao.

When you're channeling Tao, you have the cosmic magic with you. This tends to produce far more magnificent results than through human-level contrivance.

Stripped of its romance this actually means moving from your subconscious mind.

By that I mean operating from the more ancient hunter-gatherer back-brain. The more recently evolved hence overused forebrain region is dedicated to storytelling.

I don't necessarily mean for purposes of entertaining or enriching others. More for purposes of creating and sustaining a context by which to justify and rationalize your internal dialogue – to make sense of the world.

When operating from this fictive aspect of mind, you tend to rehearse everything. Nothing wrong with rehearsing if you're a performer but as any good method actor will tell you the true magic on stage or screen derives from being fully present in the moment free of agenda other than to serve the role.

This ability arises through spontaneity.

The Taoist way is to prepare – because chance favors the prepared mind – by practicing your skills on a daily basis rather than making up imaginary scripts and rehearsing them.

As any musician required to improvise a cadenza will tell you, it's practicing your scales each day that enables you to play your chops and extemporise a solo that gets the audience going, not rehearsing a solo over and over, as that precludes eliciting the magic derived from improvisation.

Likewise any seasoned fighter – cage- or otherwise – will tell you you can't rehearse a fight because you don't know what the opponent will do. But you can practice your moves.

Hence the huge value of daily qigong practice.

You hone your moves, you hone your mind, you hone your chi and then nif you find yourself confronting a challenge all your skills auto-activate and you meet the demands of the moment like a master.

Rehearse as if you're predicting what will be and if what is turns out differently as it invariably does you're screwed.

Right now for instance, as you sit/stand/lie/crouch/hop/whatever here reading this, you're facing a slew of possible upcoming challenges or even just exciting events.

Note how your forebrain is working on scenarios, planning dialogue, even planning wardrobe.

Instead pull back from this imaginary future – I mean actually. Retract the mind, your mental vantage point of reality, all the way into the back-brain and let it rest up against the wall of the skull.

Ascertain your meta-intention – for instance 'I'll prevail in this and every situation in a way that pleases me and everyone'.

Repeat that a few times and as you do allow yourself glimpses of what that looks like without getting obsessive about detail.

Then let go of it – let the future remain where it is, in the future.

Let yourself remain where you are, in the present.

And note how it requires a moment of subtle courage in surrendering yourself into the arms of destiny like that.

I suggest this as an experiment in alternative ways of negotiating your passage along the Great Thoroughfare.

Use it once and see what occurs and if what occurs delights you as much and as magically as I propose it might, use it again and so on.

That's how to gain optimal benefit from the Taoist style – the Tao of spontaneity.

May it serve you well.

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