No center and no central control
When you look at the way the 道德經 Daodejing approaches the concept of 天地人 “the universe, the earth, human beings” as I discuss it in my last blog post, it is obvious that in a world consisting of endless networks a focus on a center and central control creates unnecessary imbalances, risks, and problems. For a movement practice based on the philosophy of the 道德經 Daodejing, this means that instead you have a diversified practice with a wide range of inputs that are guiding the processes. An energy hub like the 下丹田 lower Dantian for instance, is therefore just one energy hub among many, many others. When you initiate a movement, the focus is on connecting, not on where the movement starts. There also is no centralized process.
As a start you have regions like the feet, the pelvis, the shoulders, the hands, and the head aiming at improving their connections and their cooperation, having ever deeper effects on the musculoskeletal system and the functioning of the inner organs. For this physical coordination process to work well, the energy input through our food intake also plays an important role. In a deep movement practice, this process of overall physical coordination is then again coordinated with the analogous activity of balancing your emotional self, and the maturing of the mind. All of this is not done in a linear command and control mode. The guiding principles here are the concepts of 自然, ziran “self-organization”, and 無爲, wuwei non-action. There is no “master”-“mind” behind it. And our being does not solely operate within the conscious framework of the daytime. It also operates within the framework of our subconscious sleep phases at night. And even in the conscious framework of the daytime there is a large portion of subconscious activity. Autonomous functions, instincts, and intuition are all part of the “I”, the “we.” Our levels of individual being, our “inner landscapes”, are complexly interwoven—networks next to, and linked with each other, but also smaller networks within larger networks.
In a deep movement practice, these complex “individual” networks therefore improve their interaction and coordination with the supporting 地 earth, and the surrounding 天 universe. The feet naturally play an important role being closest to the 地 earth. The head, as the opposite pole, naturally plays an important role in, metaphorically speaking, opening outwards to the 天 universe. In simple words, it is the interaction between out and in.
So, where does a movement start? It depends. Is it a simple process? Yes, and no. “You” reach out with one part, and the experience provides direction for other parts of the networks.