Monday, 8 August 2011


A small postcard was propped up in the fireplace of the basement classroom. It showed a traffic sign with the word " Yield ".

To yield means to give way. A simple example is if someone pushes your shoulder. Do not resist, do not run away, but remain in contact with the push and give way. It's a bit like trying to stroke a cat that doesn't want to allow it. Note how the cat remains in contact but gives way to your contact?

But at a deeper level to yield means to accept. Accepting means to forget self, which is relatively easy. The hard part is the constant reminder of self. By accepting, we open to connect, to communicate, to embrace. Not accepting is rooted in fear and tension.

The practise of partnerwork in Tai Chi provides an excellent opportunity to investigate acceptance. But to yield does not imply a passive, helpless, limp state. It is a dynamic process that allows a meaningful interaction with your partner, with others, with your environment, with life and death.

I'm sure there is more that could be written but it would never be enough to capture the experience. Aaaargghh.... this is getting too deep so I'm off to bed!


  1. I first felt I had really begun to change when I learned to accept what was there before I understood it or knew if it would be welcome. Then years later, John Kells said the secret wasn't accepting, but transformation. I atill can't help thinking, though, that learning to accept is the first step, before you can join and transform.

  2. I agree. Without acceptance I don't think there can be transformation.