The Art of Peace
Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise,
take all that is good as your own.
With this as your base, open your own door to truth.
Do not overlook the truth that is right before you.
Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely
between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people.
Everything—even mountains, rivers, plants, trees—should be your teacher.
In your training, do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years
to master the basics and advance to the first rung.
Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master;
you must continue to train daily with your friends and students
and progress together in the Art of Peace.
Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through forging,
it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword.
Human beings develop in the same fashion.
The Art of Peace begins with you.
Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace.
Everyone has a spirit that can be refined,
a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.
You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest
your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art
to all that you encounter.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.
As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows,
you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.
Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.
If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries,
you can see right through them and avoid their attacks.
And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them
along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth.
It is necessary to develop a strategy that utilizes
all the physical conditions and elements that are directly at hand.
The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses.
Progress comes to those who train and train;
reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.
Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching.
It is through your own devoted practice that the full Art is brought to life.
The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet
and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely.
The physical center is your belly; if your mind is set there as well,
you are assured of victory in any endeavor.
Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world.
Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond,
flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.
The body should be triangular, the mind circular.
The triangle represents the generation of energy
and is the most stable physical posture. The circle symbolizes
serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques.
The square stands for solidity, the basis of applied control.
When attacked, unify the upper, middle, and lower parts of your body.
Enter, turn, and blend with your opponent, front and back, right and left.
Ultimately, you must forget about technique.
The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are.
The Great Path is really No Path.