Observer News Service

London

Admiring the neck of a swan in the park while wandering aimlessly in the park, I was taken by the idea of grace. It could be boiled down to how you move — not just how you go from sitting to standing, walking into a room, eating...but also how you move through your life — humbly, yet with dignity, receiving the blessings that befall you, not grasping greedily to have it all.

The Taoists say when your mind is calm yet focused, your body relaxed yet correctly aligned, and when you move your entire body, mind and spirit as a single unit, then all you do will be with grace.

Flowing like water, filling all gaps with loving energy, you swiftly move along, never fighting the current — the possessions, situations or people — not even trying to hold on to your opinions, but simply sticking lightly yet intelligently to whatever presents itself as you pass by. Then graciously letting it go without grasping — the two main factors being the ability to welcome what is without resistance or negativity and to let go of what needs to be free.

Your ability to welcome new information about your condition is afforded you by your spleen energy. Just as this is responsible for processing food and transforming it into blood, nutrients and energy, it is also responsible for processing the information you take in with your mind. When your spleen energy is weak — say, after a phase of not eating well, before menstruating or after a spell of intellectual concentration — the tendency will be to meet all new information with a snarl. Release the tension and you’ll be greeting the new with a smile again.

As for the letting-go aspect, just as with processing food, where the waste matter must be evacuated, the same goes for information. When you’ve finally processed a new raft of input you have to release any negative thoughts that arose or your mind will become poisoned, infesting your actions with negativity and thus adversely affect your dealings with others. Just as with waste matter, it’s the energy of your large intestine that enables you to let go of potentially poisonous thoughts, the waste matter of the mind.

The following will help instigate optimum inner energetic environment for maintaining a state of grace — the rest is up to consciously intending to remain in that state, perhaps reinforcing it by taking up t’ai chi, dance, or any pursuit that will remind you to remain in the Japanese Tea Ceremony flavour of the grace zone.

Push lightly with the fingertips of both hands into the dead centre of your upper abdomen directly below the breastbone, while breathing freely, until you feel mildly winded. Maintain pressure until sensation disperses, and go in a bit deeper until you feel the tension there release.

This will stimulate your ability to receive and assimilate. Now looking at the backs of your hands, draw your thumbs in close and observe the crack formed between thumb and hand. At the end of the crack nearest your wrist is a large-intestine acupuncture point called ‘the great eliminator’. Press in here on each hand in turn until you feel an ache, and hold until you feel it diminish and disappear.

This will stimulate ability to let go of the waste element of food and thought. Finally declare: ‘I’m pure grace in motion!’ and carry on as you were.