“ki flows from the breath. Inward and outward, deeply into and out of the hara, breath brings forth ki, and returns ki to the whole of the universe”.
In the fullest moment, words emerge from our soul, from our spirit, and not our mind or our thoughts. These moments are the most enriching, the most fulfilling, for words are no longer words, but they are vibrations, they are our spirit speaking in symbols and images through which we hopefully connect with others.
For what other purpose are words, spoken and written, but to connect with others?
Words, when spoken or emerging from the hara, in the case of the written form, take on a weight, a flow, a meaning that words spoken from the mind and thoughts cannot have. I have written many words from the mind, words to convince, words to convey frustration or desire for change, words to request something. Words which, like noise, are sent into the world looking for somewhere to land, somewhere to be heard, and wishfully accepted, respected, acknowledged.
These are not the words I speak of at this moment. The words we speak of emerge from ku, vacuity, from silence, emptiness, voidness, nothingness. These are words that are resonances of our soul, our journey, our path, our dō. Such words are filled with Ki, born of Ki, infused with Ki, and therefore seek not to influence, alter, distract. They are words which reflect the eternal truth, the truth that we all seek in one form or another.
Unlike moments that fill the space with endless dialogue, I speak of words that are few, words that seek not to overwhelm the intellect with impressive logic, or rarity of use, but rather words that come from the pure present moment. Not words which are weighted down by the past, or words that seek to form the future. Such words are from the present moment, from the infinite present where all words always emanate, but fall prey to ambition, greed, fear or attachment. True words emerge from sensations of lightness and light, not weight and darkness.
In the fullest moments, words are spoken with a breath that exhales deeply from the hara, words that are spoken with the spirit of kiai. All our spoken words can be words filled with kiai, for all words are the products of exhalation – too frequently not from the hara, but from the mind, the ego. In the same way, written words can be created from the exhalation of the spirit, from the hara, where the key strokes or pen strokes are not from the mind or ego, but from the body and the spirit, the whole of the body engaged in the action of the symbols being stitched together. In such moments, words, like song, emerge as a flow of consciousness, a product of the infinite present being the source of the energy and spirit. Such words, like songs, are infused with life – for no true words, like music, can emerge only from mind and ego only.
Many moments and days interfere with this state of creation, overcome by the emergency of wanting more, the rush to nowhere, the pressure to busyness, the distraction as modern currency. Attention, the essential ingredient for the concentration of ki, is rarely found, and if so, threatened by the addiction to distraction.
“What is concentration? The ability for harmony, to put all one’s ki, all one’s energy into every single act one performs”
From harmony of mind, body and spirit, words are not required, not essential, for harmony is the state of being with the emptiness and nothingness of the universe – being with the energy of the cosmos, Ki. In harmony, the mind empties of the need to articulate words and finds truth in vibrations and resonance. Words become the conduit for such vibrations, bringing forth the truth deeply within.
So how do we know if words, spoken internally or posed externally, are infused with Ki?
Listen. Simply listen, deeply, patiently, with the spirit and the whole. Listen with the mind, the body and the spirit, not only the body, or only the mind, or only the spirit. Words which speak to only one of the three are words not infused with Ki – they are words which seek to please the body, impress the mind or appease the spirit. Words which are infused with Ki take on the world entire, and bring the universal truth before one’s moment.
Listen, deeply, for the silence and emptiness within the words, for words infused with Ki are in essence empty. They are empty of ambition and desire, empty of greed or want, void of all desires of the mind or body. They are, like the light of the sun, or sound of the wind, purely the emanation of life itself, which brings to emptiness no more than emptiness is willing to allow. Such words do not overfill, they simply speak the truth of the moment, leaving much silence and emptiness, given the listener much space to reflect.
I fell that there are few words today that are filled with Ki. So many words fill the space, yet are the products of the mind. So few words are the natural product of the harmony of mind, body and spirit. So few.
And so it will remain, for few words can be filled with Ki. Few spoken or written words can be infused with Ki. So listen, observe and notice when such words find their way to you.
Listen, deeply, and remind yourself to speak from the hara, and write from the hara. That way, your words will be a small attempt at bringing more Ki into the world.
For the most powerful words are those filled with Ki.
But they can be identical to words that are NOT infused with Ki.
Only tranquil, mindful awareness will enable you to notice the difference.
“Zazen cannot be expressed in words because that would be fooling people, like offering them a painting of an apple and telling them it is good to eat”