By January 3, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Zen View – Self Restraint

By Mary Layton

Recently I went to visit my T’ai Chi teacher who is a 3rd Generation Grandmaster of T’ai Chi.
On the wall in his living room hangs a large Chinese calligraphy of one of the most important principles of T’ai Chi : Self-Restraint. Next to the very powerful looking character of self-restraint is a poem written by Mr. Yip. I asked my teacher what it means. He showed me an English translation of it. To make it more accessible I have changed its formal language to sound more like we talk today. Here it goes :

“It is better to yield in order to achieve peace.
Surrender your position to gain serenity.
Keep a golden silence to avoid making enemies.
Practice precious restraint in order to deserve happiness.
Give in a little and you will feel wonderfully at ease.
Spare a few words and you will be free of worry.
Restrain yourself for a moment and you will be happy as an angel.”

This sure is wonderful advice. Restraining one’s emotions, desires and inclinations can be a remedy in resolving life’s challenges and brings about peace. Even in a crisis situation one is more able to say or do the right thing. To walk away from a confrontation, to bow even when hurt or insulted takes strength. There are countless situations where this idea of self-restraint would come in handy. It’s worth a try! I will make Self-restraint my New Year’s resolution.
Have a happy and peaceful New Year!

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About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.