The most yielding thing in the world
will overcome the most rigid
The most empty thing in the world
will overcome the most full
From this comes a lesson —
Stillness benefits more than action
Silence benefits more than words
—Verse 43, Tao Te Ching
Sometimes, temperance is the greatest weapon.
When someone attacks you with words or tries to make you feel any less than yourself, you merely need acquiesce.
In doing so, you disarm them. You rob them of their only weapon — anger — and their words lose all meaning and significance.
Tai Chi, as the physical manifestation of Taoist philosophies, follows the same idea.
Then you will understand the flow of internal power, and, having repeatedly practiced and refined your technique and explored your own awareness, you can use and control your internal power at will.
The T’ai Chi principle is as simple as this: yield yourself and follow the external forces.
—Waysun Liao, The Essence of T’ai Chi
When your opponent expands, contract. Create a void in your stance, and let them fill that void. By absorbing your opponent’s energy, you reduce it to nothing.
I’ve finally come to fully understand such an idea. The theory made sense, but I never put it in practice, and practice is what makes the understanding complete. It was only recently that I had the chance to apply it. The old me was hot-headed with too much to prove. When faced with insulting, patronizing words, I would have reacted, instead of following the principle of wu wei. The situation was a test of myself, and I passed.
From this I’ve learned how much I’ve grown.