Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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The Art of Envisaging

Creativity births and shapes itself through artists, time after time in eternity.

Art is a deeply personal experience and yet quite symbolic to a generation in time.

What today constitutes the Modern & Contemporary Art will soon become relics of the past that tried to catch up on the times.

Here is one such simple artistic vision in recent times that moved a chord in me.

What a particular work of art makes you feel, is more important than what it looks like.

Wouldn’t you agree?

What makes you turn towards an art?

What kind of artworks attract you?

Savvy


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The shape of things 

SHAPING ….Artwork by Savvy Raj

There is in the shape of things

A reason why

Like the night and the day

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Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

They say nothing is accidental

There is always a shape to things

A reason for design

A reason for pain and pleasure

A reason for order and disorder

A reason for imbalance

As much for equilibrium

A reason for the confusion in chaos

As much for emergence of clarity.

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Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com

One thing leads to another

Patterns develop out of nothing into something

Those who are in the front

Become waybearers for those who follow…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the ensuing connections

Forms take shape of things to come

Matter combines to eloquently express

Succintly abrest the brevity

Or in hyperboles of creation

All is yet in symmetry

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Photo by Aman Bhatnagar on Pexels.com

Emotion emits acceleration

Life destructs and creates in continnum

To evolve itself in the shape of things to come.

Savvy Raj

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Alone and yet not alone!

I am not alone

I am not alone
When I am walking at dawn
For I have the company
Of a waking sun.

I am not alone
When I am walking at dusk
For I witness the dance of heavenly lights.

For Twilights hold a special meaning
In the witnessing
Of transitions in transcendence.
Of day to night
And night to day…

In this world
Remember
You are not alone
In the dark of the night
With twinkling stars to show you the way.

You are only alone
When even in midst of the many
Your heart seeks a little
Respite from company!

A safe space to witness
Your emerging thoughts
A zone to turn into
A tranquil place to been in

To sense a balance
With your thoughtful self
Amidst the scurry hurry
Of life and living.
Savvy

Often ‘ alone’ is equated with loneliness. Alone may also mean simply being a witness to, by and with your self. It may arise from a need to explore to discover the self as much as the world in mindful introspection and contemplation. Every now and then a little time spent quietly with your self can truly help expand and regain the much needed equanimity to handle the worldly issues.

Meditations are a positive wonderful way to recharge our system.

Do you like to find time to be alone

With your thoughts and nothing else?

Do share

Savvy


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The Spirit of Trees

I admire the spirit of trees
& want to live learning from it.

I want to be one with the tree
But I do not want to be a tree…
For if every man becomes a tree
Who would be there to nurture & witness their beauty?

Trees need us and we need them. There is synergy dancing between us.
As we care to nourish the nature around us.
We are nourished back by nature.

We are born to live along with trees
They are lifes longings for itself
Like our sons and daughters
They are fragile and strong
And share untold wisdom within
And live sharing themselves.

They protect us with their shade
as much as they nourish us with their bearings.
In the strength of their interconnects we realise
The value in the interdependence.
They are because we are
We are because they are!

I deeply revere the spirit of these trees.

A bow down in gratitude to thee!🙏

Savvy


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Channelizing Creativity

To create is being you!

Artwork by Savvy Raj

Someone asked me why I dance… and I said I dance to create myself.
I like to dance in my thoughts, words and deeds. By that I mean I enjoy the harmony of movements whether in thoughts or action.

Personally, I respect and value all forms of creativity and believe in the immense value of it in our daily lives.
We are all creative beings but some have to find their path themselves while perhaps for others the path is laid out for them.

We need to honour our creativity we need to find avenues to let go express and share what comes naturally to us. In that is a healing and restoring beyond compare. Have seen a single dance light up a dancers eyes or a single song or a painting stroke change the mood not only for the viewer but for the artist themselves.

Creativity is who we are and lets never forget it. The challenge though is to understand techniques of channelising creativity in a form that is valued and shared by many and that comes from practice. It is a path of immense possibilities each having the potential for soulful connects with self as much as others.

Dancers: An Artwork by Savvy Raj

What we create is meant to be and hence we learn to channelize the flow in more meaningful ways. Just the other day standing before a painting of just two vertical lines symbolised many possibilities… a bridge, to a tube, to a scale, to a road and more… infinite mind, infinite imagination, a fodder for thought in the letting go.

Yet to channelize the thoughts is a task for many demanding ardours and disciplined approach in thinking and streamlining strategically to enhance the end product be it any art form in life and living

Creativity must never be suppressed or repressed as then it manifests in disease of the body and mind. Immense is the power of creative movements to balance the body mind and spirit.

Creative expression is the passion at play and a power of profound manifestations limitless in awareness & boundless in self-belief.

Express with every cell of your being the magnitude of your being… cos that’s what you are meant to do here.

Savvy

Creativity: A matter of approach (Part 1)

Waltzing beyond walls


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Dances of India: Roots in Culture

In a land of diversities in all spheres from culture to climate, from religion to celebrations.
Every region expresses its culture distinctly according to the ethos of the people of that particular region.And as dances are a coherent expression of human nature thoughts and feelings, each form of dance that originates, encapsulates it distinctly.
Indian dances can be broadly divided into Classical Dance Forms Semi Classical and the Folk forms.
The most well known Classical Dance styles of India are the Kathak, Odissi & Manipuri of Northern and Eastern parts of India.And
Bharatanatyam Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam Kathakali from Southern parts of India.
Classical Dance and Arts is given a revered status as according to the legends, the Gods invented the dance. It incorporates music melody beats drama form and line along with gestures through hand fingers and eye movements.
The elaborate costumes and heavy makeup somehow helps convey many depictions of the overall performances.
There are a number of Folk dance forms that are performed as well.
Traditionally all these forms have been structured around the nine emotions or rasas namely:
  • Hasya: happiness
  • Shoka: sorrow
  • Krodha: anger
  • Karuna: compassion
  • Bhibatsa: disgust
  • Adbuta: wonder
  • Bhaya: fear
  • Viram: courage
  • And Shanta: serenity.
The earliest Indian religious texts have described creation in terms of a dance. And the dances of India are said to have their origins in the Vedic Age of 1000BC
Even today the practice of the Indian dances have an element of religious rituals although much may have changed with time.
Musings on Dancing

A dance is an expression of who we are, our mindset our bodies our culture all intermingled inextricably. It is a statement of our roots and our connection to others.

We can express ourselves by learning and staying rooted in the structure or choose to vary and fuse and develop our understanding by adding to the repertoire other dance forms and evolve in the sharing. The choice is ours to choose. We don’t need to discard old learning as we learn something new but align ourselves to understand the larger picture. This way we experience diversity for ourselves as we learn to see the significance of every form its contribution its essence and relevance of its roots in culture through the movements and expression. Learning dance from different lands helps us understand and evolve. We can learn to respect others traditions and cultures while valuing our own.

Savvy


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Circle of thoughts 14

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With care and consideration

Sometimes like coaxing a unwilling mule

Thoughts can be harnessed

For each has great potential…

Savvy

This above digital artwork Titled ‘Circles of thoughts,14 is a creative interpretation of encircling thoughts, The verses that follow is the 14thpart of my series of micropoems on interconnecting thoughts.

Savvy

To be contd …

Related links to read more…

/https://savvyraj.com/circles-of-thoughts/1

/https://savvyraj.com/circle-of-thoughts-2/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/03/circle-of-thoughts-3

/https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/06/circle-of-thoughts-4/

/https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/08/circle-of-thoughts-6/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/08/circle-of-thoughts-7/

http://wp.me/p6a0yZ-1hZ

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/17/circle-of-thoughts-8

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/18/circle-of-thoughts-9

https://savvyraj.com/2017/07/01/circle-of-thoughts-10

#Micropoetry #PhotoFusion #Metaphysics

Artwork by Savvy Raj


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Ease Into Alignment

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A life lived well…

Is more about being and doing well

Than about doing much

& finding no time to be you

& all that you actually are.

 

Resonate with your own reserves

Reach out in the knowing

That you are enough for you.

Align your posture, let go tension.

Acknowledge your needs at this moment.

 

Sense the potential in this now

To alter the reality of this moment.

To make a positive difference in your ways.

To pursue your passions,

To love well, to enjoy life.

 

You need to create a balance between

What you can do and what you are doing.

Sometimes the tilts are unavoidable

And then life takes care of itself.

 

But it always helps to not tilt the balance

By overdoing, over-controlling, overindulging

Overstepping and overshadowing your own self.

Aim to balance the holding back & the letting go

With discretion and discerning

Of conscious intention in awareness.

 

Modern maladies are mostly self-inflicted

Due to excess of thought, action and deed.

With awareness, your own free will

Can be your best ally in the understanding

That freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.

 

And soon you will reach a level

Where you feel grounded

And yet light as a feather in flight.

Make sense of the choices you make in every now

Every now matters after all!

 

You have one life

Live it well

Because you can!

Savvy 

 

About me : 

Wellness Mentor, Dance Educator & Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Freelance Designer

Creativity stems from the acceptance of your authentic self. It is a never-ending journey of endless possibilities that is much beyond the pursuit of a hobby or craft and can be a habit of a lifetime. So besides being a Dance Educator as a Wellness coach, I offer a variety of Personal Effectiveness Programs for Self-development. 

Being a Writer and a Designer creating art gives me immense satisfaction with the infinite ways of expressing myself as I believe in enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

Savvy 

http://www.savvyraj.com


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Circle of thoughts

 

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Thoughts may be boundless in content

A figment of imagination

Choosing  thoughts is a matter of intent

To lead the thoughts with contemplation

Savvy

Contd

#Micropoetry #PhotoFusion #Metaphysics

Artwork by Savvy Raj

 


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 Dancing:  Enriching life and living.

 

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The trick is in the integration of such artistic  pursuits into our everyday lives ,as most of us  carry on with our life with little or no time to spare for a little self enrichment.

www.danceconcepts.in 

Silence speaks

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Ethereal

 

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This beautiful photograph of the Jacaranda Tree is a sight to behold . I have always liked to see  pictures of these  purple and  pink  and lavender blue trees .

But this particular picture … it was pure fascination!

Could I write verses on it…. perhaps! Cos it feels like serenedipity everytime I see it. There is so much pleasantness in that picture for me … I am guessing I am simply partial to all those hues and tones right there juxtaposed so delightfully. Quite like the essence of a prolific poem understated and unassuming.

Yet poetry is not on my mind today…

In fact what I am drawn to here is the delicate draw of balance of colour and composition. The brilliant blues of the sky entices the viewer as much  the hints of hues of greens  and pink just about show up  ever so delicately amidst the starkness of the stems from  betwixst and between the branches of this bewitching tree.

And thats not all … there is so much more to that tree and this photograph is just a hint of whats in the offing….

There is certain sense of ambiguity  yet an attribution of knowing there is much much more beyond the visible.

In fact when you actually see, it is the beauty of the skylight seen through the canopy of pink flowers amidst those branches all captured in that one enthralling moment.

And like  nothings is ever permanent  and perfect,  there always comes the scope of change even in so much balance in that stillness of the movement so precariously precise in the picture.

 

The trick is to be aware of balance

Appreciate the now for what it is

It offers much if you choose to see.

So perfect in its imperfections

A sense of the almost ethreal…

 

 

Here are a few facts on Jacaranda Tree.

The Jacaranda flowers are known to flutter down continously from the tree.The trees are native to South and Central America  and now are also seen in many tropical areas of the world.

Pretoria in South Africa is known to be The Jacaranda City for the huge number the these trees planted in parks steets and gardens.So much so that when seen from the nearby hills the city is known  to appears blue/purple in colour.

The word Jacaranda means fragrant in a South American dialect and depending on their species  they have blue to white to  lavender pink to purple shades of flowers. They are known to grow as tall as 20 to 30 metres in height in their lifetime which can span  from 50 toover 70 years or so.

And because of that one picture I choose to look up and discover these tidbits … .Do share if you find some more about this tree.

Savvy Raj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Peaceful Warrior

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Be strong and know your limitless potential

Be confident and remember your uniqueness

Be certain and value your own decisions.

Be tough and remember the warrior within.

 

Life’s battles are not always in a battlefield.

Fate may have different paths for us to travel.

The peaceful warrior weathers the storms.

Unperturbed, come what may in troubled times.

 

Knowing  wars are not won by brandished swords.

Knowing the power of perseverance and patience.

Knowing the strength in the way of the heart and in the peace of mind.

Knowing the inner calm in the depth of one’s soul.

 

To honour and value every moment in this now, to bend like a reed.

To respect life, enough to know the stillness in moment.

To acknowledge pain as a passing moment.

To steer intentionally to causes that make a difference.

 

Remember the way of the peaceful warrior.

Reaching to transcend the way of war.

Raising swords nor words but realizing the truth.

Resonating love not wars, as peace is the way…

 

Being another storm is never the answer

Being indifferent or just another barrier is never the solution.

In testing the strength of will at bay without succumbing.

In daring to trust beyond fate, is the way of the peaceful warrior!

Savvy Raj

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/way-peaceful-warrior-savvy-raj/

I had written this poem about life and living more than a year ago before I even got connected with my friend Christoph. But as I started to really understand about him and his work,  I sensed a lot of what I had written about following the path of peace and equanimity as a way of life and living, resonates and connects to his chosen path.

 There are some people who connect with you and you get the feeling you have known them all along. And sometimes you get this feeling without even meeting them in person ever before.  

Christoph my friend from France mentioned he would be travelling to India and we decided to catch up in person. With a comfortable venue and time decided, as we finally met, what struck significantly was how we both spoke at length with  an ease and comfort of a trustful knowing that words cannot describe.

It is not often you feel deeply privileged to meet someone so humane and humble like Christoph Eberhard. A man on a mission to spread good energies, a man on the path of  promoting peace and well being in the world, through dialogues for change and so much more. 

To introduce my friend Christoph here is an absolute pleasure. So after meeting and speaking with each other for hours,  I just knew that here is someone whose inspiring reflections must be shared by all who have the good fortune of meeting him. So I proposed the idea of this interview and he graciously accepted.😊

So join along with me in a journey of discovering more in plenitude about this ‘Peaceful Warrior Christoph Eberhard.’

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To my readers, especially those who followed my earlier conversational interviews may perhaps know, this is where I share stories straight from the heart of some of my very inspiring friends who I happen to connect with deeply.  

In these series of conversations on ‘Life and Living’ I intend to share some real stories and what happens when dreams that take shape through intention, passion and dedication.

A heartfelt dialogue in the interconnects can open doors to new integrations of thought. And that is one of the reasons for doing such interviews. There is always so much learning in the sharing, after all to share is to learn some more…


Savvy :  To begin with tell me, how would you like to see yourself… besides being a teacher. Are you more of a discoverer, learner or a traveller?

Christoph: What I would like to become is a true human being. As I like to say: “Life is not a void to be filled. It is a plenitude to be discovered.” Similarly, our humanity is also a plenitude to be discovered. Many traditions see the human being as a pillar spanning all worlds and linking them together. The Chinese for example see the human being as standing between and linking Heaven and Earth.

So, basically, I see myself as a human being amongst fellow human beings. We seem to be beings of dialogue. I became aware little by little that my whole life revolves around four kinds of dialogue: dialogue with others, dialogue with oneself, dialogue with the world and dialogue with “beyond”.

Life is a journey. So, we are all travellers. During that journey, we discover many things. So, we are all discoverers. Our discoveries teach us. So, we are all learners. We share what we discover and what we learn with others. So, we are all teachers.

Savvy:  And what brought you to India the first time around? Give a bit of your backstory.

Christoph : I am Austrian. I lived in Austria until I was 10. We then moved to Romania for 4 years. It was at the time Romania was still under the rule of Ceausescu. From there we moved to France when I was fourteen. So, I experienced different European settings, both “free” and “communist” at a young age. I also experienced different ways of living, different languages, different cultures. Being bilingual (German and French) made me wonder very early about how much our perceptions make up our world. We cannot translate everything from one language to another. So, is the world real? Is it dependent on the language through which we approach it? These were questions I started to ask myself a lot when I was around 10 years old. I read a lot of Paul Watzlawick at the time on the socio-psychological construction of reality.

After finishing school, I decided to study Law, in order to understand how societies organize themselves. After my Bachelor, I went for a Master in comparative law, focusing on German Law.When I was about to finish my Master in Germany, an opportunity came up to go and study in Delhi, at JNU. Because of my passion for martial arts (I started my martial arts journey with Judo when I was 7), I always wanted to go and spend time in China – so, there was this idea in my mind since a young age that I wanted to travel to Asia. So, I went. I signed up for a M.Phil. programme in International law. The idea was to get a non-Western perspective on globalisation and experience a non-Western culture. Honestly, at that time, I did not know much about India and I was not particularly drawn to it. It was more an opportunity I seized to deepen my exploration of the world we live in, of pluralism and the challenges of intercultural dialogue.

This was in 1994. India had not opened up to the global market then and lots of our discussions in the diverse classes were about: should India open up or not? JNU was also a very interesting place: being an All India University, I had friends from all over India. So many different languages, cultures, religions, communities… Pluralism indeed! My stay and my studies in India increased my awareness of the challenges of intercultural dialogue: I realized how Western international law was… and how Western Indian law was, as a legacy from the British. So, I started wondering: what about all those who are excluded from these “modern, Western” dynamics.

It is in India that I started deepening my knowledge of anthropology and that I consciously started to explore possible ways of bringing together law and anthropology in order to map out more inclusive, more dialogical ways of living together. It is when I came back from India, that I did my Master in legal anthropology in Paris and that I started to work on the question of Human Rights and Intercultural Dialogue which then became  Ph.D. topic. My question was: how can we live together in harmony and peace in our contemporary global society where awareness of pluralism is increasing?

Law, Globalisation and Intercultural Dialogue: https://youtu.be/iqaISXlzIxo

Savvy :What did you want to become in your growing years?

Christoph : When people asked me what I wanted to do in my life when I finish my studies, I always answered: Peace. I did not know how it would manifest. But I felt I have to work for peace. To echo what I said at the beginning, I realized that this meant for me: peace and harmony with oneself, others, our environment and beyond. And I should add this: if we kill everyone and everything, we may have peace. But this is a dead peace. And I am not talking only about “outside”. If we kill our emotions, thoughts, dreams etc. we may experience a kind of dull peace. But this is dead. I was always interested in living peace. How to have peace amongst all our diversity, our different points of views, our conflicts etc., internally and externally, individually and collectively? This is why dialogue is so important to me. Peace, harmony and dialogue are intimately connected.

 

Savvy : Could you share about this journey you are on…What brings you to India now?

Christoph:The journey is a journey of peace and dialogue. It is a journey of sharing, discovering, becoming. From 1995 where I started my work on Human Rights and Intercultural dialogue up to 2013, I mainly expressed this journey in an academic setting as a professor and researcher. I brought together scholars from all over the world and from many different disciplines (law, anthropology, economics, sociology, political science, philosophy etc.) to map out paths for a responsible and dialogical living together in our contemporary era of globalisation. We published a number of collective books and I also wrote my own books. I see them as spaces allowing different sensibilities to unfold. In a certain way, I was lucky that I did not really fit the system. I always found myself in a quite precarious situation as I did not match the existing boxes. I never fit in, but at the same time I had a foot in “the system” as some people saw the relevance of my work and supported me. Private foundations funded my research projects – and I am really very grateful to them for that! The Academic world is very competitive. “Publish or perish!” At the beginning, being enthusiastic about my research projects intending to contribute to a better world, and also needing to establish a legitimate base, I carried out more research, especially on the question of dialogue between different systems of knowledge (like for example modern medicine and traditional medicines). I started to use my free time, to deepen the traditions of knowledge I was interested in. I especially deepened my knowledge of Yoga in India and of the internal martial arts and life nourishing practices in China. I also started sharing them with friends on a regular basis.

I decided to start teaching Yoga, Taiji Quan, Qi Gong and the beautiful arts of Wudang Shan. I decided to let things unfold naturally.  One thing I have learned is that anything of value can only happen if the source flows. Let the source flow. If it does, vegetation will start to grow, animals will come, humans will settle, whole civilisations may flourish. Take the water away and nothing can subside. So currently, I have decided to put myself at the disposal of those who want to work with me, while keeping enough time to continue to deepen my practices. I am teaching on a regular basis in the South of France and I am giving some workshops internationally. I have also kept in touch with diverse research institutions and do some work with them. In the long run, a dream would be to open a center where we could share the beautiful and enriching traditions of art and knowledge of our world and make them dialogue!

The last years when I came to India, it was especially in order to deepen my knowledge of Yoga and also to meet different people who are holders of traditional knowledge to learn from them and also to exchange on how they see the challenges of their traditions in the contemporary context. In a certain way, my travels have become pilgrimages. This year, my pilgrimage in India took me from the Himalayas all the way down to Kanyakumari. I met many beautiful people and had many enriching exchanges. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to be able to meet people and to have the time to exchange with them.

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Savvy :You have gone on to seek and imbibe the learning of the east, have you always been attracted to the wisdom of the east so to say?

Christoph : The East is where the sun rises. Where the light starts shining. In that sense, yes, I was always attracted to the wisdom of the East. But it is not so much the geographical East, than this spiritual East I have been attracted to. Geographically, I also seem to have a connection with Asia. All together, I spent a few years living in India! And I also spent a few years living in China. And lots of the time spent there was devoted to practice and deepen some of their spiritual paths. But I am also deeply appreciative of my European traditions, the “spiritual” ones as well as the “secular” ones.

 

Savvy : Certainly! Spirituality may seem elusive and yet its  presence is boundless in the path of awareness of every now.  What were your challenges along the way?

Christoph: It is not easy to walk a path which is not a mainstream one. I wanted to work for peace. This put me into quite precarious situations. I was the top student in all the Masters I did – and they were from top world universities and I wrote my theses with the world leading experts in the respective fields. On paper, I was the best. And initially, I felt some sense of entitlement: as the best, you should be given a scholarship, you should be selected for a job… But this is not what happens when you honestly try to follow a path that does not really fit in… although it may make people dream of better tomorrows. So you learn humility. You learn to open up your eyes to all the other people around you who also have amazing things to share, but for whom nobody cares. At some point, because you have to keep on fighting all of the time, you start to feel like a hero who is sacrificing himself for the world. While your friends start to get established, start a family, move into a nice house, climb their career ladder, you are still “going nowhere”. You are a loser. So, your ego plays this trick and tells you: you are a hero! You are working for everybody, for the good of all! To let go of this is a big lesson of humility. No, you are not special. No, your mission is not to save the world. Be human. Try to live a humane life. Your struggles are not different from that of any one of us, even if you like to coat them in sweet illusions of helping the world.

Being more humble and more simple also allows to be “less full of oneself”. So, we start to be able to give more space to those we encounter. We start to fill our lives less. And we start to discover its plenitude more and more. It is a beautiful journey. But at some point, as Robert Vachon from the Intercultural Institute of Montreal, a great friend and a big inspiration for me, used to say: “it is crucifying but liberating.”

Life is beautiful. Suffering we have to go through can teach us to become aware of its beauty, to listen, to open up.

 

Savvy: Yes indeed! And now with so much achieved in such a short span of time what are your goals now?

Christoph :Wuwei: action in non-action, letting that which has to manifest manifest naturally.

The Dream Within: https://youtu.be/7Gcs0teb8X0

Savvy: To the uninitiated healing movement practices sound abstract and difficult to comprehend what do you say to that? And how accepting is the western world to it today? Have you had to work at diluting and channelling the learning for the Western World especially who have no background of this at all?

 Christoph: If you talk about Qi Gong / Taiji Quan / Yoga, I would say: Practice! Taste! There is not much use in talking a lot about these things. Practice and see what happens. Taste and experience. And then draw conclusions if you want or just enjoy the journey. There is a Taoist saying: “Empty your head and fill your belly!” This means: Stop thinking and nourish your energy, which initially can be gathered in the lower dantien, an energy center situated at the level of the belly. As long as we are agitated, energy cannot gather. We have to become still.

How accepting is the Western world of that? These practices have been around for quite a while now. Many people know about them and are in one way or another exposed to them. They have also become very fashionable. I think Yoga is currently the biggest wellness / fitness industry… and the Chinese arts are catching up. In the process, they get commodified, institutionalized. They get turned into sports, into therapies…

On an individual level, there is no particular problem to share those arts with people who are interested in them. On a more global level there is more politics involved because it is about the access to the health / wellness / fitness market. On the medical side, there is still a predominance of Western medicine, but non-Western medicines are increasingly gaining recognition.

Maybe I should clarify, that Qi Gong, the art to master energy, encompasses different orientations. Qi Gong for life nourishing: keeping yourself healthy and increasing your vitality. Qi Gong for healing: mastering energy for healing oneself or others. Qi Gong for martial arts: building up one’s power for martial arts. Qi Gong for spiritual practice: building up the necessary energy for the internal journey. My focus and interest has essentially been on the two last ones. Health was more of a side effect for me, not a reason why I practiced it. It is only now, because of what people need, that I start to deepen the specific health aspects more. So, my answers are obviously different from the ones a practitioner of TCM, traditional Chinese medicine, would give.

Is there a need for diluting the teachings in the West? I feel there is no specific problem about East or West or North or South. At the beginning, everybody is a beginner. Every journey starts with the first step. And every teaching situation is a meeting between somebody who wants to learn something and somebody who can teach. The Taoist approach is to make oneself available. You are not here to promote what you are or what you do. If people are interested, you share. That’s all. There is no place for trying to convince people or for proving your point. You are interested? Look there is this gate! You want to enter? Enter! You will have to enter by yourself. You are the one who makes the journey.

Then of course, you have people of various backgrounds – so, you try to speak their language, so that they can understand you, at least as much as is necessary to be able to work on the level they are on. The beauty is that you have practices. I have shared certain things with friends who did not speak a common language with me, where I just knew a few common words. But you can show. The person can experience. So, you can learn. I myself only speak very basic Chinese and often I was in situations in China where there was nobody around speaking anything else – so, I also learned a lot just by observing and practicing. Theory is interesting. It also has its usefulness. But the important thing is to practice and to taste your practice. One of my masters said: “Taste every movement like a good cup of tea.” First, enjoy! And then, taste! Taste! And so, little by little you start to taste yourself and you start to come to know yourself a bit more.

The essence is simple: relax, align, be aware.

 

Taiji and Yoga Philosophy: https://youtu.be/vUEV0HhXfSU

 

Savvy:  Speaking of when one begins the journey to internalize the wisdom of healing movements what kind of changes can happen to oneself.

Chrisroph
: It depends where you start from and how much you practice. Many things happen on many levels. The most important thing is the development of a gentle awareness of yourself and little by little of others, your surroundings and beyond. Some people realize that they breathe – something they never experienced before consciously. They become aware of the quality of their breath, of how it changes. They start discovering their bodies, emotions, mind more. They start to become aware of their tensions and start to experience the possibility to relax. I have started martial arts quite early, when I was seven. So, somehow they were always part of my life. When I was thirty, I went to the North of China for a year to practice internal martial arts. I practiced a lot every day. That was the only thing I had to do. I spent hours and hours every day sitting, standing, moving in slow motion… breathing, being aware. There was also more dynamic training involved. There you witness more dramatic changes. Your body becomes healthier, your energy level rises and your mind becomes stiller and clearer. Your experience depends a lot on what you look for and how deeply you get involved. If you can only practice one hour a week, your experience will be different. What is common, is that you will taste being more aware, open, relaxed, centered, aligned. And this will have effects on the rest of your life. Some people start with one practice. Little by little, it affects their whole life and they change their life style: how they sleep, eat, work, interact with others, nature… and themselves!
Savvy: Could you in brief discuss the effect Qi gong have beyond the physical body — on the emotions, the mind and the spirit?

Christoph : In the arts of Wudang Shan that I practice, the path is quite straight forward. First, you have to gather vitality, jing. Jing has to be refined into a more subtle energy, Qi. Qi has to be further refined into mind, Shen. Mind has to be opened up. It has to open up to Wuji, that which is beyond, the fundamental openness, the non manifest. At this point, one becomes one with the Dao, one with everything. And then of course the Dao will manifest in our mind which will manifest in our energy which will manifest in our vitality which will manifest in how we are outwardly.

Another way of looking at it is that you gradually open up and relax into being. First, you open up on the physical level, then on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Finally you open up at the cosmic level and beyond. All levels are interlinked. By opening up more and more, you also center and align yourself more and more. You discover your unity. Harmony sets in gradually. When everything is harmonized, it can be said that you are fundamentally healthy. In Taoist terms, you become an immortal. In India, you would say you become a Buddha or a jivanmukhta, an enlightened being.

Wudang Taiji Quan: https://youtu.be/rRisuOJU_HI

Savvy: How relevant has Qigong and Tai chi training been personally to you in your intercultural beliefs and how can everyone benefit? How do you use / apply this wisdom in the challenges of life and living?

Christoph: Learn to taste. Learn to relax. Learn to be aware. Learn to be aligned. Learn to remain open. Beliefs are things we do not know. So, we accept certain things on faith… a lot actually! By learning to taste, we learn to experiment and to get firsthand experience of life. We live in the world of forms. Forms are limited. The wise man points at the moon. The fool looks at the finger. Starting to see the moon, gives us a better understanding of what the finger is about. The whole of creation is a big finger pointing to what is beyond. So, both these aspects are there. Once you start to get a little taste of what is beyond form, you gain a new perspective on forms. You see their relevance but you are less imprisoned by them. This helps to understand different points of view. It allows to “stand under” different horizons of intelligibility without losing one’s center, one’s alignment. It also helps to go through the existential crises of life without closing up completely. You become aware that being deeply shaken is part of Life’s manifestation. It teaches you to become more humble, more simple, more open and at the same time more aligned.

Savvy : Could you mention a bit on Internal and External Qi Gong.

Christoph : Qi Gong is basically part of Nei Gong, internal work. But then, as we mentioned before: all levels are interconnected. Energy is wonderful. But you have to have an adequate structure where it can circulate. So, there is a range of practices. Some emphasize more external aspects, strengthening and loosening up your body. Some emphasize more the energy work. Some little by little enter more the mind aspect of the work. Meditation and internal alchemy, practices of spiritual transmutation of what we are also part of the path. Think of the path of Ashtanga Yoga, the Eight Limbs Path of Yoga laid out by Patanjali: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi. Qi Gong can be equated to Pranayama. It occupies the same place in the Taoist system as pranayama does in the Yoga system. At one level, it is the bridge from the external to the internal work. As long as there is no conscious use of energy involved, one cannot really speak of Qi Gong – maybe of preparatory practices to Qi Gong. Once energy is there, everything can become a Qi Gong. And little by little, everything may become a meditation.

Tao. Chinese Path to Harmony and Health: https://youtu.be/xGftY69yQD0

 

Savvy What is your message to the world in this moment?

Christoph : Relax!…Which does not mean collapse! It means: Open up! Be aligned! Be aware!

Savvy: On a lighter note… Do you watch films and if so which are your favourite Martial Art films, I like a lot of them especially Ip man.

Christoph : I like movies and I do like martial arts movies. I also liked the Ip Man trilogy. When I was young, I especially enjoyed Jackie Chan movies – the traditional ones. I loved how he made his whole environment dance: he used not only his hands feet and weapons, but vases, benches, tables etc… Later in his action movies, the dance was expanded to helicopters, cars, boats, roller skates and what not! In each movie, he would come up with something new. And there was no computer animation then. They really did their stunts. In the old movies, I especially enjoyed the training sequences. They inspired me for my own training. With some friends, we also tried to pick up some moves we saw in his movies – they became little challenges for us: would we be able to do it? I also liked the positive vibe about his characters: usually a nice guy, getting himself into trouble without really looking for it. I thought a lot about why I liked his movies so much. For me they symbolize the cosmic dance. Action in every direction. And at the center? Jackie Chan, the open space. The humor in his fight scenes gives a spacious quality to his choreographies. You see life unfolding. You see his creativity manifesting in the middle of all this action to get him out of his predicament. I also like Jet Li a lot. But his choreographies are more like perfectly executed partitions of classical music. It is a different beauty. On a deep level I prefer Jackie Chan’s. Drunken Master was one of my favourite Jackie Chan movies. The first movie I saw of Jackie Chan was The Young Master – so it has a special relevance for me. A beautiful and very meaningful martial arts movie for me is Hero with Jet Li. There are many aspects in this movie. For me, it is especially a movie that captures the spirit of the sword. I saw it when I learned my first sword forms in China. The movie is beautiful. It shares many layers of depth of martial arts and of their philosophy and the visuals convey the purity and sharpness of the sword.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOO0Y_IDJOw&authuser=0

 

Savvy:   Finally what should I have asked and didn’t?

Christoph : We already talked too much! “He who speaks does not know. He who knows does not speak.”

Silence and Dialogue: https://youtu.be/gyvBhuGr5uY

Yes indeed!  And these very words say it all about this inspiring man and his path. Do join me as I wish him good luck in all his future endeavours towards world peace and well being.

Savvy  

 

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Savvy Raj & Christoph Eberhard

@ Raasta Cafe Pune India

 

For more information on Christoph do visit his You Tube Channel Dialogues for Change

here :

https://www.youtube.com/DialoguesForChange

About the Author:

1495804195999

 

Ms Savvy Raj is a Dance Educator and Corporate Wellness Trainer she conducts workshop in Social Dances, Holistic Well Being as well as Personal Effectiveness.  She is a Member of the International Dance Council UNESCO the official world wide organization for all forms of dance. As She is a certified adult trainer who uses the creative medium of dance towards bringing empathetic consciousness in her students. Using International Social dance forms and a variety of improvisational techniques as well as creative movement exercises she brings forth the human connect in it all. Working towards the development of an individual through dance applications and nurturing in the learners an enthusiasm to see and live life lovingly.

Savvy is also Certified Graphologist who pursues this as a hobby in her spare time along with a passion for writing, painting, poetry, drawing, sketching and designing.

It is often the steps we choose to take consistently that makes the dream a reality.

And the choice rests with us.

Savvy Raj


3 Comments

Speaking Pictures 2

​She seems calm and composed and at complete ease .

A pretty picture of her face framed by her curly locks.

She seems to know more than she wants to tell

Her smile seems to sense much more as well

Her truth is hers alone, as her lips may seal

Oh! but what all a good capture can reveal.

 

Our personna is so transparent on the verge

Of Shadows thrown open to light

The  inner and outer may merge

And unmask thoughts that may be shut tight.

Shadows of past out in the open today

And capture thoughts  held at bay

All it takes to know is a shutters click

In perfect timing of  what to shoot & pick

Savvy
This picture was shared on one of my networks in Social Media  and I felt compelled to take a second glance …. the picture spoke much and my pen had to flow to capture the thoughts on this pretty capture.

Light on the dark

Emotions unveiled

Of memories & musings 

A photo reveals it all!

Savvy 

Amazing Photo of a Beautiful Child 😊

Full credits to the brilliant photographer.


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Circle of Thoughts:11

 

 

A vision a verse by Savvy Raj

http://wp.me/p6a0yZ-1hZ

 

 

 

 

 

Steering of thoughts is a conscious movement

To choose the thoughts we wish to focus

Is discarding a lot of thoughts in deliberation 

And finding the ones to concentrate upon. 

 

Savvy Raj

 This above  digital artwork  Titled ‘Circles of thoughts:9 is a creative interpretation of encircling thoughts, The verses that follow is the ninth  part of my series of micro poems on interconnecting thoughts.  

 Although written in different time and context ,the above verses somewhere connect strongly with my recent poem https://savvyraj.com/2017/08/18/step-out-of-your-own-way  Do check if you sense the link. 

Savvy 



To be contd … 

Related links to read more…

/https://savvyraj.com/circles-of-thoughts/1

/https://savvyraj.com/circle-of-thoughts-2/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/03/circle-of-thoughts-3

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/06/circle-of-thoughts-4/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/08/circle-of-thoughts-5/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/08/circle-of-thoughts-6/

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/08/circle-of-thoughts-7/

http://wp.me/p6a0yZ-1hZ

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/17/circle-of-thoughts-8

https://savvyraj.com/2017/06/18/circle-of-thoughts-9

https://savvyraj.com/2017/07/01/circle-of-thoughts-10