Why Moods Change

Eight Trigrams

Circle Walking,

I Ching and our emotions.

Walking around in circles. We all do it. In ba gua, practicing the Tao art of circle walking according to the eight trigrams of the I Ching, we walk around in circles. So what’s the attraction?

Mood Changes or Reality?

Mood changes, highs and lows, good and bad, happy and sad, lethargic and energetic, optimistic or pessimistic, our mood changes have a great impact upon our experience of life and fashion our view of reality: if my mood describes my view of reality, how much is reality changing?

Mood changes are noted through their extremes. If you observe yourself, when the prevailing mood is neutral, a momentary pause, it is accompanied by restlessness. Moods are always moving. It is because they are moving in nature that they cause restlessness: when neutral mood prevails, the push is to an extreme. Feeling neither optimistic nor pessimistic-neutral-our energy impels us to look, to grasp ideas that may make us feel optimistic. In the extreme of happy we hang on; in the extreme of sad we reject. This is basic tai chi-the yin-yang xomplex that governs all phenomena.

Until we truly recognise how mood changes, we remain subject to the emotions and feelings associated with a mood. Rather than being a stable individual, we respond to and represent ourselves through our moods.

Ba Gua Solutions

Ba gua is not unique in offering solutions to restlessness and mood swings. As a form of meditation as well as dynamic movement it shares a common heritage with all the great traditions of martial arts, meditation and yoga. Among the many unique aspects of ba gua is just this capacity for the practitioner to make use of the energy that tends us towards extremes and redirect it towards stability, smoothness and clarity.

This is inherent in the practice when it is correctly undertaken. There is no intent necessary, one simply undertakes the circle walking, the arm postures, the palm changes.

Sunrise ba gua practice on the mountain.

Gradually the practitioner notices mood swings becoming less troublesome. Experiencing the energy of change directly in ba gua practice the mind becomes increasingly habituated to the experience of change as energy and change in form through movement.

Experience of change in Ba Gua Experience

To experience the directly the energy of change is truly wisdom in the same way that in vipassana the constant experience of seeing impermanence gives rise to wisdom-prajna in sanskrit. In ba gua, constantly experiencing the energy of change-how it feels at a bodily level, how it feels at an emotional level and experiencing how the mental process responds-generates another type of insight. The insight that can discriminate between energy and moods. At a bodily level, ease and fluidity in movement develops. We learn to walk fast and slow, smoothly changing around the circle with attention resting on the non moving.

At the summer ba gua retreat at Tourné, 27th July-4th August, all these aspects are investigated in a nature rich environment.


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