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The Dragon's Head Blog: Virtues in Action

During a Saturday morning international meeting, one of the directors of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism passed on this teaching from Master Moy regarding the eight virtues: We are not working on virtues. Virtues are working on us. The calligraphy of a virtue is activated to transform us if we welcome it with sincerity.

I thought: instead of being impressed by the virtues and by the values they convey, I could let myself be worked by them in the same way that the movements of Taoist Tai Chi® transform me little by little.

When I look at one of these calligraphies, I imagine a small masked warrior with a sword who will travel inside my universe to amputate the roots of my resistances. I put the symbol on my phone to see it every day and I reproduce it several times in ink. Then I let the work happen.

The days and nights that follow reveal a little more to me. It is not always relaxing to lift the veil on an inner resistance to one or another of the eight virtues. What I learn in this process surprises me, moves me and shakes me up but also soothes me from the moment I accept that I don’t understand everything.

A few months ago I learned that the virtue of sacrifice is linked to the heart. I asked myself this question: “Sincerity, spontaneity, rightness and selflessness, if I let these inclinations guide me in all circumstances, will I find the courage to do what is right?”  In the past in situations of emergency or danger, I would quickly lose my nerve, as if I were paralyzed. But yesterday, as three drunken men started fighting, glass bottle of wine in hand, in a subway car I was riding, I immediately pressed the intercom and reported the situation to the train conductor. I didn’t recognize myself. A few months ago, I would have been frozen in my stupor. The only thing I remember thinking between the moment I heard the voices rising and saw the glass bottle threatening the head of one of the men was: “how do we keep this from going too far for these men as well as the passengers?” The rest came without thinking. I had just come out of a Taoist Tai Chi® session where we had been working on balance in the sequence “moving the hands like clouds” when this happened. Both the virtues and the physical practice of balance helped me to react quickly in this situation.

By discovering the buried source of a resistance to a virtue among distant memories, I have the impression of creating a space inside my body and bringing more light to my consciousness. Who is digging within me like this? Who is this little masked warrior who takes on different faces according to the virtue that calls me? Could this silhouette emerging out of calligraphy be the part of my conscience that seeks the light? The meeting between a symbol and my spark of goodness?  ~Laure

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