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Persuasion through in-the-moment timeliness, emptiness, and removing blockages

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Taijiquan Pushing/sensing hands enables the practitioner to become a better practitioner and to gauge his or her development with taijiquan, determine how well the practitioner can maintain calmness in the eye of the storm, and to constantly improve the practitioner’s working with timing. As much as sitting meditation is helpful for being in the moment and obtaining harmony, I give first priority to practicing taijiquan daily due to all the foregoing benefits of this martial art, and much more. Moreover, taijiquan is a type of moving meditation that includes several forms of standing meditation.

When I first started joining the great Sunday taijiquan form and push hands gatherings in Montgomery County, Maryland, five years ago, one of my favorite sparring partners/teachers was, and remains, a radiologist who looks straight into my eyes during push hands with anticipation of seeing me move to higher levels of accomplishment. When I do not respond soon enough to his attack, he reminds me "too late" soon after I have little I can do to avoid being taken off my standing root. When I respond timely and well, he tells me so, as well.

Timing and timeliness are crucial not only in martial arts battle but in courtroom battle as well. Acting too early or late is a far cry from acting at the best moment. Knowing the best moment to act requires being in the moment and being fully present and listening to what is said and not said in words, body language, and instinct, uncluttered by facts, figures, data, documents and anticipation of bows and arrows that may never arrive. Full preparation with organization, memorization and strategizing are needed long before entering the battlefield, so that the lawyer will enter the courtroom uncluttered by any of that, about as empty as an airplane oxygen bag that serves as a conduit for oxygen without expanding much if at all. In the moment trial battle is akin to in-the-moment jazz improvisation intertwining with the other band members’ improvisation.

Emptying the mind of unnecessary clutter is crucial. One of the most accomplished trial lawyers I know absorbs all the voluminous and necessary data needed for a lengthy trial, and then empties out all that information as best he can at the trial’s conclusion, so that he may absorb new data for the next trial.

The mind and psyche should also be cleared as much as possible of negative energy and negative thoughts, starting with simply emptying unnecessary data. By doing so, and by operating with positive energy, I can best motivate and inspire my clients, judges, jurors, witnesses and others to act and decide to my clients’ favor, and not to be a barrier nor hurdle to doing so.

Daily, people and events challenge our ability to unclutter, trying to put more and more tasks on our plate, akin to the mail carrier who keeps having to deliver additional mail no matter how quickly s/he delivers what is currently in the mailbag. Unlike the postal carrier, we can prioritize and say yes or no to what does and does not go on the plate. Even the postal carrier can look at his or her ever-expanding mail carrying bag not as a burden but as contributing to his or her livelihood. The delivery of each piece of mail can become akin to a calm and ongoing meditation rather than a mad exercise in being like a mere cog in the machine.

All of today’s discussion boils down to being and living in the present moment. That removes the clutter and makes us better able to persuasively act at the right moment, rather than too soon nor too late.