Aug 23, 2009 Receiving mercy does not prepare one for battle
Each Sunday morning t’ai chi/sensing hands practice reinvigorates me for another week of fighting for justice for my clients, and doing so without anger, with continued zest for the battles and wars, with powerful calmness, and with no fear.
As I sometimes say to my particularly skilled push hands/sensing hands partners: "I want no mercy from you, just as I usually do not get it from prosecutors or opposing witnesses, and sometimes not from judges, either." Some t’ai chi partners take those words particularly literally, and keep finding my stiffness to push successfully against, smiling and sometimes chuckling all the way, without giving me much opportunity to regroup from the last successful push against me. This teaches me where the stiffness remains, how it comes about, and how to soften it. The goal is to become as soft as air or water, giving the opponent nothing to push against, and being as powerful as a tornado or tidal wave.
I keep learning not to resist any pushing, but to yield as best I can to it; to resist any push harder than the push itself is to make the push all the more powerful. Of course, when the opponent pushes, the opponent may reveal some of his or her own stiffness, imbalance or weakness. The moment must be seized to take advantage of such weaknesses, and to turn each received push attempt into a strategic advantage. To miss being in the moment can be fatal.
To reach powerful t’ai chi softness, it is critical to erase thoughts and words of "Prosecutor S____ is an a**hole," "Judge F___ is a tyrant," or "police officer P_____" is a lying sack of sh*t." Instead, it is important to actively and openly sense and listen to what is going on with each of them on the path to harmonizing the client’s situation as best as possible. To do otherwise is to stiffen up, to prevent important sensing and information from entering into my own strength, and to be preoccupied with what MIGHT happen as opposed to what is happening right this moment. To do otherwise helps assure they will not try to rise above my own negative expectations of them. We are all connected, so we are all able to reach great heights and pathetic depths. The key is to try to bring others to heights helpful to us, and to harmonize away from the depths.
Of course one must prepare for battle, have the necessary tools and weapons for battle, and know how to do battle. The goal is to be so prepared for battle that one is fully rehearsed, and, therefore, powerfully relaxed at all stages of the battle, through perpetual practice, perpetual application of the relaxation principles of t’ai chi or whatever other relaxation methods that work for the litigation fighter, and success in a good balance of diet, rest, exercise, and harmonious living. Jon Katz.