XXVI – “The heavy is the root of the light”

The heavy is the root of the light;

The still is the lord of the restless.

Therefore the gentleman when travelling all day

Never lets the heavy-laden carts out of his sight.

It is only when he is safely behind wall and watchtowers

That he rests peacefully and is above worries.

How, then, should a ruler of ten thousand chariots

Make light of his own person in the eyes of the empire?

If light, then the root is lost;

If restless, then the lord is lost.


Oh to let the heavily-laden carts of my life’s work out of sight! Oh, to be secure within myself… to be safe within my walls and watchtowers, to rest peacefully, to be rooted. In tai chi, I practise this by scanning my movements. I see how a stable, rooted right leg makes for an active, light left leg. When I stand still, I know that I am rooted to the earth, and that I can move on the earth too, when I choose. It is when I practise that I am safely behind walls and watchtowers, and if I don’t, I am lost.





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