Friday, March 19, 2010

The Tao of The Kettlebell - Verse 4

The Tao is empty
but inexaustible,
the ancestor of all.

Within it, the sharp edges become smooth;
the twisted knots loosen;
the sun is softened by a cloud;
the dust settles into place.

It is hidden but always present.
I do not know who gave birth to it.
It seems to be the common ancestor of all, the father of all things.


In Wayne Dyer's book, Change your Thoughts, Change Your Life, he calls this Fourth Verse of the Tao Te Ching, "Living Infinitely."  One of the things I love and admire about Wayne Dyer's writing and teaching is how simple and accessible he makes God.  Which is really the tone of this Verse.  This Verse has God written all over it.  "The ancestor of all", "hidden but always present", "twisted knots loosen."  Whatever an individual's belief in a higher power are, is not the issue here.  The issue is the acknowledgment that, whether it's God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, or The Force, there is a higher power and ultimately, that higher power, has a consciousness far beyond our limited capacity as humans to grasp it.  At least fully.  And this has to do with strength how?

Let's dig into the Verse a little and see what we can find...

The Tao is empty but inexaustible, bottomless, the ancestor of us all.

Approach your strength training as such.  Empty can also mean open.  Leave your ego out of the practice of strength and be open to new ideas and techniques.  Be inexaustible and bottomless in your quest for knowledge of strength.  And in your practice as well.  If the Tao is bottomless, then there is no end in sight.  It is inexaustible, meaning the fire of the Tao will never go out.  The ancestor (creator) of us all, then there is an abundance of everything and all is possible.

Can you connect or reconnect to this source of everything?  The Bible tells us that God made man is His image.  When you look at science, we are all made up of tiny atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, hydrogen, water, and so on and so forth.  All being held together by what?  Gravity?  Yes, but isn't it all just some happy accident?  I doubt it.  Regardless, there is a powerful energy out there.  And we are a part of that energy.  We can choose to connect to it in this life or wait until our own candle extinguishes, but mark my words, we all will be rejoined with this energy sooner or later.  You, I, we are a part of and a piece of God.  God made flesh.

The challenge now becomes allowing yourself to tap into and get to know the infinite side of yourself.  When you become aware of this side, thoughts of "I can't" or "it's too heavy" suddenly don't apply anymore.  "Ifs" become "whens" and "shortage and lack" ironically become lacking in your life and thoughts.  Whether your training to complete the Right of Passage from Enter the Kettlebell, tackle all the protocols from Viking Warrior Conditioning, or achieve a Four Hour Workweek, having this connection with your infinite self will do nothing but bring your dreams and goals clearly into sight.

Within it, the sharp edges become smooth; the twisted knots loosen; the sun is softened by a cloud; the dust settles into place.

Within it (the Tao) sharp edges become smooth.  When you allow the energy to flow into you and are connected to the infinite side of yourself, your strength too will flow smoothly.  With this connection, the knots, the things that have tied you down in the past, held you back will loosen.  The things that burn you, will be extinguished.  The dust settling into place is permission to turn your dreams into goals, perform at your absolute best and then let it all go, allowing that which already exists to arrive right on time.

It is hidden but always present.  I do not know who gave birth to it.  It seems to be the common ancestor of all, the father of things.

God is a mystery.  Trying to fully understand God is like trying to fully understand gravity.  God, like gravity, just is.  There are a lot of theories about it, but no one proof or solution.  One thing that is common and definite is that they both keep us together.

The question I have for myself and for you now is:  Can the cultivation of strength, through the physical body, be a gateway - like meditation - to connect with your infinite self and the infinite source, our common ancestor, the father of things?

I know my answer.  What's yours?


  1. Great article! Fantastic content and very eloquently written =) It's amazing how your words always come at a time I need to read them! The "infinite side of myself" has been hiding and my workouts and motivation in general have been suffering! ...though until I read this I didn't realize what was causing it! I guess I've been limiting myself in ways I hadn't done in the past year. Thanks for the eye-opener!!!

  2. I like it, it's another little nudge that I continue to need to get closer to starting my workouts and discovery...

  3. Wow, your blog has all the Tao Tao signs of a wonder-filled soul who keeps inspiring me. You're darn right there is a connection. I mean, this whole past week, I could have walked several mornings, but I was so buried by my worries and depression about how much I owe EVERYONE--forgot to include the TAO!--that I lay in bed, comforting myself, which is okay, but perhaps the walk would have brought about a deeper comfort and an expression of all the emotions that are just sitting inside of me, slowshing around and giving me little if any energy. So thanks for the inspiration. I got to get back to listening to good ol Tao when I walk.