Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dear Friends,

In the following discussion, for our purpose, self discipline and inner peace can be interchanged. Another way to define inner peace is self discipline through the practice of harmony. There are many diverse ways of achieving inner peace; this is also one of the principles of harmony. For example, some achieve inner peace through scholarly accomplishments or higher goals in commerce, religion, and philanthropy. Ultimately, for lasting inner peace, one must practice sustainable self discipline. For self discipline to work it must be a consistent process and sustainable through life. Relying on outside stimulation is not sustainable through life.

To sustain self discipline, one needs to combine higher goals with some form of regular personal practice such as writing with a theme, calligraphy, meditation, yoga, Taichi, dancing, singing, or contemplating nature and beauty. For most people it usually is a combination of diverse methods. There is no one single solution. In a world of diverse cultures, harmony opens a world of diverse self discipline practices.

For myself, I complement my self discipline with harmony belief and regular Taichi practices. I have been at it for over thirty years. Frankly, self discipline with harmony has been more difficult to achieve than many of my other career undertakings. It is my final challenge. Taichi, which means ultimate in Chinese, is a form of moving meditation, and self defense. Taichi embraces the ultimate harmony principle of soft conquers hard. In Taichi you yield but maintain your balance and your conviction in the ultimate harmony principle. This conviction is hard to maintain in life when force and war often temporarily succeed. But the dark (invisible) energy in the eternal universe proves that Ying (the soft) contains Yang (the hard).

Harmony and Taichi yielding to absorb confrontation does not mean giving up nor defeatist belief. Far from it, harmony is an advocacy and everlasting, just like the universe. As a fluid mechanics major, I imaging myself as moving like a fluid when practice Taichi. Fluid, the softest material, in the form of water and air goes around what is in their way and eventually wears out the hardest object. While they are blocked they will continually build up their resistance to overcome. Water can float and sink the mightiest ship. Air as light as it is, can lift and tail spin the biggest air borne vehicle human can conceive.

Harmony, as order of dynamic balance, advocates soft overcomes hard and Ying contains Yang. When harmony is practiced like the motions of fluids it instills that conviction. Coupled with personal consistent practice like Taichi, meditation, or yoga, harmony can be sustaining. In Chinese teaching there is a saying "XIU SHEN, QI JIA, ZI GUO, PING TIEN ZIA". In today's conflicting world the appropriate translation is "Self discipline, Family unity, Democracy, World Harmony". In world culture it is also important to quote "Be proud you are citizens of the world and not citizens of one country".

May Harmony Prevail in the World !

Francis C. W. Fung, Ph. D.

Director General
World Harmony Organization.

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