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Trinity Tai Chi Lesson 7: Harness in and Let Go

The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.

Exodus 14:14

I used to windsurf. It was the most difficult sport I have ever attempted to learn. Not only was it physically demanding, but there was never a constant circumstance from which to learn. The elements were always changing; the water, the wind, the size of my sail, the fin I chose to use, the board I was riding. Of course the wind and the water conditions were never the same.

But isn't that how life is? We never really have a consistent condition under which to operate assuredly.

Even in learning Tai Chi and Qigong the same is true. Our body, our spirit and our mind are never in the exact place or condition as the prior day.

In windsurfing, there is one very scary, but necessary step in moving from a beginner windsurfer to an intermediate one. And that is to "harness in." This is a practice in which we wear a large belt around our waist with a metal hook on it, and with that hook, we attach ourselves...our complete body, to the sail. We become locked in. Our feet go into stirrups on the board, and our body becomes harness onto the sail. It is a terrifying when first learning to do it.

However, by harnessing in, one can generate so much more power and experience the exhilaration of breaking free from the inherent drag of the water and then, planing. Once planing, the board skims the surface, the ride smooth out, the control gets easier and the speed compounds. It is an absolute rush. It is like being in another dimension.

One never can achieve this absolute effortless freedom and speed without harnessing in. In fact, as I learned about myself during windsurfing, the more I attempted to control the sail, control the steering, control the board, the harder I worked and more counterproductive I was.

But on the day I finally gathered the courage and faith to harness in and literally let go of the sail.....I FLEW!!!! Once I got out of the way, the magic happened.

Susan planing for the first time.

I think Tai Chi is like this. The more we try to control our movements, control our mind, control the energy, the more elusive and difficult it all becomes. But if we can learn to harness in and let go, then the energy starts to flow, the magic starts to happen.

What is harnessing in and letting go in Tai Chi or Qigong? It is entering into Wuji - into that vast emptiness where we are no longer our ego, where we no longer exist as the boundaries of our "selves", our skin, our bodies or our identity. We become energy instead of effort. We stop trying to control.

And of course, I believe life is like this too.

If we can learn to harness in (to God) and let go, the easier our life becomes.

The scripture encourages us to "keep silent and remain calm." You know how HARD it is to keep calm and stay silent when things around you seem to be going badly! Our responses in such situations are typically not one of harnessing in and letting go. Instead, we fight the sail, we try to steer the board, and we expend a lot of energy most likely to no avail.

We forget that we can ask for help. Divine help. Instead, we take control.

An interesting research point: when brainwaves are mapped during times of stress, or times when we are trying to change matter with matter (our own efforts) our brain becomes more incoherent, with brainwaves fighting and opposing rather than aligning. This causes us to create even more stress inside our bodies.

We can not effectively solve a problem when our brain is incoherent. Incoherent brain waves only creates more incoherent brain waves. It is just like we are fighting the sail (and not harnessing in) and creating more hard work with less effective outcomes. It is a tremendous expenditure of energy.

When the brain is calm and silent (like the scripture encourages us to do) our brain waves start to align, entraining and creating more coherence. In this coherent state, we can see and hear solutions and connect to the divine source.

This is harnessing in and letting go. We are no longer attempting to change matter with matter. We are creating energy from which the change will occur.

If we can meditate through sitting, Tai Chi or Qigong (the word “meditate” shows up 19 times in the book of Psalms), then we quiet our brain waves; we raise your energy. We become more energy rather than spending energy.

We become MORE like HIM. We grow closer. God is Energy (remember the expanse?)!! Our brain becomes more coherent, we are more calm and this energy, this place is where and when the Holy Spirit can fill us; can move within us, through us and for us.

When we are more energy rather than matter, the answer, the right answer, will come to us. We will not have to pursue it.

"The Lord will fight for you. You only need to let go - to become still and calm."

So harness in and let go!

After many years of windsurfing and realizing how much work I was creating for myself by trying to take control, I finally started to be able to harness in and let go. It was such a profound discovery, about myself, about life, about God. I then coined the term "Harness in and Let go" and carved it into my Road ID bracelet. I'm wearing it right now!


Help me to harness in let go.

Let me feel the solid foundation You provide

And to find balance, power and exhilaration in life;

Toward the life You have planned for me.

Lift me from the torrent and current

And let me harness into You.

Then I can be released and fly

To the life you want for me.


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