Thursday, March 2, 2017
By: William A Rogers
I was introduced to Sun Tzu’s ancient Chinese classic The Art of War in 1968. I was in the United States Army stationed at Fort Hood Texas. At this time military intelligence was trying to find answers to explain how an army of farmers were about to defeat the mighty U.S. military forces in Viet Nam. Ho Chi Minh’s (founder of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam) famous answer was “we are defeating the mighty imperialist forces by using “Sun Tzu’s Art of War.” That statement created a whole new generation of strategists that follow the teachings of Master Sun.
Over the years I have become a great admirer of the strategic concepts of this mysterious Taoist warrior-philosopher. The strategic concepts found in Sun Tzu’s work have had a major influence not only in strategic military training but also in the national and international business communities as well.
When teaching my course on Chinese classics like the Art of War and the I Ching at The City College of New York, I find students at first have some difficulty in understand how the true art of war is peace. According to the teachings of Master Sun, How to win without fighting is the foundation of his strategy.
I always recommend reading the Art of War translated by Thomas Cleary who explains Master Sun’s teachings this way “This ideal strategy whereby one could win without fighting accomplish the most by doing the least, bears the characteristic stamp of Taoism, the ancient tradition of knowledge that fostered both the healing arts and the martial arts in China.”
In Cleary’s introduction he captures the spirit of this classic book of strategy by writing about an ancient Taoist story where a lord of China asked his physician, a member of a family of healers, which of them was the most skilled in the art.
The physician whose reputation was such that his name became synonymous with medical science in China, replied, “My eldest brother sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so his name does not get out of the house.
“My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minute, so his name does not get out of the neighborhood. As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe potions, and massage skin, so from time to time my name gets out and is heard among the lords.”
This story follows Master Sun’s concept of deep knowledge, according to the writings of Master Sun “Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity.
Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working in the world without being affected by the world, carrying out task without being obstructed by tasks.”
Master Sun also writes that “With deep knowledge of principle, one can change disturbance into order, change danger into safety, change destruction into survival, change calamity into fortune. By strong action on the Way, one can bring the body to the realm of longevity, bring the mind to the sphere of mystery, bring the world to great peace, and bring tasks to great fulfillment”.
The true Art of War is peace both external and internal.
Over the years I have learned that the best way to navigate the objective conditions in life is to try to find a balance between mind, body and spirit. No two people are alike there are always differences in human nature, even in identical twins. It is important to understand yourself during this period of frequency change in our universe. Finding balance in your life is no longer an option it is rapidly becoming a necessity. Nature is selective and for those who chose to ignore the need to find balance will have difficulty making the cut.
If you are reading this dialog it is for a reason, all things happen for a reason and there is no such thing as a coincidence. A coincidence is a message from the mind of the universe. There has always been natural holistic ways to improve our quality of life. Many of us have lost our intuitive ability to find internal balance due to our external search for a perceived happiness. “Looking for love in all the wrong places” is the saying. The first step in finding balance is to understand that without love of self an external search for love will be never ending.
Wellness is very important to those who love themselves. Finding balance in our personal wellness options is also important. The more you learn about holistic wellness options the greater your ability will be to selection the option that will bring balance to your life. If you are eating the wrong foods, you should learn how to bring balance to your diet by eating some of the right foods or how to naturally detox harmful elements from your body.
Many people are looking for natural wellness options to address illness and to focus on preventive health maintenance and not reactive to heath issue that usually develop over a period of time. The saying “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” has some truth to it. Finding balance with your health is looking at ways to naturally improve your health, to bring balance to many of the things that you do or experience that may not be good for your health.
April 29th to May 6th is the dates for Harlem Holistic Wellness Week 2017. The objective of this natural wellness week is to allow those who are interested in exploring natural preventive options to their health to learn about the different services available to them. Wellness practitioners, organizations and businesses will have the opportunity to advertise in the special wellness section that will be in the April 27th holistic health section of the Harlem Community News paper.
Harlem based wellness organizations will be encouraged to provide special discounts and programs to motivate interested individuals to discover wellness and preventive health strategies that can improve the quality of their lives.
If you would like more information on Harlem Holistic Wellness Week send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be an event calendar in the April 27th issue. If you have a wellness business and you would like information on advertising and marketing of your services or product use the above email address or call 646 329-6727.
Remember without your health nothing else is really that important and all healing begins internally. Finding balance with your mind, body and spirit is the best way to start the internal healing process; try not to wait until you become ill to start thinking about this.