“The ground of Being within us is associated with the pelvic floor – the place where the brain in our gut rests. We should be cautious once more, though, not to be seduced by our culture’s idea that the peace of the female element of Being is “passive” – a word that makes it seem inert, phlegmatic, indifferent or sluggish. That popular view reveals more about the self-affirming values of the “known self” (the head-centric male aspect of consciousness) than about Being.

The female aspect of consciousness is not passive, but receptive – the very quality against which our inner tyrant defends itself. And although its receptivity might seem dormant from the sensation-deprived perspective of the “known self”, it is anything but. True, there is a sort of passivity to just receiving “what is” – but the nature of female receptivity carries us back to the roots of the word passive: it comes from the Latin ‘passivus”: “capable of suffering”, which traces back to the same Indo-European root as our words “patient” and “compassion”. You cannot receive all without suffering.

The still peace within which the female Being rests and burns and transforms is heroic – born out of self-achieved submission and sustained by a perfect receptivity that enables us to be present with what is, and with whatever is.

Our culture is so obsessed with the values of male doing that we lose touch with the profound stillness of the present that underlies all things. By disconnecting from it, we deplete the present of the very foundation on which its wholeness rests. To diminish our sense of the present, of course, is to diminish our own ability to be present: it is only in the felt stillness of the present that the self can come fully to rest. And that rest is not just an idea, nor is it some ethereal, rarified state: perfect rest is recognized first and foremost by what is happening in the body.

The grounded still point of your Being is your truest ally, the integrating genius from which spontaneous, perfect action arises. First, being. When your body yields first to the stillness of the present, and then to its currents, you will find that the timelessness of the still point creates timelessness in all your activities, imparting them with felicity and ease. When the Zen archery master executes the perfect shot and acknowledges that not he, but “It”, made the shot, he is referring to the all-informing stillness of “Being” out of which the shot arose. The way of the Tao is the way of supreme spontaneity: it is at once perfect activity, and perfect rest. Perfect activity is “doing” that is nourished by the perfect rest of Being. ”

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