Monday, December 09, 2019

Deep Wisdom Within Our Very Flesh

"The human body is not an instrument to be used, but a realm of one's being to be experienced, explored, enriched and, thereby, educated."
-  Thomas Hanna

"There is deep wisdom within our very flesh,  if we can only come to our senses and feel it."
 -  Elizabeth A. Behnke

"He who feels it, knows it more."-  Bob Marley  

 "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."
-  Jacob Bronowski

'The Heavenly Level is the function of feeling."
Cheng Man-ch'ing

"No matter how closely we look, it is difficult to find a mental act that can take place without the support of some physical function."
-  Moshe Feldenkrais  

"I would have touched it like a child
But knew my finger could but have touched
Cold stone and water.   I grew wild,
Even accusing heaven because
It had set down among its laws:
Nothing that we love over-much
Is ponderable to our touch."
-  W. B. Yeats  

(Originally posted on 4/3/16.)

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Text Art: Selections

Michael Amberger, Numbers

Kaldron Alphabet Box

Ruth Cowen, Words to Eat

"Constantinople", a 'ferro-concrete poem'  from
 Tango with Cows by the Russian Futurist Vasily Kamensky, 1914

Guillaume Apollinaire, 1912

The Staff Turned Into a Dragon and Swallowed the Universe

Blue Cliff Record, Case 60
Yunmen's Staff Turns Into a Dragon

"Yúnmén Wényan (864–949 CE), (雲門文偃; Japanese: Ummon Bun'en; also known in English as "Unmon", "Ummon Daishi", "Ummon Zenji")


"Engo's Introduction:  Buddhas and sentient beings are not, by nature, different.  Mountains, rivers, and your own self are all just the same.  Why should they be separation and constitute two worlds?  Even if you are well versed in Zen koans and know how to deal with them, if you stop then everything is spoiled.  If you do not stop, the whole world will be dissolved, with not a particle of it left behind.  Now tell me, what does it mean to be well versed in Zen koans?  See the following.

MAIN SUBJECT:  Ummon held out his staff and said to the assembled monks, "The staff has transformed itself into a dragon and swallowed up the universe!  Where are the mountains, the rivers, and the great world?"
Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku, Translated by Katsuki Sekida, 1977, p.

Commentary on Yunmen's Staff Turns Into a Dragon by Mike Garofalo

Zen Koans:  Bibliography, Index, Links, Commentary, Information

The Blue Cliff Record.  Translated by Thomas Cleary and J. C. Cleary.  Foreword by Taizan Maezumi Roshi.  Boston, Shambhala, 2005.  Glossary, biographies, bibliography, 648 pages.  ISBN: 9781590302323.  Case 60, p. 341-346.  "Yun Men's Staff Turns Into a Dragon."

Way of the Staff

Setchō's Verse 
"The staff has swallowed up the universe?
Don't say peach blossoms float on the waters.
The fish that gets it tail singed
May fail to grasp the mist and clouds.
The ones that lie with gills exposed
Need not loose heart.
My verse is done.
But do you really hear me?
Only be carefree!  Stand unwavering!
Why so bewhildered?
Seventy-two blows are not enough
I want to give you a hundred and fifty.
Setchō descended from the rostrum waving his staff. The whole crowd ran away."
Two Zen Classics: Mumonkan and Hekiganroku, Translated by Katsuki Sekida, 1977, p.

"A monk asked Kenpo, "The one road of Nirvana leads into the ten quarters. But where does it begin?" 
Kenpo raised his staff and traced a horizontal line in the air and said, "Here."
Disappointed, the monk went to Yunmen and asked him the same question.
Ummon held up his staff and said, "This staff leaps up to the 33rd heaven and hits the presiding deity on the nose,
then it dives down into the Eastern Sea where it hits the holy carp.
The carp becomes a dragon which then brings a flood of rain." 
List of Koans by Yunmen Wenyan  

Yunmen said, "A true person of the Way can speak fire without burning his mouth.  He can speak all day with moving his lips and teeth or uttering a word.  The entire day he just wears his clothes and eats his food, but never comes in contact with a single grain of rice or thread of cloth.
When we speak in this fashion it is jut the manner of our school.  It must be set forth like this to be realized.  But if you meet a true patch-robed monk of our school and try to reveal the essence through words, it will be a waste of time and effort.  Even if you get some great understanding by means of a single word you are still just dozing."
Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings By Andy Ferguson, 2000, p. 262


Roshi Robert Baker Aitken
Roshi Aitken holds a ceremonial stick. 

Friday, December 06, 2019

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 73

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 73

"He whose boldness appears in his daring to do wrong, in defiance of the laws is put to death;
He whose boldness appears in his not daring to do so lives on.
Of these two cases the one appears to be advantageous, and the other to be injurious.
When Heaven's anger smites a man,
Who the cause shall truly scan?
On this account the sage feels a difficulty as to what to do in the former case.
It is the way of Heaven not to strive, and yet it skillfully overcomes;
Not to speak, and yet it is skilful in obtaining a reply;
Does not call, and yet men come to it of themselves.
Its demonstrations are quiet, and yet its plans are skilful and effective.
The meshes of the net of Heaven are large; far apart, but letting nothing escape."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 73 

"Courage, if carried to daring, leads to death;
Courage, if not carried to daring, leads to life.
Either of these two things is sometimes beneficial, sometimes harmful.
"Why is it by heaven rejected,
Who has the reason detected?"
Therefore the holy man also regards it as difficult.
The Heavenly Reason strives not, but it is sure to conquer.
It speaks not, but it is sure to respond.
It summons not, but it comes of itself.
It works patiently, but is sure in its designs.
Heaven's net is vast, so vast.
It is wide-meshed, but it loses nothing."
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 73 

"He who is brave in daring will be killed.
He who is brave in not daring will live.
Of these two, one is advantageous and one is harmful.
Who knows why Heaven dislikes what it dislikes?
Even the sage considers it a difficult question.
The Way of Heaven does not compete, and yet is skillfully achieves victory.
It does not speak, and yet it skillfully responds to things.
It comes to you without your invitation.
It is not anxious about things and yet it plans well.
Heaven's net is indeed vast.
Though its meshes are wide, it misses nothing."
-  Translated by Chan Wing-Tsit, 1963, Chapter 73  

"A brave man who dares to, will kill;
A brave man who dares not, spares life;
And from them both come good and ill;
"God hates some folks, but who knows why?"
The Wise Man hesitates there too:
God's Way is bound to conquer all
But not by strife does it proceed.
Not by words does God get answers:
He calls them not and all things come.
Master plans unfold but slowly,
Like God's wide net enclosing all:
Its mesh is coarse but none are lost."
-  Translated by Raymond Blakney, 1955, Chapter 73  

-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 73  

yung yü kan tsê sha.
yung yü pu kan tsê huo.
tz'u liang chê huo li huo hai.
t'ien chih so wu shu chih ch'i ku.
shih yi shêng jên yu nan chih.
t'ien chih tao pu chêng erh shan shêng.
pu yen erh shan ying.
pu chao erh tzu lai.
ch'an jan erh shan mou.
t'ien wang k'uei k'uei.
shu erh pu shih.
-  Wade-Giles Transliteration, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 73

"One who’s fearless in being brave will be killed.
One who’s fearless in being cautious remains alive.
One of these is useful, the other harmful.
Heaven disdains what it disdains
Who knows the reasons why?
Even the wise find these things difficult.
The way of heaven
Overcomes easily without contention,
Replies though it does not speak,
Invites though it does not summon,
Obeys the laws though it seems free.
The net of heaven is vast.
The mesh is wide
But nothing slips through."
-  Translated by A. S. Kline, 2003, Chapter 73 

"He who is brave in daring will meet an unnatural death.
He who is brave in gentleness will be preserved.
Of these two kinds of bravery, one is beneficial, while the other proves harmful.
The subtle truth of the universe does not support those who are brave in daring,
yet there are still many people who do not understand such apparent truth.
So, even the one who integrates his being with the subtle essence of the universe,
dares not make light of the subtle law of life.
The subtle Way of the universe gave birth to a world of peace and order.
It responds to the order and harmony of all beings and things without needing to talk to them.
Without your summoning it, it comes to you.
Without scheming, its plan is perfect.
Vast is the subtle energy network of the universe.
Sparsely meshed it is, yet nothing can slip through it!"
-  Translated by Hua-Ching Ni, 1995, Chapter 73    

"El valiente que se arriesga, muere.
El valiente que no se arriesga, vive.
De estos dos, el primero es perjudicial
mientras que el último es favorable.
Quién conoce la causa de lo que el Cielo aborrece?
Por lo tanto, con más razón el sabio lo encuentra difícil.

El Tao del Cielo,
sin luchar, es bueno venciendo,
sin hablar, es bueno respondiendo,
sin ser llamado, viene por sí solo,
sin prisa, es bueno planeando.
La red del Cielo es vasta,
ampliamente extendida, de nada carece."
-  Translated by Álex Ferrara, 2003, Capítulo 73  

"He whose courage is expressed in daring will soon meet death.
He whose courage is shown in self-restraint will be preserved.
There are, then, two kinds of courage; the one is injurious and the other of advantage.
But who is to say why one of them should incur the judgment of Heaven?
That is why the Sage finds it difficult to act.
The celestial Tao does not strive, and yet overcomes everything.
It does not speak, yet is skilful in replying.
It does not call, yet things come to it readily.
It is quiet in its methods, yet its plans are thoroughly effective.
The net of Heaven has large meshes, and yet nothing escapes it!"
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 73

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 25 or more different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 or more Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.  An electronic Concordance for all 81 Chapters of the  Tao Te Ching is provided.   

Chapter 73, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Concordance for the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey  

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Rainy Day in the Valley

We are today getting some rain from a large storm coming up from the South Pacific into California.  Local communities in the Valley got some snow last night.  Temperatures here are between 35F and 55F.  We expect considerable snow in the mountains above 3,000 feet.  

A day for some home chores, reading, exercise, and listening to the storm outside.  

December: Quotes, Poems, Sayings 

Water and Rain: Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Facts

"I have been one acquainted with the night
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain
I have out-walked the furthest city light

I have looked down the saddest city lane
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say goodbye;
And further still at an unearthly height;
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night."
-   Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night

"Water, the Hub of Life. Water is its mater and matrix, mother and medium. Water is the most extraordinary substance! Practically all its properties are anomalous, which enabled life to use it as building material for its machinery. Life is water dancing to the tune of solids.
 -  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi  

"Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life."-  John Updike

I originally posted this to this Cloud Hands Blog in December of 2016.  

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Graphic Arts Studies

I have been doing introductory studies in graphic arts.  Right now, I am learning how to create, manipulate and output images using CorelDRAW 2019 ($100), Home and Student Edition. CorelDRAW is a vector graphics program and CorelPAINT is a bit-map graphics program, both in the software product.  CorelDRAW can create and manipulate and output graphic images in many formats for printing or web publishing.  

I have focused more on the manipulation of textand subjects such as concrete poetry, text graphics, calligrams, graffitti, typographic art, visual poetry, infographics, web effects.  CorelDRAWing is a current hobby of mine. 

I also own and use Microsoft Word, Front Page, and Publisher; and Photoshop Elements 14. I mostly use Front Page 2003 for my simple web publishing projects, but I also own an old copy of Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks MX.  I think that Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are the industry standards for graphic arts production, but at $250 every year subscription for each they are far too expensive for an amateur and non-professional like me.  I also own an old copy of the CorelDRAW X8 Home Edition.  CorelDRAW also offers a full "professional" business edition Graphics Suite 2019 for $500 one time, but not in my price range for now.  People wanting a free vector graphics program (SVG files) might look into Inkspace.     

I plan to use a set of books to learn CorelDRAW 2019.  Some I have purchased, mostly used from Amazon, and others borrowed from the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries:

CorelDraw Training Guide for X8, by Satish Jain and M. Geetha, 2018. P

CorelDRAW X8: The Official Guide, by Gary D. Bouton, 2017.  P

CorelDRAW Keyboard Shortcuts, by U.C. Abel Books, 2019.  P

Bring it Home with CorelDRAW: A Guide to In-house Graphic Design, by Rober Wambolt, 2012.  P

PDF Pro II Software  P

CorelDRAW X8 Tutorial Video Training on 2 DVDs Over 11 Hours in 198 Lessons. How To Gurus Computer Software Course, 2016.  P

CorelDRAW 9 Bible, by Deborah Miller, 1999.  P



General Books or Websites on Graphic Arts

Vector Graphics and Illustration: A Master Class in Digital Image Making, by Jack Harris, 2008.  P

On Color, by David Kastan and Stephen Farthing, 2018.  L

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Taijiquan Cane Exercises

Taiji Yangsheng Zhang: Taiji Stick Qigong (Chinese Health Qigong)  By the Chinese Health Qigong Association.  Singing Dragon, 2014.  96 pages.  1 instructional DVD.  ISBN: 978-1848191945.  Brief history, warmup and cane handling, ten movement form.  VSCL.  

"A set of exciting and unusual Taiji Stick qigong exercises is presented in this accessible introduction. Embodying the concepts of taiji, the movements emphasize the harmony of yin and yang, man and nature. Appropriate for all levels of experience and for all age groups, this new set of easy-to-learn exercises distils the essence of traditional stick practice, guides body movements and the movement of the stick, and coordinates directed breathing and imagination. The book provides step-by-step, fully-illustrated instruction, and includes an account of the origins of the movements and guidance for practice. An accompanying DVD features a video demonstrating the form and additional information on its history and origins, and a CD provides options for verbal instructions to lead the practitioner through the exercises, or music to accompany them. The book is an authoritative resource that will help students and practitioners of taiji, qigong, martial arts and Chinese medicine perfect and deepen their practice. It is also an excellent practical introduction for anyone with an interest in the ancient health and martial practices of China. 

The Chinese Health Qigong Association is dedicated to the popularization of and research into Health Qigong, and is a group member of the All-China Sports Federation. Its aim is to promote and carry forward the Chinese traditional culture of health promotion and facilitate the communication between Western and Eastern Cultures."

The movements of the Taiji Yangsheng Zhang form are as follows:
Initial Stance and Opening
1.  Boatman Rows with an Oar  (Shao Gong Yao Lu)
2.  Boat Rows Slowly  (Qing Zhou Huan Xing)
3.  Wind Kisses the Lotus Leaves  (Feng Bai He Ye)
4.  Boatman Tows a Boat  (Chuan Fu Bei Qian)
5.  Iron Stick Calms the Sea  (Shen Zhen Ding Hai)
6.  Golden Dragon Wags Its Tai  (Jin Long Jiao Wei)
7.  Search for Treasure in the Sea  (Tan Hai Xun Bao)
8.  Qi Returns to the Dantian  (Qi Gui Dan Tian)
Closing and Ending Stance

"The Taiji Stick Health Preservation exercises embodies the concept of harmony between yin and yang, man and nature.  All the movements involved are soft and slow, and easy to practice.  This is not a "martial art," per se, and the stick is not wielded like a weapon.  In practicing with the Taiji Stick, we should twist, turn, bend, and stretch around the waist as a center, and move our spine accordingly.  In practicing with the Taiji Stick, we need to relax our waist and hips, and keep the body upright and comfortable, adjusting the movement of the waist in harmony with the use of the stick.  If we lift the stick, we need to sink the waist and lower the qi down to the Dantian (lower belly); and if we lower the stick, we need to straighten the waist and pull up the qi to the Baihui acupoint [top of the head].  If we rotate the stick in a circle, our waist becomes the anchor, moving our body and arms.  All this illustrates the pivotal role of the waist." p. 6.  

Moving from the waist is the "Torso Method" of Taijiquan practice.  The core (waist, hips, abdomen, back) must internally and externally initiate movement.

Tai Chi Chuan Cane

Way of the Short Staff

Staff Weapons

Taijiquan Practices

Monday, December 02, 2019

Primacy of Sight

"Sight is valued above all other senses.  True, we can be persuaded that touch and hearing are more basic─the one to survival, the other to the acquisition of language.  Nevertheless, sight enjoys primacy.  It immediately gives us a world "out there."  Self, without a world, is reduced to mere body.  All senses give us a world, but the visual one has the greatest definition and scope.  This expansive visual world is both sensual and intellectual.  It is sensual, not only because of its colors and shapes, but also because of its tactile quality: we can almost feel what we see─smile with pleasure as we look at a fluffy blanket.  It is intellectual because somehow to see is to think and to understand: sight is coupled with insight, and to exercise the mind is to see with "the mind's eye."  Perhaps most important of all, the primacy of sight rests on a simple experience.  Open our eyes, and the world spreads before us in all its vividness and color; close them, and it is instantly wiped out and we are plunged in darkness.  One moment, the world is an enticing space inviting us to enter; the next, it collapses to the limit of our body and we are helplessly disoriented."
-  Yi-Fu Tuan, Passing Strange and Wonderful: Aesthetics, Nature, and Culture, 1995, p. 96. 

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

1.  Mindfulness
2.  Effort and Energy 
3.  Investigation 
4.  Rapture 
5.  Concentration 
6.  Tranquility  
7.  Equanimity 

-  Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation, 1987, pp.61-77. 


How to Live a Good Life: Advice From Wise Persons

Virtue Ethics  

Friday, November 29, 2019

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 74

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 74

"The people do not fear death,
 Why threaten them with death?
 Suppose the people always fear death,
 One who does strange things,
 I shall seize and kill,
 Then who dares to do strange things?
 Killing is carried out by the executioner.
 To replace the executioner and kill,
 Is like chopping wood in place of the master carpenter.
 To chop wood in place of the master carpenter,
 Rarely one does not hurt one's own hand."
 -  Translation by Ellen M. Chen, Chapter 74

"Subdue Delusion
Chih Huo

When the people are not afraid of death,
What avails it to scare them with death?
Assuming that they often do fear death,
And that any pervert can be seized and killed,
Who dares to do the killing?
It is the job of the Director of Death to kill.
To take over the job of the Director of Death
Is like wielding the hammer for the master-builder.
He who wields the hammer for the master-builder
Seldom escapes wounding himself in the hand."
-  Translated by Henry Wei, 1982, Chapter 74  

"If the people are not afraid to die,
How can you threaten them with death?
If the people are kept in constant fear of death,
And if it were possible to arrest and put to death the law-breakers,
Who would dare do this?
It is the master executioner who does the killing.
To assume the role of the master executioner and do the killing for oneself
Is like carving wood for oneself
Instead of leaving it to the master carpenter.
Those who carve wood for themselves
Instead of leaving it to the master carpenter
Rarely escape without cutting their own hands."
-  Translated by Keith H. Seddon, Chapter 74  

"If people are not afraid to die, what is the use of threatening them with the punishment of death?
On the other hand,
if people value their lives, and if outlaws are seized and killed or are killed by what they are doing,
who would dare risk a life of peace for the sake of an insecure future?
Yet it is always true that one who takes charge of killing is killed in turn.
To become the executioner of artificial righteousness is like the inexperienced lad who would brandish a sharp axe of a master carpenter.
He can seldom escape cutting himself."
-  Translated by Hua-Ching Ni, 1995, Chapter 74 

若使民常畏死, 而為奇者, 吾得執而殺之, 孰敢.
夫代大匠斲者, 希有不傷其手矣.

- Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 74

min pu wei ssu.
nai ho yi ssu chü chih.
jo shih min ch'ang wei ssu, erh wei ch'i chê, wu tê chih erh sha chih, shu kan.
ch'ang yu ssu sha chê sha.
fu tai ssu sha chê sha.
shi wei tai ta chiang cho.
fu tai ta chiang cho chê, hsi yu pu shang ch'i shou yi.
-  Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 74

"When people are at one with Infinity,
they have no fear of death
and so they are indifferent to threats.
When people are confused
with the distinction of life and death,
they fear death.
If death is the penalty for breaking the law,
the vast majority will be law abiding.
There are always official executioners
and they are at one with killing.
If you try to take their place,
it is the same as trying to cut wood
in place of the master carpenter.
If you try to take the master carpenter's place,
you will only succeed in cutting
your hands."
-  Translated by John Worldpeace, Chapter 74 

"If people were content with their own deaths
You could not use force on them;  they would be immune
But this is not the way the world is
If you threaten them with death to make them behave
You must assign someone to kill them, or do it yourself
Who, then, kills:  you, or the executioner, or the state?
Someone must take the responsibility
Whoever is responsible for death has put his way above the tao
Yet though he can end a life, the tao will by its nature find a way to return
Any sane man would find in that cause for worry."
-  Translated by Ted Wrigley, Chapter 74  

"Si el pueblo no temiera la muerte, sería inútil atemorizarlocon ella.
Si teme morir, como siempre teme, y aún comete desmanes, puedo cogerlo y matarlo.
¿Quién se atreverá a continuar en el mal?
Debe matarlo el encargado para ello.
Si lo matara otro por él, sería usando el hacha ensustitución del maestro.
Raro será el que, sustituyendo almaestro, no hiera su propia mano."
-  Translated by Carmelo Elorduy, 2006, Capítulo 74

"Why use death as a deterrent, when the people have no fear of death?
Even supposing they shrank from death as from a monster, and by playing on their terror I could slay them, should I dare?
There is one who inflicts sentence of death.
To usurp his functions and to kill would be to assume the role of Master-Carpenter.
There are few who can act as Master-Carpenter without cutting their hands."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 74

"If you do not fear death,
then how can it intimidate you?
If you aren't afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can not do.
Those who harm others
are like inexperienced boys
trying to take the place of a great lumberjack.
Trying to fill his shoes will only get them seriously hurt."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 74   

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   

Chapter 74, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Concordance for all 81 Chapters of the Dao De Jing

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey  

Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D..  The Tao Te Ching: A Qigong Interpretation.  YMAA, 2018.  Bilingual Edition, 592 pages.  ISBN: 978-1594396199. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Indoor Playing

I spent a lot of time in November on seting up my new desktop Dell Inspiron computer.  Getting my FTP and personal desktop arrangements set up is always detailed work.  Next week, I will look into SSL certificates from BlueHost.  I've now spent $170 on newer software. I also worked on Karen's HP Desktop and an old laptop (Toshiba Satellite) we use.     

It has been cold outside with temperatures in the low 40's F.  Not much rain here in Novemeber, a record low.  I don't have much enthusiasm for gardening or a need to do much gardening in late autumn as dormancy is dominant now.  We still try to do some outdoor work in the garden each day.  Lately we have been raking leaves from our huge sweet gum and using as mulch, cutting down overgrown shrubs, transplanting, potting, path laying, fencing and lattice work.  

Mostly, on these cold days, I've been busy indoors reading, web publishing, research, using computers, doing art work, and writing.  I work in a cozy, warm, and dry home office/study/computer room.  

I enjoy watching the game of basketball on NBA League Pass and follow West Coast teams: Los Angeles Lakers, San Francisco Warriors, and Portland Trailblazers.  Football season is ending.  I watched all the University of Southern California college football games (my and my father's alma mater), and many West Coast NFL teams games.  

I spent a lot of time on reformatting and updating webpages in my Tao Te Ching website.  Updating and editing can be such tedious and time consuming puttering around.  I've also read a lot of books, essays, and articles about the Daodejing and Taoism.  

I have developed and maintained many hypertext documents which I have published online as webpages.  I began this activity in 1994.  I use Blue Host as my web host.  

Finally, I got an old copy of Fireworks working in Windows 10.  I used this software a decade ago while learning about, playing with, and creating concrete poetry.  I'm also learing how to use CorelDraw 2019 to create vector graphics.  I will try to publish one .gif or .jpg file each Sunday.  

I call one series of graphic arts:  TeXtArT.  It is an attempt to create a kind of "art" using letters in different arrangements.  The letters can come in different fonts, colors, shapes, sizes, directions, etc.  Sometimes, the letters take the shape of objects, the so called, "concrete poem."  Concrete poetry has been an interest of mine since 2001.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Training Principles

"1.) Head upright to let the shen [spirit of vitality] rise to the top of the head. Don't use li [external strength], or the neck will be stiff and the ch'i [vital life energy] and blood cannot flow through. It is necessary to have a natural and lively feeling. If the spirit cannot reach the headtop, it cannot raise.

2.) Sink the chest and pluck up the back. The chest is depressed naturally inward so that the ch'i can sink to the tan-t'ien [field of elixir]. Don't expand the chest: the ch'i gets stuck there and the body becomes top-heavy. The heel will be too light and can be uprooted. Pluck up the back and the ch'i sticks to the back; depress the chest and you can pluck up the back. Then you can discharge force through the spine. You will be a peerless boxer.

3.) Sung [Relax] the waist. The waist is the commander of the whole body. If you can sung the waist, then the two legs will have power and the lower part will be firm and stable. Substantial and insubstantial change, and this is based on the turning of the waist. It is said "the source of the postures lies in the waist. If you cannot get power, seek the defect in the legs and waist."

4.) Differentiate between insubstantial and substantial. This is the first principle in T'ai Chi Ch'uan. If the weight of the whole body is resting on the right leg, then the right leg is substantial and the left leg is insubstantial, and vice versa. When you can separate substantial and insubstantial, you can turn lightly without using strength. If you cannot separate, the step is heavy and slow. The stance is not firm and can be easily thrown of balance.

5.) Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows. The shoulders will be completely relaxed and open. If you cannot relax and sink, the two shoulders will be raised up and tense. The ch'i will follow them up and the whole body cannot get power. "Drop the elbows" means the elbows go down and relax. If the elbows raise, the shoulders are not able to sink and you cannot discharge people far. The discharge will then be close to the broken force of the external schools.

6.) Use the mind instead of force. The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say, "all of this means use I [mind-intent] and not li." In practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan the whole body relaxes. Don't let one ounce of force remain in the blood vessels, bones, and ligaments to tie yourself up. Then you can be agile and able to change. You will be able to turn freely and easily. Doubting this, how can you increase your power?

The body has meridians like the ground has ditches and trenches. If not obstructed the water can flow. If the meridian is not closed, the ch'i goes through. If the whole body has hard force and it fills up the meridians, the ch'i and the blood stop and the turning is not smooth and agile. Just pull one hair and the whole body is off-balance. If you use I, and not li, then the I goes to a place in the body and the ch'i follows it. The ch'i and the blood circulate. If you do this every day and never stop, after a long time you will have nei chin [real internal strength]. 

The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say, "when you are extremely soft, you become extremely hard and strong." Someone who has extremely good T'ai Chi Ch'uan kung fu has arms like iron wrapped with cotton and the weight is very heavy. As for the external schools, when they use li, they reveal li. When they don't use li, they are too light and floating. There chin is external and locked together. The li of the external schools is easily led and moved, and not too be esteemed.

7.) Coordinate the upper and lower parts of the body. The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say "the motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist and manifested through the fingers." Everything acts simultaneously. When the hand, waist and foot move together, the eyes follow. If one part doesn't follow, the whole body is disordered.

8.) Harmonize the internal and external. In the practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan the main thing is the shen. Therefore it is said "the spirit is the commander and the body is subordinate." If you can raise the spirit, then the movements will naturally be agile. The postures are not beyond insubstantial and substantial, opening and closing. That which is called open means not only the hands and feet are open, but the mind is also open. That which is called closed means not only the hands and feet are closed, but the mind is also closed. When you can make the inside and outside become one, then it becomes complete.

9.) Move with continuity. As to the external schools, their chin is the Latter Heaven brute chin. Therefore it is finite. There are connections and breaks. During the breaks the old force is exhausted and the new force has not yet been born. At these moments it is very easy for others to take advantage. T'ai Chi Ch'uan uses I and not li. From beginning to end it is continuous and not broken. It is circular and again resumes. It revolves and has no limits. The original Classics say it is "like a great river rolling on unceasingly." and that the circulation of the chin is "drawing silk from a cocoon " They all talk about being connected together.

10.) Move with tranquility [Seek stillness in movement]. The external schools assume jumping about is good and they use all their energy. That is why after practice everyone pants. T'ai Chi Ch'uan uses stillness to control movement. Although one moves, there is also stillness. Therefore in practicing the form, slower is better. If it is slow, the inhalation and exhalation are long and deep and the ch'i sinks to the tan-t'ien. Naturally there is no injurious practice such as engorgement of the blood vessels. The learner should be careful to comprehend it. Then you will get the real meaning."

-  By Yang Cheng-fu (1883 - 1936) as researched by Lee N. Scheele

 T'ai Chi Ch'uan Bibliography

Yang Style Taijiquan

Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan  By Fu Zhongwen.  Translated by Louis Swaim.  Berkeley, California, Blue Snake Books, c 1999, 2006.  Bibliography, glossary, 226 pages.  ISBN: 9781583941522.  VSCL.  Fu Zongwen (1919-1994) was a student of Yang Cheng Fu.  Translations of many Tai Chi classics are included.  A list of 85 movements are provided.  251 movement analysis illustrations.  Over 76 of the illustrations are traced and drawn from photographs of Yang Chengfu.  Detailed descriptions of the long form, pp. 26-162.  Push hands information.  Yang Tai Chi essentials.

Master Cheng's Thirteen Chapters On Tai Chi Ch'uan. By Cheng Man-ch'ing. Translated by Douglas Wile. 101 pages. Sweet Chi Press, 1982. 101 pages. ISBN: 978-0912059006. Originally written in Chinese in 1949. VSCL.

The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan. By Yang, Chengfu (1883-1936). Translated by Louis Swaim. The original publication date was in 1934. The original book was edited by Professor Cheng Man-Chi'ng. Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books, 2005. Introduction, appendices, bibliography, 124 pages. ISBN: 1556435452. In this book, the entire sequence of the specialized and named martial movements/postures/sections/forms is numbered from Section 1 up to Section 94; thus, the popular long taijiquan from, the Yang 94 Form. VSCL.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dao De Jing Concordance

Tao Te Ching Concordance

This document functions as an electronic concordance to the Daodejing by Laozi, 530 BCE.

Use the Ctrl + F keystroke combination to open the search box function in any web browser.

Then, you can search this webpage by terms (i.e., keywords, themes, subjects, topics, nouns, verbs, adverbs, or adjectives).

At present, you can search all 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching indexed in this document by using words in the English language, the Spanish language, and the Wade-Giles Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese language.

This standard webpage document search tool enables you to use this Chapter Index as a Concordance to the Tao Te Ching.

Pressing the Ctrl key and the F key at the same time (Ctrl + F) in the Firefox browser opens the search box in the bottom left corner of the webpage window; in the Google Chrome browser it opens the webpage search box in the upper right corner of the webpage window; and, in the Internet Explorer browser it opens the webpage search box in the top left corner of the webpage window of the browser.

Research, Compilation and Indexing by Michael P. Garofalo.