Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tai Chi Chuan for Pleasure

My webpage on the Standard 24 Taijiquan Form has been the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands Website for many years. In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a quick index to this webpage.

Standard Simplified Taijiquan 24 Form. Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, links, online videos, articles, and resources. It provides a list of the 24 movement names in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish, with citations for sources of the movement names. It provides detailed descriptions of each movement with black and white line illustrations and photographs. It includes relevant quotations, notes, performance times, section breakdowns, basic Tai Chi principles, and strategies for learning the form. The Peking (Bejing) Chinese National orthodox standard simplified 24 movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, created in 1956, is the most popular form practiced all around the world. This form uses the Yang Style of Taijiquan.

This webpage provides many good suggestions for a person learning this short form on their own if there is no Tai Chi class in their area.

There is also a famous short Tai Chi form, created by Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing in the 1940's.  It has 37 movements.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A 50% Chance for "Happiness"

Happiness Activities

1.  Expressing Gratitude
2.  Cultivating Optimism
3.  Avoiding Over-Thinking and Social Comparisons
4.  Practicing Acts of Kindness
5.  Nurturing Social Relationships
6.  Developing Strategies for Coping
7.  Learning to Forgive
8.  Increasing Flow Expectations
9.  Savoring Life's Joys
10.  Committing to Your Goals
11.  Practicing Spirituality
12.  Taking Care of Your Body (Psychological Methods)
13.  Taking Care of Your Body (Physical Activity)
14.  Taking Care of Your Body (Acting Like a Happy Person)
15.  The Hows Behind Sustainable Happiness: Positive Emotions,
       Optimal Timing and Variety, Social Support, Motivation, Effort,
       Commitment, and Habit.  

The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want  By Sonja Lyubomirsky.  New York, Penguin Books, 2008.  Index, extensive notes, appendix, 366 pages.  ISBN: 978-1594201486.  Ms. Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Riverside, and a leader in the field of positive psychology.  

Professor Lyubomirsky analyzes what determines happiness.  Her research indicates that "happiness" is determined approximately 50% by our internal biological "Set Point", 10% by our circumstances in life, and 40% by our intentional activity.  Her explanations and suggestions are clear, reasonable, and grounded in psychological research.  Gaining effective use of our intentional activities is the focus of this book.  "This much happiness - up to 40% - is within your power to change."  

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Virtues and a Good Life

An Old Philosopher's Notebooks



Epicureanism and Hedonism

Monday, August 22, 2016

Enjoy It While It Lasts

"Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say, is a gloriously fine thing.  It makes us sober; it makes us a little sad; and many of us it makes poetic.  But above all, it makes it possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly, truthfully and always with a sense of our own limitations.  It gives us peace also, because true peace of mind comes from accepting the worst.

     Deprived of immortality, the proposition of living becomes a simple proposition.  It is this: that we human beings have a limited span of life to live on this earth, rarely more than seventy years, and that therefore we have to arrange our lives so that we may live as happily as we can under a given set of circumstances. ...  It made us therefore, cling to life─the life of the instinct and the life of senses─on the belief that, as we are all animals, we can be truly happy only when all our normal instincts are satisfied normally.  This applies to the enjoyment of life in all its aspects.

     A sad poetic touch is added to this intense love of life by the realization that this life we have is essentially mortal.  For if this earthly existence is all we have, we must try the harder to enjoy it while it lasts.  A vague hope of immortality detracts from our wholehearted enjoyment of this earthly existence."

 -  Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937, p.155-160.  

Death: Quotes, Poetry, Sayings, Wisdom 

How to Live the Good Life 

Hedonism and Epicureanism


Sunday, August 21, 2016

What's Happening?

Karen and I have been working during the cooler morning hours all of the month of August.  We have continued with our home improvement projects.  

Afternoons have been enjoyed indoors with reading, Internet browsing, planning, the Olympics, American football games, and Netflix programs.  

I've recovered from my hip and knee injuries, suffered in bad falls.  I'm now able to walk 3 miles every morning, garden, and work on projects around the house.  Things are looking better for my legs.  I plan to resume weight lifting next week.  

Somewhat unusual not returning to work for the school district on August 13th. Retirement is a new experience.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Helping People Move and Other Adventures

I am now back home in Red Bluff.  I was in Vancouver, Washington, for the last week.  I helped Mick and April move into their new home in the West Minehaha (Hazel Dell) area of Vancouver.  We moved hundreds of items (boxes, furniture, tools, plants) from northeast Portland near Division Blvd at the 205, and from Troutdale.

I stayed with the Flinn family.  Both girls were in summer day camp all week. We all enjoyed an outing to the beautiful Lewis River Park.  Alicia and I enjoyed eating at Mon Ami for breakfast in downtown Vancouver: delicious crepes and top notch mocha coffee.  Sean was the expert at the BBQ grill.  Fun visit!!

We purchased a very nice old Ford Explorer.  This dark green Ford Explorer will be rigged up as our camping vehicle.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sacred Circles

I've put together a webpage on the subject of Sacred Circles.

This webpage provides links, bibliographic citations, resources, quotations, notes, and comments on medicine wheels, henges, labyrinths, neopagan sacred circles, holy circles, the symbolism and myths about circles and spheres, sacred circle gardens, the four elements, and related topics.

This webpage includes information and photographs of our sacred circle garden at our home in Red Bluff, California.

Those folks who walk the circle in labyrinthswalking meditation or baguazhang might find some of the information in sacred circles to be of interest to them.

Here are a few pictures from our sacred circle garden.  They were all taken a few years ago.  Everything is the same today, except all the trees and shrubs are larger.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Home Improvement Focus

Karen and I have been very busy with home improvement projects.  Little time or energy for other interesting research, studies, practices, and projects.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Two Campers Return

We returned to our home in Red Bluff yesterday afternoon.  Dry and hot (105F). 

We had been camping at Tugman State Park, 10 miles south of Reedsport, Oregon.  We explored the beautiful Umpqua River valley down to the boat docks at Winchester Bay.  Lovely cloudy skies and cool daytime temperatures (low 70'sF).  Eel lake was quite lovely.  

We hiked up the huge sand dunes along South Jetty Road, below Florence, Oregon, at the Siuslaw River terminus at the sea.  West of the dunes was the beach and breaking shore waves.  Lots of shells.  We were the only persons visiting the beach at that time.   

The sand dunes by the ocean in Oregeon are the largest ocean dunes in the USA.  They stretch for 60 miles from Florence to below Coos Bay, Oregon, along the Central Oregon Coast.  At some points the dunes are 20 miles wide.  

Image result for oregon sand dunes images

Image result for sand dunes oregon

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Even the Little Finger Remembers

   “The body uses its skin and deeper fascia and flesh to record all that goes on around it.  Like the Rosetta stone, for those who know how to read it, the body is a living record of life given, life taken, life hoped for, life healed.  It is valued for its articulate ability to register immediate reaction, to feel profoundly, to sense ahead.
     The body is a multilingual being.  It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heart of arousal, the coldness of nonconviction.  It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling.  It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the center, and rising of hope.

     The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints remember, even the little finger remembers.  Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves.  Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched slightly, a memory may flow out in a stream.

     To confine the beauty and the value of the body to anything less than this magnificence is to force the body to live without its rightful spirit, its rightful form, its right to exultation.  To be thought ugly or unacceptable because one’s beauty is outside the current fashion is deeply wounding to the natural joy that belongs to the wild nature.”
-      By Clarissa Pinkola Estés,  Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, 1996  

Body-Mind Practices, Somaesthetics

The Five Senses

Touch, Skin, Feeling, Hands, Tactile

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Rejoice, and Men Will Seek You

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain."

-  Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850-1919

How to Live the Good Life

Virtue Ethics

Hedonism and Epicureanism

Monday, July 04, 2016

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 24

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 24

"He who stands on tiptoe does not stand (firm);
He who strains his strides does not walk (well);
He who reveals himself is not luminous;
He who justifies himself is not far-famed;
He who boasts of himself is not given credit;
He who prides himself is not chief among men.
These in the eyes of Tao
Are called "the dregs and tumors of Virtue,"
Which are things of disgust.
Therefore the man of Tao spurns them."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 24

"By standing on tiptoe one cannot keep still.
Astride of one's fellow one cannot progress.
By displaying oneself one does not shine.
By self-approbation one is not esteemed.
In self-praise there is no merit.
He who exalts himself does not stand high.
Such things are to Tao what refuse and excreta are to the body.
They are everywhere detested.
Therefore the man of Tao will not abide with them."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 24

"It is not natural to stand on tiptoe, or being astride one does not walk.
One who displays himself is not bright, or one who asserts himself cannot shine.
A self-approving man has no merit, nor does one who praises himself grow.
The relation of these things (self-display, self-assertion, self-approval) to Tao is the same as offal is to food.
They are excrescences from the system; they are detestable; Tao does not dwell  in them."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 24   

"Those who are on tiptoes cannot stand
Those who straddle cannot walk
Those who flaunt themselves are not clear
Those who presume themselves are not distinguished
Those who praise themselves have no merit
Those who boast about themselves do not last
Those with the Tao call such things leftover food or tumors
They despise them
Thus, those who possesses the Tao do not engage in them"
-  Translated by Derek Linn, 2006, Chapter 24  

其在道也, 曰餘食贅行.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 24 

ch'i chê pu li.
k'ua chê pu hsing.
tzu chien chê pu ming.
tzu shih chê pu chang.
tzu fa chê wu kung.
tzu ching chê pu ch'ang.
ch'i tsai tao yeh, yüeh yü shih chui hsing.
wu huo wu chih.
ku yu tao chê pu ch'u.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 24 

"Standing tiptoe a man loses balance,
Walking astride he has no pace,
Kindling himself he fails to light,
Acquitting himself he forfeits his hearers,
Admiring himself he does so alone.
Pride has never brought a man greatness
But, according to the way of life,
Brings the ills that make him unfit,
Make him unclean in the eyes of his neighbor,
And a sane man will have none of them."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 24  

"He who stands on tiptoe is not steady,
He who holds legs stiffly cannot walk.
He who looks at self does not see clearly.
He who asserts himself does not shine.
He who boasts of himself has no merit.
He who glorifies himself shall not endure.
These things are to the Tao like excreta or a hideous tumour to the body.
Therefore he who has Tao must give them no place."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 24  

"Quien se sostiene de puntillas no permanece mucho tiempo en pie.
Quien da largos pasos no puede ir muy lejos.
Quien quiere brillar
no alcanza la iluminación.
Quien pretende ser alguien
no lo será naturalmente.
Quien se ensalza no merece honores.
Quien se vanagloria
no realiza ninguna obra.
Para los seguidores del Tao, estos excesos son como excrecencias
y restos de basura que a todos repugnan.
Por eso, quien posee el Tao
no se detiene en ellos, sino que los rechaza."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 24  

"Standing on tiptoe, you are unsteady.
Straddle-legged, you cannot go.
If you show yourself, you will not be seen.
If you affirm yourself, you will not shine.
If you boast, you will have no merit.
If you promote yourself, you will have no success.
Those who abide in the Tao call these
Leftover food and wasted action
And all things dislike them.
Therefore the person of the Tao does not act like this."
-  Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 24

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything  By David Bellos.  New York, Faber and Faber, 2011.  Index, notes, 393 pages.  ISBN: 9780865478763. VSCL.  

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 24, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to 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

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Drag Me Down Damn Hot

For the past 10 days, we have had daytime temperatures from 105F to 112F. 

Other than 6 hours in the morning (5:30 am - 10:30 am), it is just too damn hot for me in the afternoon.  I get all my gardening chores, watering chores, and outdoor chores done in the early morning.  

As I get older, the extreme heat is much harder for me to tolerate.  

It has sapped my energy and interest in just about all activities.  

I did enjoy, yesterday afternoon, sitting in front of a fan and watching a DVD recording of the opening day of the Tour de France, and sipping iced tea.  

Saturday, July 02, 2016

You Are One of the Few

If the world's population was only 100 people, how would the current demographics and economics translate from 7 billion to 100 people.  

A Power Point Presentation on World Demographics and Economics

Click on link, then on subsequent pictures in the presentation.

Sobering facts!  

Friday, July 01, 2016

Retired Now ... Yes

I retired from my position as Technology and Media Services Manager for the Corning Union Elementary School District on July 1, 2016.  I had worked for this school district for the last 16 years.  I retired as a Library Administrator from the County of Los Angeles Public Library in 1998.  I have always enjoyed working, and may do so part-time in the future.  

I resigned from my position as a fitness instructor (yoga, taijiquan, pilates, spin, personal fitness trainer) at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, on July 1, 2016.  I will no longer be teaching at the TFFC.  

I will no longer be teaching taijiquan privately at my home, because we will be traveling quite a bit and moving.  

Karen and I are now selling our home in Red Bluff, and moving to Vancouver, Washington.  Both of our children and their families live in Vancouver.  We also desire a change in location from the rural North Sacramento Valley to a more metropolitan environment in Southwest Washington.  

We are now busy prepping our house, moving items to Washington, and looking for a home to rent or buy in the Vancouver/Portland metro area.  

My websites and blog will continue, albeit at a reduced level, until we get settled in Vancouver.  

I will resume teaching Taijiquan and Yoga in the Vancouver and/or Portland area in the future.  Also, I will be looking for a good Taijiquan School in that area.  Suggestions??

I retired at the age of 70.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

Visiting with Family

My daughter and her two daughters came to visit Karen and I on Saturday afternoon, 6/25.  We've been mostly hanging around our home and property and playing.  Nice summer days for family fun.  

Today, everyone is going up to the Shasta Caverns Tour above Shasta Dam. Lake Shasta looks nicer with the water levels up high.  I will stay at home, trying to mend my knees, watering, taking it easy, daydreaming.  

Wednesday we plan to visit Whiskeytown Lake.  

The Flinn's will leave Red Bluff for Vancouver, Washington, on this coming Saturday morning, 7/2.  

Busy with playing with grand-children, daughter, and their new Lab dog.  

Little time for reading and writing.