Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Party Time

Party for Infants

My grand-daughter's first Halloween party.

"October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band."
- George Cooper, October's Party

"Radiant joy is everywhere.
Spirits in tune to the spicy air,
Thrill in the glory of each day.
Life's worth living when we say, October!"
- Joseph Pullman Porter

October: Poems, Sayings, Lore, Links, Quotations

Monday, October 30, 2006

Positive Mindset

"What are the qualities that make one's mindset positive?
They include being able to:

Think in a calm, pacified, and reflective manner instead of being disturbed, agitated, and impulsive in one's reactions.

Put ideas together rationally and arrive at the right judgment even in the absence of obvious evidence or proof.

Decide, plan, and execute a course of action in a patient, persistent, and disciplined manner.

Recognize the changes and be flexible in adapting to them.

Observe and perceive things with a sense of humor instead of outrage, indignation, and anger.

Let go of useless and counterproductive thoughts, desires, and ambitions instead of being preoccupied with them.

Relax and meditate or rest.

Resist temptation and coercion."

- Michael Fekete, Strength Training for Seniors, Hunter House, 2006, p. 36

Strength and Muscle Building Search Portal

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Feather River - North Fork

Karen and I enjoyed a day trip in Northern California. We explored Highway 70 from Oroville up to Quincy. This road follows the North Fork of the Feather River. The dramatic rock canyons and the varied autumn colors were a special highlight of the trip.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Walking the Sacred Circle

Sacred Circle
Originally uploaded by Karen and Mike Garofalo.

Mike Garofalo standing in the center of the Sacred Circle at the Valley Spirit Center in Red Bluff, California. Looking East.

This new addition of a "Sacred Circle" or "Cosmos Circle" is part of the the emphasis I have placed upon the mind/body movement arts of Walking Meditation.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Work and/or Play

"The supreme accomplishment is to
blur the line between work and play."
- Arnold Toynbee

"In Hindu philosophy the whole creation is regarded as the Vishnu Lila,
the play of Vishnu. Lila means dance or play. Also in Hindu philosophy,
they call the world illusion; and in Latin the root of the word
illusion is ludere, to play."
- Alan Watts, Work as Play

"We may play with and pass on a garden, possessing one is an illusion.
Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with results, turn as they learn.
Some gardeners don't grow old and stop playing; they stop playing and grow old.
Nature's playfulness is a gardener's delight.
A garden is a sporting field, an area for play."

- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions: The Maxims of Gardening

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Internet Librarians Conference

I enjoyed my recent trip to Monterey, California, to attend the Internet Librarian Conference 2006. I benefitted from the presentations about library fundrasing, wikis, social software, Flickr, RSS, and gaming.

I walked during lunch hours and after the conference presentations, used the hotel exercise room, and attended a local yoga class. We all enjoyed the beautiful weather in Monterey.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Salutations to the Sun

Greeting the Sun

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow."
- Helen Keller

"I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at
the sun: If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my god.
To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are
my cathedrals."
- Mikhail Gorbachev

Green Way Wisdom - Sun

I often take a long walk, and practice tai chi chuan and qigong/yoga, at daybreak. I find that the early morning is the best time for mind/body practices. This helps me reflect on The Way (Tao).

The Way

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sun Style Taijiquan

Lately, I have been studying and practicing the Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan 73 Competition Form. I have been using instructional videotapes by Paul Lam, Liang Shou-Yu, Jesse Tsao, Men Hui-Feng, Li Cheng-Xiang, and Jiang Jian-Ye to learn the form.

Sun Style Taijiquan is done at a "lively step" pace. The average time for the performance of the form is around 6 minutes for 73 movements.

Complete Performance of Sun Taijiquan International Competition 73 Form

Time Performer Source

5:31 Liang, Shou-Yu Sun Style Taijiquan with Applications, VHS, 1996
5:17 Tsao, Jesse Tai Chi Sun Style Competition Form 73, VHS, 2002
9:22 Jiang, Jian-Ye Sun Sytle Tai Chi Competition Form 73, VHS, 1997
7:30 Lam, Paul Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms, The Competition Form, VHS, 2000
5:42 Men, Hui-Feng Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms, The Competition Form, VHS, 2000
3:52 Li, Cheng-Xiang Sun Style Long Competition Form 73, VCD

My favorite instructional videotape is Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms. The Competition Forms. An instructional videotape by Dr. Paul Lam. Narwee, Australia, East Action Video, 2000. A competition form created by Professor Men Hui Feng of Beijing University based on the Sun style. "This detailed instructional video includes a demonstration of the set by its creator, Professor Men Hui-Feng. Sun style is characterised by its powerful qigong elements, agile steps and flowing movements." VHS, 103 minutes. Contents: Introduction to Tai Chi and the Sun style. Comprehensive instructions. Demonstrations of the complete set by Dr. Paul Lam from front and back views. A demonstration by the creator of the set, Professor Men Hu--Feng. ASIN: B000066G1T."

My webpage on the subject of Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan provides a list of the movements in the Sun Style 73 competition form.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Strength Training for Seniors

I enjoy and benefit from strength training activities four to
five days every week.

Persons over 60 will need to develop a program of strength training
appropriate to their physical condition, time available, equipment
available, knowledge, goals, and age.

Persons beginning a strength training program might find the
following book to be useful to them:

Strength Training for Seniors: How to Rewind Your Biological Clock.
By Michael Fekete, CSCS, ACE.
Alamedia, California, Hunter House, 2006. Index, 134 pages.
ISBN: 0897934784.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chang San Feng

"The legends of “Zhang Sanfeng’s creation of taiji quan” continued in some of the most important modern taiji quan books, such as Xu Yusheng’s 許禹生 Taijiquan Tushi Jie 太极拳势图解, or a Elucidation of Taijiquan Postures in 1921, Sun Loutang’s 孫祿堂 Taiji Quanxue 太極拳學, or the Learning of Taiji Quan in 1924, Ceng Weiming’s 陳微明 Taiji Quan Shu 太極拳術, or the Art of Taiji Quan in 1925, and Yang Chengfu’s 揚澄甫 Tiaji Quan Tiyong Quanshu 太極拳體用全書, or the Essence and Applications of Taiji Quan in 1934, and in the oral traditions as well. According to Xu Zhen 許震 (1898-1967), the source of Zhang Sanfeng’s association with Taiji quan must have been the Yang family partisans no earlier than Guangxu 光緒 reign (1875-1904) of the Qing dynasty. (Xu Zhen, 112) The attribution of “Zhang Sanfeng’s creation of taiji quan” was seriously taken as a creed, and this creed has been concretized via lineage records, ceremonies, altars, and iconography to the majority of taiji quan enthusiasts."

Literati Tradition: The Origins of Taiji. The Origins of Tai Chi - The Chang San Feng Camp. By Bing YeYoung. A well researched article. Includes bibliographical references. 36Kb.

Chang San-Feng, Taoist Master. Brief biography, links, bibliography, quotations, and a study of the "Treatise on Tai Chi Chuan". Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo. Includes poems and commentary by Mike Garofalo. Red Bluff, California, Green Way Research, 2005. 75Kb.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan

Sun Style Taijiquan: Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Resources, List of Movements of 73 competition form, information on Sun Lu Tang, and Notes.
By Mike Garofalo. 142 Kb.

Sun Style Bagua Zhang

Sun Style Sword

Sun Style Hsing Yi Chuan

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Walking Meditation

"You may also want to bring the practice of wogging into your life.
Half slow walking (going uphill) and freely surrendered, speedy
jogging (going downhill), it may become your preferred meditation
posture or form of dance. The goal of the practice is not to condition
the body aerobically; that happens as a natural byproduct. The goal
of the practice is to open to and merge with the breath, letting your
natural, surrendered breath determine how fast or slow your body
moves, to stay as loose and relaxed as possible, to let every part of
the body move as fluidly as possible, to surrender to the sensation
and energies of the body as you keep playing with balance, to keep
emptying the mind and staying in clear perception of vision and sound.
Full-bodied breath comes easier during a wog than during any other
activity. Sensations can be felt through the entire body. Vision can
become very clear, and the mind can stay very empty."
- Will Johnson, Yoga of the Mahamudra, 2005, p. 134

"The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and
the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage
through a series of thoughts. The creates an odd consonance between
internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is
also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.
A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was
there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making."
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, p. 5.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Walking: Links, Bibliography, Quotations

Walking: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes.
By Michael P. Garofalo. 120Kb.

Walking Meditation

"A person's heart and mind are in chaos.
Concentration on one thing makes the mind pure.
If one aspires to reach the Tao,
one should practice walking in a circle."
- Taoist Canon

"Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday I walk myself into
a state of well being and walk away from every illness. I have walked
myself into my best thoughts and I know of no thought so burdensome
that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more
one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill...if one keeps on
walking everything will be alright."
- Soren Kierkegaard

Walking Quotations

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sun Lu Tang 1861-1933

Chronology of Granmaster Sun Lu Tang's Life:

1861 Born. His given name was Sun Fu Quan. He was born in a simple home,
near the city of Bao Ding, in Wan County, in Hebei Province.

His father was a poor farmer in Dingxian County in Hebei Province
His father died when he was a child and the family lost their farm.
Worked as a servant for a rich man.
Learned Shaolin Hung Boxing from Master Wu.
Lived with and worked for his uncle, and studied calligraphy.
Started learning Hsing I Quan martial arts from Li Kui Yuan.
Sun Lu-Tang became a formal discipline of Li Kui Yuan

1882 Started learning Hsing I Quan from Guo Yun Shen.

1891 Started learning Dragon style Pa Kua Chuan from the famous
Pa Kua master Cheng T'ing Hua.(1848-1900)
Master Cheng's nickname for Sun was "More Clever Than an Active Monkey."

1891 Married Zhang Zhou Xien (1863-1934)
First son, Sun Xing Yi (1891-1929)
Second son, Sun Cun Zhou (1893-1963)
Daughter, Sun Jian Yun (1913-2003)
Third son, Sun Huan Min (1897-1922)

1894 Started using the name 'Sun Lu Tang' given to him by Cheng T'ing Hua

1894 Studied Yi Jing theory and Emei Qigong in mountains of Sichuan

1895 Studied Taoism in the Wu Dang Mountains

1896 Established the Pu Yang Boxing Association in Bao Ding

1899 Moved to Xing Tang, 80 miles from Beijing, and taught martial arts

1907 Taught in Northern China for the General Governor, Xu Shi Chang

1910 Established three marital arts schools in Beijing and Tianjin
He lived in eastern Beijing from 1910-1932.
Sun Lu-Tang possessed extraordinary abilities and knowledge of the martial
arts, including legendary fast footwork, leaping, climbing, and endurance skills.
He had many talented and devoted students. He was a successful businessman.
He was know by numerous nicknames: "Tiger Head Hero, First Hand Under
the Sky, and Smarter than an Active Monkey." Sun weighted 140 pounds.

1911 Learned Wu Yu-xiang style of Taijiquan from Hao Wei Chen (1849-1920)
Sun was 50 years of age when he learned Wu Yu-xiang style Taiji.

1913 Sun Jian Yun, daughter is born. She died on 10/2/2003. She was a Sun Grandmaster.

1914 Sun began creating Sun style Taijiquan. He was 52 years of age.

1915 Xing Yi Quan Xue: The Study of Form-Mind Boxing by Sun Lu Tang is published.
Sun Lu-Tang taught in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou between

1916 The Study of Ba Gua Boxing is published.

1919 Sun was a Lieutenant in the Army in Beijing, teaching martial arts from 1919-1924

1921 The Study of Tai Ji Quan is published.

1921 During his 60th birthday party his personal notebooks and diaries were stolen.

1924 The True Essence of Boxing is published.

1927 The Study of Ba Gua Sword is published.

1929 Wrote The Study of the Xing Yi Spear; but, the work was not published.

1931 He was the first noted teacher to offer martial arts courses for women at
Zhe Jiang Martial Arts School.

1933 Sun Lu-Tang died on December 16, 1933. He was 72 years old.
He became ill and then fasted and meditated until he died peacefully.
Sun Lu Tang's gravestone shows his life-span to be: 1862-1933.
Some documents say he was born in 1861 and died in 1932.
Sun Lu Tang returned to the house he was born in the last few months of
his life, and died in the room where he was born.

The Sun Style Taijiquan webpage includes a detailed bibliography, links, resources, quotations, a list of movements in the 73 Sun competition form, photos, and notes. 145Kb. By Michael P. Garofalo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Green Way Gallery

I decided to create a webspace for posting photographs I take with my Samsung cell phone. I use T-Mobile to email the pictures to Blogger. The webspace is called the Green way Gallery.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Time Will Be ...

"The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time."
Abraham Lincoln

"The past is solid, the future is liquid."
- J. L. Aubert

"I have seen the future and it's like the present, only longer."
- Dan Quisenberry

"The past is a quidepost, not a hitching post."
- Thomas Holcroft

Green Way Wisdom - Time

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Qigong: Bibliography, Links, Resources

A fairly comprehensive bibliography of works in English.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Clearing the Mind or Not

"I gazed into the quiet waters of the pond, still thinking about what Grandfather had meant by the pure mind. The water was so still that there was a crystal-clear reflection of the sky and all that surrounded the pond. The reflection was so perfect that it looked as if I were looking into a mirror. Then a light breeze stirred the surface of the pond, and the once clear image shattered into a thousand pieces, then suddenly was gone. No reflection remained, just the troubled surface of the water. Then suddenly the word thoughts hammered into my head, and I jumped up in utter surprise and triumph. I finally understood what Grandfather had meant by pure mind. I was so amazed, so overwhelmed, that tears of joy filled my eyes.

The lesson of pure mind was shown to me by the clear water. The pure mind was like the surface of a quiet pond, where all things were reflected purely. Once the logical mind sends in thoughts, analysis, definitions, qualifiers, and distractions, the image of the pond's quiet surface is disrupted, and the clear image of nature's reflection is destroyed. I understood then that in order to see into the worlds of nature, and ultimately spirit, as Grandfather did, I had to posses that pure mind. All the distraction of the logical thinking mind would only produce an obscurity or destroy that pure image altogether."

—Tom Brown, Jr., Awakening Spirits

Green Way Wisdom - Zen Literature

Logical thinking, reasoning, creativity, imagination, visualization, memory, reflection, and the exercise of the powers of consciousness can each also be pure, clear, open, joyful, enlightening, beneficial, and good. It is not only either/or, but also and/plus. Often, just a little clear thinking is a hundred times better than the dull obscurity of thoughtlessness. As with most aspects of life - it all depends.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Squinting at the New You

When I woke up this morning, for some unknown reason, it took me a long time to gain clear focus with my eyes. I washed them, rubbed them, exercised them, drank a cup of coffee ... finally, I could see clearly again.

"It has been said that if you could become another person for even a few moments you would probably become Enlightened. So strong is our attachment to the idea of who we are that even the smallest jolt out of it can have an immense effect."
- Manjusvara

What would be your reaction be if the "new you" was blind or deaf? Our "idea of who we are" is grounded in our body, and the limitations and possibilities of what our bodies can do.

"Gertrude Jekyll, like Monet, was a painter with poor eyesight, and their gardens - his at Giverny in the Seine valley, hers in Surrey - had resemblance's that may have sprung from this condition. Both loved plants that foamed and frothed over walls and pergolas, spread in tides beneath trees; both saw flowers in islands of colored light - an image the normal eye captures only by squinting."
- Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts, 1981

Green Way Wisdom - Seeing

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tree Hugging is Good For You

Moreihei Ueshiba - Tree Hugger

Aikido Founder and Grand Master, Morihei Ueshiba, (1883-1969)
Tree Hugger

"Aikido is the principle of nonresistance.
Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning.
Those with the evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished."

"Move like a beam of light;
Fly like lightning;
Strike like thunder;
Whirl in circles around
A stable center."
- Morihei Ueshiba

Andrew Weil - Tree Hugger
Dr. Andrew Weil is also a tree hugger.

Cortes Ecoforestry Society Calendar

So, what are YOU waiting for? Hug a tree today.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Best Yang Style DVDs and Videos

I get five or six emails a week asking me to recommend the best Yang style tai chi chuan instructional DVD or videotape.

I have listed dozens of instructional DVDs and videotapes in my webpage on the Yang Style Taijiquan 108 Long Form. I even give you a few recommendations about DVDs or videotapes that I have enjoyed using.

My problem is that I cannot afford to purchase many of these products, and the producers or distributors do not send me products to review (which I would be quite pleased to do). Consequently, I cannot compare these instructional DVDs or videotapes.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wild Goose Qigong

"Dayan Qigong is from the Taoist Kunlun systems and was originally developed in the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), but for many years remained a closely guarded secret. Legend has it that before one was allowed to teach this system they had to study for many years and could not teach it until they reached the age of 70 years. ... Dayan Qigong is a Chinese internal system of two sets of 64 movements which are designed to boost the Qi energy system, clear negative energy, increase mental clarity and thereby and leave the practitioner feeling revitalised, refreshed and both mentally and physically stimulated. Regular practice helps to stimulate the health Qi flow through the meridians whilst helping to clear negative or stagnant Qi. It contains a number of beautiful bird-like movements which are easy to learn and delightful to perform." Ronnie Robinson, Persistence and Grace of the Wild Goose.

Wild Goose Qigong: Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Resources, Notes.
By Mike Garofalo. 100Kb.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Arrow's Already Gone Past

Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings.
By Andy Ferguson. Foreword by Reb Anderson.
Boston, Wisdom Publications, 2000. Glossaries, name lists, bibliography, index, 518 pages. ISBN: 0861711637.

A monk asked, "What is Tongan's arrow?"
Daopi said, "Look behind you."
The monk asked, "What's back there?"
Daopi said, "It's gone past already."
- Zen's Chinese Heritage, p. 257

I started reading the literature of Zen when I was fifteen. Forty five years later, I still can sit up straight after grappling with a clever retort, a puzzling non-sequitur, a zany twist on some allusion, a bold example, an illogical brain-lock, or a slap of cold water on the face provided by a confident Zen man. I still like to smile when pondering the mystery of whatever "It" is. I treasure the Chan playfulness, practicality, humor, and seriousness.

Anyone studying Taijiquan and Qigong will quickly come into contact with the legends and lore of Taoism and Chan Buddhism (Zen). A quick look at the sidebar on this blog points to some of my own studies in these areas.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Taijiquan Words of Advice

Words of Experience
By Tung Ying Chieh
Translated by Albert Tang

"1. Tai Chi Chuan is an internal martial art exercise. Strength is produced in the bones. Power is reserved at the muscles. It does not require one to have tough skin or thick muscles, but sunken “chi” and strong bones are required. Therefore, learners have no suffering of broken bones and hurt muscles, and the tiredness of jumping, but just move naturally to find the potential of power of origin. It is an exercise to develop the your original power.

8. Everytime when you pratcice the form, there are at least three things you must do. The first one is to relax your muscle. The second one is to adjust your postures. The third one is to concentrate more on intentions and spiritual styles. When you can master all the movements, then the spiritual style will appear when you move. When you reach this stage your improvement will be better and quicker.

14. The principles of Tai Chi Chuan: The root is on the feet; enforced from the legs; controlled by the waist; and expressed by the fingers. These are the principles of enforcing power: never let the knees come over the toes; never stretch the hands over your nose; never raise over your eyebrows; and don’t press down below the center of the chest. All these are traditional rules. If you break these rules, then the power will not be as good. The variation is controlled by the waist. For example: If you push someone to the left with your right hand sideways, and your hand is over your nose, then the power will not be there. But if you let your left chest withdraw backward a little bit, and turn your waist to the left a little bit, then the power is there again. So this variation is on the chest, and controlled by the waist, and finally shows on you fingers, If the whole body is relaxed and sensitive, then strong power will show on the fingers.

16. Before learning Tai Chi Chuan, The strength might be dull strength. After learning Tai Chi Chuan the whole body is relaxed, and with good circulation of the “chi” and blood. But you must get rid of all the nervous tension, and keep the original dull strength. Because when you are relaxed, dull strength can be turned into real power. An example of dull strength is what some people call shoulder power, as the strength is held at the shoulder, and is not controlled by the waist and shown on the fingers. Therefore, dull power is the capital. Relaxation is the Method. If you know the method, then even small capital can achieve great success. if you don’t know the method, then even with big capital you cannot be successful. That’s why if you understand the principle of Tai Chi Chuan, it will benefit you for all kinds of sports."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Vote in a New Way

I am tired of the supporting all the Republicans and Democrats on a killing spree around the world, daily preaching crisis and encouraging fear, uncertain and wrong again and again about the facts, pushing their right wing Christian "moral" agenda on everyone, and leading us on to failure after failure. Here is a webpage with many anti-war quotes to confirm what you already know. Vote in a new way next month in America! I'm leaning to going Green.