"Let me keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still,
learning to be astonished."
- Mary Oliver, Messenger
"Standing still in the circle of trees, in the sacred space,
one wet and chilly morn,
feet rooted, toes clawing the earth, sunk deeply down;
twisted like a dragon, alert, poised, ready to fly;
settled like a bear, strong, full of power, gathering;
looking through the tiger's eye, mind-intent, penetrating;
embracing the Trinity of Body, Mind, and Spirit,
as ancient as Now, the Three Bodies, all still, all one.
From the edge, the cosmic circle opened,
Chang San-Feng slipped inside, smiling,
he stroked his long beard and spoke softly,
"Ah, another old man standing so still in San Ti Shi.
Continue, my friend, stand in peace, touch the mind.
The subtle winds of understanding blow down the centuries.
When still, fly like the Eagle; when moving, walk like the Mountain.
Tame the Tiger within, ride the Tiger to the temple, and roar in silence.
Awaken like the Bear from the winter of the soul, and rise like a Man.
Feel the vital energies from bone to brain,
Sense the Great Tao before you Now,
Drop delusions, break through the Gate of Mystery,
Embrace the Center, Empty, unattached, ready to be filled
With boundless beauty, everything There, marvelous beyond words."
The cottonwood leaves spoke with the wind,
the sun rose over the shadows,
my legs shook a little;
the cosmic circle trembled,
the Master had gone."
By Michael P. Garofalo, Poetic Reflections on Chang San-Feng.
A commonoly used standing posture in internal martial arts is the San Ti Shi. This is the "Trinity Posture, Three Bodies Posture, or the Three Legged Posture...." For a description of the posture, photographs of the posture, and the purpose of standing postures visit my notes on the webpage San Ti Shi, Three Body (Heaven, Man, Earth) Standing Posture
Zhan Zhuang (Standing Like A Tree)
Rooting Deeply Into Tranquility, Power and Vitality
A Chinese Meditation and Qigong Discipline
By Mike Garofalo, 137 Kb.
Chang San Feng, Taoist Master, Circa 1300 CE
Meetings with Chang San-Feng. Poetic reflections by Mike Garofalo.