Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Martial Virtue

"Philosophical ideals in the martial arts:
1. To strive for perfection of character
2. To defend the paths of truth
3. To foster the spirit of effort
4. To honor the principles of etiquette
5. To guard against impetuous courage."
- Herman Kauz, The Martial Spirit: An Introduction to the Origin, Philosophy and Psychology of the Martial Arts.

Seven Essential Principles Of Bushido (The Way Of The Warrior):
1. GI: the right decision, taken with equanimity, the right attitude, the truth. Rectitude.
2. YU: bravery tinged with heroism
3. JIN: universal love, benevolence toward mankind. Compassion.
4. REI: right action - a most essential quality. Courtesy.
5. MAKOTO: utter sincerity. Truthfulness.
6. MELYO: honor and glory.
7. CHUGO: devotion. Loyalty.
- Taisen

"It is said that a calm and stable mind can achieve anything. This is an idea that I hold strong to. If we are not thinking with our wisdom mind then we are thinking out of impulse and reaction, like most animals do. This thinking out of impulse is known as the "emotional mind" (xin). The martial arts are very much a tool to shape reaction, both mentally and physically. Through diligent practice, and study of the martial virtues one can begin to act from the wisdom mind.

The virtues fall into two categories; morality of action, and morality of mind. Of those that are associated with action, there is:


as well as those which are associated with the mind:

- R. Scott Moylan, Wu De Quan

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world."
- The Buddha

Monday, May 28, 2007

War Powers Authorization by Public Vote

28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
War Powers Authorization by Public Vote

Suggested by Michael P. Garofalo

Sent to: Barbara Boxer, United States Senator, California; Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator, California; Wally Herger, United States Congressman, 2nd District, California; and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, United States Congress, 8th District, California

Date: Memorial Day, May 28, 2007

I have a suggestion for an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. I hope you will consider refining and sponsoring this amendment.

XXVIII (28th) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America
War Powers Authorization by Public Vote

The President of the United States and the U.S. Congress shall retain the power to take immediate military actions in response to serious and imminent threats to the security of the United States of America.

When we have a political or military situation that is not an immediate and direct threat to the safety and security to the people of the United States of America (e.g., Vietnam, Gulf War, Bosnia, Iraq, etc.), and involves and requires a serious decision about a major commitment of United States military resources, then:

1. The proposal to take military action must be put to a popular vote. At least 66% of the voters must approve the proposed military action (War).

2. If the proposed military action is approved by 66% of the voters, then all adults over 18 years of age living in the United States will pay an annual War Tax. This War Tax, for example, will be no less than $150.00 per adult and no higher than $350.00 per adult per year, depending upon their income. Every adult in the United States will pay the annual war tax for a minimum of four years.

3. If the proposed military action is approved by 66% of the voters, then we will dramatically improve the short term and long term pay and benefits for those in military service during the approved military action (War) and for all veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States of America who served during the approved military action. We will support our Armed Forces with more than adequate manpower, equipment, and supplies to successfully complete their mission in the shortest time possible.

4. If less than 50% of the registered voters actually vote in a War Powers Authorization election, then this fact will be taken to represent the considered judgment that 50% of the American public do not want the federal government to take the proposed military action, and the United States will not to enter into war.

5. The approved military action (War) will be only for a four year period. At the end of the four year period, the military action (War) can proceed only after a second 66% approval by popular vote for another four year period.

Arguments in Favor of a 28th Amendment:

1. Many Americans delight in blaming elected officials and bureaucrats, or the political party they have a knee jerk dislike for, for questionable military actions like in Iraq (Republicans) or in Vietnam (Democrats and Republicans). Now they will have to point the finger of blame towards themselves for voting to approve military actions that will cost billions of dollars and will result in the destruction of property, injuries, and deaths for thousands of people.

2. Many Americans are just "sunshine patriots" who object to increased taxes to pay for military wars (or any reasonable increased taxes), and object to serving, and have never served nor their children served, in the United States Armed Forces. Their "contribution and commitment" to our military efforts are to tie a yellow ribbon on a tree, put a bumper sticker on their car, cheer for the political party in power that they like, chide others about “not supporting our President,” and watch a TV clip on a Memorial Day service. With the 28th Amendment, adults should, at least, vote themselves for the military action (War), and, if approved, all would pay something for the military action with a War Tax for four years.

3. The 28th Amendment in no way takes away the authority of the President and/or Congress to take immediate action to respond to serious and imminent threats or attacks against the United States of America.

Our recent invasion of Afghanistan, in my opinion, is an example of a prompt and legitimate Presidential and Congressional response to a clear and present danger to our security from the Taliban leaders hiding and supporting terrorist gangs who had attacked the United States on 9/11. However, our recent pre-emptive invasion of Iraq is clearly a case where many years of political action and debate preceded the invasion of Iraq, nearly all countries advised us against taking the military action, we had no United Nations support, Iraq had not declared war against the United States, and Iraqis had not attacked the United States; therefore, it would clearly have been a situation that would come under the 28th Amendment requirement for a popular vote on whether or not to invade Iraq.

4. Requiring a 66% approval by popular vote is reasonable and appropriate considering the seriousness of the decision. In many States, we require a 66% approval rate just to increase taxes on property. Spending billions of dollars on a military action and destroying the lives and property of thousands of people is a far more serious matter than increasing property taxes to pay for local infrastructure improvements to public water and sewer systems.

5. Placing a time limit (four years) on the approved military action (War) is reasonable. If the facts show that the original reasons for entering a war were incorrect or fabricated, then the voters can choose to not approve continued military actions. The public might also want to consider recalling or impeaching inept or duplicitous federal elected officials; and the dismissal of incompetent appointed officials, federal bureaucrats and military personnel working in military “intelligence.”

Even with the 28th Amendment, 66% of the voters might have approved a military invasion of Iraq in 2002 because of the 9/11 revenge frenzy and panic over WMDs; but in 2006, less than 40% of Americans approved of the war in Iraq and would not have voted to approve continuation. Also, knowing of the aversion of our typical "sunshine patriots" to paying any additional War Taxes for four years, and their unwillingness to take any personal responsibility for supporting our wars themselves, we might not have gathered the 66% of the popular vote from over 50% of the registered voters in 2002 to invade Iraq in the first place.

6. Everyone should pay for a military action (War) that 66% of the voters approve. It should not be just the middle classes, the wealthy, and the corporations that pay for a war. A poor person, or a retired person, or an unemployed person's vote counts just as much as a wealthy person's vote. Everybody, including illegal aliens in the U.S., should pay for the approved military action for four years. We should not make somebody else, or our grandchildren, pay for a war we approved.

7. In this country, local police officers get better pay and benefits and ongoing support than the men and women in the Federal Armed Forces, and our federal military veterans. Which job is more dangerous: issuing a ticket for not wearing a seat belt in Fresno, or going searching for insurgents in Baghdad? The 28th Amendment makes improving the pay and benefits for the men and women in the Armed Forces, and for their families, and for Armed Forces veterans a top priority. Those who truly shoulder the burden of war should have fair compensation and support; and the lazy "sunshine patriots" will just have a few less toys to play with on the Fourth of July.

8. Joining in coalitions with other countries to combat terrorism or other threats to international security, or joining with military efforts to support United Nations resolutions, makes good sense. We should listen to the good advice of other countries from around the world. However, if we choose to go to war in a situation where an imminent threat to our own security is not arguable (e.g., Bosnia, Gulf War, Iraq), then the decision to take serious and involved military action should be made by popular vote as per the 28th Amendment.

9. The amount of the War Tax for four years should be set by auditors and elected officials at the time of the vote. The amount should pay for a war and its consequences at home and abroad. The amount should provide fair compensation for members of the Armed Forces. Should a soldier at war not make the same pay and benefits as the city policeman in Fresno? Should the soldiers not make the same pay and benefits as the Haliburton Corporation security employees working in Iraq who are paid from contracts from the U.S. federal government? The amount might well be higher that I suggested above ($150.00 - $350.00 per year per adult.); or lower. Every adult should pay a War Tax.

9. Would we not prefer open public discussion, open debates, and a open popular vote decision on such a serious matter as going to war? Most of us are quite content to let our elected federal representatives make decisions on most matters of government, and to respond efficiently and effectively to emergency situations. However, a decision for the United States to go to war, when no imminent threat to our security is evident, is too grave a matter to leave solely to our elected federal officials and their supporting bureaucracy. The American voters should stand up and be counted as to their willingness to wage war, and to support their own decisions with personal sacrifices and War Taxes appropriate to wartime. In this way, our hardworking elected officials will know the true will and resolve of the American public, and this will help reduce the divisive federal partisan political disagreements that produce internal rancor and give hope to our enemies.

Thank you for your consideration,
Michael P. Garofalo
Red Bluff, California
Memorial Day 2007

War Powers Authorization by Public Vote: 28th Amendment

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Animals of Xing I Quan

"Dragon Body - This imaginary beast is common in Chinese fables and folklore. The dragon could fly high, riding the mists, contracting and twisting it's body like a snake through the clouds. Xingyi places high importance on this for every transitional movement in the art should embody the spirit of the dragon, expanding and contracting, striking out with mystical prowess.

Chicken Leg - This is one of the most basic fundamentals of the art of Xingyiquan. A chicken can run very quickly and stop suddenly, keeping it's weight on one leg, ready to peck. Xingyi's five elements all encompass this theory by stepping forward onto one leg before it issues it's strike much like a chicken does. By mastering this, you can advance, retreat, turn and change forms very quickly because the weight is always ready to transfer.

Eagle Claw - While the hands are relaxed and held in gentle curves when in transitional movements, when striking, they must become like the fearless bird of prey's attacking talons, digging and grasping with an iron grip. This is especially seen in the beginning movement of Pi Quan when the hands draw down towards the Dan Tian. This is also very important in Xingyi, for many of the art's applications consist of grabbing with one hand while simultaneously striking with the other.

Bear Shoulders - Bears are large animals that can can generate a great deal of power from their great rounded shoulders. The Xingyi practitioner must mimic this to obtain maximum power in his art. By rounding the shoulders and hollowing the chest, the body actually "gets behind" the arms and hands, so when you strike, the power doesn't come from the arms, but from the whole body.

Tiger's Head Embrace - The tiger is a very regal beast. They are powerful and strong animals that exude the finest and most fearsome aspects of nature. In Xingyi, the head must be held erect and slightly back, but spiritually, it must also capture the imposing manner of the tiger, letting it's blank cunning show in your eyes and it's ability to pounce.

- Xonghua Xinyiquan

Xing Yi Quan (Hsing I Chuan): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes. By Mike Garofalo.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Kind and Cheerful Demeanor

"So many gods
So many creeds
This wind, that wind.
While just the art
Of being kind
Is all the sad world needs."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"The best way to cheer yourself up
Is to cheer someone else up."
- Mark Twain

"Wise sayings often fall
on barren ground;
but a kind word
is never thrown away."
- Sir Arthur Helps

"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the
good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
- Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sun Style of Taijiquan

Guidelines for the Practice of Sun Style Taijiquan Traditional Long Form

"According to Master Sun Jian-yun, the learner must observe the following specific guidelines in the training of Sun's Style of Tai-chi Chuan:

1. Consecutive Forward or Backward Steps

This is a movement occurring repeatedly in a major portion of the postures. Whenever the learner makes a move forward or backward with one leg, the other leg will do likewise. It is a striking feature of Sun's Style that the game always goes together with consecutive forward or backward steps. That is, whenever the foreleg moves forward, the hind leg will follow suit, and vice versa. As the two legs are moving to and fro most of the time, Sun's Style is well known for nimble feet and agility. However, if there had not been any check measures, nimble feet and agility would have led to imbalance where the body might not be maintained upright and the player tends to stoop down or lean backward.

2. Symmetric Exertion of Strength.

There must be counter strength exerted in every movement. Whenever the learner make a move forward, he must exert backward strength, and vice versa. This is the check measure to redress the above tendency of imbalance. As pointed out by Master Sun Jian-yun in her book "Sun's Style: Tai-chi Chuan and Sword-play (1997), "When making a consecutive forward move with both legs, the player's center of gravity being in motion is likely to creative imbalance where the player may bend forward. In order to maintain good balance, the player should push the sole of the front foot backward upon touching the ground so that the center of gravity will shift to the hind leg upon its touching the ground subsequently. The same principle also applies to consecutive backward moves."

3. San-ti Stance:

This is the fundamental posture from which a variety of postures are derived. The learner must master its application throughout the game and understand how it is adapted to the derivative postures. Grand Master Sun Lu-Tang has time and again stressed the importance of this posture, saying "San-ti is the prototype of all postures of Xing-yi Chuan." Such a saying is in fact true of Sun's Style Tai-chi Chuan. No wonder Master Sun Jian-yun pointed out emphatically, "San-ti posture is the foundation of the whole framework of postures in Sun's Style Tai-chi Chuan."

- Sun Jian-yun and Paul F. N. Tam. Sun's Style Tai Chi Chuan. Translated by Peter Chen and Leung Ming Yuen. Pubished by Peter Chan and Company, Hong Kong, 2003. 141 pages. Plum Publications. p.3-4.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ten Buddhist Precepts

"I vow not to kill.
By not killing life, the Buddha seed grows. Transmit the life of Buddha and do not kill.

I vow not to take what is not given.
The self and objects are such, two yet one. The gate of liberation stands open.

I vow not to misuse sexuality.
Let the three wheels of self, objects, and action be pure. With nothing to desire, one goes along together with the Buddhas.

I vow to refrain from false speech.
The Dharma Wheel turns from the beginning. There is neither surplus nor lack. The sweet dew saturates all and harvests the truth.

I vow not to sell the wine of delusion.
Originally pure, don't defile. This is the great awareness.

I vow not to slander.
In the Buddha Dharma, go together, appreciate, realize, and actualize together. Don't permit fault-finding. Don't permit haphazard talk. Do not corrupt the way.

I vow not to praise self at the expense of others.
Buddhas and Ancestors realize the vast sky and the great earth. When they manifest the noble body, there is neither inside nor outside in emptiness. When they manifest the Dharma body, there is not even a bit of earth on the ground.

I vow not to be avaricious.
One phrase, one verse--that is the ten thousand things and one hundred grasses. One dharma, one realization--is all Buddhas and Ancestors. Therefore, from the beginning, there has been no stinginess at all.

I vow not to harbor ill will.
Not negative, not positive, neither real nor unreal. There is an ocean of illuminated clouds and an ocean of ornamented clouds.

I vow not to abuse the three treasures.
To expound the Dharma with this body is foremost. Virtue returns to the ocean of reality. It is unfathomable--we just accept it with respect and gratitude."

Berkeley Zen Center, Buddhist Texts

The Ethical Precepts of Zen Buddhism: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes. By Mike Garofalo.

The Bodhisattva Warriors. The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art within India and China. By Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio (Terence Dukes). Boston, MA, Weiser Books, 1994. Index, bibliography, extensive notes, 527 pages. ISBN: 0877287856.

The Spiritual Legacy of the Shaolin Temple: Buddhism, Daoism, and the Energetic Arts. By Andy James. Foreword by Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson. Summerville, MA, Wisdom Publications, 2004. 179 pages. ISBN: 0861713524.

Wong Kiew Kit: Shaolin Kungfu, Chi Kung, TaijiQuan and Zen Extensive website.

The Martial Way and Its Virtures: Tao De Gung. By F.J. Chu. YMAA, 2003. 128 pages. ISBN: 1886969698.

The Martial Spirit: An Introduction to the Origin, Philosophy and Psychology of the Martial Arts. By Herman Kauz. Woodstock, New York, The Overlook Press, 1977. 141 pages. ISBN: 0879513276.

Cloud Hands Website

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sun Tai Chi Chuan Videos Online

There are many good instructional DVDs, VCDs and VHS videotapes for students of Taijiquan, Xing I Quan, and Baguazhang now available for purchase. I have cited these resources in my bibliographies on the subjects at the Cloud Hands Website.

The quantity and quality of such instructional media for the study of Sun Style Taijiquan has increased greatly over the last 10 years.

Finally, in the last three years, we a seen the emergence of Google Video and UTube, and now many videos are online. I have prepared a fairly complete listing of videos online that can be used in the study of Sun Style Taijiquan.

Those who practice Xing Yi Quan and Staff Weapons will find a number of new entries on my webpages on the two subjects.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wearing Youself Out

"As for walking around stupas, the stupa is your body and mind. When your awareness circles your body and mind without stopping, this is called walking around a stupa. The sages of long ago followed this path to nirvana. But people today don't understand what this means. Instead of looking inside they insist on looking outside. They use their material bodies to walk around material stupas. And they keep at it day and night, wearing themselves out in vain and coming no closer to their real self."
- Bodhidharma, 515 CE

The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, p. 101. Translated and with an Introduction by Red Pine.

One of many stories told about Bodhidharma, the first Zen Buddhist Patriarch in China, is that he spent seven years in seated meditation while facing a stone wall. Talk about wearing yourself out in vain!

The only thing that would "wear out" while walking around a stupa, or a mountain, or a bagua circle, or a lake, or a soccer field would be one's shoes. Thankfully, the Bodhidharma finally Woke Up after his seven years of staring at a blank wall, and resolved that Shaolin monks thereafter would be required to exercise, practice Kung Fu and Qigong, garden, and do chores along with meditating, sutra studies, chanting, and interviews with the Master. To this day, 1500 years later, people still speak respectfully about the Bodhidharma - the founder of Shaolin qigong and kungfu, and the First Patriarch of Zen in China.

Whether you sit motionless in meditation for seven years, or practice Shaolin Kungfu for 14 years, or walk the Bagua circle around the post in your backyard for 28 years, you will always wear out. The Second Law of Thermodynamics points the Arrow of Time towards a depletion and dissipation of energy (a diffusion and loss of Qi), aging, systems breakdown, death, and a blending with the Silent Aging All.

Walking the Circle: Ba Gua Zhan

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Right Time

“We men of Earth have here the stuff
Of Paradise - we have enough!
We need no other stones to build
The Temple of the Unfulfilled -
No other ivory for the doors -
No other marble for the floors -
No other cedar for the beam
And dome of man’s immortal dream.

Here on the paths of every-day -
Here on the common human way
Is all the stuff the gods would take
To build a Heaven, to mold and make
New Edens. Ours is the stuff sublime
To build Eternity in time!”
- Edwin Markham, Earth is Enough

Green Way Wisdom - Religion

Walking, dancing, taijiquan, qigong, gardening or yoga
at daybreak are all a taste of paradise for me.
"We men of Earth have here the stuff of paradise..."
Peace to everyone.
Blessed Be!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Martial Arts Dictionaries

If you need to use a Chinese-English Martial Arts Dictionary, with a focus on internal martial arts, take a look at:

Dictionary of Chinese Martial Arts Terms - Wushu Dictionary.
Prepared by Andrea Falk, M.S., author and translator.
HTML Version and PDF Version

David Brent Wolfe Dictionary of Martial Arts Terms

I have prepared a bibliography and web guide to dictionaries and glossaries on Chinese Internal Martial Arts.

If you know of other glossaries or dictionaries of Chinese Internal Martial Arts, please send me an email with the information.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Yes You Can - For Others

We need to keep in mind that our exercise routines also benefit others. We need to show up, work, and participate in our taijiquan class, or yoga class, or kung fu class, or hiking group outing, or softball team practice ... Others are counting on us to participate. Our participation and diligent efforts serve as an example to others. If you have agreed to be on a team or group, your active participation is proof of your loyalty, respect for others, and your ability to keep your word. If you have chosen to particpate in a competitive event, showing up and trying your best is an inspiration to others.

If you want a good dose of inspiration, take a look at this video. It shows how a dedicated father's sporting efforts are a joy for his son, and a very inspirational story for millions. Yes You Can - For Others! Can You Imagine.

Sun Tai Ji Quan

Lately, I've been working on webpages related to Grandmaster Sun Lu Tang's internal martial arts: Tai Ji Quan, Hsing Yi Quan, Ba Gua Quan, and Qigong. The glossary is becoming quite useful to me.

Research by Mike Garofalo

Sun Taijiquan Glossary

Sun Taijiquan Website Index Page

Sun Lu Tang (1861-1933) Biographical Information

Sun Tai Chi Chuan International Competition 73 Form
Instructions, Bibliography, Links, Resources. 115Kb.

Sun Taijiquan Blog

Sun Lu Tang's Xing Yi Quan (Hsing I Chuan)

Sun Lu Tang's Baguazhang (BaQua Quan)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Taijiquan Training Philosophy

Dojo Philosophy
Andrew T. Dale, Chief Instructor
Xin Qi Shen, Seattle, Washington

"Training in the Internal Arts isn't just physical but mental and spiritual.

Each practice is to strengthen and train our body, mind, energy and spirit.

Nurture excellence.

Respect the founder, the art, your teacher and classmates, but think for yourself.

Shoshin: Beginner’s mind. In a beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In an expert's there are few.

The principles remain constant but the methods can change.

Seek to improve the art and improve the standard.

Question authority. Always examine what is taught and what you are told, find your own understanding.

The study and practice of the internal arts is to become independent and free, not dependent on or limited by the system.

Keep thoughts and comments positive and healthy.

Train diligently, refine your body, mind and spirit. This is your responsibility.

Your teachers can show you the way and help you, only you can develop the skills.

Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours. Next time you say "I can’t” replace it with “I don’t want to try.”"

Monday, May 07, 2007

Xing Yi Quan Training Levels

"If you practice Xing Yi (Shape-Intent Fist), here are some tips for training. For simplicity, let's classify training into 3 levels:

At the first level, you train Ming Jin - your Obvious Power, your Physical Power. Basic 5-Element drills repeated correctly again and again and again, help you to achieve this. Xing Yi should look/be clean, crisp, neat, precise, exact - as Sifu says: "Exactly like Xing Yi". Body movement initiates from the dantien, hands & feet arrive simultaneously. Your whole body works as one concentrated unit. Qi/Mind/Intent continues, project your energy on through - project far.

At the second level, you train An Jin - your Hidden Power, your Secret Power, your Inner Power. Standing meditation, sensitivity drills, energy projection and proper postural alignment with body awareness to "feel" your energy running when repeating the basic 5-Element drills help you to achieve this.

At the third level, you train Hua Jin - Spontaneous Power, Neutralizing Power, Mysterious Power, Very Freedom Power - a whatever is required type of energy. More practice, more time, more experience help accumulate this power. Meditation is key in this stage. The heart/mind/shape become unified - alignment of body, mind and spirit. Understanding nature. Understanding the essence.

The ongoing training process is one of refining your power and energy feel, fine-tuning so to speak. Proper guidance and complete instruction from a qualified master is best."

Tony Bujas

Hsing I Chuan (Xing Yi Quan): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes
By Mike Garofalo

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sun Taijiquan Videos Online

There are many good instructional DVDs, VCDs and VHS videotapes for students of Taijiquan, Xing I Quan, and Baguazhang now available for purchase. I have cited these resources in my bibliographies on the subjects at the Cloud Hands Website.

The quantity and quality of such instructional media for the study of Sun Style Taijiquan has increased greatly over the last 10 years.

Finally, in the last three years, we a seen the emergence of Google Video and UTube, and now many videos are online. I have prepared a fairly complete listing of videos online that can be used in the study of Sun Style Taijiquan.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Better to Take a Walk

"It is good to collect things; it is better to take walks."
- Anatole France

"It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters in the end."
- Ursula K. LeGuin

"A fact bobbed up from my memory, that the ancient Egyptians
prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.
It was a mind-altering drug we took daily."
- Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks

Walking: Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes

Walking Meditation

Walking Quotations

Walking in the Garden

General Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Standing Meditation, Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Post

Standing Meditation - General

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Pleasures of a Garden

In the subtitle of this Cloud Hands blog, I include the extremely popular mind-body movement art of gardening. Many people who practice internal martial arts and yoga are also avid walkers and gardeners.

Over 90% of the internal martial arts practice I do is is at home, alone, in my yard. Many millions of people also practice Taijiquan and Qigong in their gardens, in parks and in fields.

I do post a great deal on the subject of gardening. However, these contributions are made to the Green Way Blog and The Spirit of Gardening Website.

Gardening also provides one with valuable physical exercise, as well as the pleasures of sights, sounds, smells and and tastes one gets from a garden.

On Sunday, 4/22, we spent the day at home. We did some gardening, played, read, learned about some new software, and took some photographs.

Karen Garofalo, Red Bluff, California

Karen standing at the entrance to the old vegetable garden area.

Mike Garofalo, Red Bluff, California

Mike standing at the entrance to the front yard.

Karen Garofalo, Red Bluff, California

Karen's calendulas and Spanish lavender are really colorful in the Springtime.

Mike Garofalo, Red Bluff, California

The pond by the teahouse is now quite full. The teahouse is hidden by two massive Golden Willows.

To see how our gardens, yard, and home have changed since 1998, take a look at one of our photographic studies.

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace.

Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.

You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.

Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.

One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace.

Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

To truly implement the Art of Peace, yu must be able to sport freely
in the manifest, hidden, and divine realms."

- Morihei Ueshiba, 1883-1969, The Art of Peace

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba watering his garden.

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba watering his garden.