Friday, May 16, 2008

Springtime Quotations, Poems and Sayings

Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore,
Myths, Holidays, Celebrations,
Links, Celebrations, Facts,
Resources, Gardening Chores
Winter Spring Summer Autumn
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time for Resting

After months of discomfort and tenderness in my abdomen, I decided to have surgery to repair the problem. On May 8th, Dr. Robert Taylor repaired my umbilical hernia at St. Elizabeth's Out-Patient Surgery Center in Red Bluff.

So, for the next few weeks, I'm on the mend ... lots of reading, writing, resting, listening to music, and gentle indoor activities. No lifting. No teaching yoga. No serious gardening. No vigorous martial arts. No CUESD work.

Hopefully, by this Thursday, I will be watering the garden, walking, and doing easy Taijiquan.

I've been working lately on The Ways of Walking website, the Sun Tajiquan 73 Competition Form, and the webpages on May and June.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Practice of Walking

"Gongfu is an ancient Chinese term describing work, devotion, and effort that has been successfully applied over a substantial period of time, resulting in a degree of mastery in a specific field. Although the term is synonymous in the West with martial arts (though it is most often rendered as Kung Fu), it is equally applicable to calligraphy, painting, music, or other areas of endeavor."
- Andy James

There is a difference between "a practice" and "to practice." Those of us who played competitive sports sometimes were not enthused about a going "to a practice." Practice meant repeating fitness and skills drills, listening to yelling coaches, pushing ourselves to new physical limits, competing with others, doing extra pushups for inattention, etc. Having a practice, a long-term fitness avocation, a mind-body engagement, a spiritual gong-fu, a ritual for well-being, an engaging and enriching pastime, a self-determined commitment to good healthy activites, a non-competitive and non-judgmental path to inner and outward growth ... now this kind of practice enriches both body, mind and spirit for a lifetime.

"Allow walking to occupy a place of stature equal with all the other important activities in your life. As difficult as that might seem, here's how to do it. Make it a practice. That's right. Turn your walking into a vehicle for personal growth as well as for fitness. This will add a higher level of integrity and intention to your approach because you will find that it is a way to deepen and upgrade your relationship to your body. Instead of merely giving your legs a good workout, you'll be practicing to relax more, to breathe better, to expand your vision, to open up your range of motion, to increase your energy, to feel and sense your body. The list is exciting - and endless. With all of this to look forward to, your walking program will take its place alongside everything in your life you value most, and you'll be amazed at how easy it is to schedule time for something you really love to do."
- Katherine Dreyer, Chi Walking, p. 56

Chi Walking: The Find Mindful Steps for Lifelong Health and Energy. By Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer. New York, Simon and Shuster, Fireside Books, 2006. Index, 258 pages. ISBN: 0743267206.