Thursday, July 29, 2010
In mid-July, Karen, Mick, April and I all tent camped at San Simeon State Beach near Morro Beach State Park in San Luis Obispo County, California. Others at our tent campsite included Paul, Janet, Phil, Margaret, Chris, and Olivia. We enjoyed a nice visit.
On the drive south we went through Sacramento, Stockton, San Luis Dam and Resovoir, Gilroy, Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur Route 1 south to San Simeon.
We stopped an enjoyed lunch in Carmel, California.
I enjoyed seeing the many vineyards outside of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.
In the above photo, I am sitting at the Edna Vally Winery east of SLO.
We visited Hearst Castle and the many fine beaches in the area.
Mick, April and Karen at Morro Beach State Park.
Where did the many fine summers all go?
Where will this present summer go?
Too foggy to see Morro Rock.
Sea kayakers make their way south along the shore.
Walkways lead up and down.
The smell of the cold sea.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Karen was on vacation in Hawaii in early June. She will return from a trip to Indiana next week on Tuesday. I'm keeping our home and gardening running in her absence.
I attended the Eight Winds ADF Druid Festival at Trout Lake Abbey near Trout Lake, Washington. I tent camped and was very comfortable. The Abbey has a magnificent view of Mt. Adams.
My enlarged prostate has been giving me some problems. I injured my right foot and may need to have surgery on my right toe.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
- By Kveldulf Gundarsson, Tuetonic Magic, p. 24.
Time: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore
One Old Druid's Final Journey: The Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove
"Time is something everyone runs short on and finally runs out of.
When gardening, half and hour is fifty minutes.
Everywhere, what is, becoming past, present, and future.
Time may wait for no man, but seems to muddle and poke along quite slowly for gardeners.
Things always go downhill, fall apart, wear out ... the arrow of Time pierces everything.
Gardeners learn to live in worm time, bee time, and seed time.
Gardeners turn into the soil their lifetime.
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.
The time you have wasted in your garden is what makes it priceless.
All metaphors aside - only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead.
Time prevents too much from happening at once.
Gardening requires no commuting time.
Each time we water can be like the first time if we are fully present in the moment.
One purpose of a garden is to stop time.
Time will not pass you, but it will follow very close behind you.
Time is rooted in Place.
Annuals disappear, shrubs perish, trees die, and gardeners are buried; death is the flower of time.
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and, all Seasons for dying.
By the time you peel off five layers of reality, it's hard to recall the first.
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time.
The "eternal truths" are sometimes clearly false.
In the right place at the right time: tomato worms on tomato vines.
Take the time to melt into the Details.
In an instant there is nothing - Nature needs time.
Gardening teaches us to take our time, slow down, and wait in peace.
A garden flourishes in the mind's time of last season, next season, and now."
- Mike Garofalo, Pulling Onions
The Three Norns: Urdhr (Wyrd), Verhandi, and Skuld before the World Tree of Yggdrasil.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
"I am trying to get insight into the development of Yang Tai Chi Chuan at the Yang Lu Chan period.
There may be an article that addresses this but I haven't discovered it yet.
He is brought to the attention of the Palace, is asked to come and teach the Royal Family as well as the guards. I would think he was 50 by this time; [he left Chen village at age 40]. Sons would be 13 and 11; it is mentioned that they also teach so it must be a few years later maybe 5-10 more years making it around 1855-1860.
That would give credence to the story that Yang Lu Chan taught his sons so hard that they ran away and tried to kill themselves; teenagers are like that. By 1860 they would be in their 20’s with great skills. Some mention he did let up on them a bit.
A question I have is how did the guards train? I assume they were similar to bodyguards [Swiss Guards of the Pope]. They had to do internal security in the Forbidden City; but since they were a military unit maybe they went out in the city also. These would be elite troops known for their martial abilities.
Of course, they would know various weapons, and police techniques to disarm and subdue. I am sure they wrestled for sport and fitness. They had to be ready NOW to fight. So what was their training schedule and how did Yang Lu Chan fit into it. Did he only add more expertise to what they knew or was he teaching all the skills needed to fullfil their mission? We know he took three into the stables to teach more detailed and advanced information; the sons were also given advance lessons.
What did the Taijiquan techniques look like and were they more into getting in close with striking and chin-na than qi flow and energy releasing? Health came because they worked hard. Did they even think of Taiji being for health in the military environment? If I get these answered I will feel that I know Taijiquan better than I did before. Thank you if you have answers?"
Yang Lu-Chan, 1799-1872
Founder of Yang Style Taijiquan
Grandfather of Yang Cheng-Fu
Friday, June 18, 2010
I am busy with numerous projects this summer: reading and research into Northern Neopaganism, nature spirits, and trees and spirituality; building a fence and storage area, and improving our sacred circle garden; learning the Chen 23 broadsword form and reviewing the last section of Sun 73 Taijiquan form; and learning how to use the Drupal Content Management Platform software.
The books I am reading are:
Dictionary of Northern Mythology. By Rubolf Simek. Translated by Angela Hall. Suffolk, England, D. S. Brewer, 1984, 1993. Extensive bibliography, 424 pages. ISBN: 9780859915137. VSCL.
Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds; A Collection of Ancient Texts. Translated, annotated, and Introduced by Georg Luck. Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, Second Edition, 1985, 2006. Index, bibliography, glossary, appendices, notes, 544 pages. ISBN: 0801883466. VSCL.
Teutonic Magic: The Magical and Spiritual Practices of the Germanic People. By Kveldulf Gundarsson. Loughborough, Thoth Publications, 2nd Revised Edition, 2007. Appendices, 341 pages. ISBN: 1870450221. VSCL.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
All people - men, women, the old, and the young - may practice in order to replace temerity with bravery; and stiffness with pliability. Those of you who are weak, who suffer from fatigue and injury or illness, or who have weakened your qi from the practice of other martial arts to the point that you no longer have the strength to train, all of you may practice Tai Ji Quan. With practice, the qi will quickly return to a balanced state and will become strong, while the spirit naturally returns to a state of wholeness. Disease will be eliminated and the length of life increased."
- Sun Lu-Tang, A Study of Taijiquan, 1924. Translated by Tim Cartmell, p. 60.
Sun Lu Tang's (1861-1933) Style of Internal Martial Arts
Monday, June 14, 2010
List of Movements of Chen Dao Broadsword 23 Form. 1 page.
List of Movements in Five Languages
Bibliography, Resources, Links
Here are two instructional resources that I am using to learn this form:
Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword. By Chen Zhenglei. Translated by Zhang XinHu, Chen Bin, Xu Hailiang, and Gregory Bissell. Tai Chi Centre, 2003. 367 pages. ISBN: 7534823218. This book is in English. Detailed descriptions, with photographs, of the first form, sword form and broadsword form. An excellent companion to Chen Zenglei's instructional DVDs, with English narration. Review by Herbert O. Rich: "This is the first translated volume of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's three-volume set entitled "A Compendium of Taiji Boxing and Weapons". Chen Zhenglei is famed as a 19th generation Grandmaster of traditional Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). He is known to Taijiquan enthusiasts the world over for his skill and ability in teaching. This book is a detailed instruction manual for the basic set (or form) of the Laojia ("old frame") Chen style, as well as the single broadsword and straight sword forms. Profusely illustrated, it describes basic theory, physical requirements, postural movements, Qi circulation, and self defense applications for each of the postures of the form." The 23 movement broadsword form is described in detail, with many black and white photographs, on pages 322-360. VSCL.
Traditional Chen Family Tai Chi Broadsword. Instructional videotape or DVD by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye. 70 minutes. Detailed instructions, repetitions, and demonstrations. Jiang's Tai Chi Videos. He teaches the 23 movement form developed by Chen Zhaopei in 1933. "By Jiang Jian-ye. This classic weapon routine enhances fajin, relaxed explosive release of force, and silk reeling energy. Jiang, who studied intensively in China, demonstrates the 23-movement form from the back at the beginning of the tape and multiple times, back and front, at the conclusion. Teaching of the movements uses multiple repetitions and camera angles an reviews of segments. 70 Min. $39.95." - Wayfarer Catalog. Traditional Chen Family Tai Chi Broadsword. Instruction and demonstration by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye. Available in VHS and DVD media formats. 70 minutes. Shifu Jiang demonstrates and carefully and slowly teaches the 23 movement form. He teaches the form in a step-by-step and movement by movement manner. Each movement is repeated from 3-5 times, slowly and at normal speed. Each movement is show from front, back and side views. Jiang's Tai Chi Videos. VSCL.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I have mostly been involved with research on Casting the Circle or Opening the Four Gates.
Taoist readers of this blog will want to look at Divine Incantations to the Protective Gods of the Five Directions from 574 CE, translated by Livia Kohn. Directional lore, Feng shui, is definitely part of the ideology of Taijiquan and Qigong.
This past week, I have enjoyed reading about the "Northern" pagan paths. I read two books by Galina Drasskova:
"Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites and Celebrations from the Norse, German and Anglo-Saxon Traditions."
"Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner: A Book of Prayer, Devotional Practice, and the Nine Worlds of the Spirit."
The mythology about the Cosmic Tree, Yggdrasil, was particularly interesting.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
32 Taijiquan Simplified Sword Form
20 T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword Techniques
55 Classical Yang Taiji Sword
The Wild Horse Jumps Over the Mountain Stream
Vanquisher of Demons
Protector of the Home
Friday, June 04, 2010
- François Bourillon
Triads: Wisdom Sayings of the Celts, Druids, and Neopagans
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Chen Taijiquan Broadsword: Bibliography, Links, Resources, List of Movements
Monday, May 31, 2010
This past week, I have been reading various translations of Chuang Tzu.
My notes are found on a webpage on Master Chuang (Zhuangzi) in my Ripening Peaches Notebook.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
are made of
beans and seeds.
Be noble, for you
are made of
rivers and sunshine.
Be joyful, for you
have tasted one of
- Above the Fog
"Alfred North Whitehead once pointed out that when we really understand the biological and physiological functioning of the human body and the behavior of the molecules which constitute it, it becomes impossible to entertain the notion of a discontinuity between the the body and its external environment. Living on this mountain, I can't help but realize that my body is completely integrated with the body of the mountain. Every time I drink the water that spills out of it into the mountain stream, the cells of my body assimilate it. My body is now largely composed of the water that comes from this mountain. We grow our food in the mountain's soil. The plants start out as a sing seed, and, by taking water, light, and minerals from the mountain, eventually manifest themselves as fruits, vegetables, flowers. Thus, we take the mountain into our very being; we consume it. Our septic system even returns our waste to the mountain. How could we feel separate from it?"
- John Daido Loori, Three Gates of Zen, p. 159
Interdependence: Quotes, Poems, Sayings
Our cherry trees have lots of ripening fruit these days. What a delight to eat them and share them with the birds.
I am a machine that turns beans into memories.
This cabbage, these carrots, these potatoes, these onions ... will soon become me. Such a tasty fact!- Pulling Onions
Friday, May 28, 2010
The reason I bring up my sleeping habits is to point out that many of the meditation techniques I have studied for the last 50 years assign a purpose to meditation that I have already achieved while sleeping: not thinking, no preferences, non-dualistic, blissful, peaceful, re-energizing, pleasurable, etc. Or, meditation experts describe a method or procedure for meditating that has many of the features that I already embody while sleeping: remaining still, being calm, breathing regularly, closing one's eyes, relaxing, etc..
Sleeping Your Way to Nirvana
I am doing some research on this topic and will post my findings in my Pathways in the Green Valley Blog.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
- Kerrdelune, Beyond the Fields We Know
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Nature of Goodness, Easy by Nature, Be Like Water, The Placid and Contented Nature, Low like Water 易性
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8, by Lao Tzu
"One of universal nature is like water;
He benefits all things
But does not contend with them.
He unprotestingly takes the lowest position;
Thus, he is close to the universal truth.
One of universal virtue chooses to live
In a suitable environment.
He attunes his mind to become profound.
He deals with others with kindness.
In his speech, he is sincere.
His rule brings about order.
His work is efficient.
His actions are opportune.
One of deep virtue does not contend with people:
Thus, he is above reproach."
- Translated by Hua-Ching Ni, 1979
"True goodness is like water, in that it benefits everything and harms nothing.
Like water it ever seeks the lowest place, the place that all others avoid.
It is closely kin to the Dao.
For a dwelling it chooses the quiet meadow; for a heart the circling eddy.
In generosity it is kind,
In speech it is sincere,
In authority it is order,
In affairs it is ability,
In movement it is rhythm.
In as much as it is always peaceable it is never rebuked."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919
"The highest excellence is like that of water.
The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying,
Without striving to the contrary, the low place which all men dislike.
Hence its way is near to that of the Tao.
The excellence of a residence is in the suitability of the place;
That of the mind is in abysmal stillness;
That of associations is in their being with the virtuous;
That of government is in its securing good order;
That of the conduct of affairs is in its ability; and,
That of the initiation of any movement is in its timeliness.
And when one with the highest excellence does not wrangle about his low position,
No one finds fault with him."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891
"The best are like water
bringing help to all
choosing what others avoid
hence approaching the Tao
dwelling with earth
thinking with depth
helping with kindness
speaking with truth
governing with peace
working with skill
moving with time
and because they don't compete
they aren't maligned."
- Translated by Bill (Red Pine) Porter, 1996
Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu
Realms of the Dragons
Ripening Peaches: Daoist Studies and Practices
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Buddhist Proverbs from 100 BCE
I. Twin Verses, Mind, Anger and Hatred, Discernment, Practice, Contrary Ways, Contrasting Pairs, Yamakavagga Verses 1-20
II. Vigilance, Watchfulness, Earnestness, Diligence, Zeal, Self-Control, Joy, Nirvana, Appamadavagga Verses 21-32
III. The Mind, Thoughts, Cittavagga Verses 33-43
IV. Flowers, Blossoms, Things of the World, The Flowers of Life, The Fragrance of Good Deeds, Pupphavagga Verses 44-59
V. Fools, Evil Fruit, Ambition, The Childish Person, Balavagga Verses 60-75
VI. The Wise Man (Pandita), The Skilled Person, The Wise, Panditavagga Verses 76-89
VII. Infinite Freedom, The Venerable (Arhat), The Accomplished Person, The Arahant, Arahantavagga Verses 90-99
VIII. Better Than a Thousand, Thousands, Sahassavagga Verses 100-115
IX. Good and Evil, Avoid Evil Deeds and Do Good, Consequences of Evil, Detriment, Papavagga Verses 116-128
X. Don't Punish or Kill, Don't Inflict Pain on Others, Overcome Desires, Train Yourself,
Avoid Violence, Evil Returns Evil, Dandavagga Verses 129-145
XI. Beyond Life, Old Age, Broken Down House, Illness, Death, Jaravagga Verses 146-156
XII. Self-Possession, Self Control, Propriety, Duty, Oneself, The Self, Attavagga Verses 157-166
XIII. The World, Illusions, Neglect, Practice, Lokavagga Verses 167-178
XIV. The Buddha, The Awakened, Restrained, Unbound, Refuge, Buddhavagga Verses 179-196
XV. Happiness, Being at Ease, Bliss, Follow the Wise, Sukhavagga Verses 197-208
XVI. Affection, Pleasing, Sorrow, Attachments, Piyavagga Verses 209-220
XVII Guarding One's Character , Daily Efforts, Controlling Emotions, Anger, Kodhavagga Verses 221-234
XVIII Impurities, Faults, Ignorance, Envy, Malavagga Verses 235-255
XIX The Righteous , True Sages, Wise Elders, Monks, The Just, Dhammatthavagga Verses 256-272
XX The Eightfold Path, Impermanence, Meditation, Death, The Path, Maggavagga Verses 273-289
XXI Disciples of the Buddha, Contemplations, Forest Solitude, Miscellaneous, Pakinnakavagga Verses 290-305
XXII Woeful State , Sinfulness, The Results of Evil, Hell, Nirayavagga Verses 306-319
XXIII Elephant, Self-Training, Fellowship, Nagavagga Verses 320-333
XXIV Cravings , Bondage, Uprooting Evil, Weeds, Tanhavagga Verses 334-359
XXV Refine Conduct, Bhiksu, Calm the Mind, The Five, The Monk, Bhikkhuvagga Verses 360-382
XVI A Brahmin, A Buddha, An Enlightened Person, The Holy Man, Brahmanavagga Verses 383-423
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The emphasis is on the hip movement whether front or back.
The difficulty is to maintain the position without shifting the centre.
To analyse and understand the above situation is to do with
movement and not with a stationary posture.
Advancing and retreating by turning sideways in line with the
shoulders, one is capable of turning like a millstone, fast or slow,
as if whirling like a dragon in the clouds or sensing the approach
of a fierce tiger.
From this, one can learn the usage of the movement of
the upper torso.
Through long practice, such movement will become natural."
- Yang Family Old Manual, The Coil Incense Kung
"Silk reeling (pinyin chánsīgōng, Wade-Giles ch'an2 ssu1 kung1 纏絲功), also called "Winding Silk Power" (chansijing) (纏絲勁), as well as "Foundational Training"(jibengong), refers to a set of neigong exercises frequently used by the Chen style, Wu style and some other styles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. The name derives from the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a silk worm's cocoon". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled. Hence, the silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk.
In common with all Qigong exercises, the patterns are performed in a concentrated, meditative state with an emphasis on relaxation. However, rather than being isolated exercises purely for health benefits, the focus is on strengthening and training the whole body coordination (nei jin) and grounded body alignment that is used in the Tai Chi form and pushing hands. Silk reeling is commonly used in Chen style as a warmup before commencing Tai Chi form practice, but its body mechanics are also a requirement of Chen Style Tai Chi throughout the forms. In other styles, silk reeling is only introduced to advanced levels. Many schools, especially those not associated with the orthodox Tai Chi families, don't train it at all."
- Silk Reeling - Wikipedia
Friday, May 14, 2010
This is a pretty abstract definition. Practically speaking I would also add that a good T'ai-Chi movement should be rooted in the feet and powered primarily by the legs. The waist should direct that leg generated power with some degree of turning. The power should move up the spine and gather strength between the shoulder blades and finally issue out the arms to the hands. This is easily said, but in practice many T'ai-Chi practitioners end up powering their movements with their waists or arms. If the waist powers the movement, the root usually ends up being in the pelvic floor instead of the feet. This usually results in knee problems as the legs are not grounded and end up twisting. If the movements are powered by the arms one ends up with so-called "local strength". Local strength means the arms move separately from the ripple or wave of power coming up from the feet and legs. Gao-Fu's definition is profound but general. It implies that in order to improve my experience of personal and universal balance, not to mention martial ability, I need to stop forcing the muscles and bones through the use of will power. I need to relax into the "energy" level of awareness and let the muscles and bones follow."
- Gene Burnett, Questions and Answers
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Taoist Dragon Qigong, Long Chi Kung
Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes, Lore
By Mike Garofalo
Fire and Water, Yang and Yin, Male and Female, Tiger and Dragon;
Transforming, one into the other, as Summer into Winter, Day into Night;
Interpenetrating, evolving, changing, becoming, beginning-ending.
The Tai Chi, the Grand Ultimate, the Supreme Ultimate:
The Sacred Ridgepole,
With left and right, above and below, front and back.
Blue Dragons and White Tigers - endlessly.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This retreat was held at the Catholic Youth Organization Camp in Occidental, west of Santa Rosa, California. The CYO facility was in excellent condition and clean, and located in a lovely hilly woodland area. The chefs provided us with very good food. I really liked the outdoor areas for training in taijiquan, qigong, and for long walks on gravel roads in the woods. One large outdoor chapel in the woods reminded me of a Druid Nemeton, and I enjoyed sitting there for hours. This is an excellent facility for a retreat.
It took me five hours to drive from my home in Red Bluff to Occidental, through mostly rural areas. Springtime is quite beautiful in northern California, but such a long drive does discourage me from attending again.
The cost of the retreat was surprisingly inexpensive.
A group of 9 men and women attended this retreat, a few for all of the three days (Friday to Sunday); but the majority for much shorter periods of time. Shifu Rinaldini led us in seated meditation (Zuowang), reading Taoist scriptures, qigong, sipping tea, taiji ruler, and walking practices. Some chose to ask to speak privately with Shifu Rinaldini for guidance in meditation or qigong; but, he did not initiate private conversations with participants. The retreat was held mostly in silence.
The spiritual theme of this retreat was "Not Two." The philosophical underpinnings of this topic are directly from the Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhist tradition. The anti-rational Chan koan method of "Not Two" places emphasis upon serious experiential non-intellectual striving, a non-judgmental awareness, having an experience beyond words, not thinking, a non-dualistic consciousness, letting go of preferences, working hard to open and reveal the "Original Mind," and fully realizing fundamental emptiness while sitting and forgetting (Zuowang) or while quietly walking.
Shifu Rinaldini has specific demands of participants in terms of attendance, practice, attitude, and having a zeal for silent sitting. You need to be clear ahead of time about his expectations.
The qigong practices were satisfactory and non-vigorous, and persons with little experience with qigong could easily participate in the exercises. Beginners and intermediate students could learn something about qigong from Shifu Rinaldini.
The attendees seemed sincere and dedicated, and quite friendly when we were allowed the opportunity to chat only during meals.
The next Taoist Retreat of the American Dragon Gate Taoist Lineage led by Mr. Rinaldini will be held at the same location on September 24, 25, and 26, 2010.
Personally, I have no need to repeat the experience of attending this Taoist Retreat for a variety of good reasons. Rather than speak of them publicly, I will take counsel from Zhaungzi: "Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious."
Friday, May 07, 2010
George Leonard, 1923-2010, journalist, author, educator, Aikido teacher, California
K. Pattabhi Jois, 1915-2009, Astanga Vinyassa Yoga teacher, India
Monday, May 03, 2010
I also teach at the Valley Spirit Center.
I teach the Standard 24 Form Taijiquan, the Yang Family Traditional Long Taijiquan 108 Form, the Chen Taijiquan 18 Short Form, the Standard Competition Sun Taijiquan 73 Form, the Standard 32 Movement Sword Form, the Eight Immortals 36 Cane Form. All of my teaching in documented at my Cloud Hands Website.
Currently, we are studying the Chen Taijiquan 18 Movement Form, the Standard 32 Movement Sword Form, and the Wild Goose Qigong Form.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes, List of Movements
By Mike Garofalo
Last updated on 30 April 2010
"A second Grandfather, he of the North, spoke again: "Take courage, younger brother," he said, "on earth a nation you shall make live, for yours shall be the power of the white giant's wing, the cleansing wing." Then he got up very tall and started running toward the north; and when he turned toward me, it was a white goose wheeling. I looked about me now, and the horses in the west were thunders and the horses of the north where geese. And the second Grandfather sang two songs that were like this:
"They are appearing, may you behold!
They are appearing , may you behold!
The thunder nation is appearing, behold!
They are appearing, may you behold!
They are appearing, may you behold!
The white geese nation is appearing, behold!"
- Black Elk Speaks, 1932, p. 22, as told to John G. Neihardt.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
"The second aspect is to feel the effect of what we are doing. Not only at the point of the action itself, but throughout the whole structure of the body and the quality of the mind. We must feel its impact on the functioning of the body, breath and mind. We use this feedback to go deeper into the poses by making adjustments according to the four secondary techniques of asana, vinyasa, bandha and pranayama. Then through the dynamic created between our intention and our actions, a meditative awareness emerges."
- Godfrey Devereux, Dynamic Yoga, 1998, p. 24
Monday, April 26, 2010
Who, dancing with her sword, drew from all four quarters
An audience like mountains lost among themselves.
Heaven and Earth moved back and forth, following her motions,
Bright as when the Archer shot the Nine Suns down from the sky
And rapid as angels before the wings of dragons.
She began like a thunderbolt, venting its anger,
And ended like the shining calm of rivers and sea.
But vanished are those red lips and those pearly sleeves;
And none but this one talented pupil bears the perfume of her fame,
This sword dancer from Lingying, the Town of the White Goddess,
Who still dances and sings in the carefree old ways.
After the dance, we chatted for awhile.
We sighed together, saddened by the changes that have come.
There were a thousand ladies in the late Emperor's court;
But Lady Gongsun's sword dance was first among them all.
Fifty years have passed, like the turning of a hand;
Wind and dust, filling the world, obscure the Imperial House.
Instead of the Pear Garden Players, gone like the fog,
Only two girl musicians remain to charm the cold Sun.
There are now man-sized trees by the Emperor's Golden Tomb.
I seem to hear dead grasses rustling on the windy cliffs of Qutang.
The song is done, the slow strings and quick flutes have ceased.
At the height of joy, sorrow comes with the eastern moon rising.
And I, a poor old man, not knowing where to go,
Walk away slowly into the lonely hills, tired, facing the sunset."
- Du Fu, The Sword Dance Performed by a Pupil of Lady Gongsun
"300 Chinese Poems" The poet Du Fu (712-770, 杜甫) mentioned in his poem "Witnessing Gongsun Da Niang's Disciple Sword Dance Performance" (观公孙大娘弟子舞剑器行) that there was a female sword dancer in the court of Emperor Xuan Zong (唐玄宗) who was probably the greatest in her field.
"Another aspect of the martial dance is the "sword dance," devised by master swordsmen. Ancients sought to combine the ethos of swordsmanship with the sword dance, calling it "sword vigor." The most famous sword dancer of the Tang Dynasty was legendary beauty, Lady Gongsun. As a child, the celebrated Tang poet Du Fu once watched her dance, and the specter created by her superb skill remained forever fresh in his memory. The square in Yancheng, Henan Province was a sea of people. Following a roll of drums, Lady Gongsun appeared, rapier in hand. The sword glinted with every change of posture and stance, whispering like silk on being unsheathed and flashing at each thrust. Her dancing seemed to evince a power that could hold back rivers and repulse oceans. Years later, Du Fu watched the sword dance performed by Li Shi'erniang, one of Gongsun's adherents. Her execution of it was so reminiscent of Gongsun's original performance that Du Fu, now in his 50s, was fired with new vitality, and wrote a poem, 'The Sword Dance Performed by a Girl-Pupil of Lady Gongsun.'"
- Tang Dynasty Dances
Taijiquan Sword: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Instruction, Guides, All Styles
T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword: Poems, Sayings, Quotations, Wisdom
Tai Chi 32 Sword
Saturday, April 24, 2010
By Mike Garofalo
Friday, April 23, 2010
"If you want to know if your brain is flabby, feel your legs."
- Bruce Barton
"If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are."
"Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies."
- Eric Fromme
Ways of Walking
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I have really enjoyed doing the Deer Frolic this spring. I've also taught some of the Five Animal Frolics Qigong practices to the students in my Yoga and Qigong classes. We have a good time with the deer Frolics.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Currently, I am learning the Chen Broadsword (Saber, Dan Dao) 23 Movement Form.
Mowed 2 acres of grass today, before the rains come tonight.
The Taoist Body. By Kristofer Schipper. Translated by Karen C. Duval. Foreword by Norman Girardot. Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1993. Originally published in French in 1982 as Le Corps Taoiste. Notes, bibliography, index, xx, 273 pages. ISBN: 0520082249. VSCL.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Simplified 32 Taiji Sword in the Yang Style. By Michael P. Garofalo. This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages, an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement (English and Chinese), a detailed analysis of each posture and movement sequence with explanations and numbered illustrations, instructions, selected quotations, sword techniques, a comprehensive media bibliography, and a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style. © Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, January 2008.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Karen and I enjoyed a week of vacation in Oregon. We were in Portland from Friday through Wednesday, and at South Beach State Park in Newport, Oregon, on Wednesday through Friday.
Looking north from the South Jetty at Newport, Oregon.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I enjoy practicing taijiquan and qigong outdoors in the springtime.
During the March and April months we have many trees in bloom in Red Bluff, California.
The white blossoms of the cherry trees are always treasured.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The legendary founder of Wudang wushu was Zhang San Feng. Zhang San Feng was a Daoist who lived in these mountains to cultivate the Dao during the Ming Dynasty. Zhang San Feng was born in 1247 A.D. in the area of what is known today as Liao Ning. Zhang San Feng is a very famous figure in the history of Chinese wushu. His martial abilities and healing techniques were superb and he was known to have cured many people of illnesses. This brought about great admiration from the common people. The emperor of the Ming Dynasty erected a monument on the mountain to commerate the contributions of Zhang San Feng. During Zhang's younger years he met Daoist Huo Lung (Fire Dragon) with whom he studied the Dao. After attaining the Dao, Zhang moved to Wudang Mountain and cultivated an additional nine years. Many historical documents suggest that Zhang San Feng was the person responsible for synthesizing the wushu of the common people with the internal methodology and philosphical principles of Daoism. Wudang wushu is primarily known for its internal styles.
Zhang San Feng created Wudang wushu by researching the basic theory of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and the Eight Diagrams (Ba Gua). Wudang wushu has a very close relationship with the theories of Taiji, Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, the Eight Diagrams, and the Nine Palaces. Zhang San Feng was able to incorporate the Daoist practice of changing the Essence into Internal Energy , Internal Energy into Spirit , and Spirit into Emptiness to form the theory of Wudang wushu."
- Introduction to Wudang Martial Arts
Grandmaster Zhang San Feng: Bibliography, Resources, Links, Quotes, Notes
Friday, March 26, 2010
I do intend to complete that webpage, someday. For now, it is still useful for Taiji players wanting to begin learning the form.
I have regularly used the instructional DVD and book that I recommended for the study of this short Chen form. Those resources are excellent tools for self-instruction and home practice.
Since I still work for a school district, teach yoga and taijiquan, and am an active gardener, my progress on new webpages is often quite slow. That's OK by me: slowing down, steady progress, absorbing, quietly flowing ....
Actually, I'm quite active with my studies in Druidry and Tarot Ceremonial Magick. As a member of the ADF Feather River Druid Grove and the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, I've been active in online discussion groups, High Days Celebrations, and studying books and their formal initiatory studies programs. I often listen to OBOD lectures on my MP3 player as I walk in the early morning.
I will be updating and improving my Months webpages each month, starting with April.
Warmer Spring weather and more sunshine has spurred growth again. Beauty everywhere.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
by Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street."
An activist might get some friends together to fill up the hole with gravel.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Looking north from the shoreline at Point Reyes.
Looking east from the hills of Point Reyes.
I spent the past week camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park near Point Reyes National Seashore. I attended a Four Foundations of Buddhist Mindfulness workshop at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center not far from San Anselmo, California. Lots of people out enjoying the pleasant weather and beautiful lush green hills.
Back home now in Red Bluff. Much to reflect upon in the next coming months.
Here I am reading in the afternoon shade of the eucalyptus tees that surround our tea house. As I read, a hose is slowly watering the new fruit trees I planted. Hard work!!
"My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever."
- Mary Oliver, Messenger
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
So many creeds
This wind, that wind.
While just the art
Of being kind
Is all the sad world needs."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"Wise sayings often fall
on barren ground;
but a kind word
is never thrown away."
- Sir Arthur Helps
Lifestyle Advice for Wise Persons
The Dalai Lama's Rules for Living
- Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Spend some time alone every day.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- Live a good and honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
- A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
- In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
- Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
- Be gentle with the earth.
- Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
- Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
- Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Monday, March 15, 2010
"1. Make your goals vague.
2. Make your goals difficult to visualize.
3. Think and speak negatively about your goals.
4. Avoid planning incremental steps.
5. Don't Do - Talk.
6. Wait until you are motivated.
7. Don't set a date.
8. List why it's impossible.
9. Don't research your goal.
10. Think of anything except your goal."
Achieve It: Ten Steps You Can Take to Guarantee Failure
Friday, March 12, 2010
Fundamentals of Nia:
The joy of movement is the secret of fitness.
Fitness must address the human being, not just the body.
Movement must be conscious, not habitual.
Use you body in the way it was designed to be used.
Use your body to heal your mind, emotions, and spirit.
Take the path of least resistance.
The Five Principles of the Body's Way:
The body thrives on dynamic ease.
The body demands balance.
The body is balanced in yin and yang.
The body's way demands simultaneous mobility and stability.
The body itself reveals the body's way.
The Nia Technique. The High-Powered Energizing Workout that Gives You a New Body and a New Life. By Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. New York, Broadway Books, 2004. Bibliography, glossary, 324 pages. Illustrated with photographs. ISBN: 0767917308. Nia is a newer fusion exercise system, and "Nia" stands for "Neuromuscular Integrative Action."
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here I am pulling up some nice onions
in May of 2007.
636. Chaos breaks its own rules to allow Order to play.
358. Gratefully, shit happens!
676. The ten thousand things are more enchanting than the Silent One.
427. Walking needs earth, space, and the walker.
372. Sometimes, just one 'thing' is critical because twenty other 'things' are just so.
633. Take the time to melt into the Details.
296. Gardening is a kind of deadheading - keeping us from going to seed.
674. Don't interfere, be still, and listen to the litanies of bees.
106. Tooth and nail, and the stench of a dead animal on the wind.
96. When life gives you onions, it stinks.
670. A rake is spaces held together by steel.
680. In the student's mind there are few possibilities, in the teacher's mind there are many; but only time to realize very few.
Pulling Onions by Mike Garofalo
Over 680 quips, one-liners, sayings, and "insights" from an old gardener.
When I walked this morning I listened to Ken Cohen's lectures on Daoism. He suggests that gardening is one of the contemplative mind-body Daoist arts leading to insight, enlightenment, enchantment and compassion.
Monday, March 08, 2010
My Taijiquan and Qigong Class at the Tehama Family Fitness Center will be cancelled on the following dates.
My Taijiquan Class Canceled On:
Saturday, March 20th
Saturday, April 3rd
Monday, April 5th
Saturday, May 8th
Saturday, June 5th
Saturday, June 26th
Monday, June 28th
I will be attending a Mindfulness workshop at Spirit Rock, a YogaFit advanced training workshop on anatomy, a Taoist retreat near Sebastopol, and the Eight Winds Druid's Festival in Washington.
If you enjoy doing Taijiquan, Qigong, and Walking in the early morning you are welcome to join me. Here is my morning training schedule.
"When we are distressed, going outside for some fresh air, taking a walk in the park, or wandering deep into the woods quickens our attention, bringing us instantly into the present. Being outdoors provides mental space and clarity, allowing our bodies to relax and our hearts to feel more at ease. Putting ourselves in the midst of something greater than our personal dramas, difficulties and pain - as we do when we walk in the open plains, hike in rarefied mountain air, or ramble on an empty beach - can give us a sense of space and openness, lifting us out of our narrow selves. Similarly, gazing up at the vast night sky helps us see our problems and concerns with greater context and perspective. The natural world communicates its profound message: things are okay as they are; you are okay just as you are; simply relax and be present."
- Mark Coleman, Awake in the Wild, p. xv
Walking: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Links, Resources