Friday, January 29, 2010

Walk On, Dear Morning

I so enjoy quiet Friday mornings. Bundled up against the cool morning air, I stride out to greet the sun, sky, and earth. How exhilarating! I walk continuously for up to four miles, with an Inner Smile all the Way.

After about 20 minutes into my walk, suddenly I heard the loud quaking of many ducks. I looked up and there were probably over 500 ducks passing overhead. They were aligned into five V formations and one long angled line on the east side of the group. It was the largest group of ducks in flight that I had ever seen before. I stopped and stared until they moved northward and disappeared into the cloudy sky.

"Walking I am unbound, and find that precious unity of life and imagination, that silent outgoing self, which is so easy to loose, but which a high moments seems to start up again from the deepest rhythms of my own body. How often have I had this longing for an infinite walk - of going unimpeded, until the movement of my body as I walk fell into the flight of streets under my feet - until I in my body and the world in its skin of earth were blended into a single act of knowing."
- Alfred Kazin, The Open Street

"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."
- Tung-Shan

Zuowang Daoist Meditation, Sitting in Forgetting

Walking for me enables me to achieve a state of mind that is truly effortless awareness.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eating Dried Peaches

"In China, the peach was said to be consumed by the immortals due to its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them. The divinity Yu Huang, also called the Jade Emperor, and his mother called Xi Wangmu also known as Queen Mother of the West, ensured the gods' everlasting existence by feeding them the peaches of immortality. The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant banquet called the Pantao Hui or "The Feast of Peaches". The immortals waited six thousand years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. Ivory statues depicting Xi Wangmu's attendants often held three peaches. The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life. One example is in the peach-gathering story of Zhang Daoling, who many say is the true founder of Taoism. Elder Zhang Guo, one of the Chinese Eight Immortals, is often depicted carrying a Peach of Immortality." - Wikipedia

Peaches are notive to China and introduced to Persia via the Silk Road before Christian times.

Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West, keeps the Immortals fed with the Sacred Peaches.
"No one knows Her beginning, no one knows Her end."

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Cloud Hands Website Alphabetical Subject Index

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Taijiquan Practice for Beginners

"In order to learn Taiji well, the first requirement must be diligence and perseverance. Taiji classics state: "Without perseverance there can be no gain" and "Learning Taiji is like rowing a boat against the flow of water; if you do not go forward, you will drift back." In order to glimpse the full wonder of Taiji and to attain a high level of skill, one must possess a will to carry on despite hardships, setbacks, frustration and boredom. From the beginning, students must be willing to commit themselves to a long-term goal and be patient during the process of achieving that goal. The process of learning takes time, and the necessary length of time must be allowed to understand the content of the teaching. One will not succeed if focus is only on the final product."
- "Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing," Sim and Gaffney 2002: 212

Chen Style Tai Chi Short 18 Movements Form by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei

Heavy rains in the North Sacramento Valley this past week; therefore, little opportunity for outdoor practice.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chen Tai Chi Short 18 Form by Chen Zhenglei

Chen Style Taijiquan Short Hand Form, 18 Movements
Created by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei

Bibliography, Resources, List of Movements, Resources, Links, Instructions, Comments
Webpage by Michael Garofalo

Chen Style Taijiquan

Tai Chi for Health by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lao Jia Yi Lu of Chen Taijiquan

"The training exercises of Taiji, like those from all the internal martial arts traditions of China, are designed to build gong. What does it mean to built gong? Physically, the accumulation of gong refers to constant improvements in balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, sensitivity, and strength or power. Mentally and spiritually, the accumulation of gong refers to improved awareness and confidence, and constant advancements toward realizing tranquility of heart and mind. These physical, mental and spiritual improvements are the benefits and purpose of practice. The priority of accumulating gong (as opposed to martial technique or trickery) is repeatedly emphasized in many of the most famous sayings from the oral tradition of the Chinese internal martial arts."
- Yang Yang, Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power, 2005, p. 5.

Chen Taijiquan

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, Section I, Movements 1-6

Chen Style Taijiquan (T'ai Chi Ch'uan): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes

A Beginner's Notes on Chen Style Taijiquan by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.
Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California

Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, Laojia Yilu
Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes, Commentary, Instructions

Old Frame, First Form, Section I, Movements 1-6
Notes, Comments, Illustrations, Directions, References

This week I have been learning and practicing movements 1-6 of Laojia Yilu.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chen Taijiquan - Beginner's Notebook

I will be keeping some notes about my beginning practice of Chen Style Taijiquan in 2010. It is easier for me to write and publish my notes on a webpage rather than do so in a blog.

Chen Style Taijiquan - A Beginner's Notebook by Mike Garofalo

Chen Style Taijiquan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Research, Lessons

Friday, January 08, 2010

Silk Reeling Exercises

I added some links, resources, quotes and comments to the Cloud Hands webpage on Silk Reeling.

Chan Ssu Gong, Chan Szu Chin, Chan Ssu Kung, Chan Si Gong, Chan Si Jing
Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong
Spiraling Energy Exercises, Spiral Energy Qigong

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Taiji Broadsword (Saber, Dan Dao)

I added some new resources and comments to my webpage on the Taijiquan Broadsword and to the webpage on the Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword.

I have focused on the Chen Taijiquan Broadsword Form developed by Grandmaster Chen Zhaopei (1893-1972) in the 1930's. This saber form has 23 movements.
Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword Form, List of 23 Movements (PDF)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. May we have peace and the chance to work to improve ourselves, families, neighbors, and communities.

I added some new materials to my Bear Frolics Qigong webpage.