Friday, April 30, 2010

Wild Goose (Dayan) Qigong

Wild Goose Qigong, Dayan Chi Kung
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

Dynamic of Intention and Actions

"Simply speaking, drushti is sensitive awareness to that which you are doing. This has two aspects that are vital to every aspect of our practice. First it means bringing your mind to bear exactly on what you are doing. Not doing one thing while thinking another. This actually means learning not even to be thinking about what you are doing. Rather, just be doing it, feeling it. In the beginning we must think before we act. Then we act. Then think again. But we must learn to separate these two processes so that we can act with precision and clarity, without the distraction of thought. Eventually we will learn to trust the intelligence of the body and will be able to dispense with the thinking process more and more. Then our practice becomes meditation in action."

"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

Remembering Lady Gongsun

"There lived many years ago the beautiful Lady Gongsun,
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

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feel Your Legs

"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."
- Tung-Shan

"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

Five Animal Frolics

Someday, someday soon, maybe this summer when I'm not employed, I will return to working on my webpages on the Five Animal Frolics.

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

Taiji Cane

Lovely day at home for practicing Taiji and with my cane.

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

Tai Chi Chuan 32 Sword Form

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

Return from Vacation in Oregon

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.

Alicia, Sean, Makenna, April, Katelyn, Mick and Mike. A shark exhibit at the Aquarium in Newport.

Mike walking the dunes at South Beach State Park, Oregon


Looking north from the South Jetty at Newport, Oregon.

More photos