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.