"Take a deep breath of all the stories that live here. A
re-ligious act, to be true to the origin of the word “re-ligios”-
to re-tie, re-link - is to find ways to re-connect, re-turn, re-imagine.”
In the winter season, we are allowed to say,
“Ts' its' tsi' nako, Thought-Woman, the Spider named things and as she named them they appeared. She is sitting in her room thinking of a story now
I'm telling you the story she is thinking.”
-Keresan Pueblo introduction
Spider Grandmother weaves the Grand Cosmic Web and then spins off the planets and stars in the Navaho myths. Zuni myths say the Spider Grandmother
gave the art of string figures into the hands of the children.Spider Grandmother is a powerful earth spirit
being, the primary Creatrix of the cosmos and mind, a source of boundless imagination and the creation of the new. An archaic Goddess of Weaving is essential to a pleasant life for all our people.
Many Stars, Son-thlani, or Spider Grandmother’s Web
is one of my favorite Navaho string figures to make.I usually do the Spider Web (Jayne SF51) string figure first,
for ritual purposes, to remind myself of my debt to all the people who have
helped me learn to make string figures, everyone past and present are here symbolized
as the Cosmic Web of Spider Grandmother.
The image above is of the string figure called The Apache Door (Jayne SF12) known to many string players. A different Navaho string figure, with a criss-crossing web pattern, is called Many Stars (Jayne SF51).
The four-quartered Circle of Magick is a central element in most Western
magickal rituals. It is called the "portal between the worlds," a
means of connecting with the Deities, Spirits, and Elemental Powers of a
realm beyond the material universe. It is envisioned as a vortex with
which we focus on our own innate psychic powers, called forth by ritual
actions from the subliminal depths of the mind and soul. It is a
"sacred space," a sanctuary for communion with the old ones, the deities
of our faith. Many levels of symbolism are intrinsic to the Magick
Circle. Among these metaphors are metaphysical and mystical concepts
that describe the greater reality within which our lives are
experienced. The four "corners" of the Circle of Magick correspond with
the compass directions and their associated Elements (Earth, Air, Fire
or Water). A fifth Element, Spirit, is often associated with the center
of the Circle or with the Circle as a whole." - Bran the Blessed, Circle Symbolism
stands near in the center of the Valley Spirit Sacred Circle. Behind
Karen is the yellow post which marks the Eastern direction, and the
Element of Air, Mind, Consciousness, or Intellect; and the Eastern
Quadrant is planted with five olive trees, the sacred plant of Athena,
the Goddess of Wisdom. Further behind Karen, 26 feet from the center,
are some of the seventeen posts marking the boundary of the outer fifth
circle. This photo was taken on February 4, 2007.
Sacred Circles Bibliography, Resources, Links, Quotations, Notes Researched by Mike Garofalo
Arts, physical culture, and Qigong enthusiasts can benefit from using a
medicine ball when doing exercises. There are many routines developed
by Taijiquan and Qigong masters using a medicine ball. Qigong Ball exercisers can get into a calm mode, mellow their mood, and go with the Flow.
The Magic Pearl Qigong can be a very vigorous physical culture routine
if you increase the weight of the ball, lower the stances, and increase the number of repetitions of
each movement. Serious Qigong Ball enthusiasts use a very light wooden ball, move slowly, stay relaxed, sink, play.
upper body strength and athletic fitness is also be improved by practicing longer Taijiquan Forms using weapons like the
saber, sword, cane, and staff.
"He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert
his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms.
Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return.
Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up.
In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.
A skilful commander strikes a decisive blow, and stops.
He does not dare by continuing his operations to assert and complete his
He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain or boastful
or arrogant in consequence of it.
He strikes it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for
When things have attained their strong maturity they become old.
This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao.
What is not in accordance with the Tao soon comes to an end."
- Translated by
James Legge, 1891,
"He who with Reason assists the master of mankind will not with arms
strengthen the empire.
His methods invite requital.
Where armies are quartered briars and thorns grow.
Great wars unfailingly are followed by famines.
A good man acts resolutely and then stops.
He ventures not to take by force.
Be resolute but not boastful; resolute but not haughty; resolute but not
arrogant; resolute because you cannot avoid it; resolute but not violent.
Things thrive and then grow old.
This is called un-Reason.
Un-Reason soon ceases."
- Translated by
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and
Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 30
Circa Now, Sort of Like Now, Relatively Present, Past Present
Right Now then Gone: 8:49 am, PST, Thursday, February 21, 2013
Where: Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, California
Outside temperature: 40 degrees F
blue skies, little wind
Inside temperature: 63 degrees F
I'm on house watch duty for two houses until Sunday night
Friends and family are traveling and partying
Two dogs, four cats, three sheep, one donkey to feed and care for
Staying home nearly all the time until Sunday night
Preparing food and taking medicines Household chores
I'm resting my body this morning.
I am tired. Enjoying resting, relaxing, and recuperating.
Some fatigue and DOMS from mucho exercise this week.
Ten hours ago revised some posts in Cloud Hands Blog, and then weeded irrelevant and useless posts from the CHB. Then, revised, updated, and weeded webpages at the Valley Spirit Yoga website.
Reading Lately: "Brother Iron Sister Steel" by Dave Draper; "A Guide to Rational Living" by Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper; "The Hand" by Frank Wilson; "Spanish for Reading" by Fabiola Franco; the many remarks and investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein; the "Voyager Tarot" by James Wanless.
Upcoming fun gardening projects: rake south half of back yard, cleanup fallen tree and branches from south side yard and mow the area, major project in the Sacred Circle, and drip line expansions, testing, completely weed the Sunny Garden plot and roto-till with the Mantis tiller, etc..
My T'ai Chi Ch'uan studies and practices have been focused on the two Eight Immortals Tai Chi Cane Routines created by Master Jesse Tsao of San Diego. I can practice Part I quite well now on my own.
I continue to work a little each week on my new Valley Spirit Yoga Postures List. The last release, Version 12, 25 pages, was completed on January 4, 2013. It online version is in the PDF file format, read only, 182KB. I hope to have the next release, Version 13, ready for distribution on March 1, 2013.
This list is in alphabetical order with entries under both the English name or phrase for the yoga posture (asana) and the Sanskrit
name or phrase for the posture (asana, exercise, form, shi). This detailed list includes coded references to descriptions in six yoga textbooks for every named posture. The list
also includes some of the Chi Kung postures that I teach in many of my yoga
classes. Coding for each entry by the kind of yoga posture,
e.g., balancing, standing, supine, lunge, backbend, etc. Coded also for the fitness difficulty of the posture relative to restorative, beginning, intermediate and advanced students. The list includes a bibliography and notes.
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
His response was a question: "Where do you want to go?"
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Albert Ellis (19135-2007) was one of the ten most influential psychologists of the twentieth century.
Albert Ellis and Robert A Harper tell us:
"We should strive conscientiously to:
1. Increase our objectivity and eliminate confusing facts and inferences
2. Break any habit with which we habitually put ourselves at risk
3. Get rid of agendas that conflict with our higher priorities
4. Replace self-defeating demands and damnation with realistic preferences and appraisals
5. Accept ourselves and others as the fallible human beings we actually are."
- Albert Ellis and Robert Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, p. 58
"As a human, four basic processes aid your survival and happiness: (1) You perceive or sense - see, taste, smell, feel, hear. (2) You feel or emote - love, hate, fear, feel joyful or sad. (3) You move or act - walk, eat, swim, climb, and play. (4) You reason or think - remember, imagine, hyopthesize, conclude and solve problems."
These four processes typically interrelate and integrate at the same time. Sometimes, one process can become dominant. Unhealthy positive and negative thoughts can produce unhealthy emotional and behavioral problems for persons.
Some related advice for rational living is found in the Enchiridon, written in the 1st century CE, by Epictetus when he said "People are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them." Shakespeare says, in Hamlet, "There's nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." The theory of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) by Ellis and Harper goes far beyond these old sayings to develop a systematic guide for sensible people.
I have benefitted from frequently reading the many books by Dr. Ellis and his REBT colleagues, and trying to practice his advice in my life for many years. I have never participated in individual or group REBT therapy, but I am confident it might help people with serious neurosis and dysfunctional lifestyles.
February: Quotes, Poems, Sayings "The word February is believed to have
derived from the name 'Februa' taken from the Roman
'Festival of Purification'. The root 'februo' meaning
to 'I purify by sacrifice'. As part of the seasonal
calendar February is
the time of the 'Ice Moon' according to Pagan beliefs, and the period
as the 'Moon of the Dark Red Calf' by Black Elk. February has also
been known as 'Sprout-kale'
by the Anglo-Saxons in relation to the time the kale and cabbage was edible."
"Winter is the
time of promise because there is so little to do - or because you can now and
yourself the luxury of thinking so."
- Stanley Crawford
February Garden Activities and
USDA Zone 9
Browsing and ordering from seed and garden catalogs.
Pruning leafless trees and shrubs.
Weeding and tending the winter vegetable garden.
Relax and read books from the library.
The soil is usually too wet and cold for much digging.
Keeping cold sensitive potted plants in protected areas or indoors.
Make sure that the cuttings in protected areas do not dry out.
Put straw mulch over fertilized vegetable garden areas not planted.
Distribute fertilizer and minerals.
Prune and mulch dormant perennials.
Remove dead trees, shrubs, branches, and twigs.
Enjoy the bulbs and rosemary in bloom.
Repair and sharpen tools.
Construct gardening boxes and flats.
Keep hardwood cuttings moist. Promptly planting bare root trees and watering them.
Write a poem. Keep a gardening journal.
Fertilize with 20-9-9 or 15-15-15.
Trees without leaves need little or no watering.
Take a walk in your garden.
Sit and observe. Mowing and weeding Spraying dormant trees
The following comments were written in the summer months, but they apply to just about any time of the year where I live. I live in Northern California. I walked this morning in perfect weather. It was 68 degrees F, with clear skies.
usually leave my home at around 5:15 am to begin my morning walk in the
summer months. It is cool, quiet, and the air is sweet and clear in the
early morning hours. I walk about 3.6 miles. A good portion of my
walk is at an unhurried, easy, and steady pace. I use some of my
walking time for meditative or spiritual practices (Sadhana). Just the walk itself is a spiritual practice.
Before I begin my walk, I use a Calling the Quarters ritual for honoring and acknowledging the sacred space of my environment.
your walk as if you were drinking water when you are thirsty, or eating
a plum when you are hungry, or making love when lust overcomes you.
when you walk, try the following imaginative exercise. Some might call
it a contemplative exercise or meditative practice.
Keep your eyes open so as to walk safely, but don't focus or stare at particular objects.
what you look like from above if you were in a balloon at various
altitudes looking down at yourself walking on the earth.
Imagine what you look like from below and in front of you if you were a small animal or insect seeing you approaching them.
what you look like from the sides as you walk along. Vary the distance
from you as a walker and the imaginative person or animal looking at
what you look like from behind as you walk away from the viewer. What
does your backside look like from 10 meters, 100 meters?
what you would look like walking in a different season of the year? We
are imbedded in the context of the world, other things, the ground, our
place, the season, in the sunlight - and we are seen walking in such
looking within your body and seeing your heart beating, blood flowing
through your arteries and veins, your lungs rising and falling, your
muscles contracting and relaxing.
If the imaginative "viewer" were at a great distance, could "It" even see you moving?
your attention to how your walking body would look from various angles
and distances. As you shift your viewing perspectives, does your mind
Imagine yourself as a viewer, witness, and observer removed from your body.
Who is the "self" that can imagine
in this manner? Is it your ordinary mind, your ego, your social self,
an outpouring of your material essence; or, is the "It" or the "That"
which is self-aware that is something more profound, more expansive,
more miraculous? Are "you" doing the imagining? Is it the vast
interdependent matrix of beings that can imagine, reflect, witness
itself? Is imagining another form of seeing; or, seeing just another
form of imagining?
Play with these questions and ideas. Mull over them. Smile. Walk on.
"The natural course of things is always followed. This prevents one
from harming their post-heaven strength. Focus is on beneficial
cultivation of one's natural life force as the core of training. 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 Style Tai Ji Quan
Sun Style of Taijiquan International Standard Competition 73 Movements Form. Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.. Notes from 2005-2012. This webpage includes an
introduction, information on the Sun Taijiquan form, a large collection
of quotations about Sun Taijiquan, a detailed bibliography, extensive
links, references to video and DVD resources, and suggestions for
learning the international competition Sun 73 form. A detailed
comparative list of the names of each of the 73 movements is provided,
with source references, and the movement names are given in English,
Pinyin Chinese, Chinese characters, French, German, and Spanish. A
detailed description of the first 40 movements is provided along with
instructions, commentary and general comments. Black and white line illustrations for each movement sequence (1-40) are provided. This
is the most detailed and complete webpage on the subject of the Sun
Taijiquan 73 Competition Form available on the Internet. I will complete my study and
analysis of the Sun Taijiquan International Competition 73 Movement Form
by 2015. I only know and regularly practice movements 1-50 of this
competition form at the present time. Sun Lu Tang's Internal Martial Arts: Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Hsing I Quan, Weapons, and Qigong Students of Sun Taijiquan now have more English language resources on the Traditional 98 Form created by Grandmaster Sun Lutang and published in 1921. For examples: Traditional Sun Style TaijiquanBy
Tim Cartmell and Troyce Thome. Boston, McGraw Hill Learning
Soulutions, 2010. 222 pages. ISBN: 0078039142. This is the most
detailed instruction that I have seen on the Traditional Taijiquan 98
movement form created by Grandmaster Sun Lutang. Saddleback College
Course CPS7, Mission Viejo, California. VSCL. Traditional Sun Style Taijiquan.
Instructional DVDs by Tim Cartmell. "This 5 DVD set includes complete
and precise instruction of the entire traditional Sun style Taijiquan
form. Every posture and movement of the long form is covered in full
detail, in addition the DVDs also include detailed instruction of
postural alignment, power building exercises, footwork, methods of
partner testing for every posture in the form and numerous
demonstrations of the martial applications of the form movements."
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu Chapter 31 "Fine weapons are none the less ill-omened things.
(People despise them, therefore,
Those in possession of the Tao do not depend on them.)
That is why, among people of good birth,
In peace the left-hand side is the place of honour,
But in war this is reversed and the right-hand side is the place of honour.
(Weapons are ill-omened things, which the superior man should not depend on.
When he has no choice but to use them,
The best attitude is to retain tranquil and peaceful.)
The Quietist, even when he conquers, does not regard weapons as lovely things.
For to think them lovely means to delight in them,
And to delight in them means to delight in the slaughter of men.
And he who delights in the slaughter of men
Will never get what he looks for out of those that dwell under heaven.
(Thus in happy events,
The left-hand side is the place of honour, in grief and mourning,
The right-hand is the place of honour.
The lieutenant general stands on the left,
While the supreme general stands on the right,
Which is arranged on the rites of mourning.)
A host that has slain men is received with grief and mourning;
He that has conquered in battle is received with rites of mourning."
- Translated by
1934, Chapter 31 "Even successful arms, among all implements, are
unblessed. All men come to detest them. Therefore the one who follows Dao does
not rely on them. Arms are of all tools unblessed, they are not the implements
of a wise man. Only as a last resort does he use them. In propitious affairs the
place of honor is the left, but in unpropitious affairs we honor the right.
Peace and quietude are esteemed by the wise man, and even when victorious he
does not rejoice, because rejoicing over a victory is the same as rejoicing over
the killing of men. If he rejoices over killing men, do you think he will ever
really master the Empire? The strong man while at home esteems the left as
the place of honor, but when armed for war it is as though he esteems the right
hand, the place of less honor. Thus a funeral ceremony is so arranged. The place
of a subordinate army officer is also on the left and the place of his superior
officer is on the right. The killing of men fills multitudes with sorrow; we
lament with tears because of it, and rightly honor the victor as if he was
attending a funeral ceremony."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard, Chapter 31 "Arms and weapons,
Being instruments of destruction, Are despised by all.
They are avoided by followers of the Tao.
As instruments of evil, they are spurned by good leaders,
Being used with calm restraint only when no other choice prevails.
A good leader does not regard victory with rejoicing,
For to delight in victory is to delight
in the slaughter of people.
To delight in slaughter is to fail
in one's purpose.
In ancient social custom -
The left is the place of honor
for ceremonies at home.
At war, the place of honor is at the right.
Good omen and happy occasions favor the left.
Ill omen and such sad occasions as
funeral rites, favor the right.
Observe then with grief and sorrow the slaughter
accompanying victory of arms, for,
Victory of arms and funeral ceremony
truly share the same rite."
- Translated by
Alan B Taplow, 1982, Chapter 31 "Weapons of war are omens of doom,
To be loathed by every living thing
And shunned by those who keep the Way.
Presiding at court the leader honours the left.
Resorting to war he honours the right.
But weapons are never the leader’s choice.
Weapons of war are omens of doom,
Not to be used unless compelled.
Above all, with mind and heart unstirred,
To arms give no glory:
For to glory in arms
Is to sing and rejoice in the slaughter of men.
And singers in praise of the slaughter of men
Shall not in this world gain their ends.
Thus the left is for deeds that are blessed,
The right is for deeds that bring death.
To the left the minor commander,
To the right the chief general:
Placed for the rites to honour the dead.
When the slaughter is great,
Let the leader come forth to keen for the slain;
The victory won,
To perform solemn rites in mourning the day."
- Translated by
2001, Chapter 31 Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu: Introduction, Bibliography, Commentary, Chapter Index
"The first level of stillness is about being with
yourself in order to know yourself. This is accomplished by being wide
awake and aware as you deliberately relax into yourself. The idea is
to consciously enter into a state wherein you temporarily suspend
everything you think you know about who you are, including anything you
have ever been taught, and simply be attentive to what's going on
right there where you are. You practice being quiet, both physically
and mentally, as you pay attention to the sensations in your body, the
various thoughts in your mind, and your current experience of being
conscious and alive. You practice simple body-mind awareness, being
conscious of the moment you are now in, and thereby experience with
clarity the energy of you. You consciously experience yourself as you
actually are. In this way you open yourself to a new, truer, less
distorted experience of you and the world."
- Erich Schiffmann, Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, 1996, p. 7.
focus and forget
rest with the great achievement.
The ancient child asks
"what is the great achievement?"
It is beyond description in any language
it can only be felt intuitively
it can only be expressed intuitively.
Engage a loose, alert, and aware
body, mind, and sound
then look into the formless
and perceive no thing.
See yourself as a sphere
small at first
growing to encompass
the vastness of infinite space.
focus and forget then
in a state of ease and rest
secure the truth of the great achievement.
Employing the truth will not exhaust its power
when it seems exhausted it is really abundant
and while human art will die at the hands of utility
the great achievement is beyond being useful.
Great straightness is curved and crooked
great intelligence is raw and silly
great words are simple and naturally awkward.
Engaged movement drives out the frozen cold
mindful stillness subdues the frenzied heart.
summon order from the void
that guides the ordering of the universe."
- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 45, Translated by John Bright-Fey, 2006
are many matters and many circumstances in which consciousness is
undesirable and silence is golden, so that secrecy can be used as a
marker to tell us that we are approaching the holy." - Gregory Bateson, Angels Fear
"You are sitting on the earth and you
realize that this earth deserves you and you deserve this earth.
You are there - fully, personally, genuinely."
- Chogyam Trungpa
"Teach us to care and not to care.
Teach us to sit still."
- T.S. Eliot
"The intellect is only one among several fundamental psychic
functions and therefore does not suffice to give a complete picture of the
world. For this another function―
is needed to. Feeling often arrives at convictions that are different from
those of the intellect, and we cannot always prove that the convictions of
feeling are necessarily inferior."
- Carl G. Jung, M.D., Psychological Reflections, p.276
"The pressure of the hands causes the
springs of life to flow." - Tokujiro Namikoshi
“I remember that feeling of skin.
It's strange to remember touch more than thought. But my fingers still
tingle with it.”
- Lucy Christopher
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous Year of the Snake!
In the West, snakes have long been a symbol of earthly realms, underground darkness, mystery, unconscious desires, sensuality, and danger. The process of a snake regularly shedding its skin is also fascinating to us.
"Tao is absolute and has no name.
Though the uncarved wood is small,
It cannot be employed (used as vessel) by anyone.
If kings and barons can keep (this unspoiled nature),
The whole world shall yield them lordship of their own accord.
The Heaven and Earth join,
And the sweet rain falls,
Beyond the command of men,
Yet evenly upon all. Then human civilization arose and
there were names.
Since there were names,
It were well one knew where to stop.
He who knows where to stop
May be exempt from danger.
Tao in the world
May be compared to rivers that run into the sea."
- Translated by
Lin Yutang, 1948,
"Tao remains ever nameless.
However insignificant may be the simplicity
of those who cultivate it
The Empire does not presume to claim their services as
If Princes and Monarchs could but preserve this simplicity,
Every creature in the world would submit itself to them;
Heaven and Earth would
be in mutual accord,
And shower down sweet dew;
The people would need no laws,
but live in harmony of themselves.
It was in the beginning that a name was
fabricated for the Tao.
This name once existing, Heaven, also, may be
And such knowledge ensures the indestructibility of the doctrine.
The presence of Tao in the world may be compared to streams which ever flow,
mountain-gorges which are indestructible,
In their union with rivers and seas
which are unfathomable."
- Translated by
Frederic H. Balfour, 1884,
"Reason, in its eternal aspect, is unnamable.
Although its simplicity seems insignificant, the whole world does not dare to
If princes and kings could keep it, the ten thousand things would of themselves
Heaven and earth would unite in dripping sweet dew, and the people with no one
to command them would of themselves be righteous.
As soon as Reason creates order, it becomes namable.
Whenever the namable in its turn acquires existence, one learns to know when to
By knowing when to stop, one avoids danger.
To illustrate Reason's relation to the world we compare it to streams and creeks
in their course towards rivers and the ocean."
- Translated by
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and
Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 32
mere thought of walking outdoors on a brilliant golden-blue day causes
fire-works of delight to go off in most people’s psyche. It gives one
an instant feeling of happiness and that is meditation! We are not only
in touch, at that moment, with the physical splendor of nature, but
also with the beauty of merging our own spiritual nature with it." - Karen Zebroff
subject of walking is, in some sense, about how we invest universal
acts with particular meanings. Like eating or breathing, it can be
invested with wildly different cultural meanings, from the erotic to
the spiritual, from the revolutionary to the artistic.”
- Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
“Walking in the morning takes you to beautiful places where light and shade make love.”
- Mohamed Shareef
is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness
and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between
spirit and humility."
- Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
shares with making and working that crucial element of engagement of
the body and the mind with the world, of knowing the world through the
body and the body through the world.” - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Is it correct to say Nei Gong is superior to Qi Gong?
In remote viewing, Tibetan gurus can see to the subtlest details in a
far away future. Is it like seeing/watching an audio-video that has
not been recorded?
Thank you and regards,
Edward (AKA 'no shoes man')
The highest level or attainment of "inner work" is best experienced or lived.
Such states of mind/being are in many ways "nameless" (i.e, hard to describe,
Poetry and metaphors better clothe these more refined and subtle ways of
being and states of consciousness.
Some yogis committed to intense and sustained inner working (Nei Gong) claim
they will transcend and abandon their earthly body and become pure spirit (Shen)
and be conscious forever. I view these claims as confusing, paradoxical, and
Judgments about "Superior" (better, more advanced, highest, greatest) become
less meaningful as we attain the summit of our Quest.
When the salmon (carp) jumps through the Dragon's Gate, its transformation
tends to leave ordinary distinctions in the back waters of the past.
Reasoning, philosophy, science and speculation are more likely to produce
clearer visions of the future than yogic attainments.
A lively imagination can also plum the depths of the future.
To be alive, thrown into the world, free, and accountable, is to be steeped in
one's accomplishable and chosen future - such is Dasien.
As for expanding one's knowledge of Nei Gong, I recommend that you
read books by Grandmaster Yang Jwing Ming, Master Bruce Frantzis, and Master
Kenneth Cohen. You might also be interested in reading: Daoist Nei Gong: The Philosophical Art of Change
By Damo Mitchell. Singing Dragon, 2011. 240 pages. ISBN:
Toss off your shoes, relax, and laugh,
Are Nei Gong and Qi Gong the same thing?
Thank you and regards,
Some say yes, some say no.
All exercise routines work/train/develop both the inside and outside of the
Neigong involves more specific individual efforts to meditate, visualize, imagine, study scriptures, and transcend the ordinary. Qigong involves more efforts to exercise and improve one's health, and frequently involves group efforts.
Lots of practice and less theory is often recommended.
Is the Shaolin internal Luohan Gong of the Seven Star Praying Mantis a
Remote viewing means viewing/seeing/watching without physically
being there. In Tibetan Buddhism it is a psychic power
ability. Is the remote viewing in Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana)
the same as remote viewing in the west?
Thank you and regards,
I wrote about the Luohan Qigong on a webpage.
Nei Gong, as I understand it, are psycho/physical/mystical practices
engaged in consistently, rigorously, and in a dedicated manner.
These practices include Chi Kung or Yoga exercises, visualizations,
concentration, guided meditations, breathing practices, special diets,
reading and study, social action according to a positive and
constructive ethics, harmonizing with the world of Nature, aesthetic
cultivation, cultivating equanimity, withdrawal from sensuality, etc.
I suggest reading Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Nei Gong by , or
Integral Life Practice by Ken Wilbur and Terry Patten to get the
gist of this approach to a lifestyle.
Some yogis do claim to have many amazing powers (siddhis) obtained by
ascetic and spiritual disciplines, gifts from their guru, or obtained by
grace from the gods/goddesses. A few religious or psychic westerners
claim to be able to view actual events (past or present) from a
distance, without being present, using psychic abilities. For the rare
few that have these powers the "observational" activity seems the same,
but the methods for the obtaining these unusual powers do differ
Most of us are content with using motion pictures or video or
photographs to do remote viewing of events past and present.
I do activities like Chi Kung, Taijiquan, and yoga for pleasure,
improved physical fitness, continuing sophisticated traditions, and as
ways to vary my exercise activities. The first two get me outdoors more
and that is pleasant and enlivening.
Since I am less interested in organized "religious" activities and keep
a narrower sense of "spiritual" than other folks, siddhis are a set of
magical power skills that I am bereft of.
"In his "The Happiness Purpose," Edward DeBono has some harsh words for love. He
finds it unreliable and difficult to produce on demand. "The ideal of love,"
writes DeBono, "is to be replaced by the more reliable practice of respect."
This is not to eliminate love. Love is still a bonus. But respect
becomes the foundation. And DeBono goes on to enumerate reasons to chose respect
over love. Respect is durable. It acknowledges another's dignity, while love
puts demands on it. Love can be a hunger, a need, a temporary madness, whereas
respect is understanding and appreciation.
There is much more to this DeBono treatise on happiness. Most of it
is common sense. The required elements are humor, dignity and respect. DeBono
makes me wonder why I hadn't come up with this answer long ago. The
inconsistency of love is a fact of life. There are people I can't love, people
I've loved and now I don't. All that is quite understandable. And I can see that
respect is a different story. There is no excuse for not having respect for
another person. I may be incapable of love. But I am capable of respect.
When DeBono speaks of respect as the basis for happiness, he is not
breaking new ground. Respect is no less than justice; and as far back as the
Greeks, justice has been recognized as one of the cardinal virtues. "Heaven and
earth may pass away," writes Amiel, "but good ought to be, and injustice ought
not to be. Such is the creed of the human race."
It is not that we must love, although that is a wonderful thing to
do. But we must have justice. That sits easier with me. If I cannot love, how
can I be obliged to love? Obligations bring with them the ability to carry them
out. I do not need to love or even like people whom I am obliged to respect.
I like DeBono's ideas. Respect myself, respect others, respect
society. This is a manifesto I can live with."
Sheehan, M.D, (1918-1993).
are many T'ai Chi Ch'uan exercise forms which make use of a fan. Most
are shorter forms, under 25 movements, but some, like the famous Tai Chi
Kung Fu Fan Form have over 50 movements. Most are done slowly and
softly, but some include vigorous and fast movements. The majority
favor the Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan.
Tai Chi Fan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes, Lore, Quotations. Research by Mike Garofalo. I welcome any comments, suggestions, additions, or ideas regarding this webpage.
of the most popular Tai Chi Fan forms was created by Professor Li Deyin
(1938-). It has 52 movements. I includes slow and gentle movements in
the first half of the form, then the second half is much more
vigorous. This Tai Chi Fan form is for athletic and intermediate Tai
Here are some instructional resources for learning the Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form.
Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan.
Routine 1, created by Grandmaster Li Deyin (1938-). Instructional
DVD, 65 minutes, by Master Jesse Tsao. Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego,
California. "The most popular Tai Chi Fan form ever practiced in
China. The routine was created by Grandmaster Li Deyin, Jesse Tsao's
teacher since 1978. There are 52 movements in the whole routine based
on the characteristic Tai Chi posture with the fan's artistic and
martial functions. Master Tsao presents demonstrations at the
beginning and end. He teaches step-by-step in slow motion, in
English. There are plenty of repetitions of movements in both front
and back view. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource
for instructor's teaching preparation." Cost: 35.00 US. Demonstration.
Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan
Instructional DVD by Professor Li Deyin. Narration in English. "A
fan routine, created by Professor Li, which combines the gracefulness,
centrality and continuity of Taiji with the power, speed and
fierceness of Wushu. It is designed as an addition to the exercises for
health, and has received massive interest and support throughout the
world. In this DVD, Professor Li provides in-depth teaching with Mrs.
Fang Mishou performing detail demonstration." Vendor 1. Cost: $35.00 US.
compiled the following list of UTube demonstrations of this Tai Chi fan
form a couple of years ago. Some of the videos may no longer exist.
Tai Chi Kung Fun Fan, Form 1. UTube Video, 4:02 min. Lady in white on a stage in Japan. My favorite!
"First Form of the Xiyangmei Taiji Kungfu Shan (Taiji Shan). Recorded
in Tokyo, Japan when the group headed by Li Deyin went to give an
exhibition in 2006."
"Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is an amplifier by which you can turn up the volume, boosting the energy of everything you do, think or feel. We often think of enthusiasm as caused by an external event. However, it can be generated from within, becoming an intentional action for transforming virtually anything in our lives. Enthusiasm can take the seemingly small, dull, boring, or unimportant and turn it into something new and magnificent. Learn to strengthen the muscle of your enthusiasm, letting the tiny become great, and you will reclaim your energy and passion."
- Anat Baniel,
Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality,
Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality "1. Moving with Attention, Wake Up to Life, Mindful Movements
2. The Learning Switch, Bring in the New, Lifelong learning, Retraining
3. Subtlety, Experience the Power of Gentleness
4. Variation, Enjoy Abundant Possibilities
5. Taking Your Time, Slowing Down, Not Rushing, Luxuriate in the Richness
6. Enthusiasm, Turn the Small into the Great
7. Flexible Goals, Make the Impossible Possible
8. Imagination and Dreams, Create Your Life
9. Awareness, Cultivating Mindfulness, Thrive with True Knowledge" - Anat Baniel,
Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality