Friday, October 31, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 40

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 40

"The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao's mighty deeds.
All things under heaven sprang from It as existing and named.
That existence sprang from It as non-existent and not named."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 40    

"Reversion is the action of Tao.
   Gentleness is the function of Tao.
The things of this world come from Being,
   And Being (comes) from Non-being."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 40    

"In Tao the only motion is returning;
The only useful quality, weakness.
For though all creatures under heaven are the products of Being,
Being itself is the product of Not-being."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 40  

"Reversion is the action of the Dao.
 Softness is the function of the Dao.
 The myriad things under Heaven achieve life in existence.
 Existence arises from nothingness."
 -  Translation Richard Lynn, Chapter 40  

-  Chinese Characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 40  

fan zhe dao zhi dong, 
ruo zhe dao zhi yong. 
tian xia wan wu sheng yu you.   
you sheng yu wu.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 40   

"The movement of Tao in the course of time is to return to Simplicity;
 The working of Tao is so subtle that is ostensible effect may not be immediately noticeable.
 Myriad things and creatures on Earth were originated from something;
 This something describable by us was launched ultimately from nothing which is beyond our description."
 -  Translated by Lee Sun Chen Org, Chapter 40 

"Interaction of the opposites is the sphere of Tao activity.
The Highest Subtlety is one of the most important qualities of Tao.
It is opposed by coarse qualities of evil people. 
All the development of incarnate beings goes on in interaction of these opposites.
Yet, the very world of matter originated from the Subtlest Source."
-  Translated by Mikhail Nilolenko, Chapter 40    

"El movimiento del Tao es retornar;
El uso del Tao es aceptar;
Todas las cosas derivan del Tao,
El Tao no deriva de ninguna."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Capitulo 40

"The movement of the Tao is a returning,
And weakness marks its course, to our discerning,
But heaven and earth and everything from its existence came,
And existence, from the non-existent spurning."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 40  

"Tao moves in cycles;
Tao functions through softness.
All is born of nothing.
Something is born of nothing."
-  Translated by Tam C. Gibbs, 1981, Chapter 40   

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography, indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization, and other resources for the Chapter.  


Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Fig Leaf Fell on My Fingers

As I played with the Yang Long Form, each of my steps crunched leaves under my feet. As I reached down to pick up the needle from the bottom of the sea, I picked up a few leaves from the graying autumn grass. As I crossed hands in the horse stance, a fig leaf fell on my fingers.

"despite fascination
do not be concerned
that form is emptiness
and emptiness is form
It is All
a brown falling leaf
no different
- Michael McClure

"Last day of September,
dead leaves dropping--
form is emptiness.
First day of October,
ditch completely dry--
emptiness is form.
- Michael Garofalo, Above the Fog

Cloud Hands Taijiquan

Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Optimal Living Rules

Twenty Rules for Optimal Living in the 21st Century

1.  Face Reality
2.  Take Action
3.  Create Yourself
4.  Accept Responsibility
5.  Do It Now
6.  You Can't Change the Past 
7.  Act Like a Scientist 
8.  Work, Work, Work and Practice, Practice, Practice 
9.  Push Yourself 
10.  Do and Feel 
11.  There's No Gain Without Pain 
12.  Accept and Forgive Yourself Unconditionally 
13.  Live for Now and for the Future 
14.  Commit Yourself 
15.  Take Risks 
16.  Be Interested in Yourself and in Others  
17.  Remain Flexible  
18.  Use It Or Lose It 
19.  Accept Uncertainty 
20.  Don't Expect Heaven on Earth 
Albert Ellis, Ph.D., and Emmett Verlten, Ph.D.  Optimal Aging: Get Over Getting Older  1998  Index, recommended reading, 288 pages.  VSCL. 

"The goal of all life is to have a ball."
-  Albert Ellis

Seven Strategies for Positive Aging.   By Robert D. Hill, Ph.D..  New York, W.W. Norton and Co., 2008.  Index, references, 63 pages.  ISBN: 978-0393705232.  VSCL.   

Making Aging Positive by Linda P. Fried 

Aging Well:  Recommended Readings, Quotes, and Resources

Living the Good Life: Principles, Recommendations, Wisdom

Virtues: Quotations, Sayings, Recommended Reading, Resources

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bejing Standard T'ai Chi Ch'uan 24 Movements Form

The first Taijiquan form I learned in 1986 was the Standard 24 Movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan Form in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  At that time there were no books or instructional videotapes on this popular form.  Since that time, nearly 25 years have past.  Now there are dozens of books and instructional DVDs and webpages on the subject of the 24 Form. 

Mike Garofalo 'Playing the Pipa'

My webpage on the Standard 24 Taijiquan Form has been the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands Website for many years. In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a quick index to this webpage.

Standard Simplified Taijiquan 24 Form.  Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, links, online videos, articles, and resources.  It provides a list of the 24 movement names in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish, with citations for sources of the movement names.  It provides detailed descriptions of each movement with black and white line illustrations and  photographs.  It includes relevant quotations, notes, performance times, section breakdowns, basic Tai Chi principles, and strategies for learning the form.  The Peking (Bejing) Chinese National orthodox standard simplified 24 movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, created in 1956, is the most popular form practiced all around the world.  This form uses the Yang Style of Taijiquan.  Published by Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California:  Webpage URL:  File size: 269 Kb. 

This webpage provides many good suggestions for a person learning this form on their own if there is no Tai Chi class in their area. 

The best book that I have seen on the subject is:

The Yang Taiji 24 Step Short Form: A Step by Step Guide for All Levels
By James Drewe
London, Singing Dragon Press, 2011.
382 pages, black and white photographs, charts, detailed descriptions, training tips.
I give information on many other fine books by other good authors on the 24 Form in my webpage: Cheng Zhao,
Foen Tjoeng Lie, Eric Chaline, Le Deyin, etc.. 

My students tell me that their favorite instructional DVD on the 24 Form is:

Tai Chi - The 24 Forms
By Dr. Paul Lam

I have taught this lovely Tai Chi form to hundreds of people since 2000.  Everyone tells me how much they enjoy learning and practicing this gentle form.

I also teach and enjoy playing the
Chen Style Taijiquan 18 Movement Form created by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei. Actually, in the last year, I prefer practicing the Chen 18 Form more. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sacer Simplicitas: Walking

"When my neighbor walks the dogs, he performs a ritual act of sacer simplicitas, to use the church Latin: "sacred simplicity."  Walking the dog is in truth a ritual of renewal and revival on an intimate scale - a small rebirth of well-being on a daily basis."
-   Robert Fulghum, From Beginning to End
"The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all."
-   Wendell Berry

"Our philosophies must be rewritten to remove them from the domain of words and "ideas," and to plant their roots firmly in the earth."
-   William Vogt

"My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces."
The Walk by Rainer Marie Rilke, Translated by Robert Bly

"Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune— I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road. 

The earth—that is sufficient; 
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are; 
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.  

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens; 
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go; 
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them; 
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.) 
You road I enter upon and look around!
I believe you are not all that is here; 
I believe that much unseen is also here."
-   Walt Whitman, "Song of the Open Road," Leaves of Grass, 1890.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tao Te Ching Chapter Index

Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) by Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Chapter Index
Detailed Terms Index for Each Chapter in English and Spanish
Selected Translations into English (16) and Spanish (2) for each Chapter
Chinese Characters for Each Chapter
Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanizations of Chinese Words for Each Chapter
Bibliography, Recommend Readings, References, Links

Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index

Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

Friday, October 24, 2014

Daodejing, Laozi, Chapter 41

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 41

"When a superior scholar hears of Reason he endeavors to practise it.
When an average scholar hears of Reason he will sometimes keep it and sometimes lose it.
When an inferior scholar hears of Reason he will greatly ridicule it.
Were it not thus ridiculed, it would as Reason be insufficient.
Therefore the poet says:
"The Reason--enlightened seem dark and black,
The Reason--advanced seem going back,
The Reason--straight-levelled seem rugged and slack.
"The high in virtue resemble a vale,
The purely white in shame must quail,
The staunchest virtue seems to fail.
"The solidest virtue seems not alert,
The purest chastity seems pervert,
The greatest square will rightness desert.
"The largest vessel is not yet complete,
The loudest sound is not speech replete,
The greatest form has no shape concrete."
Reason so long as it remains latent is unnamable.
Yet Reason alone is good for imparting and completing."
-  Translated by D.T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 41

"When the lofty hear of Way
they devote themselves.
When the common hear of Way
they wonder if it's real or not.
And when the lowly hear of Way
they laugh out loud.
Without that laughter, it wouldn't be Way.
Hence the abiding proverbs:
Luminous Way seems dark.
Advancing Way seems retreating.
Formless Way seems manifold.
High Integrity seems low-lying.
Great whiteness seems tarnished.
Abounding Integrity seems lacking.
Abiding Integrity seems missing.
True essence seems protean.
The great square has no corners,
and the great implement completes nothing.
The great voice sounds faint,
and the great image has no shape.
Way remains hidden and nameless,
but it alone nourishes and brings to completion."
-  Translated by David Hinton, Chapter 41  

"When the man of highest capacities hears Tao
He does his best to put it into practice.
When the man of middling capacity hears Tao
He is in two minds about it.
When the man of low capacity hears Tao
He laughs loudly at it.
If he did not laugh, it would not be worth the name of Tao.
Therefore the proverb has it:
“The way out into the light often looks dark,
The way that goes ahead often looks as if it went back.”
The way that is least hilly often looks as if it went up and down,
The “power” that is really loftiest looks like an abyss,
What is sheerest white looks blurred.
The “power” that is most sufficing looks inadequate,
The “power” that stands firmest looks flimsy.
What is in its natural, pure state looks faded;
The largest square has no corners,
The greatest vessel takes the longest to finish,
Great music has the faintest notes,
The Great From is without shape.
For Tao is hidden and nameless.
Yet Tao alone supports all things and brings them to fulfillment."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 41

"When great scholars heard of Tao, they diligently followed it.
When mediocre scholars heard of Tao, sometimes they kept it, sometimes they lost it.
When inferior scholars heard of Tao, they laughed at it.
Whether they laugh or whether they follow, Tao remains active.
Therefore the poets have said:
Brightness of Tao seems to be dark,
Progress in Tao seems going back,
The aim of Tao seems confused.
The highest Tao seems lowliest,
Great purity seems full of shame,
The fullest Teh seems incomplete.
Teachers of Teh have lost their zeal
And certain Truth appears to change.
A great square with inner angles,
A great vase unfinished,
A great voice never heard,
A great Image with inner form.
Tao is hid within its Name,
But by Tao the Masters bless,
And all things bring to perfectness."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 41

上士聞道, 勤而行之.
中士聞道, 若存若亡, 下士聞道, 大笑之. 
故建言有之, 明道若昧.

夫唯道, 善貸且成. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 41

shang shih wên tao, ch'in erh hsing chih.
chung shih wén tao, jo ts'un jo wang, hsia shih wên tao, ta hsiao chih.
pu hsiao pu tsu yi wei tao.
ku chien yen chê chih.
ming tao jo mei.
chin tao.
jo t'ui yi tao jo lei.
shang tê jo ku.
ta pai jo ju.
kuang tê jo pu tsu.
chien tê jo t'ou.
chih chên jo yü.
ta fang wu yü.  
ta ch'i wan ch'eng.
ta yin hsi shêng.
ta hsiang wu hsing.
tao yin wu ming.
fu wei tao shan tai ch'ieh ch'êng.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 41  


"Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao, earnestly carry it into practice.
Scholars of the middle class, when they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it.
Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh greatly at it.
If it were not laughed at, it would not be fit to be the Tao.
Therefore the sentence-makers have thus expressed themselves:
'The Tao, when brightest seen, seems light to lack;
Who progress in it makes, seems drawing back;
Its even way is like a rugged track.
Its highest virtue from the vale doth rise;
Its greatest beauty seems to offend the eyes;
And he has most whose lot the least supplies.
Its firmest virtue seems but poor and low;
Its solid truth seems change to undergo;
Its largest square doth yet no corner show
A vessel great, it is the slowest made;
Loud is its sound, but never word it said;
A semblance great, the shadow of a shade.'
The Tao is hidden, and has no name; but it is the Tao which is skilful at imparting
to all things what they need and making them complete."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 41  

"When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out with diligence.
When middling people hear of the way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not.
When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule it greatly.
If they didn't laugh at it, it wouldn't be the Way.
So there are constructive sayings on this: The Way of illumination seems dark, the Way of advancement seems retiring, the Way of equality seems to categorize; higher virtue seems empty, greater purity seems ignominious, broad virtue seems insufficient,
constructive virtue seems careless.
Simple honesty seems changeable, great range has no boundaries, great vessels are finished late; the great sound has a rarefied tone, the great image has no form, the Way hides in namelessness.
Only the Way can enhance and perfect."
-  Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 41  

"Los estudiantes sabios escuchan al Tao
y lo practican diligentemente.
Los estudiantes mediocres escuchan al Tao
y lo abandonan una y otra vez.
Los estudiantes vulgares escuchan al Tao
y se ríen de él.
Si gente como esa no se riera,
el Tao no sería lo que es.
En consecuencia se dice que:
El pasado brillante parece empañado.
Progresar parece retroceder.
El modo fácil parece arduo.
La mayor Virtud parece vacía.
La gran pureza parece sombría.
La Virtud más sana parece inadecuada.
La fuerza de la Virtud parece frágil.
La Virtud real parece irreal.
El perfecto cuadrado parece sin ángulos.
Los grandes talentos maduran tarde.
Las notas más agudas son difíciles de oír.
Las más grandes formas no tienen forma.
El Tao es oculto y sin nombre.
Sólo el Tao alimenta y
logra que todo se realice."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 41

"The true student hears of the Tao; he is diligent and practices it.
The average student hear of it; sometimes he appears to be attentive, then again he is inattentive.
The half hearted student hears of it; he loudly derides it.
If it did not provoke ridicule it would not be worthy of the name Tao.
Again there are those whose only care is phraseology.
The brilliancy of the Tao is an obscurity;
the advance of the Tao is a retreat;
the equality of the Tao is an inequality;
the higher energy is as cosmic space;
the greatest purity is as uncleanness;
the widest virtue is as if insufficient;
established virtue is as if furtive;
the truest essence is as imperfection;
the most perfect square is cornerless;
the largest vessel is last completed;
the loudest sound has fewest tones;
the grandest conception is formless.
The Tao is concealed and nameless,
yet it is the Tao alone which excels in imparting and completing."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 41  

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography, indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter, and other resources for the Chapter.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Positive Aging Principles

"Through processes embedded in valued subjective experience we have learned that disciplining how we think and feel about ourselves and our health is as important to well-being as any physiological markers of disease.  Positive Aging describes a process whereby we take control of our own late life experiences by discovering meaning in growing old that transcends the deteriorative processes of aging.  Positive Agers posses four characteristics: (a) mobilizing resources to meet the challenges of aging, (b) making life choices that preserve well-being, (c) cultivating flexibility to deal with age-related decline, and (d) focusing on the positives (verses the negatives) in old age."
-  Robert T. Hill  

Seven Strategies for Positive Aging
1.  You can find meaning in old age.
2.  You're never to old to learn.
3.  You can use the past to cultivate wisdom.
4.  You can strengthen life-span relationships.
5.  You can promote growth through giving and receiving help.
6.  You can forgive yourself and others.
7.  You can possess a grateful attitude. 
-  Robert T. Hill, Ph.D.,
Seven Strategies for Positive Aging, 2008

Seven Strategies for Positive Aging.   By Robert D. Hill, Ph.D..  New York, W.W. Norton and Co., 2008.  Index, references, 63 pages.  ISBN: 978-0393705232.  VSCL.   

Making Aging Positive by Linda P. Fried 

Aging Well:  Recommended Readings, Quotes, and Resources

Living the Good Life: Principles, Recommendations, Wisdom

Virtues: Quotations, Sayings, Recommended Reading, Resources

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tai Chi Chi Kung Shibashi Exercises

The Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi Series was created by Professor Lin Hou Sheng from China.  Part 1, 18 movements (Shi Ba Shi) was created in 1979.  Part 2, 18 movements, was created in 1988.  Four more Tai Chi Qigong 18 movement sets were created in the 1990's.  Professor Lin's best selling book, Qi Gong is the Answer to Health, was first published in 1985 in China.  

The movements are done slowly, gently, and deliberately.  Deep breathing is coordinated carefully with each movement sequence.  There is little or no movement of the feet.  Suitable for persons of all ages.  A number of the hand movements are similar to those used in Yang style Taijiquan.   

Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi: Bibliography, Links, Videos, Lessons, Resources
By Mike Garofalo.

The Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong.  By Chris Jarmey.  North Atlantic Books, 2005.  192 pages.

Part 1, Eighteen Movements (Shibashi) Qigong, Tai Chi Qigong

1.   Awakening the Qi
2.   Opening the Chest   
3.   Painting the Rainbow
4.   Separating the Clouds
5.   Cycling the Arms
6.   Paddle a Boat 
7.   Lifting the Sun  
8.   Turn the Body and Look at the Moon  
9.   Push the Palms  
10.  Rolling Tai Ji  
11.  Lift and Spray the Water  
12.  Push the Wave  
13.  Let the Dove Free  
14.  Punching the Mud  
15.  Flying Wild Goose  
16.  Hug and Swing the Sun  
17.  Bounce the Ball  
18.  Quieting the Qi  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Undoubtedly, our beliefs and thoughts do greatly effect both our perceptions and emotions, and the reverse is true.  They are all intertwined and interdependent.

Consider the following thought/belief, attributed by Lewis Richmond to the Dalai Lama:

"If someone shows genuine love and compassion toward fellow human brothers and sisters, and toward the Earth itself, then I think we can be sure that that person truly demonstrates love for God."

So, minding my own business, with no ill will towards others, today I tend my garden, take a long walk, play with my dog, laugh, and sit in the sun and read.  So, have I demonstrated, in a small way, love for God? 

Aging Well:  Recommended Readings, Quotes, and Resources

Living the Good Life: Principles, Recommendations, Wisdom


Friday, October 17, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 42

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 42

"The Dao produced One; One produced Two;
Two produced Three; Three produced All things.
All things leave behind them the Obscurity out of which they have come, and go forward to embrace
the Brightness into which they have emerged, while they are harmonized by the Breath of Vacancy.
What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as carriages without naves;
and yet these are the designations which kings and princes use for themselves.
So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased.
What other men thus teach, I also teach.
The violent and strong do not die their natural death.
I will make this the basis of my teaching."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 42

"Dao sprouted as one.
One sprouted into two.
Two sprouted into three.
Three sprouted into all the living things in the universe.
All living things suffer through darkness and embrace the light.
In the middle, life's energy finds a way to act from the harmony of both.
A person's stance might be to really hate being "alone, isolated and One Without Grain".
Yet the nobility choose to call themselves by that title.
A living thing may be damaged by increase; or may profit by decrease.
Therefore, if a person realizes that their attitude can teach others,
In the evening they will consider and discuss things, teaching each other.
Therefore those who are aggressive and violent will die incomplete.
I'll take these lessons as though they came from my father."
-  Translated by Nina Correa, 2005, Chapter 42  

"The Tao gives birth to the One.
 The One gives birth to two.
 Two gives birth to three.
 And three gives birth to the ten thousand things.
 The ten thousand things have their backs in the shadow
 while they embrace the light.
 Harmony is achieved by blending
 the breaths of these two forces.
 People dislike the words "alone," "helpless," "worthless,"
 yet this is how Princes describe them selves.
 So it is that sometimes a thing is increased
 by being diminished and
 diminished by being increased.
 What others teach I also teach:
 "A violent person will not die a natural death."
 I shall make this the basis of my teaching."
 -  Translated by Tolbert McCarroll, 1982, Chapter 42

"The Way begot one,
And the one, two;
Then the two begot three
And three, all else.
All things bear the shade on their backs
And the sun in their arms;
By the blending of breath
From the sun and the shade,
Equilibrium comes to the world.
Orphaned, or needy, or desolate, these
Are conditions much feared and disliked;
Yet in public address, the king
And the nobles account themselves thus.
So a loss sometimes benefits one
Or a benefit proves to be loss.
What others have taught
I also shall teach:
If a violent man does not come
To a violent death,
I shall choose him to teach me."
-  Translated by Raymond B. Blakney, 1955, Chapter 42  

人之所惡唯孤寡不穀, 而王公以為稱. 
人之所教, 我亦教之. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42

dao sheng yi. 
 yi sheng er. 
 er sheng san. 
 san sheng wan wu.
 wan wu fu yin er bao yang. 
 chong qi yi wei he.
 ren zhi suo wu wei gu gua bu gu, er wang gong yi wei cheng.
 gu wu huo sun zhi er yi. 
 huo yi zhi er sun.
 ren zhi suo jiao, wo yi jiao zhi. 
 qiang liang zhe bu de qi si. 
 wu jiang yi wei jiao fu.
 -  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 42   

"Nature first begets one thing.
The one thing begets another.
The two produce a third.
In this way, all things are begotten.
Why? Because all things are impregnated by two alternating tendencies, the tendency towards completion and the tendency towards initiation, which acting together, complement each other.
Most men dislike to be considered of no account, lowly, unworthy.
Yet intelligent leaders call themselves thus.
For people are admired for their humility and despised for their pride.
There are many other ways of illustrating what I am teaching: "Extremists reach untimely ends."
This saying may be taken as a good example."
-  Translated by Archie J. Bahm, Chapter 42   

"The Tao produced One; One produced Two;
Two produced Three; Three produced All.
All the myriad things bear the yin with darkened pall,
They embrace the yang which lights the coming view,
And between the yin that was, and the yang that is to be,
The immaterial breath makes harmony.
Things that men dislike are to be orphans, lonely men,
Unworthy, incomplete, and yet these very things
Are taken for their titles by princes and by kings;
So it is sometimes that losing gains again,
And sometimes that gaining loses in its turn.
I am teaching what, by others taught, I learn;
The violent and aggressive a good death do not die,
And the father of this teaching, it is I."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Hesysinger, 1903, Chapter 42  

"El Tao engendra al Uno,
El Uno engendra al Dos,
El Dos engendra al Tres.
El Tres engendra a los diez mil seres.
Los diez mil seres llevan el Yin en sus espaldas y el Yang en sus frentes,
Y la armonía de su Chi depende del equilibrio de estas dos fuerzas.
Los hombres aborrecen la soledad, la pobreza, la indignidad,
y estos nombres los usan los soberanos para sus títulos.
Porque unos ganan perdiendo, y otros pierden ganando.
Yo enseño lo que otros han enseñado:
"el hombre que vive violentamente, morirá violentamente".
Esta es la guía de mi enseñanza."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 42

"Tao emaned the One; the one emaned the Two; and the two emaned the Three.
From the Three all things have proceeded.
All things are backed by the Unmanifest and faced by the Manifest.
That which unites them is the immaterial breath.
Orphanage, isolation, and a chariot without wheels are shunned by the people; but kings and great men appropriate these names to themselves.
For things increase by being deprived; and being added to they are diminished.
That which people teach by their actions I make use of to instruct them.
Those who are violent and headstrong, for example, do not die a natural death.
They teach a good lesson, and so I make use of them."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 42  

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography, indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter, and other resources for the Chapter. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lunge Exercises

The common exercise called the "lunge" is used in many fitness programs.  Basically, one leg is positioned forward with the knee bent and the front foot flat on the floor.  The forward knee joint should be positioned directly over the center of the foot.  The forward kneecap should not go past the toes or behind the heel.  

The back leg is extended and positioned behind the body.  The back foot may face forward, or to the side at up to a 45 degree angle.  The back knee may be slightly bent, or bent quite a bit and lowered down nearly to the floor, depending upon the strength and knee flexibility of the exerciser.   

The upper torso is kept erect and centered over the hips.  Look straight forward and keep the head lifted.  The arms and hands may take a variety of positions.  

The lunge exercise works the muscles of the thighs, buttocks. hip flexors and extensors, calves, lower back, and the hamstrings.  All lunges primarily strengthen the muscles of the front of the thigh (quadriceps).   

The lunge exercise is often performed using one's bodyweight alone; however, many athletes hold dumbells, kettlebells, or barbells in their hands as they step forward into the lunge position and then back to a standing position.  

Yoga uses many lunge postures:  Warrior poses (Virabhadrasana), Cresent Moon (Anjaneyasana), Equestrain (Ashwa Sanchalanasana), etc.  The Equestrian pose also stretches the illio psoas muscle in the back leg side.  

Tai Chi Chuan uses many forward lunge postures:  Parting the Wild Horses Mane, Brush Knee, Single Whip, Ward Off, Fair Lady Works the Shuttles, etc.; and side lunge postures: Lazily Tying the Coat, etc.

Taijiquan and yoga lunge poses often do not drop the back knee so low the ground, tend to keep the back leg straighter with the knee slightly bend, and the back foot at an angle.  This position is much safer for older persons.  Bodybuilders, weightlifters and younger active athletes tend to keep both feet facing forward, dip the back knee closer to the floor, and hold dumbbells in their hands. 

Lunge Exercises: Videos, How To, Safety Tips and More.  By Mike Behnken.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Aspects of Good Mental Health

Traits and Behaviors of Mental Heath

"Although no group of authorities fully agree on a definition of the term mental health, it seems seems to include several traits and behaviors that are frequently endorsed by leading theorists and therapists (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, Rudolf Dreikurs, Fritz Perls, Abraham Maslow, Marie Jahoda, Carol Rodgers, Rollo May, Albert Ellis, etc.).  These include such traits as self-interest, self-direction, social interest, tolerance, acceptance of ambiguity and uncertainty, flexibility, acceptance of social reality, commitment, risk taking, self-acceptance, rationality and scientific thinking.  Not all mentally healthy individuals possess the highest degree of these traits at all times, but when people seriously lack them or when they have extreme opposing behaviors, we often consider them to be at least somewhat emotionally disturbed. 

Self Interest:  Emotionally healthy people are primarily true to themselves and do not subjugate themselves or unduly sacrifice themselves for others.  Realizing that if they do not primarily take care of themselves no one else will, they tend to put themselves first, a few selected others a close second, and the rest of the world not too far behind.
Self-Direction:  Mentally healthy people largely assume responsibility for their own lives, enjoy the independence of mainly working out their own problems, and, while at times wanting or preferring the help of others, do not think that they absolutely must have such support for their effectiveness and well-being. 
Social Interest:  Emotionally and mentally healthy people are normally gregarious and decide to try to live happily in a social group.  Because they want to live successfully with others, and usually to relate intimately to a few of these selected others, they work at feeling and displaying a considerable degree of social interest and interpersonal competence. 
Tolerance:  Emotionally healthy people tend to give other humans the right to be wrong.  While disliking or abhorring other's behavior, they refuse to condemn them as total persons for performing poor behavior.  They fully accept the fact that all humans seem to be remarkably fallible; they refrain from unrealistically demanding and commanding that any of them be perfect; and they desist from damning people in toto when they err. 
Acceptance of Ambiguity and Uncertainty:  Emotionally mature individuals accept the fact that, as far as has yet been discovered, we live in a world of probability and chance, where there are not, and probably ever will be, absolute necessities or complete certainties.  Living in such a world is not only tolerable but, in terms of adventure, learning and striving, can even be very exciting and pleasurable. 
Flexibility:  Emotionally sound people are intellectually flexible, tend to be open to change at all times, and are prone to take an unbigoted (or at least less bigoted) view of the infinitely varied people, ideas, and things in the world around them.  They can be firm and passionate in their thoughts and feelings, and they comfortably look at new evidence and often revise their notions of "reality" to conform with this evidence. 
Acceptance of Social Reality:  Emotionally healthy people, it almost goes without saying, accept was is going on in the world.  This means several important things: (1) they have a reasonably good perception of social reality and do not see things that do not exist and do not refuse to see things that do; (2) they find various aspects of life, in accordance with their own goals and inclination, "good" and certain aspects "bad" ─ but they accept both these aspects, without exaggerating the "good" ones and without denying or whining about the "bad" ones; (3) they do their best to work at changing those aspects of life they view as "bad," to accept those they cannot change, and to acknowledge the difference between the two.
Commitment:  Emotionally healthy and happy people are usually absorbed in something outside of themselves, whether this be people, things, or ideas.  They seem to live better lives when they have at least one major creative interest, as well as some outstanding human involvement, which they make very important to themselves and around which the structure a good part of their lives.
Risk Taking:  Emotionally sound people are able to take risks.  They ask themselves what they would really like to do in life, and then try to do it, even though they have to risk defeat or failure.  They are reasonably adventurous (though not foolhardy); are will to try almost anything once, if only to see how they like it; and look forward to different or unusual breaks in their usual routines. 
Self-Acceptance:  People who are emotionally healthy are usually glad to be alive and to accept themselves as "deserving" of continued life and happiness just because they exist and because they have some present or future potential to enjoy themselves.  They fully or unconditionally accept themselves.  They try to perform competently in their affairs and win the approval and love of others; but they do so for enjoyment and not for ego gratification or self-deification. 
Rationality and Scientific Thinking:  Emotionally stable people are reasonably objective, rational, and scientific.  They not only construct reasonable and empirically substantiated theories relating to what goes on in the surrounding world (and with their fellow creatures who inhabit this world), but they are also able to supply the rules of logic and of the scientific method to their own lives and their interpersonal relationships. "

-  Albert Ellis, Ph.D.  The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, 1998, pp. 235-252.  Based on the 1962 essay titled "The Case Against Religion: A Psychotherapist's View."  

How to Live the Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Walk Your Way to Better Health

"Taking a moderately-paced walk for between 30 and 45 minutes daily was found to increase the amount of immune system cells that were present in the body. The levels of immunity boosters remained elevated for several hours after exercise and appear to have a cumulative effect in protecting against illnesses over time."
Walk Away from Colds

"There are countless physical activities out there, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It's the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.
Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes."
American Heart Association, The Benefits of Walking

Ways of Walking  Hundreds of quotations, sayings, poems, quips, and insights about walking.  

"Walking is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get the exercise you need in order to be healthy—and almost anyone can do it. Walking can strengthen bones, tune up the cardiovascular system, and clear a cluttered mind. This uncomplicated but important activity continues to attract researchers, reports the March 2011 issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Recent research indicates that:  Later in life, walking becomes as much an indicator of health as a promoter of it. After age 65, how fast you walk may predict how long you have to live. Walking, or gait, has long been recognized as a proxy for overall health and has been measured in many studies. Researchers have found a remarkably consistent association between faster walking speed and longer life."
-  Harvard Medical School, Research Points to Even More Health Benefits of Walking