Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 2015

We enjoyed visiting with family and friends in California, Oregon, and Washington all during this past month of December.

Karen and I just returned today to Red Bluff after being in Oregon for 8 days.  Back to our normal home and work routines.

We are both in good health and wish the same for others.

Happy Holidays to All.  









 

Sunday, December 06, 2015

A Carpet of Leaves



 Frost and Tomatoes Don't Go Well Together:




Two large Raywood Ash trees in our back yard can lay down many leaves on a windy day in December





Saturday, December 05, 2015

Long Fence Line



Looking north from our home, at the circled end of the Kilkenny Lane cul-de-sac.  The smell of eucalyptus trees is potent and unique.  There are many eucalyptus trees on my property.  The fence line separates Debbie's property to the left (west) of the fence, and Ruth's property to the right (east) of the fence; and Slade's property is to the north of Debbie and Ruth's property.  Everything is fenced.  Cattle are raised on Slade's property. 


 


Friday, December 04, 2015

Daodejing, Laozi: Indexes, Selected Translations, Resources, Bibliography

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu circa 200 BCE

Indexes Selected Translations, Bibliography, Comments, Resources.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 
Version 2.1, October 2015


A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   


Chapter 1, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey   



 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Dark and Dreary Day

Sipping coffee and thinking.
I look forward to walking with my dog this morning.
John will be working on our new back door and back entrance siding.  
Mick and April arrive here this afternoon. 
Outside: 45F, overcast, drizzling, sprinking, raining, a darker world.

We have been very busy lately with traveling and having visitors.  We were in Portland for a week before Thanksgiving Day.

November was a very busy month for Karen and I.  

We have repaired the entire south side of our house and the entire back porch.  Both have been painted.

Busy with part-time employment 3 days 8 hours per week, and hope to retire from this job in 12/18.  I still teach yoga/qigong 3 hours each week.

Pulled up dying summer vegetables, raked, spread manure.  Enjoyed working outdoors when it was sprinkling.  When it really started to rain I retreated to a shed or indoors.

"From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
-   Katherine S. White












Last View of Their Swing
11/26/2015, Portland
By Mike Garofalo






















 















Cold nights and wind have killed all the summer vegetables. 
2015 gone for them and us.

Quotations and Poems Representing the Month of December


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Stoic Philosophy: Notes and Reflections


Stoicism: Bibliography, Hypertext Notebook, Resources, Research, Themes, Reflections

Research by Mike Garofalo.  250KB, November, 2015

In the last month, I have been steadily reading Hellenistic philosophers (300 BCE - 200 CE).  I've read all of Marcus Arelius and Epictetus.  I'm now reading Seneca and Cicero.  I've read many commentaries and scholarly works about the Stoics and Greco-Roman Hellenistic Ethical viewpoints.  

I've focused recently on using Stoic practices, maxims, exercises, and skills development for improving my daily life. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chi Kung and Aging

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Chinese Qigong (Chi Kung) Exercises
Gentle Exercise, Breathing, and Meditation


Scientific Research  Many Reports on the Effect of Qigong on Improving the Health of the Elderly

"Qigong can do wonders to rejuvenate the elderly. In fact, more than 50 percent of the people who begin tai chi and qigong in China do so after the age of 60, when the realities of aging can no longer be pushed aside. Already, hundreds of millions of people over the age of 60 have found qigong to be uniquely effective."
-  Bruce Frantzis, Qigong for Seniors


Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong   by Kenneth Sancier, Ph.D.

Qigong for the Elderly


"This report shows that regular qigong practice could relieve depression, improve self-efficacy and personal well being among elderly persons with chronic physical illness and depression"
Effect of a Qigong Program on Elderly Persons with Depression, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.


Qigong (Chi Kung):  Styles,Bibliographies, Research, Resources, Links, Lessons, Benefits, Quotations.  Website by Mike Garofalo.

A review of clinical trials of t’ai chi and qigong in older adults reported in the March 2009 issue of the Western Journal of Nursing Research notes that qigong improves physical functioning, limits fall risk, alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety, and lowers blood pressure in older adults.

"Why Every Elderly Citizen Should Do Qigong: Qigong can treat many diseases.  Qigong can prevent many diseases.  Qigong can extend life.  Qigong can improve the quality of life.  Qigong can prevent accidents."


"According to T'ai Chi and Qigong enthusiasts, the discipline can prevent many ailments, including high blood pressure, tuberculosis, and diabetes, and US scientists agree that T'ai Chi can offer some important fitness benefits, particularly for older adults." 
Modern Maturity, V. 35 June/July 92 p. 60-62


Qigong (Chi Kung): Recommended Reading, Bibliography, Resources, Links, Quotations.  Research by Mike Garofalo, Qigong Instructor


"The average person uses only five to ten percent of his or her 15 billion brain cells; yet studies show that Qi Gong activates 90 percent of the human brain by suffusing it with stimulating bioelectric currents.  This results in significant memory improvement, learning, and enhancement of the physiological functions controlled by the brain.  Studies also show that practicing Qi Gong increases the level of essential neurotransmitters in the blood.  Deficiency of these elements can cause Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s, chronic depression, and insomnia."
Lee Holden


According to the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Nursing, “evidence-based research supports the argument that qigong improves cardiovascular-respiratory function and lipid profile, decreases blood sugar, and relieves anxiety and depression.”

An Evidence-Based Review of Qi Gong by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, 2010

The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi.  By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.  VSCL.  
 
The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing.  By Kenneth S. Cohen.  Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive, informative, practical, and scientific.  VSCL.  





Friday, November 27, 2015

Chapter 69, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 69

"The generals have a saying:
"Rather than make the first move
it is better to wait and see.
Rather than advance an inch
it is better to retreat a yard."
This is called
going forward without advancing,
pushing back without using weapons.
There is no greater misfortune
than underestimating your enemy.
Underestimating your enemy
means thinking that he is evil.
Thus you destroy your three treasures
and become an enemy yourself.
When two great forces oppose each other,
the victory will go
to the one that knows how to yield."
-  Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 1988, Chapter 69 



"In conflict just be cautious
And always on your guard
Rather than advance an inch
Instead retreat a yard
In this way you go along
And make your gain without advancing
You deal with the rival
As your position is enhancing
Remember that it's possible
Your rival just may yield
So don't advance on such a foe
Let differences be healed"
-  Translated by Jim Clatfelder, 2000, Chapter 69  


"An ancient tactician has said:
'I dare not act as a host, but would rather act as a guest;
I dare not advance an inch, but would rather retreat a foot.'
This implies that he does not marshal the ranks as if there were no ranks;
He does not roll up his sleeves as if he had no arms;
He does not seize as if he had no weapons;
He does not fight as if there were no enemies.
No calamity is greater than under-estimating the enemy.
To under-estimate the enemy is to be on the point of losing our treasure.
Therefore, when opposing armies meet in the field the truthful will win."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 69 



"From using force a saying emerges: I dare not act like a ruler, but instead I must act like a guest.
Do not venture an inch when you can withdraw a foot.
This is called progress without progressing.

Seize without seizing.
Apply force to no opponent.
Manage without weapons.

There is no greater calamity than disregarding the enemy.
Disregarding your enemy brings you close to the death of what you treasure.

When two armies meet and inspect each other, grieve for the winner!"
-  Translated by Alan Sheets and Barbara Tovey, 2002, Chapter 69  


"A military expert has said:
'I do not dare put myself forward as a host, but always act as a guest. I hesitate to advance an inch, but am willing to withdraw a foot.'
This is advancing by not advancing, it is winning without arms, it is charging without hostility, it is seizing without weapons.
There is no mistake greater than making light of an enemy.
By making light of an enemy we lose our treasure. 
Therefore when well-matched armies come to conflict, the one who is conscious of his weakness conquers."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 69 



用兵有言:
"吾不敢為主而為客.
不敢進寸而退尺."
是謂行無行,
攘無臂扔無敵,
執無兵.
禍莫大於輕敵,
輕敵幾喪吾寶.
故抗兵相加,
哀者勝矣.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 69


yung pin yu yen:
"wu pu kan wei chu erh wei k'o,
pu kan chin ts'un erh t'ui ch'ih."
shih wei hsing wu hsing,
jang wu pi jêng wu ti,
chih wu ping.
huo mo ta yü ch'ing ti,
ch'ing ti chi sang wu pao.
ku k'ang ping hsiang chia,
ai chê shêng yi. 
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 69 



"The handbook of the strategist has said:
'Do not invite the fight, accept it instead,'
'Better a foot behind than an inch too far ahead,'
Which means:
Look a man straight in the face and make no move,
Roll up your sleeve and clench no fist,
Open your hand and show no weapon,
Bare your breast and find no foe.
But as long as there be a foe, value him,
Respect him, measure him, be humble toward him;
Let him not strip from you, however strong he be,
Compassion, the one wealth which can afford him."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 69 



"On military operations we have:
"I do not boldly attack others first,
But take action only after being attacked."
"I do not boldly move forward even an inch,
But withdraw a foot."
This is called the operation of non-operation,
Bearing the arms of non-arms,
Charging the enemy of non-enemy,
Carrying the weapons of non-weapons.
There is no more serious misfortune
Than to engage in war lightly.
To engage in war lightly is to violate my essential teachings of compassion,
renunciation, and never longing to be first in the world.
Therefore, when two armies join in battle,
The one that is compassionate wins."
-  Translated by Chang Chung-Yuan, Chapter 69  



"Existe un dicho entre los soldados:
“No me atrevo a hacer el primer movimiento;
preferiría ser el huésped.
No me atrevo avanzar una pulgada; más bien
preferiría retroceder un pie.”

Esto es avanzar sin aparentar moverse;
capturar el enemigo sin atacar;
estar armado sin armas.

No existe mayor catástrofe que desestimar al enemigo.
por desestimar al enemigo casi pierdo lo que valoro:
por lo mismo, cuando la batalla se libra,
el más débil vencerá."
-  Translated by Cristina Bosch, 2002, Capítulo 69



"From using force a saying emerges: I dare not act like a ruler, but instead I must act like a guest.
Do not venture an inch when you can withdraw a foot.
This is called progress without progressing.

Seize without seizing.
Apply force to no opponent.
Manage without weapons.

There is no greater calamity than disregarding the enemy.
Disregarding your enemy brings you close to the death of what you treasure.

When two armies meet and inspect each other, grieve for the winner!"
-  Translated by Alan Sheets and Barbara Tovey, 2002, Chapter 69  


"A military expert has said:
'I do not dare put myself forward as a host, but always act as a guest. I hesitate to advance an inch, but am willing to withdraw a foot.'
This is advancing by not advancing, it is winning without arms, it is charging without hostility, it is seizing without weapons.
There is no mistake greater than making light of an enemy.
By making light of an enemy we lose our treasure. 
Therefore when well-matched armies come to conflict, the one who is conscious of his weakness conquers."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 69 




A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   


Chapter 69, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey   

 




Thursday, November 26, 2015

We Give Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving Day!!


T   hanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon.
for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about.
   
That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.
                
-   Aileen Fisher, All in a Word



"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty.  For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercising in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion.  All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees).  And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.  Besides they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.  Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”
-   William Bradford, 1621 


In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, declared the last Thursday of November to be
a National Day of Thanksgiving.





Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Broadsword From in Chen Taijiquan

Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan Saber (Dao, Broadsword) Form.  23 Movement Form.

Chen Style Taijiquan Broadsword Form, List of 23 Movements (PDF)

This 23 Movement Single Broadsword (Dao) Form was Created by Chen Zhaopei (1893-1972), 18th Generation Chen Style Taijiquan Grandmaster, in the 1930's.   

   "The Chen-style Single Broadsword Routine is a kind of the Chen-style Taiji short weapons.  There are thirteen movement in the routine, so it is called the 'thirteen broadswords.'  From 1930 to 1938, the famous Taijiquan master, the Chen-Family descendent of the eighteenth generation, Chen Zhaopei had added nine movements at the basic of original routine during teaching Taijiquan in Nanjing city.  So it became the popular Taiji Single Broadsword routine in Chenjiagou village. 
    The Chen-style Taiji Single Broadsword routine is short and refined, the usages of the forms are clear.  There are thirteen kinds of rolling, closing, pricking, blocking, cutting, hacking, scooping, cross-cutting, twisting, shaking, supporting, slicing and tilting.  They really reflect the characteristics of the Chen-style Taiji Single Broadsword, combining hardness and softness in harmony, equaling stress the quickness and slowness, dodging and transfers, relaxing and nimble, springing and shaking, sticking to each other without being separated, twine to neutralize the force.  It remains the momentum of liking a fierce tiger and cutting forcefully to the Hua Mountain.  It's short weapon, but it can be used as a long weapon."
-   Chen Zenglei, Chen Style Taijiquan, Sword and Broadsword, 2003, p. 322 
 



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Real Purpose of Philosophy

     "True philosophy doesn't involve exotic rituals, mysterious liturgy, or quaint beliefs.  Nor is it just abstract theorizing and analysis.  It is, of course, the love of wisdom.  It is the art of living a good life.  As such, it must be rescued from religious gurus and from professional philosophers lest it be exploited as an esoteric cult or as a set of detached intellectual techniques or brain teasers to show how clever you are.  Philosophy is intended for everyone, and it is authentically practiced only by those who wed it with action in the world toward a better life for all.
     Philosophy's purpose is to illuminate the ways our soul has been infected by unsound beliefs, untrained tumultuous desires, and dubious life choices and preferences that are unworthy of us.  Self-scrutiny applied with kindness is the main antitdote.  Besides rooting out the soul's corruptions, the life of wisdom is also meant to stir us from our lassitude and move us in the direction of an energetic, cheerful life.
     Skilled in the use of logic, disputation, and the developed ability to name things correctly are some of the instruments  philosophy gives us to achieve abiding clear-sightedness and inner tranquility, which is true happiness.
     This happiness, which is our aim, must be correctly understood.  Happiness is commonly mistaken for passively experienced pleasure of leisure.  This conception of happiness is good only as far as it goes.  The only worthy object of all our efforts is a flourishing life.
     True happiness is a verb.  It's the ongoing dynamic performance of worthy deeds.  The flourishing life, whose foundation is virtuous intention, is something we continually improvise, and in doing so our souls mature.  Our life has usefulness to ourselves and the people we touch.
     We become philosophers to discover what is really true and what is merely the accidental result of flawed reasoning, recklessly acquired erroneous judgments, well-intentioned but misguided teachings of parents and teachers, and unexamined acculturation.
     To ease our soul's suffering, we engage in disciplined introspection in which we conduct thought experiments to strengthen our ability to distinguish between wholesome and laxy, hurtful beliefs and habits."
-  Sharon Lebell, The Art of Living, 1997, p 84



Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness  By Epictetus.  An new interpretation, rephrasing, reorganization, and interpolation by Sharon Lebell.  Harper One, 1997.  126 pages.  ISBN: 978-0061286056.  This interesting and valuable text is unconventionally arranged.  There are no references to the standard numbered sections in the classic texts attributed by Arrian to Epictetus: Enchiridion or Discourses.  It is a useful popular handbook that captures the spirit of Epictetus and Stoic principles.  $8.44 paperback.  VSCL. 

Stoicism: A Hypertext Notebook by Mike Garofalo

Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life  By A. A. Long.  Clarendon Press, 2004.  328 pages.  ISBN: 978-0199268856.   

The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius  By Pierre Hadot.  Translated by Michael Chase.  Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1998.  Index, notes, 351 pages.  Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Series.  ISBN:  978-0674007077.  VSCL.  







Monday, November 23, 2015

The Shortest Answer



"The shortest answer is doing."
-  George Herbert


"No one is wise by birth.  Wisdom results from one's own efforts."
-  Krishnamacharya    


"Will is character in action."
-  William McDougall
 


Will Power: Quotes, Sayings

Stoicism

How to Live a Good Life 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dao De Jing, Chaper 70, Laozi

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 70

"My words are very easy to know,
Very easy to follow.
Yet the world is unable to know them,
Unable to follow them.

My words have a source,
My efforts have mastery.
Indeed, since none know this,
They do not know me.
The rare ones who know me
Must treasure me.

Therefore, Evolved Individuals
Wear a coarse cloth covering
With precious jade at the center."
-  Translated by R. L. Wing, 1986, Chapter 70



"My words are easy to understand and very easy to apply.
But no Ego is able to understand them or apply them.
Words have authority.
Affairs have a history!
It is simply because of their ignorance
that Egos do not understand me.
Those who understand me are few, and
thus I am ennobled.
For this reason, Sages may wear homespun cloth over their shoulders,
but they carry a jewel beyond price in their heart."
-  Translated by Jerry C. Welch, 1998, Chapter 70  


"Easy are my words to know, and also to practice.
Yet none is able to understand nor yet to practice them.
For there is a remote origin for my words, and a supreme law for my actions.
Not knowing these, men cannot know me.
Those who know me are few, and by them I am esteemed.
For the wise man is outwardly poor, but he carries his jewel in his bosom."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 70



My words are very easy to understand and very easy to put into practice, yet in all the world no one appears to understand them or to practice them. 
Words have an ancestor (a preceding idea), deeds have a master (a preceding purpose), and just as these are often not understood, so I am not understood. 
They who understand me are very few, and on that account I am worthy of honor.
The wise man wears wool (rather than silk) and keeps his gems out of sight."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 70 



"My words are very easy to understand,
And very easy to put into practice,
Yet there should have been no one in the world
Who can understand them
Or can put them into practice.
Words must be purpose-oriented,
Deeds must be reasonably grounded.
People cannot understand me
Because they fail to understand what is said above.
Those who understand me are few;
Those who can follow my advice are even less.
That is why the sage
Is always dressed in coarse cloth
But conceals about him a beautiful piece of jade (the Tao)."
-  Translated by Gu Zengkun, Chapter 70  



吾言甚易知, 甚易行.
天下莫能知, 莫能行.
言有宗.
事有君.
夫唯無知, 是以不我知.
知我者希.
則我者貴.
是以聖人被褐懷玉.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 70

wu yen shên yi chih, shên yi hsing.
t'ien hsia mo nêng chih, mo nêng hsing.
yen yu tsung.
shih yu chün.
fu wei wu chih, shih yi pu wu chih.
chih wu chê hsi. 
tsê wu chê kuei.
shih yi shêng jên pei ho huai yü. 
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 70 



"Though the words of the sage are simple,
and his actions easily performed,
they are few among many,
who can speak or act as a sage.

For the ordinary man it is difficult
to know the way of a sage,
perhaps because his words
are from the distant past,
and his actions naturally disposed.

Those who know the way of the sage
are few and far between,
but those who treat him with honesty,
will be honoured by him and the Tao.

He knows he makes no fine display,
and wears rough clothes, not finery.
It is not in his expectancy of men
that they should understand his ways,
for he carries his jade within his heart."
-  Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 70  



"My words are so simple to understand
and so easily put into practice
that no one in all beneath heaven understands them
and no one puts them into practice.
Words have their ancestral origins and actions their sovereign:
it's only because people don't understand this that they don't understand me.
And the less people understand me the more precious I become.
So it is that a sage wears sackcloth, keeping pure jade harbored deep."
-  Translated by David Hinton, Chapter 70 



"La palabras tienen un origen; los hechos, una ley.
Mis palabras son fáciles de comprender y fáciles de seguir,
Y, sin embargo, nadie las comprende y nadie las practica.
Es la sabiduría la que impide al hombre acercarse a mi.
Son pocos los que me siguen, porque estoy más allá de toda alabanza.
Por ello el Sabio se cubre con una tela tosca, pero guarda joyas en su seno.
Conoce su valor, pero no lo ostenta. 
Se ama a sí mismo, pero no se tiene en alta estima.
Rechaza lo último y se ciñe a lo primero."
-  Translated from Chinese into English by Ch'u Ta-Kao, Translated from English into Spanish by Caridad Diaz Faes,
Capítulo 70


"My words are most easily known,
Most easy to practice, too,
But none in the world my words can know,
And their practice can pursue.
 
There's an Ancestry in my words,
There's a Head for the things I preach,
But, because they are all misunderstood,
They know not what I teach.
 
The ones who know me are few,
But the few who know me prize,
Though the sage may wear a hair-cloth garb,
The gem in his bosom lies."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 70


"My teaching is very easy to understand,
And very easy to carry out.
Yet the world is incapable of understanding it,
And incapable of carrying it out.
My teaching has an ancient source,
My practices have a ruling principle.
As people are ignorant of this,
So they fail to understand me.
When those who understand me are few,
Then I am distinguished indeed.
That's why the Sage wears a coarse cotton robe,
To conceal the jade ornament worn on his bosom."
-  Translated by Henry Wei, 1982, Chapter 70 



"My words are easy to understand, easy to put in practice; yet the world can neither understand nor practice them.
My words have an underlying intent; my actions have a ruling motive.
It is only ignorance that causes men not to understand my doctrine. 
Those who understand me are few; those who copy me are worthy.
Wherefore the Sage dresses in coarse robes while hiding a jewel in his breast."
-  Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 70 



Chapter 71, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List  

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey   





  


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Not a Clean Glass of Water to Drink

I watched an interesting Netflix documentary about the inventor Dean Kamen called SlingshotSlingshot is a unique, relatively inexpensive, water purification system.  The lack of pure drinking water is the major worldwide issue of the 21st Century.

Governor Jerry Brown of California has issued a directive that home owners in California can only water their yards once a week in 2016.

"We're all downstream."
-  Jim and Margaret Drescher


"In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty."
-  Imbesi's Conservation of Filth Law


"By 2025, at least 3.5 billion people - about half the world's populations - will live in areas without enough water for agriculture, industry, and human needs...  Worldwide, water quality conditions appear to have degraded in almost all regions with intensive agriculture and in large urban and industrial areas."
-   World Resources Institute, October 2000


The Water Project

Water - Quotations 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seeing into the Core

"A friend's son was in the first grade of school, and his teacher asked the class, "What is the color of apples?"  Most of the children answered red.  A few said green.  Kevinn, my friend's son, raised his hand and said white.  The teacher tried to explain that apples could be red, green or sometimes golden, but never white.  Kevin was quite insistent and finally said, "Look inside."  Perception without mindfulness keeps us on the surface of things, and we often miss other levels of reality."
-  Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation

"It takes a little talent to see clearly what lies under one's nose, a good deal of it to know in which direction to point that organ."
-  W. H. Auden    

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
-  Edgar Degas   



 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lovely To See You Again

Music from the Moody Blues, 1969.

"A wonderful day for passing my way.
Knock and my door and even the score
With your eyes.

Lovely to see you again my friend.
Walk along with me to the next bend.

Dark cloud of fear is blowing away.
Now that you're hear, you're going to stay
'cause it's

Lovely to see you again my friend.
Walk along with me to the next bend.

Tells us what you've seen in faraway forgotten lands.
Where empires have turned back to sand.

Wonderful day for passing my way.
Knock and my door and even the score
With your eyes.

Lovely to see you again my friend.
Walk along with me to the next bend."







Monday, November 16, 2015

Wild Goose Qigong Exercise System

Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong Exercises


Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes, List of Movements
Research by Mike Garofalo


The Wild Goose Qigong form is one long continuous sequence of movements, much like a Taiji form.  There are many aspects of the Wild Goose Qigong system as presented by Dr. Bingkun Hu of San Francisco.  


"Wild Goose Qigong claims that “there are no intentional movements without awareness. Wild Goose Qigong advocates “wu-wei” (or “doing nothing”) and “tuo-yi” (“reduce one’s awareness to the minimum”). A good example is Wild Goose-1 (the first 64 Movements). We often tell our beginning learners that the movements in this set of qigong are supposed to describe the daily activities of a wild goose. There are three parts to this qigong.  Part One is “The Goose Wakes Up”. It stretches itself, it brushes up its wings and shakes them. It plays innocently.  A made-up story is even included: “Then the goose looks at the moon, which is reflected in the water and tries to scoop it up."  Part Two is “The Flying Goose”.  Flapping its wings, the care-free wild goose skims over a smooth lake.  It looks at the water and dips down to drink the water.  Then the goose is playing with he “qi”.  It tries to grasp the qi.  It holds and rotates the qi-ball.  It pushes out the dirty qi, and tries to receive the fresh qi from its lower back.  In Part Three, the goose is first flying up into the sky. Now it is flying over the water.  Then it is looking for some food.  After that, it is looking for its nest. At last, the goose goes to sleep.  When beginning, learners are encouraged to be pre-occupied with the daily activity of an innocent wild goose, when they are imagining that they are “flapping their wings” beside shimmering lake under a full moon, their heart beat will be naturally slow down, and their mind will gradually be quieting down too. At the same time, they will be more responsive to the instructor’s words on how to relax themselves through the shifting of body weight. Wild Goose Qigong is a medical qigong. We practice it because of its health benefits. When we have better qi flow, our blood circulation will improve. We will have more oxygen supply to our brain. Our mind will be more alert. We will get stronger, and we will have more physical strength, etc.."
-   Bingkun Hu, Ph.D., A Safe and Delightful Approach to Good Health   






Sunday, November 15, 2015

Autumn Garden Mosaic

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all."
-   Stanley Horowitz



"There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
-   Percy Bysshe Shelley  



"The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly
changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools."
-   Henry Beston, Northern Farm





39F degrees this morning, clear, blue skies, needing rain and snow.  Too cold for me to walk early in the morning, I wait till about 10 am to do so.  I've been fighting a chest cold, so I take extra care to stay warm and not over exert myself.  

We have been improving our winter vegetable garden.  We set up a cold frame on Friday and moved the frost tender plants inside. 

Here are a few photos that Karen took in our back yard.

















Saturday, November 14, 2015

Theory Decides What We Can Observe

The ancients often though of the objects in our world being composed of a combination of air, earth, fire, water, and the void/ether - the Four Elements Theory.  Chinese thinkers theorized about the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.   The Greek Epircureans were materialists who thought objects were composed of atoms.  Some speculated about Eight Elements.  In the 21st century, we talk about 118 Elements. 

"In the end, it's probably impossible to tease out whether the heads or tails of science, the theory or the experiment, has done more to push science ahead." (DS, p36).  


"It is theory that decides what we can observe."
-  Albert Einstein


"Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object."
-  Charles Sanders Pierce


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements  By Sam Kean.  Little, Brown and Company, 2010.  400 pages.  ISBN: 978-0316051644.  VSCL.  Subjects: Chemistry, Periodic Table, Science, Elements.  This book is an interesting, informative, and well written book I read a few years ago.  


The modern sciences of physics and chemistry have discovered or synthesized 118 Elements.  This fascinating subject can be studied through the graphical model of the Periodic Table of Elements first conceived in 1869 by the Russian chemist, Dmitri Medneleev.  Read the "Disappearing Spoon" for the fascinating story of the Table of the Elements. 


   

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71, by Lao Tzu

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 71


"To know the unknowable, that is elevating.
Not to know the knowable, that is sickness.
Only by becoming sick of sickness can we be without sickness.
The holy man is not sick.
Because he is sick of sickness, therefore he is not sick."
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 71 



"One who knows, but does not know, is best.
One who does not know, but knows, is sick.
Only one who recognizes this sickness as sickness
Will not have the sickness.
The sage does not have this sickness
Because he recognizes this sickness as sickness.
Therefore, he has no sickness."
-  Translated by Yi Wu, Chapter 71



"If you have knowledge, but you feel like you do not have knowledge, this is super.
If you do not have knowledge, but you feel like you have knowledge, this is sick.
The great men were not sick because they knew what the sickness is.
Only when you know what the sickness is, will you not be sick."
-  Translated by Xiaolin Yang, Chapter 71



"Nobody has all the answers.
Knowing that you do not know everything is far wiser than thinking that you know a lot when you really don't.
Phony expertise is neurotic.
Fortunately, once the symptoms are recognized, the sure is easy: stop it.
Probably every leader has tried this form of pretense at one time or another.
The wise leader has learned how painful it is to fake knowledge.
Being wise and not wanting the pain; the leader does no indulge in pretending.
Anyway, it is a relief to be able to say: "I don't know." "
-  Translated by John Heider, 1985, Chapter 71  



"To know that you do not know is best.
Who knows that he doesn't know is the highest.
To know when one doesn't know is best.
Who pretends to know what he doesn't know is sick-minded;
To think one knows when one doesn't know is a sort of malady. 
Pretend to know when you don't know - that's a disease.
He who recognizes this disease as a disease can also cure himself of it [and maybe not].
[One may eventually get free from a disease by recognizing it for what it is.]
Who recognizes sick-mindedness as sick-mindedness can't be wholly sick-minded, after all.
The wise man is hardly sick-minded if he recognizes sick mind as sick and also cures some diseases.
He's hardly a sick mind."
-  Translated by Tormond Byrn, 1997, Chapter 71   



知不知上;
不知知病.
夫唯病病, 是以不病.
聖人不病, 以其病病, 是以不病.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71

zhi bu zhi shang;
bu zhi zhi bing. 
fu wei bing bing, shi yi bu bing.
sheng ren bu bing, yi qi bing bing, shi yi bu bing.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 71 



"To know how little one knows is to have genuine knowledge.
Not to know how little one knows is to be deluded.
Only he who knows when he is deluded can free himself from such delusion.
The intelligent man is not deluded, because he knows and accepts his ignorance, and accepts his ignorance as ignorance, and thereby has genuine knowledge."
-  Translated by Archie J. Bahm, Chapter 71



Knowing what cannot be known?
What a lofty aim!
Not knowing what needs to be known?
What a terrible result!
Only when your sickness becomes sick will your sickness disappear.
The Sage illness has become ill, his renunciation has been renounced.
Now he is free.
And every place in the world is the perfect place to be."
-  Translated by Jonathan Star, 2001, Chapter 71



"To realize that our knowledge is ignorance,
This is a noble insight.
To regard our ignorance as knowledge,
This is mental sickness.
Only when we are sick of our sickness
Shall we cease to be sick.
The Sage is not sick, being sick of sickness;
This is the secret of health."
-  Translated by John C. H. Wu, Chapter 71   



"Conocer el no-conocimiento
es lo más elevado.
Es un mal no saber
lo que el saber es.
Sólo quien sufre este mal
se libra de todos los males.
Si el Sabio no sufre
es porque padece este mal,
por eso no sufre."
-  Translation into Spanish from Richard Wilhelm's 1911 German Version by an Unknown Spanish Translator, 2015, Capítulo 71




"To know that we are ignorant is a high attainment.
To be ignorant and to think we know is a defect.
The Master indeed can cure this defect.
That is why he has not this defect.
The self-controlled man has not this defect,
He takes hold of his defect and cures it.
That is why he has not this defect."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 71



"Knowing you don't know is wholeness.
Thinking you know is a disease.
Only by recognizing that you have an illness
can you move to seek a cure.

The Master is whole because
she sees her illnesses and treats them,
and thus is able to remain whole."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 71 






A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   


Chapter 71, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey   





Thursday, November 12, 2015

Taijiquan Sword Form, 32 Movements


This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages; an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement in English, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish; a detailed analysis of each posture and movement sequence with explanations and numbered illustrations and detailed instructions; selected quotations; comments on 20 Taijiquan sword techniques; a comprehensive media bibliography; a chart of performance times; recommendations for starting to learn this form at home one your own with instructional DVDs, books and practice methods; and, a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style. 

This is the standard, simplified, orthodox, 1957, 32 Taiji Sword Form, in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. 

32 Sword Form Pamphlet by Geoffrey Hugh Miller.  Adapted from information and graphics found on the 32 Sword Form webpage by Michael P. Garofalo.  22 pages, 9/7/2015, PDF Format.  Excellent job by Mr. Miller.  This is a handy practice tool.  

Read about the Taoist magical sword finger hand sign:
"The sword finger hand sign is to draw your own magic power to the fingers and output a beam of energy for doing Taoist magic.  This beam of magical power isn’t just an imaginary thing, it’s a real visible beam if you can see it. Some of my students can see the beam of energy beams out like a long laser from the tip of the finger and extend all the way to the wall or somewhere far away. The beam is a beam a the magic power from one doing the handsign. This beam of power can be used for drawing FUs in the air, killing evils, doing magic in magic battles, healing or even saving lives!  This is like a multi-usage tool, which can be a pen, a chisel, a phone, or even a drill, it all depends on how you use it and what adaptor you put on it to make it function differently. The most commonly seen usage of this handsign in Tin Yat Lineage is by drawing Taoism FU in the air or on the incense. This allow you to “carve” the Taoism FU into the object or in the air to perform magic." 

The Wild Horse Jumps Over the Mountain Stream 



  "Mike, I wonder if you could give your thoughts on something.  For years I’ve been practicing 3. The Swallow Skims Across the Water with the left hand moving in a similar fashion to 5. Block and Sweep to the Left i.e. the little finger side of the hand brushing the left hip before raising above the head.  I’ve recently got a book by Li Deyin which has his daughter Faye Yip performing it slightly differently.  She points her fingers backwards with the back of the hand brushing the hip and mentions it in the essential points for the movement.  Looking at videos on the internet they all seem to be similar to Faye Yip.  Would you mind if I asked how you practice?"
-  A question from Simon Ellis, UK, 9/2/2015



Simon, I have found that the details of bodily positions for any Taijiquan movement vary somewhat according to the following standards: 

1.  Competition standards.  If you are preparing to compete in a Taijiquan event, then carefully study the standards for the forms you are performing.  In the case of the 32 sword form, check out books and DVDs by Li Deyin or his heirs. 
2.  Your teacher's standards.  If you are working closely with a Taijiquan teacher, then follow their instructions.  This simplifies your learning, and shows respect for the teacher.  Since I learned the 32 sword from Dr. Paul Lam, I practice this form in a manner fairly close to his instructions.   
3.  Your personal standards.  If you have been practicing for many years, mostly alone, then more variations in bodily positions will likely emerge.  Sensibly, as we age, we make adaptations in our Taijiquan form work to safely accommodate our declining physical abilities. 

As for how I practice, I'm rather unconcerned about details, a bit careless, playful, free, and seldom do things exactly the same way.  I just like skimming across the water, and leave the details about how to flap my wings to others.  Call me a lazy dilettante Daoist, with a penchant for ziran.  I don't even practice with a sword or saber anymore─ I only wield my sturdy cane.  As I recall, the front of my left hand crosses my waist while going to 3c; and, more important, I still make that magical Taoist sword finger hand sign with my left hand while doing this form. 

I think that modeling your performance on the standards set by Master Faye Yip's 32 Sword form instructions and demonstration would result in much grace, improved strength, and a beautiful style.   
Best wishes!  Mike.  9/8/2015