Sunday, May 31, 2015

Walking Aloof From Honor and Shame

"In these divine pleasures permitted to me of walks in the June night under moon and stars, I can put my life as a fact before me and stand aloof from its honor and shame."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals

"No fear of forgetting the good-humoured faces that meet us in our walks each day."
-  Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village

"Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains of the moon.
Roads go ever ever one
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
An horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known."
-  J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Walking: Quotations, Sayings, Poems

Walking Meditation

Spirituality and Nature

Seasons and Months of the Year

Saturday, May 30, 2015

These Hieroglyphics Which My Eyes Behold

"I live so much in my habitual thoughts that I forget there is any outside to the globe, and am surprised when I behold it as now--yonder hills and river in the moonlight, the monsters. Yet it is salutary to deal with the surface of things. What are these rivers and hills, these hieroglyphics which my eyes behold? There is something invigorating in this air, which I am peculiarly sensible is a real wind, blowing from over the surface of a planet. I look out at my eyes. I come to my window, and I feel and breathe the fresh air. It is a fact equally glorious with the most inward experience. Why have we ever slandered the outward?"
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Journal Vol. 4, 1852

"Look hard at what pleases you and harder at what doesn't."
-  Colette    

"It is easy to suppose that few people realize on that occasion, which comes to all of us, when we look at the blue sky for the first time, that is to say: not merely see it, but look at it and experience it and for the first time have a sense that we live in the center of a physical poetry, a geography that would be intolerable except for the non-geography that exists there - few people realize that they are looking at the world of their own thoughts and the world of their own feelings." 
-   Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel 

Spirituality and Nature


Friday, May 29, 2015

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 13

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 13

"Favor and disgrace are both causes of shock.
When one is favored, one is shocked.
When one is disgraced, one is also shocked.
That is because people forget the unadorned plainness of universal life.
If they knew this clearly, then what is meant by saying that favor and disgrace are both causes of shock?
Favor is no higher than disgrace.
What is meant by saying that the greatest trouble is the strong sense of individual self that people carry in all circumstances?
People are beset with great trouble because they define their lives so narrowly.
If they forsake their narrow sense of self and live wholly, then what can they call trouble?
Therefore, only one who dedicates himself to the wholeness of the world is fit to tend the world.
Only one who relinquishes the self can be entrusted with responsibility for the life of the world."
-  Translated by Ni Hua-Ching, 1995, Chapter 13

"Favor, like disgrace
Brings trouble with it;
High rank, like self,
Involves acute distress."
What does that mean, to say
That "favor, like disgrace
Brings trouble with it"?
When favor is bestowed
On one of low degree,
Trouble will come with it.
The loss of favor too
Means trouble for that man.
This, then, is what is meant
By "favor, like disgrace
Brings trouble with it."
What does it mean, to say
That "rank, like self,
Involves acute distress"?
I suffer most because
Of me and selfishness.
If I were selfless, then
What suffering would I bear?
In governing the world,
Let rule entrusted be
To him who treats his rank
As if it were his soul;
World sovereignty can be
Committed to that man
Who loves all people
As he loves himself."
-  Translated by Raymond Blakney, 1955, Chapter 13   

"Dread glory as you dread shame.
Prize great calamity as you prize your body.
What does this mean:
"Dread glory as you dread shame"?
Glory comes from below.
Obtain it, you are afraid of shame;
Lose it, you are still afraid of shame.
That is why it is said;
"Dread glory as you dread shame."
What does this mean:
"Prize great calamity as you prize your own body"?
We who meet with great calamities, meet them because we have a body.
If we had not a body what calamity could reach us?
Therefore he who honours the kingdom as his body can govern the kingdom.
He who loves the kingdom as his own body can be trusted with the kingdom."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 13 

"Fame and shame are equally laden with grief
Good luck and bad luck resemble man's ego.
What does this mean?
Acquire fame and you dread its loss
Lose fame and you are scared of shame.
Both are accompanied by fear both are sources of grief.
Good luck and bad luck arise from man's ego hit man's ego accompany man's ego.
That is why freedom from ego means freedom from fame as well as shame from good luck as well as bad luck freedom from grief.
For I-ness means limitation means to be chained to grief and bound to the world
All-ness is oneness with the limitless is superiority over grief and overcoming of the world."
-  Translated by K. O. Schmidt, 1975, Chapter 13 

愛以身為天下, 若可託天下.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13

chong ru ruo jing.
gui da huan ruo shen.
he wei chong ru ruo jing.
chong wei xia.
de zhi ruo jing.
shi zhi ruo jing shi wei chong ru ruo jing.
he wei gui da huan ruo.
shen wu suo yi you da huan zhe wei wu you shen.
ji wu wu shen.
wu you he huan.
gu gui yi shen wei tian xia ruo ke ji tian xia.
ai yi shen wei tian xia, ruo ke tuo tian xia.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 13
"Favor and disgrace are likely to cause fear.
Highly respect great trouble as one respects his own body.
What is meant by "favor and disgrace are likely to cause fear"?
Favor is for the inferior:
Obtaining it, one will fear it.
Losing it, one will fear it.
This means that "favor and disgrace are likely to cause fear."
What is meant by "highly respecting great trouble as one respects his own body"?
"I have great trouble because I have a body;
When I no longer have a body, how can I have trouble?"
Therefore, one who respects himself for the world can be lodged with it;
One who loves himself for the world can be entrusted with it."
-  Translated by Paul J. Lin, Chapter 13 

"Equally fear favour and disgrace.
Regard a great calamity as you do your own body.
What is meant by equally fear favour and grace?
Favour should be disparaged.
Gained or lost it arouses apprehension.
Hence it is said, equally fear favour and disgrace.
What is meant by regard a great calamity as you do your own body?
Why have I any sense of misfortune?
Because I am conscious of myself.
Were I not conscious of my body, what distresses would I have?
Therefore, it is only they who value their persons because of their obligation, who may be entrusted with the empire.
It is only they who love themselves on account of their responsibilities, who may be charged with the care of the state."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 13  

"El favor y la desgracia inquietan por igual".
 "La fortuna es un gran dolor como nuestro cuerpo".
 ¿Qué quiere decir: favor y desgracia inquietan
 por igual ?
 El favor eleva y la desgracia abate.
 Conseguir el favor es la inquietud.
 Perderlo es la inquietud.
 Este es el sentido de
 «favor y desgracia inquietan por igual»
 ¿Qué quiere decir: la fortuna es un gran dolor como
 nuestro cuerpo?
 La causa por la que padezco dolor es mi propio cuerpo.
 Si no lo tuviese,
 ¿qué dolor podría sentir?
 Por esto, quien estime al mundo igual a la fortuna de
 su propio cuerpo,
 puede gobernar el mundo.
 Quien ame al mundo como a su propio cuerpo,
 se le puede confiar el mundo."
 -  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 13

"Favor and disgrace seem like a surprise.
Value great suffering as you would keeping your own body.
What is the meaning of “Favor and disgrace seem like a surprise”?
Favor eventually declines.
Getting it is like a surprise.
Losing it is like a surprise.
This is the meaning of “Favor and disgrace seem like a surprise.”
What is the meaning of
“Value great suffering as you would keeping you own body”?
Our place, according to those who have great suffering,
Is our having a body.
When we lack bodies
What suffering do we have?
Therefore, value the “self” that’s considered as being the world,
As though you are able to be entrusted with the world.
Love the “self” that’s considered as being the world,
As though you are able to rely on the world."
-  Translated by Aalar Fex, 2006, Chapter 13 

"Le sage redoute la gloire comme l'ignominie; son corps lui pèse comme une grande calamité.
Qu'entend-on par ces mots : il redoute la gloire comme l'ignominie ?
La gloire est quelque chose de bas. Lorsqu'on l'a obtenue, on est comme rempli de crainte; 
lorsqu'on l'a perdue, on est comme rempli de crainte.
C'est pourquoi l'on dit : il redoute la gloire comme l'ignominie.
Qu'entend-on par ces mots : son corps lui pèse comme une grande calamité ?
Si nous éprouvons de grandes calamités, c'est parce que nous avons un corps.
Quand nous n'avons plus de corps (quand nous nous sommes dégagés de notre corps), quelles calamités pourrions-nous éprouver ?
C'est pourquoi, lorsqu'un homme redoute de gouverner lui-même l'empire, on peut lui confier l'empire; 
lorsqu'il a regret de gouverner l'empire, on peut lui remettre le soin de l'empire."
-  Translated by Stanislas Julien, 1842, Chapter 33

"Both favor and disgrace bring fear.
Great trouble comes from having a body.
What is meant by:
"Both favor and disgrace bring fear"?
Favor leads to a fear of losing it and
disgrace leads to a fear of greater trouble.
What is meant by:
"Great trouble comes from having a body"?
The reason you have trouble is that
you are self-conscious.
No trouble can befall a self-free person.
Therefore, surrender your self-interest.
Love others as much as you love yourself.
Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven."
-  Translated by Tolbert McCarroll, 1982, Chapter 13   

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

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 20 different English translations or interpolations of each Chapter, 3 Spanish translations for each Chapter, the Chinese characters for each Chapter, and the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for each Chapter; extensive indexing by key words and terms for each Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization is provided; recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, and other resources for each Chapter are included.  



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Karen Garofalo, Reiki Master, Third Degree, Red Bluff, California

Karen Garofalo, Reiki Master, Third Degree 

In the Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Tradition
Valley Spirit Center
Red Bluff, California

Schedule appointments with Karen by telephone.  

Reiki: Bibliography, Quotations, Information, Resources 
Karen's Reiki Homepage

Reiki Research Group, Gratitude Center in Red Bluff, California

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chen Tai Chi Chuan First Form

Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame First Form, Lao Jia Yi Lu
By Michael P. Garofalo.  

This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, and articles.  Extensive selection of Internet links. 
List of movement names in English, Chinese characters, Chinese Pinyin, French, German, and Spanish; and citations for sources of the movement names. 
Detailed list of DVDs and videos available online.

Extensive notes on the author's learning the Old Frame, First Routine, Lao Jia Yi Lu; and on learning Chen Style Taijiquan. 
Record of performance times of this form by many masters. 
Breakdown by sections of the form, with separate lists for each section.  General information, history, facts, information, pointers, and quotations.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lifelong Vitality

"The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action.  It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny."
-   Pierre Joseph Proudhon   

“They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.”
-  Eric Hoffer

How to Life the Good Life:  Advice from Wise Persons 

The Good Life: Virtues 

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 of Feeling 
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"

Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality  By Anat Baniel.  New York, Harmony Books, 2009.  Index, bibliography, 306 pages.  ISBN: 9780307395290.  VSCL.  


Monday, May 25, 2015

Crying Over the Dead

Today is an American holiday called 'Memorial Day.'  It is a day to remember American soldiers who were injured or died in wars of the past.  Yes, sometimes fighting in wars is necessary in self-defense; but, still an evil and not to be glorified.  

Even the god Krishna tried to convince Arjuna (a professional soldier) in the Bhavagad Gita that fighting and killing were a duty and necessity.  The Bible and Koran tell of how "God" slaughters people, and how murder is acceptable to punish "sinners" and non-believers. Fervent religious people are often quite pleased with killing other people.  

Scores of millions of people have died in the many useless, stupid, tragic, horrible, cruel, and crushing wars of the past. Most of the men that started or fought in these destructive rampages where merely pawns in the hands of nations or dogmas or greed or dictators or petty warlords.  There were a few heroes, and many evil men, and mostly just extremely scared people crying and screaming as the bombs exploded and bullets whizzed by and their loved ones and friends were torn apart and murdered.  

So, let us instead remember on this Memorial Day to celebrate the real joy that everyone felt when we heard "The War Has Ended" and people could live again in peace.  Let us remember the millions of civilians slaughtered by soldiers marching under ten different flags.

I recommend that we adopt an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to Limit the War Making Powers of the U.S. Government. 

I served in the United States Air Force from 1969-1983.  I served because the United States forced men of my age, through "The Draft," to serve in the Vietnam War.  Penalties, social ostracism, and imprisonment were imposed on young men if they did not "serve their country" in the military.  I had been indoctrinated in my youth in Catholic Schools to hate communists and have few moral reservations about killing atheistic communists.  Again, sadly, we were merely pawns in the hands of nations or dogmas or ideology or religions or greed or dictators or petty warlords.  

When I hear women and men talking these days about how we need to fight and kill those cruel Islamist ISIL brutes in the Middle East, and that President Obama is not "tough" enough, and these same people never gave one single hour of their life in being a soldier and/or seeing and smelling the carnage of battle, it makes me want to vomit.  

Peace and Memorials to Peace, Less Thinking about War "Heroes"  

Beware of worshiping flags, signs, emblems, and symbols.  We, and every nation, including our "enemies," indoctrinates its ruled population to stand up and show worshipful reverence to their own nation's flags and favored religious symbols and fallen soldiers and heroes.  On Memorial Day the graves of dead soldiers in America are decorated with U.S. flags and the Christian cross and gunfire salutes to their following orders.  But, remember, the map is not the territory.   

Before you get too worked this Memorial Day about our military "heroes," our brave fighting men, our courageous soldiers ... please recall just a few of the cruel acts they did to earn such glorious distinctions, to wit:

"On March 9, 1945, United States military warplanes launched a bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history."  

The United States military, during Operation Rolling Thunder, killed over 90,000 civilians in North Vietnam from 1965-1968.  Listen to a "heroic" professional U.S. soldier tell of "silencing" the Hanoi defenses to rescue one downed pilot, and the "business" of war.  

On February 14, 1945, the United States military dropped 3,900 tons of bombs on the city of Dresden in Germany, and killed over 25,000 civilians.

The United States military dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and killed over 129,000 civilians.  

The United States military killed over 550,000 civilians in North and South Vietnam from bombing, artillery attacks, and heavy weapons attacks.

 And, recently, we made a "mistake" about Iraq having any weapons
of mass destruction and for having anything to do with 9/11.
American military soldiers killed over 120,000 Iraqi noncombatant civilians.  

Heroes?  Artillery men, air bombers and gunners, snipers, tank gunners ...

Only crying on Memorial Day.

Yes, the horrors of war and the intense survival necessities of battle for he conscripted soldiers is nearly unfathomable.  

Only crying on Memorial Day.

I recommend that we adopt an amendment to the U.S. Constitution
to Limit the War Making Powers of the U.S. Government. 

Memorial Day: Sorrow, Guilt, Shame, Revulsion

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Keep the Mind Sharp: Walk

“Including daily walks, healthy food, proper management of metabolic and vascular risk factors, slows mental decline in older people, says a new study.  The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, led by Professor Miia Kivipelto, assessed the effects on brain function of a comprehensive intervention aimed at addressing some of the most important risk factors for age-related dementia, such as high body-mass index and heart health.  The study involved 1260 people from across Finland deemed to be at risk of dementia, aged 60-77 years, with half randomly allocated to the intervention group, and half allocated to a control group, who received regular health advice only.  After two years, study participants' mental function was scored using the Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB), where a higher score corresponds to better mental functioning. Overall test scores in the intervention group were 25 percent higher than in the control group. For some parts of the test, the difference between groups was even more striking-for executive functioning were 83 percent higher in the intervention group, and processing speed was 150 percent higher. Based on a pre-specified analysis, the intervention appeared to have no effect on patients' memory.  However, based on post-hoc analyses, there was a difference in memory scores between the intervention and control groups.”
Times of India, March 12, 2015

"Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass."
-   Felicia Hemans

"I can only meditate when I am walking.  When I stop, I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs."
-   Jean Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tai Chi 24 Form

I practice this Taijiquan form twice every day.  It takes from 5 to 7 minutes to perform.
You can do this indoors by adjusting to the space available, or outdoors.  When done slowly and gently you don't need to do any warmup exercises unless your knees are problematic.  A lovely Taijiquan form!  Good for persons of all ages.  This form is a cornerstone of my personal T'ai Chi Ch'uan practices. 

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. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 14

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 14

"What you don't see when you look
is called the unobtrusive.
What you don hear when you listen
is called the rarefied.
What you don't get when you grasp
is called the subtle.
These three cannot be completely fathomed,
so they merge into one:
above is not bright, below is not dark.
Continuous, unnameable, it returns again to
This is called the stateless state,
the image of no thing;
this is called mental abstraction.
When you face it you do not see its head,
when you follow it you do not see its back.
Hold the ancient Way
so as to direct present existence:
only when you can know the ancient
can this be called the basic cycle of the Way."
-  Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 14

"Looked at, but cannot be seen -
That is called the Invisible (yi).
Listened to, but cannot be heard -
That is called the Inaudible (hsi).
Grasped at, but cannot be touched -
That is called the Intangible (wei).
These three elude our inquiries
And hence blend and become One.

Not by its rising, is there light,
Nor by its sinking, is there darkness.
Unceasing, continuous,
It cannot be defined,
And reverts again to the realm of nothingness.

That is why it is called the Form of the Formless,
The Image of Nothingness.
That is why it is called the Elusive:
Meet it and you do not see its face;
Follow it and you do not see its back."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 14  

"Look for it, you won't see It;
It is called 'fleeting.'
Listen for It, you won't hear It;
It is called 'thin.' 
Grasp at It, You can't get It;
It is called 'subtle.'
These three lines
Are about something that evades scrutiny.
Yes, in it everything blends and becomes one.
Its top is not bring
Its underside is not dim.
Always unnamable,
It runs back to nothingness. 
This is the shape of something shapeless
The form of a nothing
This is elusive and evasive. 
Encountering it, you won't see the front
Following it, you won't see its back.
Keep to the Tao of the ancients
And so manage things happening today.
The ability to know the ancient sources
This is the main thread of Tao."
-  Translated by Michael LaFargue, 1992, Chapter 14 

-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 14

shih chih pu chien ming yüeh yi. 
t'ing chih pu wên ming yüeh hsi.
po chih pu tê ming yüeh wei.
tz'u san chê pu k'o chih chieh.
ku hun erh wei yi.
ch'i shang pu chiao ch'i hsia pu mei.
shêng shêng pu k'o ming.
fu kuei yü wu wu.
shih wei wu chuang chih chuang.
wu wu chih hsiang.
shih wei hu huang.
ying chih pu chien ch'i shou.
sui chih pu chien ch'i hou.
chih ku chih tao. 
yi yü chin chih yu. 
nêng chih ku shih.
shih wei tao chi. 
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 14

"We look for it but do not see it:
    we name it "subtle."
We listen for it but do not hear it;
    we name it "rare."
We grope for it but do not grasp it;
    we name it "serene." 
These three cannot be fully fathomed,
They are bound together to make unity.
Of unity,
its top is not distant,
its bottom is not blurred.
Infinitely extended
and unnameable,
It returns to non-entity.
This is called
"the form of the formless,"
"the image of nonentity."
This is called "the amorphous."
Following behind it,
    you cannot see its back;
Approaching it from the front,
    you cannot see its head.
Hold to the Way of today
    to manage the actualities of today
    thereby understanding the primeval beginning.
This is called "the thread of the Way.""
-  Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 14 

"When you look, it isn't there
 Listen and you cannot hear it
 It seems to be beyond your reach
 Because you are so near it
 This single source of everything
 Appears to be an empty image
 Though it cannot be understood
 You can see its naked visage
 Follow it to nothingness
 Approach it where you have no face
 From nowhere to infinity
 This vacant image leaves no trace
 From never to eternity
 This naked face is what you are
 An empty, vacant, open door
 Forevermore ajar"
 -  Translated by Jim Clatfelder, 2000, Chapter 14   

"Se le llama invisible porque mirándole no se le ve.
Se le llama inaudible porque escuchándole no se le oye.
Se le llama impalpable porque tocándole no se le siente.
Estos tres estados son inescrutables y se confunden en uno solo.
En lo alto no es luminoso, en lo bajo no es oscuro.
Es eterno y no puede ser nombrado, retorna al no-ser de las cosas.
Es la forma sin forma y la imagen sin imagen.
Es lo confuso e inasible.
De frente no ves su rostro, por detrás no ves su espalda.
Quien es fiel al Tao antiguo domina la existencia actual.
Quien conoce el primitivo origen posee la esencia del Tao."  

-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 14

"Look at it: nothing to see.
Call it colorless.
Listen to it: nothing to hear.
Call it soundless.
Reach for it: nothing to hold.
Call it intangible.
Triply undifferentiated,
it merges into oneness,
not bright above,
not dark below.
Never, oh! never
can it be named.
It reverts, it returns
to unbeing.
Call it the form of the unformed,
the image of no image.
Call it the unthinkable thought.
Face it: no face.
Follow it: no end.
Hold fast to the old Way,
we can live in the present.
Mindful of the ancient beginnings,
we hold the thread of the Tao."
-  Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1997, Chapter 14 

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

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes 20 different English translations or interpolations of each Chapter, 3 Spanish translations for each Chapter, the Chinese characters for each Chapter, and the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for each Chapter; extensive indexing by key words and terms for each Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization is provided; recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, and other resources for each Chapter are included.  


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Months and Seasons: Quotations

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


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Details, Details, Details

"We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice, or kindness in general.  Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, and unique."
-  Benjamin Jowett

"Science and psychoanalysis apart, the most profound development in thought since Nietzsche, as far as we are concerned, is the phenomenological approach to the world.  Mallarmé sought "words without wrinkles," Baudelaire cherished his minutes heureuses and Valéry his "small worlds of order," as we have seen: Checkhov concentrated on the "concrete individual" and preferred "small scale and practical answers," Gide though the "systematizing is denaturing, distorting and impoverishing."  For Oliver Wendell Holmes, "all the pleasure of life is in general ideas, but all the use of life is in specific solutions."  Wallace Stevens considered that we are "better satisfied in particulars."  Thomas Nagel put it in this way: "Particulars things can have a noncompetitive completeness which is transparent to all aspects of the self.  This also helps to explain what the experience of great beauty tends to unify the self: the object engages us immediately and totally in a way that makes distinctions among points of view irrelevant."  Or, as Robert Nozick, who counseled us to make ourselves "vehicles" for beauty, said: "this is what poets and artists bring us―the immense and unsuspected reality of a small thing.  Everything has its own patient entityhood."  George Levine call for "a profound attention to the details of this world."  
-  Peter Watson, "The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God," p.536

"The idea of one overbearing truth is exhausted."  
- Thomas Mann, translated by James Wood  

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
-  Albert Einstein

"To study the self is to forget the self.  To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things."
-  Zen Master Dogen

"The more we understand individual things, the more we understand God."
-  Benedict De Spinoza

"God is in the details."
-  Mies Van Der Rohe

"After appreciating and understanding thousands of the details, a common variety God is really superfluous."
-  Mike Garofalo

"Caress the detail, the divine detail." 
-  Vladimir Nabokov

"Details are all there are."
-  Maezumi Roshi

"We think in generalities, but we live in details."
-  W.H. Auden

A Philosopher's Notebooks

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tao Te Ching Chapter Number Index

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

We That Pass, Love What Abides

"We that change,
Hate change.
And we that pass,
Love what abides.
R. H. Blyth (1898-1964), Mortality

I first read books by R. H. Blyth when I was fourteen years old.  He inspired me then; and, he inspires me when I read him at the ripe old age of 69.  I find his writing quirky, insightful, clever, down to earth, over-reaching at times, puzzling, disjointed, full of Zen, strong on comparisons between Western and Eastern poets, steeped in Japanese culture, and brilliant.  He was my first intellectual and literary contact with Zen, along with books by Alan Watts and D.T. Suzuki. 

Zen Poetry

Haiku and Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

Sunday, May 17, 2015

He Who Feels It, Knows It More

"The human body is not an instrument to be used, but a realm of one's being to be experienced, explored, enriched and, thereby, educated."
-  Thomas Hanna

"There is deep wisdom within our very flesh,  if we can only come to our senses and feel it."
 -  Elizabeth A. Behnke

"He who feels it, knows it more."
-  Bob Marley  

"No matter how closely we look, it is difficult to find a mental act that can take place without the support of some physical function."
-  Moshe Feldenkrais  

"I would have touched it like a child
But knew my finger could but have touched
Cold stone and water.   I grew wild,
Even accusing heaven because
It had set down among its laws:
Nothing that we love over-much
Is ponderable to our touch."
-  W. B. Yeats  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shibashi Qigong 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.  

There are numerous versions of this type of exercise.  Sometimes you see the same name refer to two different movements.  The order of the movements vary.  Some creativity by the practitioners are involved.  

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