Monday, June 29, 2015

Well, It's All Right ... It's a Gas

When I start feeling a bit down, I play the song "Jumpin Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones created in 1968. 
We all have past and present difficulties, problems, negative experiences, frustrations, friends and family that get sick and die, we get old, people fail us and we fail others, disappointments mount, sadness pervades...  BUT don't WHINE.  Jump Up, Jump Up.  Let go of the past.  Be like Jumpin Jack Flash.  Resurrect Yourself!  Count your Blessings, today!  Onward!

Life is, for me, generally, a GAS! It's a gas, gas, gas!



"I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right. Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!




I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag,
I was schooled with a strap right across my back,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right, Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead.
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled.
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread.
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head.
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right, Im jumpin jack flash,
It's a gas! gas! gas!"






Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wild Goose Chi Kung

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   






Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Work Projects

I have been working each morning since late May on renovating our back porch.  About 25% of the porch roof needed replacement.  Old screens and doors needed to be removed and then replaced.  It porch roof support wood needed to be cleaned, fixed, and repainted.  The side walls of the house needed to be cleaned and repainted.  Roof gutters needed cleaning.  Branches hanging over the house roof needed to be removed.  It has been a big project!

My ailing shoulder has slowed my pace somewhat; but, I continue to make progress.  Since temperatures in June have been well above 100F every day, afternoon work is not possible for me.

Karen has helped as time and energy permit.

I walk and do Taijiquan in the morning from 4:45 am to 6 am.  Then I begin work on home improvement projects.  Around noon, I quit outdoor work, and come indoors to read and write.  Because of my shoulder problem, I've not done any heavy weightlifting at the gym during the entire months of June.













This is how the back porch looked in 2006:


Friday, June 26, 2015

Tao Te Ching: Selected English Translations

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 for that Chapter, 3 Spanish translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, and the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter.  Each webpage for one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words and terms 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, and other resources for that Chapter.   

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 Taoist's Final Journey  

Chapter Chart Index for the Daodejing



Here is an example of some of the translations and/or interpolations for:

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Daodejing by Laozi


Chapter 9



"It is advisable to refrain from continual reaching after wealth.
Continual handling and sharpening wears away the most durable thing.
If the house be full of jewels, who shall protect it?
Wealth and glory bring care along with pride.
To stop when good work is done and honour advancing is the way of Heaven."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 9 



"Let Heavenly Love fill you and overflow in you,
Not according to your measure of fullness.
Prove it, probe deeply into it,
It shall not long withstand you.
You may fill a place with gold and precious stones,
You will not be able to guard them.
You may be weighted with honors and become proud.
Misfortune then will come to your Self.
You may accomplish great deeds and acquire fame,
Retire yourself;
This is Heavenly Tao."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 9  



"Stretch a bow to the very full,
And you will wish you had stopped in time.
Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest,
And the edge will not last long.
When gold and jade fill your hall,
You will not be able to keep them safe.
To be proud with wealth and honor
Is to sow seeds of one's own downfall.
Retire when your work is done,
Such is Heaven's way."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 9 



"Holding and keeping a thing to the very full - it is better to leave it alone;
Handling and sharpening a blade - it cannot be long sustained;
When gold and jade fill the hall, no one can protect them;
Wealth and honour with pride bring with them destruction;
To have accomplished merit and acquired fame, then to retire -
This is the Tao of heaven."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 9  



持而盈之, 不如其已.
揣而銳之, 不可長保.
金玉滿堂莫之能守富貴而驕, 自遺其咎.
功遂身退天之道.
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 9, Tao Te Ching



ch'ih erh ying chih, pu ju ch'i yi.
ch'uai erh cho chih, pu k'o ch'ang pao.
chin yü man t'ang mo chih nêng shou fu kuei erh chiao, tsu yi ch'i chiu.
kung sui shên t'ui t'ien chih tao. 
-  Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9  



"Is it better to hold fast to filling, and fill when fullness is gained?
You may handle the point that is sharpened till all the sharpness is gone,
You may fill your halls with gold and gems, but thieving is not restrained,
And wealth and place, when linked with pride, will only bring ruin on;
When the work is done, and reputation advancing, then, I say,
Is the time to withdraw and disappear, and that is Heaven' s Way."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 9 
"Keep stretching a bow
You repent of the pull,
A 'whetted saw
Goes thin and dull,
Surrounded with treasure
You lie ill at ease,
Proud beyond measure
You come to your knees:
Do enough, without vying,
Be living, not dying."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 9  



"Tensa un arco hasta su límite y pronto se romperá;
Afila una espada al máximo y pronto estará mellada;
Amasa el mayor tesoro y pronto lo robarán;
Exige créditos y honores y pronto caerás;
Retirarse una vez la meta ha sido alcanzada es el camino de la Naturaleza."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998, Capitulo 9



"Going to extremes is never best.
For if you make a blade too sharp, it will become dull too quickly
And if you hoard all the wealth, you are bound to be attacked.
If you become proud and arrogant regarding your good fortune, you will naturally beget enemies who jealously despise you.
The way to success is this: having achieved your goal, be satisfied not to go further. For this is the way Nature operates."
-  Translated by Archie J. Balm, 1958, Chapter 9 






Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bear Frolics Exercises



To experience the Five Animal Frolics we need to keep in mind the "Frolics" aspect of this movement art: being playful and exuberant, freeing up our time for fun, delighting in bodily movements, enjoying games of imitation, taking pleasure in the moment, and delighting in the exercise of fantasy and imagination.  We should be smiling as we enjoy our playful frolics.  We should strive to return to our youth, and rekindle those memories of our joyful childhood games, innocence, freedom of fancies, and silliness.  We are never too old to embrace that precious child within each of us.  

Bear Frolics: Lessons, Bibliography, Notes

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh.  By A. A. Milne.  With decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.  New York, Dutton's Children's Books, 1994.  344 pages.  Color illustrations, hardbound.  ISBN: 9780525457237.  Originally published in 1926, 1954.  This book includes: Winnie-the-Pooh, and The House at Pooh Corner, VSCL.  
 
The Te of Piglet.  By Benjamin Hoff.  New York, Penguin Books, 1992.  257 pages.  ISBN: 0140230165.  VSCL.  

The Tao of Pooh.  By Benjamin Hoff.  New York, Penguin Books.  VSCL 
  

The most famous literary Bear is Winnie the Pooh.  Over 26 million English language books by A. A. Milne about the Pooh Bear and his friends have been sold since 1926, the books have been translated into scores of languages, and Disney Films has made him even more famous and a lucrative commodity line.  Benjamin Hoff has explored how Pooh Bear is a quintessential "Taoist Bear."   

So ... it is just fine for you to Dance like a Bear.
Become a Silly Bear for a awhile.
Enjoy the real honey of just being right were you are,
   here and now, content,
   Pooh, it is quite easy.

 

"Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I've wandered much further today than I should
And I can't seem to find my way back to the Wood

So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh."
- Return to Pooh Corner Words and lyrics by Kenny Loggins, 1969, MCA Musi




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hot Stuff

The late Donna Summer brings us back to the disco days of bad girls and Saturday night fevers.  One of the great Queens of Disco!  Hot Stuff!!  



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reiki Energy Work in Red Bluff, CA

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

Karen's husband, Mike Garofalo, has studied the Chinese energy art of Chi Kung for over 30 years, and has taught Chi Kung (Qigong) and Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) since 2000.   You can make arrangements to study with Mike in Red Bluff. 

Both Karen and Mike are active gardeners




Monday, June 22, 2015

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form

There are many T'ai Chi Ch'uan exercise forms which make use of a fan.   Most are shorter forms, under 25 movements, but some, like the famous Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form have over 50 movements.  Most are done slowly and softly, but some include vigorous and fast movements.  The majority favor the Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan.  


Tai Chi Fan: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Notes, Lore, Quotations. Research by Mike Garofalo.  I welcome any comments, suggestions, additions, or ideas regarding this webpage. One of the most popular Tai Chi Fan forms was created by Professor Li Deyin (1938-).  It has 52 movements.  I includes slow and gentle movements in the first half of the form, then the second half is much more vigorous.  This Tai Chi Fan form is for athletic and intermediate Tai Chi students. 





Here are some instructional resources for learning the Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Form.  

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan. Routine 1, created by Grandmaster Li Deyin (1938-). Instructional DVD, 65 minutes, by Master Jesse Tsao. Tai Chi Healthways, San Diego, California. "The most popular Tai Chi Fan form ever practiced in China. The routine was created by Grandmaster Li Deyin, Jesse Tsao's teacher since 1978. There are 52 movements in the whole routine based on the characteristic Tai Chi posture with the fan's artistic and martial functions. Master Tsao presents demonstrations at the beginning and end. He teaches step-by-step in slow motion, in English. There are plenty of repetitions of movements in both front and back view. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation." Cost: 35.00 US. Demonstration.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan Instructional DVD by Professor Li Deyin. Narration in English. "A fan routine, created by Professor Li, which combines the gracefulness, centrality and continuity of Taiji with the power, speed and fierceness of Wushu. It is designed as an addition to the exercises for health, and has received massive interest and support throughout the world. In this DVD, Professor Li provides in-depth teaching with Mrs. Fang Mishou performing detail demonstration." Vendor 1. Cost: $35.00 US.

Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, Form 1. List of 52 movement names, directions, instructions, and notes by Mike Garofalo.






Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sonoma County Trip

Philip and Margaret, Janet and Paul, and Karen and Mike all met last Thursday morning in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California for a vacation trip.  We visited the Luther Burbank house in Santa Rosa, enjoyed lunch in Occidental, came down Coleman Valley Road, walked the trails at Bodega Head, and stayed two nights in Bodega Bay.  On Friday, we went up the coast up to Salt Point State Park, toured Fort Ross State Park, and returned to Bodega Bay.  Much fine dining and delightful Sonoma Valley wine to drink.  Beautiful weather!  A very enjoyable trip for Karen and I.  Great to visit with my brothers and sisters-in-law.

Karen and I drove down on Wednesday, via State 20 by Clear Lake, and went shopping in Sebastopol, and then stayed overnight in Windsor.   We came home on Saturday back to the hot North Sacramento Valley.  I miss the cool ocean breezes already.

Happy Father's Day to all the decent, hardworking, kind, and responsible fathers.  A job well done, men!  Keep up the good work!   A father's job is never done. 

















"Hotel California" by the Eagles band.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Luohan Chi Kung

Luohan Qigong, Lohan Qigong, Luohan Gong, Lohan Gong, 18 Buddha Hands Shaolin Buddhist Qigong

Resources, Lessons, History, Links, Bibliography, Notes, Research 
http://www.egreenway.com/qigong/lohan.htm
 
 
"One tradition is that the Buddhist teacher, Bodhidharma (448-527 CE), a famous Grand Master of Chan (Zen),introduced a set of 18 exercises to the Buddhist monks at the Shaolin Temple. These are known as the Eighteen Hands of the Lohan. This Shaolin Lohan Qigong (i.e., the art of the breath of the enlightened ones), "is an internal set of exercises for cultivating the "three treasures" of qi (vital energy), jing (essence), and shen (spirit)," according to Howard Choy. The Kung Fu master, Sifu Wong Kiew-Kit, referring to the Shaolin Wahnam style, says "the first eight Lohan Hands are the same as the eight exercises in a famous set of chi kung exercises called the Eight Pieces of Brocade." There are numerous versions,seated and standing, of Bodhiidharma's exercise sets - including the related "Tendon-Changing and Marrow-Washing" qigong set. Some versions of the 18 Lohan (Luohan) Hands have up to four levels, and scores of movement forms for qigong and martial purposes."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Eight Section Brocade (330Kb)

 
 
For a comparison of some of the exercises in the Lohan Qigong with the Eight Section Brocade see my chart on the topic
 
 
The Luohan Qigong includes a massage or patting training methods, and this is especially popular among Yin Fu Bagua enthusiasts. Master Xie Pei Qi has a DVD out on the topic. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tao Te Ching Index and Concordance

Daodejing, Laozi  or Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Indexed by English, Spanish, and Wade-Giles Romanization

Indexing by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

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 for that Chapter, 3 Spanish translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, and the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter.  Each webpage for one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words and terms 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, and other resources for that Chapter.   


  

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 Taoist's Final Journey 


Here is an example of some of the translations and/or interpolations for:

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Daodejing by Laozi


Chapter 10


Here is my indexing of Chapter 10:


English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms:  Physical and Bodily Soul, Chi or Breath or Vital Force (ch'i), Washing or Cleanse (ti), Youthfulness, Mental Clarity, What is Possible, What Can Be Done, Impartiality, Bird, Spontaneity, Wholesome Personality, Kind or Loving or Caring (ai), Separation or Parting (li), Spirit or Soul or Spiritual (ying), Vision or Perception or Insight (lan), Natural Breathing, Close or Shut (ho), One or Unity or Together (yi), Intelligent Activity, Self-Control, Vital Breath, Understanding or Awareness (ming), Cleanse the Mind, Virtue, Leadership, Chi Kung or Qigong, Progress or Advance or Grow (ch'ang), Meditate, Love, Cleansing the Mind, Impurities, Hold or Keep (tsai), People (min), Govern (chih), Country (kuo), Nurturing, Gentle or Tender or Soft (jou), Female, Can or Able to (nêng), Clean or Polish or Wipe (ch'u), Newborn or Infant (ying), Question or "?" Interrogative (hu), Passive, Cleanliness, Cause or Bring About (chih), Cunning or Cleverness (chih), Concentrate or Gather or Focus (chuan), Governing, Embrace or Carry (pao), Faults or Flaws or Blemish (ts'u), Animal Nature or Body or Vitality or Physical Being (p'o), Feed or Nurture (ch'u), Purify, Pure or Clear or Clear Minded (pai), Gate or Door (mên), Dominate or Control (tsai), Without or Free of (wu), Open (k'ai), Mother Bird or Female (tz'u), Four Directions or Four Quarters (ssu), Child or Baby or Innocent (erh), Heaven or Natural (t'ien), Possibilities Through the Dao, Produces or Gives Life (shêng), Without Acti0n (wu wei), Become or Act or Do (wei), Claim or Possess (yu), Profound or Deep or Hidden (hsüan), Virture or Power (),  能為   

Términos en Español: Fuerza Vital, Lavado, Limpieza, J
uventud, Claridad Mental, ¿Qué es posible, ¿Qué se Puede Hacer, Imparcialidad, Pájaro, Espontaneidad, Personalidad Sana, Amar, Cuidar, Separación, Espíritu, Alma Espiritual, Vision, Percepción, Perspicacia, Respiración Natural, Cerrar, Apagar, Uno, Unidad, Junto, Actividad Inteligente, Autocontrol, Aliento Vital,  Entendimiento, Conciencia, Limpiar la Mente, Virtud, Liderazgo, Progreso, Crecer, Meditar, Impurezas, Mantener, Guardar, Personas, Gobierno, País, Nutrir, Suave, Dócil, Femenino, Puede, Limpie, Polaco, Recién nacido, Lactante, Pregunta, Interrogativo, Pasivo, Causar, Provocar, Astucia, Concentrado, Reunir, Enfoque, Abrazar, Llevar, Fallos, Defectos, Naturaleza Animal, Cuerpo,  Purificar, Puro, Portón, Puerta, Dominar, Mujer, Cuatro Vientos, Niño, Bebé, Inocente, Cielo, Posibilidades, Produce, Vida, Ley, Reclamación, Posser, Profunda, Oculto.  

 

"One can keep the camp whole of the animal soul, by embracing the One alone,
Can bring tenderness by guarding the breath, and be as an infant child,
One can wash and be clean, and, knowing the deep, can be spotless and undefiled,
And, loving the people can rule the land with a rule that is scarcely shown.
Can one not open and close his heavenly gates like a bird on her nest?
When his intellect broadens on every side may its light not remain unknown?
Quickening, feeding, producing, must he still claim the fruit as his own?
To uplift all, and yet rule not, is virtue the deepest and best."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 10 



"Carrying vitality and consciousness, embracing them as one, can you keep from parting?
Concentrating energy, making it supple, can you be like an infant?
Purifying hidden perception, can you make it flawless?
Loving the people, governing the nation, can you be uncontrived?
As the gate of heaven opens and closes, can you be impassive?
As understanding reaches everywhere, can you be innocent?
Producing and developing, producing without possessing, growing without domineering: this is called mysterious power."
-  Translated by Thomas Cleary, 1991, Chapter 10  




"By clinging to the One with both your spiritual and physical souls, can you prevent them from becoming divorced?
By concentrating your breath until you become soft, can you be like an infant?
By cleansing your secret mirror, can you make it without blemish?
In loving the people and ruling a state, can you be without action?
In opening and closing the natural gates, can you be like a hen?
In penetrating the four quarters with your intelligence, can you be without knowledge?"
-  Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 10




"Can you keep the spirit and embrace the One without departing from them?
Can you concentrate your vital force and achieve the highest degree of weakness like an infant?
Can you clean and purify your profound insight so it will be spotless?
Can you love the people and govern the state without cunning?
Can you play the role of the female in the opening and closing of the gates of Heaven?
Can you understand all and penetrate all without taking any action?
To produce things and to rear them,
To produce, but not to take possession of them,
To act, but not to rely on one's own ability,
To lead them, but not to master them.
This is called profound and secret virtue."
-  Translated by Chan Wing-Tsit, 1953, Chapter 10  




載營魄, 抱一能無離乎?
專氣致柔, 能嬰兒乎?
滌除玄覽, 能無疵乎?
愛民治國, 能無知乎?
天門開闔, 能為雌乎?
明白四達, 能無知乎?
生之畜之.
生而不有.
為而不恃.
長而不宰.
是謂玄德.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 10



tsai ying p'o, pao yi nêng wu li hu?
chuan ch'i chih jou, nêng ying erh hu?
ti ch'u hsüan lan, nêng wu tz'u hu?
ai min chih kuo, nêng wu chih hu?
t'ien mên k'ai ho, nêng wei tz'u hu? 
ming pai ssu ta, nêng wu wei hu?
shêng chih ch'u chih.
shêng erh pu yu.
wei erh pu shih.
ch'ang erh pu tsai.
shih wei hsüan tê.
-  Wade-Giles (1892) Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 10




 

"creative spirit
vital soul
wondrous bodymind

can you combine these into one phase
and gently hold onto it

one phase one part one moment
can you commune with
and direct the elemental force of life
and enter into the rebirth of gentleness
and be like a newborn 

can you wash and cleanse your mystic inner vision
while clearing it of the refuse left behind you
     ordinary sight

is it possible for you to stay out of your own way
while being your own leader

can you stomp the earth
look to the heavens while being receptive
passive
possessed of quietude

can you be knowledgeable and clever
and regard it as whimsical 

create and nourish
let all creation be the worlds
not your own

have fun when you work
work when you have fun

be a leader without appearing to be
and you will personify fine uncarved wood
in the hands of a master carpenter

can you guess who this master is."
-  Translated by John Bright-Fey, 2006, Chapter 10




"Unir cuerpo y mente en un conjunto
del que no puedan disociarse.
Equilibrar el Chi hasta hacerlo
tan armónico como el de un recién nacido.
Purificar la vision interna hasta
dejarla libre de todo vicio.
Querer al pueblo y gobernar la nación
practicando el Wu-Wei.
Abrir y cerrar las puertas del cielo
siendo como la Mujer Misteriosa.
Conocer y comprenderlo todo
usar la inteligencia.
Engendrar y criar,
Alimentar y educar
engendrar sin apropiarse,
obrar sin pedir nada a cambio,
guiar sin dominar,
esta es la Gran Virtud."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, 
Capítulo 10


"Can you hold the door of your tent
Wide to the firmament?
Can you, with the simple stature
Of a child, breathing nature,
Become, notwithstanding,
A man?
Can you continue befriending
With no prejudice, no ban?
Can you, mating with heaven,
Serve as the female part?
Can your learned head take leaven
From the wisdom of your heart?
If you can bear issue and nourish its growing,
If you can guide without claim or strife,
If you can stay in the lead of men without their knowing,
You are at the core of life."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 10 







 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Taijiquan Sword


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. 

© Michael P. Garofalo, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, October 2, 2011.  235Kb+. 
The Wild Horse Jumps Over the Mountain Stream 



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Stairway to Failure

Ten Steps You Can Take to Guarantee Failure

"1. Make your goals vague.
2. Make your goals difficult to visualize.
3. Think and speak negatively about your goals.
4. Avoid planning incremental steps.
5. Don't Do - Talk.
6. Wait until you are motivated.
7. Don't set a date.
8. List why it's impossible.
9. Don't research your goal.
10. Think of anything except your goal."
Achieve It: Ten Steps You Can Take to Guarantee Failure


Will Power: Quotes, Sayings

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zhang Sanfeng Lore

Chang San-Feng, Taoist Grand Master: Bibliography, Quotes, Writings, Lore, Encounters
Research by Mike Garofalo


    "Zhang Sanfeng ("Zhang Triple Abundance" or "Zhang Three Peaks") is a famous Taoist said to have live between the end of the Yuan and beginning of the Ming periods.  His historical existence, however, is unproved.  In early biographies―including the one in the Mingshi (History of Ming)―he is usually said to be a native of Yizhou (Liaoning), but other sources give different birthplaces.  According to these works he was seven feet tall and had enormously big ears and eyes, his appearance suggested the longevity of a turtle and the immortality of a crane, and his beard and whiskers bristled like the blades of a halberd.  He tied his hair in a knot and, regardless of the season, wore only a garment made of leaves.  In his youth, Zhang is supposed to have studied Buddhism under the Chan master Haiyun (1021-56), but then mastered neidan and reached immortality.  He was known for his extraordinary magical powers as well as his ability to prophesy.
    In the first years of the Ming period, Zhang reportedly established himself on Mount Wudang (Wudang Shan, Hubei), where he lived in a thatched hut.  With his pupils he rebuilt the mountain monasteries destroyed during the wars at the end of the Mongol dynasty.  From Mount Wudang, Zhang went to the Jintai guan (Abbey of the Golden Terrace) in Baoji (Shananxi), where he announced his departure, composed a hymn, and passed away.  Later he came back to life, travelled to Sichuan, and visited Mount Wudang.
    The belief in the real existence of Zhang Sanfeng during the Ming Dynasty is reflected in the emperor's continued efforts to locate him.  The search for Zhang started in 1391 by order of the Hongwu Emperor (1368-1398) and was extended from 1407 to 1419 by the Yongle Emperor (1403-1424).  Both sent out delegates several times, but they all returned without success.  Promoted by the Ming emperor's interest, a cult developed around Zhang that spread widely and lasted until the later years of the Qing dynasty.
    As time went on, the legends about Zhang Sanfeng multiplied and became increasingly exaggerated.  Zhang is known as the founder of taiji quan (a claim without historical evidence) and the patron saint of practitioners of this technique.  During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a connection to the sexual techniques (fangzhong shu) was also established and texts dealing with these practices were ascribed to him.  The belief that Zhang was the master of Shen Wansan, a popular deity of wealth, led to his own identity as a god of wealth in the seventeenth century.  The Western Branch (Xipai) of neidan and various Qing sects also regarded Zhang Sanfeng as their first patriarch."
-  Martina Darga.  The Routledge Encyclopedia of Taoism (EoT), 2008, 2011, Volume II, p. 1233-35, article about Zhang Sanfeng in the EoT by Martina Darga. 






Monday, June 15, 2015

Chen Tai Chi Chuan Short Form

I have enjoyed practicing this short Chen Taijiquan form for the past seven years.  It was developed by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.

Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Movement Form Webpage

List of Movements of the Chen Taijiquan 18 Movement Short Form

Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu Webpage


Chen Style Tai Chi Essential 18 Postures with Patrick Martin.  Instructional DVD, 2 DVDs, 238 minutes.  Disk 1, 130 Minutes.  Jade Dragon Tai Chi International, Empty Circle Productions, 2008.  VSCL.  Patrick Martin is a student of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, and has been practicing and teaching Chen style Tai Chi for the last 20 years.  Detailed instructions for each movement sequence.  This DVD would be my first choice for an excellent instructional DVD on the Chen 18 Form.  


Watch Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei perform the short form he created:


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Divine Illumination, Sol Invictus, Good Day Sunshine

"The sun is always a powerful, invincible image, whether it is the weak illumination of the pre winter solstice, or the savage primal energy of midsummer. Long before humanity developed written language humans must have gazed in terrific awe at the reborn sun each morning, how it over came the dangerous dragon of darkness that it sank into each evening, the provider of light, warmth, sustainer of growing vegetation -life itself--this enormous solar edifice quite clearly was one of the earliest forms of worship as man began to fashion a supernatural interpretation of natural phenomenon from the daily spectacle of the dying and reborn sun. Albert Pike makes the following concise statement in his Morals and Dogma: 'To them [aboriginal peoples] he [the sun] was the innate fire of bodies, the fire of Nature. Author of Life, heat, and ignition, he was to them the efficient cause of all generation, for without him there was no movement, no existence, no form. He was to them immense, indivisible, imperishable, and everywhere present. It was their need of light, and of his creative energy, that was felt by all men; and nothing was more fearful to them than his absence. His beneficent influences caused his identification with the Principle of Good; and the Brama of the Hindus, and Mithras of the Persians, and Athom, Amum, Phtha, and Osiris, of the Egyptians, the Bel of the Chaldeans, the Asonai of the Phœnicians, the Adonis and Apollo of the Greeks, became but personifications of the Sun, the regenerating Principle, image of that fecundity which perpetuates and rejuvenates the world's existence.'"
-   Christ, Constantine, Sol Invictus: The Unconquerable Sun   By Ralph Monday

June: Quotes, Poems, Sayings

Summer Solstice Celebration




Gayatri Mantra
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
 
Oh God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.

Alternative meaning
Om, that (Divine Illumination) which pervades the physical plane (Bhu Loka), astral plane (Bhuvar Loka or Antariksha Loka) and or the celestial plane (Suvar Loka or Swarga Loka),
That Savitr (Divine Illumination) which is the most adorable,
On that Divine Radiance we meditate,
May that enlighten our intellect and awaken our spiritual wisdom.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Your Toes Take Off

"Putting facts by the thousands,
into the world, the toes take off
with an appealing squeak which the thumping heel
follows confidentially, the way men greet men.
Sometimes walking is just such elated
pumping."
-   Lyn Hejinian, Determination


"Every day, in the morning or evening, or both, take a walk in a safe and peaceful environment for less than an hour.  The can be a great fountain of youth.  Choose a place to walk that has no kind of disturbance.   Walking done in a work environment and when your mind is busy is different; it is not as nutritious as the walking you do for yourself in the morning or evening in a quiet, peaceful, and safe place."
-  Master Hua-Ching Ni, Entering the Tao, 1997, p. 135








"Walking is the natural recreation for a man who desires not absolutely to suppress his intellect but to turn it out to play for a season." 
-  Leslie Stephen  



"The interior solitude, along with the steady rhythm of walking mile after mile, served as a catalyst for deeper awareness.  The solitude I found and savored on the Camino had an amazing effect on me.  The busyness of my life slowly settled down as the miles went on.  For a good portion of my life I had longed for a fuller experience of contemplation, that peaceful prayer of the heart in which one is able to look intently and see each piece of life as sacred.  Ten days into the journey, totally unforeseen, the grace of seeing the world with startling lucidity came to me.  My eyes took in everything with wonder.  The experience was like looking through the lens of an inner camera – my heart was the photographer.  Colors and shapes took on nuances and depths never before noticed.  Each piece of beauty appeared to be framed: weeds along roadsides, hillsides of harvested fields with yellow and green stripes, layers of mountains with lines of thick mist stretching along their middle section, clumps of ripe grapes on healthy green vines, red berries on bushes, roses and vegetable gardens.  Everything revealed itself as something marvelous to behold.  Each was a work of art.  I noticed more and more details of light and shadow, lines and edges, shapes, softness, and texture.  I easily observed missed details on the path before me – skinny worms, worn pebbles, tiny flowers of various colors and shapes, black beetles, snails, and fat, grey slugs.  I became aware of the texture of everything under my feet – stones, slate, gravel, cement, dirt, sand, grass.  I responded with wonder and amazement.  Like the poet Tagore, I felt that everything “harsh and dissonant in my life” was melting into “one sweet harmony”."
-  Joyce Rupp  


Study Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung with Mike Garofalo