Monday, November 28, 2016

The End of Autumn











A beautiful day here in Red Bluff.  Cool and overcast.  Everything wet or damp from the recent rainstorm of last weekend.  

A time for household chores and garden chores.  Less time for reading, thinking, and writing.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Funerals

Karen and I attended a funeral service last Friday night. A young woman, Chandes Goodin, was killed in a recent automobile accident. She died on her 24th birthday.

The funeral services were traditional Christian rituals, preaching, and songs. I hope their faith helped them in this hard time of shock and sadness. A somber scene.  Many expressions of the hope that they will all meet again in heaven. A tender, sincere, fit and proper remembrance ceremony for Chandes and her family.

We know the family through Kathy and Davis Goodin. They run the wonderful Goodin Nursery on 99W and Flores - a half mile from our home. Karen and Kathy are good friends.

Someday a death will leave you speechless - including your own. 


Death and Dying - Quotations and Thoughts

"Fear no more the heat o' th' sun
Nor the furious winters' rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."
- Shakespeare


"Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold."
- William Cullen Bryant, Thanatopsis




Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Essential Experiment: You

"The ultimate test of a scientific hypothesis is experiment.  Experiment specifically means that you don't just wait for nature to do something, and passively observe it and see what it correlates with.  You go in there and do something.  You manipulate.  You change something, in a systematic way, and compare the result with a 'control' that lacks the change, or you compare it with a different change."
-  Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, p.66


One way to view your practice of mind-body arts is that you are conducting an experiment with your body-mind.  How does the practice of Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, or walking change you, change your attitude, change your mood, change your body, change your feelings.  

Keep a log, a journal, a record of your progress.  Be exacting, precise, factual in your reporting.  Be scientific.  

Quantify your key measurements.  Consistently measure and record your blood pressure, hours of sleep, caloric intake, hours of exercise, etc.  Use some psychological rating scale.  Measure range of motion and flexibility.  Quantify and compare changes over time.  

Change something!  Learn a new Taijiquan form, and articulate what happens. Change the pace of a form you know well.  

Be systematic.  Don't quit.  Persist.  Compare.  

It is time for you to evolve, modify, change, become!!









Friday, November 25, 2016

Dao De Jing, Chapter 17

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 17

"Those of preeminent wisdom and purity knew this Tao intuitively from their birth,
and so possessed it.
Those of the second rank—the men of virtue—approached it nearly, and eulogised it.
Those of the third rank—who were still above the commonalty—stood in awe of it.
Those of the lowest rank held it in light esteem.
Their belief in it was superficial, or imperfect; while there were even some who did not believe in it at all.
The first spoke only with forethought and calculation, as though honouring their words.
When their public labours were achieved, and affairs progressed unimpeded, the  people all said,
"This is our natural and spontaneous condition.""
-  Translated by Frederic Henry Balfour, 1884, Chapter 17



"A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
'Fail to honor people,
They fail to honor you;'
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'"
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 17  



"In the highest antiquity people scarce knew
That rulers existed among them; In the next age attachment and praise for them grew, In the next people feared they might wrong them;  And then in the next age the people despised The rulers whom fate set above them, For when faith by the rulers no longer is prized, The people no longer can love them. Those earliest rulers! what caution they had In weighing the words they were using; How successful their deeds! while the people all said We are what we are by our choosing.
"
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 17



"Great rising and falling - People only know it exists.
Next they see and praise.
Soon they fear.
Finally they despise.
Without fundamental trust There is no trust at all.
Be careful in valuing words.
When the work is done,
Everyone says
"We just acted naturally."  "
-  Translated by Stephen Addis, 1993, Chapter 17



"With the highest rulers -
Those below simply know they exist.
With those one step down -
They love and praise them.
With those one further step down -
They fear them.
And with those at the bottom -
They ridicule and insult them.

Who does not trust enough
will not be trusted.
Hesitant and undecided!
Like this is his respect for speaking.
He completes his tasks and finishes his affairs
Yet the common people say,
"These things all happened by nature."
-  Translated by Bram den Hond, Chapter 17 




太上下知有之.
其次親而譽之.
其次畏之.
其次侮之.
信不足焉有不信焉.
悠兮其貴言.
功成事遂百姓皆謂我自然.  
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17



t'ai shang hsia chih yu chih.
ch'i tz'u ch'in erh yü chih.
chi tz'u wei chih.
ck'i tz'u wu chih.
hsin pu tsu yen yu pu hsin yen.
yu hsi ch'i kuei yen.
kung ch'êng shih sui pai hsing chieh wei wo tzu jan.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 17



"Of great rulers the subjects do not notice the existence.
To lesser ones people are attached; they praise them.
Still lesser ones people fear, and the meanest ones people despise.
For it is said: 'If your faith be insufficient, verily, you will receive no faith.'
How reluctantly the great rulers considered their words!
Merit they accomplished; deeds they performed; and the hundred families thought: 'We are independent.' "
-  Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 17    



"Of the best ruler,
The people only know he exists.
Next comes one the love and praise.
Next comes one they fear.
Next comes one they abhor.
When you are lacking in trust,
Others have no trust in you.
Of the work of one who is short with his words,
The hundred families say,
We have done it ourselves!"
-  Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, 1985, Chapter 17 




"The best leader is one whose existence is barely known.
Next best is one who is lived and praised.
Next is one who is feared.
Worst of all is a leader who is despised.
If you fail to trust people, they won't turn out to be trustworthy.
Therefore, guide others by quietly relying on Tao.
Then, when the work is done, the people can say,
"We did this ourselves." "
-  Translated by Brian Browne Walker, 1996, Chapter 17



"Acerca de los antiguos todo lo que se sabe es que existían.
Los sucesores fueron amados y alabados, y los siguientes fueron temidos.
Los que vinieron después aborrecidos.
Sí no te tienes plena confianza, otros te serán infieles.
Entonces las palabras rituales estaban medidas.
El mérito de las obras tenía plenitud.
Todo el mundo decía:
"Estamos en armonía con nosotros mismos"."
-  Translation from Logia Medio Dia, 2015, 
Capítulo 17


"Of the best rulers
The people only know that they exist;
The next best the love and praise;
The next they fear;
And the next they revile.

When they do not command the people's faith,
Some will lose faith in them,
And then they resort to oaths!
But of the best, when their task is accomplished,
their work done,
The people all remark, "We have done it ourselves.""
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 17



"In ancient times
The people knew that they had rulers.
Then they loved and praised them,
Then they feared them,
Then they despised them.
The rulers did not trust the people,
The people did not trust the rulers.
The rulers were grave, their words were precious.
The people having finished their work,
and brought it to a successful issue, said:
"We affirm the Self.""
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 17 




Audio Recordings in English by Mike Garofalo

Here is an audio recording of selected translations from Chapter 17 of the Tao Te Ching. This reading includes translations by Frederic Henry Balfour 1884, Witter Bynner 1944, Isaac Winter Heysinger 1903, Bram den Hond, Herrymoon Maurer 1985, and Isabella Mears 1916.  Reading and recording by Michael P. Garofalo from the Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove, in Red Bluff, California.  Recorded on November 22, 2016. MP3 format.  7.1 MB.  




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 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 17, 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




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day Celebration


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.




The first photo shows part of our family in 2012, at our home in Red Bluff, on Thanksgiving Day.



Photos of families enjoying a Thanksgiving Day together.  










Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November Gardening Chores

Red Bluff, North Sacramento Valley, California, USA
USDA Zone 9




Removing dead and non-productive summer vegetable crops.
Turn in composted steer manure and compost into the cleared vegetable garden.
Ordering from seed and garden catalogs.
Planting potted trees and shrubs.
Putting winter crops in the ground and harvesting greens: onions, lettuce, radishes, garlic, beets, chard, cabbage.
Placing cold sensitive potted plants in protected areas or indoors.
Planting bulbs.
Prune and mulch dormant perennials.
Prune fruit trees.
Storing and repairing tools.
Cleaning, storing, repairing and removing gasoline from equipment.
Fertilize with 20-9-9 or 16-16-16.
Trees without leaves need little or no watering.
Reduce or eliminate watering, watering as needed, depending upon rainfall, normally 3.1 inches in November.
Picking pumpkins, squash, colored corn, and other crops for Thanksgiving decorations.
Pruning grape vines.
Picking and storing peppers.
Raking leaves and add to compost piles and mulch layers.
Lawn care: aerate soil and fertilize.
Digging holes and post holes in cooler weather.
Burning dead trees and shrubs in burn pile.
Watering potted plants.
Reading gardening books and catalogs. 

November: Quotes, Lore, Poems

Gardening Essentials


"As the biocentric view suggests, the garden prospers when control is balanced by equal measures of humility and benevolence. A balance is struck. Control, servitude, respect, imagination, pragmatism, an ecological conscience, compliance, and a certain measure of mysticism and altruism all meld together to provide nurturance. Try to separate the various aspects into their constituent parts - grant any one of them the status of fundamental gardening definition and one soon skews the entire process. Put them back together again in the service of the two-way street called nurturance, and we express the state of grace called gardening."
- Jim Nollman, Why We Garden: Cultivating a Sense of Place, 1994


"Why do plants have such a positive impact on us?
There are a number of reasons, including:
They have a predictable cycle of life that provides comfort in our time of rapid change.
They are responsive but non-threatening.
They form no opinions or judgments about their caregivers.
They soften our man-made environment.
They enable us to change or improve our environment.
They promote relaxation and tranquility."
- Gardening - Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul, Proxima Health System, Atlanta



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Banish the Blues

Boost Your Mood, Pick Yourself Up
Revitalize Yourself, Banish the Blues  

Be grateful for the good in your life.  
Give yourself permission to be human.
Brighten someone’s day.
Learn something new.
Listen to upbeat music.
Do some exercise on a regular basis.
Simplify your life, remove clutter, and clean.
Go for a walk.
Enjoy sex and discover romance.
Get organized.
Do a good deed or volunteer. 
Smile and put on a happy face.
Indulge your senses.
Seek and cultivate beauty.
Take time to breathe deeply.
Look at some old photos.
Focus on the positive.
Forgive yourself.
Get some fresh air.
Eat often and eat light.
Begin a program of meditation or contemplation.
Talk with your physician or counselor. 
Cook and prepare a lovely and tasty meal.
Eat something nutritious like nuts or fruit.
Pamper yourself.
Alter your routines in some way.
Have confidence.
Talk with your spouse.
Fake it till you make it.
Sign a song out loud.
Tap into your creative side.
Take up a mind-body practice like Taijiquan, Qigong or Yoga.
Inhale a calming scent.
Sit quietly, rest, or sleep.
Brainstorm a problem for solutions.
Avoid bad or negative companions, and find good friends.
Watch a good non-violent movie.
Work in the garden.
Cool down strong emotions.
Take some vacation time for relaxation and retreat.
Look on the Bright Side.
Small steps of progress are better than no steps.
Avoid watching the news for a week.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Focus on past successes, not failures.
Create a wish list and make one wish come true.
Explore ways to boost your self-esteem.
Focus on what you can control and what you can change.
Get some more sunlight on your body.
Choose your attitude and how you will react to life's events.
Spend less, avoid shopping.
Stop all cussing, swearing, or rude language.
Keep a journal or express yourself in writing.
Go easy on yourself and yield.
Count your blessings.
Spend some time with children.
Take a long shower or refreshing soaking bath.
Get relevant and accurate information.
Chat with a friendly person or neighbor.
Things change and time heals.
Adapt, adapt, adapt.
Agree to disagree; you don’t need to win every argument. 
Think fast.
Consider vitamin or herbal supplements that lift mood.
Seek professional help for serious mental health problems.
Read something inspiring.
Avoid comparing yourself to others, and envy is a waste of time.
Try praying or chanting.
Evaluate and revise your goals.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Pet your dog or cat and care for them.
Get a massage.
Enjoy a non-competitive sport.
Try fasting or staying up all night.
Donate your stuff, your skills, or your time. 
Forgive and forget.
Dance till you are tired.
Punch a bag or bang on a drum.
Stop using any recreational drugs.
Spend some time with children.
Abandon false ideas and unrealistic aims.
Enjoy a refreshing drink.
Make someone laugh.
Allow yourself to be eccentric, and enjoy some silly thoughts.
Have a bowl of soup or a cup of tea.
Less talking and more doing.
Get up, dress up, and show up.
Observe nature carefully and respectfully.
Visit your public library and borrow some beautiful books.
Be less self-centered and selfish.
A spiritual advisor, rituals, or religious beliefs can sometimes help.
Love expands your horizons of caring and happiness.
Accept the fact that some things are broken and can't be fixed.
Memorize and inspirational saying, prayer, poem or quote.
Call or visit a sick person.
Play a game. 

By Mike Garofalo
Valley Spirit Center
Red Bluff, California  


Ways to Lift Your Spirits (3 pages, PDF Format)

Virtues and Good Character

Fitness and Well-Being





Monday, November 21, 2016

Pulling Onions Again

Freedom opens a few doors and closes many more. 
My mind is a sea I cannot see into; I merely skim along its surface.
I think, therefore I am a living person; dead bodies don't display thinking, just stinking.
Sometimes the present alters our interpretation of the past; most often the past surrounds and infects the present. 
Wherever I go, something new becomes me. 
Be careful not to stand up for that which will cause your downfall.    
God may be very smart, but he is a poor communicator.
What ought to be cannot be derived from what is the case, but a reasonable person ought not to ignore what is the case.  
I can admire a few great persons or heroes, but seldom have much desire to try and imitate them. 
Disrespect and contempt for the body is a common trump card for spiritualists; but, our game of life does not use trump cards. 
Nonsense can sometimes improve our sense and senses. 
Prohibitions focus our aim on better choices and actions. 
Don't sell the present short on the promises of "when." 
Most tire from hatefulness; cheerfulness is abiding.
Stubborn facts are loosened up with novelty.
A sure path to the perversion of truth is to make it a belief. 
The act, the deed, the doing are the primary considerations. 
My body gave birth to my mind, is in my mind, and my body-mind thrives in our world of lived experiences. 
Objectivity is a product of our agreements, and an important feature of my imagination. 
R. Buckminster-Fuller once suggested that "God is a verb, not a noun."  Which verb?  Pretending?  Storytelling?  Fantasizing?  Believing?  Indoctrinating?
My consciousness is a vegetable soup, and the water in the soup is what I do. 
Yes, I am just this and that; but, I am also not just that and this. 
Hearing the cat purr when we pet them gently matters far more to us than whether the cat's fur is black, white, or orange. 
If you think you are damned if you do or damned if you don't, your not thinking creatively enough. 
The ten thousand things are more enchanting than the Silent One. 
To lift the mind, move the body.
The road to flourishing needs regular maintenance and repairs.
The present is merely a fleeting moment; we actually unearth our essence in our past and create ourselves in the future.
By decreasing your desires you actually diversify and and increase your pleasures and satisfaction.
Having a poor memory helps a great deal in finding happiness.
A gardener loves the rain; also, for the resting time it brings.
Gardening is but one battle against Chaos.
Our understanding of "enlightenment" varies like living in Paris, Tehran, Kamakura, Pretoria, Beijing, Rio, Nashville, or Portland varies.
Indeed, absolute "truth" is very hard to discover; but, some "truths" are far less substantiated, validated, and supported than others.
There is no 'i' in "team," but there is an 'm' in me, my, and mine.
Clear and kept boundaries help keep us sane.
Seeking truth is not like being lost alone in a pathless land.
Nonsense can sometimes improve our sense and senses.

Pulling Onions: The Quips and Sayings of an Old Gardener.  Over 890 quotes.  By Mike Garofalo




Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rainy Day Reflections

In Red Bluff, the rainy season is from October to May.  Yesterday, and for the next two days, a Pacific storm has arrived from the West to provide a steady rain, a brisk wind, and cooler temperatures.  Over two inches have fallen already at our home.  

The wild grasses are all green, and most deciduous tress have lost over half their leaves.  A lovely time of the year - even more colorful than spring.  

November - Quotes and Poems

I have been reading the fascinating book "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution" (2010) by Richard Dawkins.  Scientific reasoning, fact finding, predictive powers, logic, confirmed theories, the scientific community, documentation, research, analysis, pure and applied science, testing ... are subjects that always attract my keen attention.  I have read a number of books by Professor Dawkins - a first rate thinker and writer.  He is also an influential contemporary atheist, and I share is views on religion.  








The human body is over 60% water. 
The typical adult human body consists of about 60 trillion cells (6x10^13). 
There are about 60 trillion atoms in a human cell.


Inside the nucleus of each cell are the DNA genetic
codes that govern growth, structure, and reproduction.
As these DNA strands are modified or reshuffled
during millions of reproductive cycles then variations occur over time.

The earthly timeline is measured in hundreds of thousands
of millions of years for these variations to occur
and some to survive and multiply.


Fascinating!
Amazing!
Complex!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tai Chi and Breathing

"When practicing the First Form, you should not try to control your breathing except when issuing.  Simply breathe naturally through your nose.  When issuing, exhale through the nose as you punch, then abruptly close off the exhalation when your waist terminates your travel.  The closing is instantaneous; your breathing should continue normally immediately afterward."
-  Mark Chen, Old Frame Chen Family Taijiquan, p. 90



"Breathing in Taijiquan form practice may follow a pattern, such as to inhale with this movement or exhale with that, but it is not rigid.  A breathing regimen may be helpful to regulate breath, but strict adherence can become a hindrance as one has to adjust readily to a change of tempo.  Breath changes according to the pace and execution of movements.  Naturally, one breathes heavily when short of breath.  But in heavy breathing, the body heaving up and down affects form and internal balance.  Heavy breathing may in natural in the circumstances, but it is not the natural breathing of Taijiquan.  The rationale of natural breathing in Taijiquan practice is for the breath to follow the fangsong relaxation of nurturing qi.  The rule is for breathing to follow the demands of practice, rather than for the practice to be dictated by the demands of a breathing regimen.  In throwing a punch (a fajin), breathing out is natural with the action, sometimes accompanied with a cry of exertion, like a kiai in karate.  So, one breathes out in executing a power action and breathes in to gather energy - xu xi fa hu (inhale in collecting energy and exhale when discharging power.  Also, generally, one inhales in rising and exhales in lowering, and breathes in to open and breathes out to close."
-  C.P. Ong, Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength, p. 259



"The importance of naturalness and spontaneity (zi ran) in breathing cannot be overemphasized.  The Chinese term zi ran literally means "own nature" ― that which occurs by following the rules of its own character.  ...  A common mistake is to put too much emphasis on trying to control the breath during movement.  Left to itself, the body will adjust the breathing to accommodate the activity such as running or swimming, as they put in greater effort, the breath naturally responds to the body's needs. ...  When normal breathing is being employed, the stomach expands as the practitioner inhales and contracts as he exhales.  The breathing method of Taijiquan follows certain principles, such as: inhaling when "closing" or bringing in, and exhaling with "opening" or extending; inhaling when storing or gathering energy, exhaling when emitting energy; inhaling when rising up, exhaling when dropping down.  However, even within these requirements breathing may vary depending upon the circumstance."
-  Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing, p.82



When practicing the Laojia Yilu Taijiquan Form, "Keep the mouth closed."
-  Chen Zhenglei, Chen's Tai Chi Old Frame One and Two, p. 111. 


"The basic breathing of Tai Chi Chuan uses the nose only, not the mouth. This differs from the common people who use the nose to inhale and exhale through the mouth. The beginner does not have to concentrate upon this breathing technique, but concentrate instead on the forms for the correct movement and postures. The only requirements for beginners are slow movements, natural breathing, and a relaxation of the entire body.  The beginner should let the breathing be natural and not emphasize the breathing technique.  The details of the intermediate method are: when practicing the forms, one exhales when extending the arm and inhales when withdrawing the arm; one inhales when rising and exhales when sinking; to lift is to inhale, to lower is to exhale; when opening up, one inhales, when closing, one exhales.  When turning the body and in between movements, there should be a "little breathing".  A "little breathing" means taking short breaths quickly and has the quality of relaxation and stoppage.  Generally, breathing is used to lead the movement.  The movement must be coordinated with the breathing.  The body opens up and the chi closes.  The chi opens up and the body closes."
-  Master Chen Yen Ling, Tai Chi Chuan Method Of Breathing and Chi Direction




Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form (Laojia Yilu)  



Friday, November 18, 2016

Dao De Jing, Chapter 18

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 18

"When the Way is forgotten
Duty and justice appear;
Then knowledge and wisdom are born
Along with hypocrisy.
When harmonious relationships dissolve
Then respect and devotion arise;
When a nation falls to chaos
Then loyalty and patriotism are born."
- Translated by Peter Merel, Chapter 18


"The mighty Way declined among the folk
And then came kindness and morality.
When wisdom and intelligence appeared,
They brought with them a great hypocrisy.
The six relations were no more at peace,
So codes were made to regulate our homes.
The fatherland grew dark, confused by strife:
Official loyalty became the style."
- Translated by Raymond Blakney, 1955, Chapter 18


"When the great Reason is obliterated, we have benevolence and justice.
Prudence and circumspection appear, and we have much hypocrisy.
When family relations no longer harmonize, we have filial piety and paternal devotion.
When the country and the clans decay through disorder, we have loyalty and allegiance."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 18


"The great Tao faded and there was benevolence and righteousness.
Worldly wisdom and shrewdness appeared and there was much dissembling.
The family relationships no longer harmonious, there was filial piety and paternal love.
The state and the clans in anarchy, there was loyalty and faithfulness."
- Translatewd by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 18


"And when the olden way of rule declined,
The words for love and serve came in.
Next came knowledge and keen thought,
Advent of lying, sham, and fraud.
When kinsmen lost their kind concord,
They honoured child- and parent-love.
In dark disorder ruling houses
Turned to loyal devoted vassals."
- Translated by Moss Roberts, 2001, Chapter 18






Audio Recordings in English by Mike Garofalo

Here is an audio recording of selected translations from Chapter 18 of the Tao Te Ching. This reading includes translations by Raymond Blakney, Peter Merel, D.T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, C. Spurgeon Medhurst, and Moss Roberts. Reading and recording by Michael P. Garofalo from the Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove, in Red Bluff, California.  Recorded on November 15, 2016. MP3 format.  3.5 MB.  




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 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 18, 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




Thursday, November 17, 2016

Benefits of Walking

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

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

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


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





 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I Resolve This Day

Daily Resolutions

"I am a seeker of truth on a spiritual journey.  I believe life has sacred meaning and purpose.
May my behavior today express my deepest beliefs. 
May I approach each and every task today with quiet impeccability. 
May I be a simple, humble, and kind presence on the earth today. 
May I see the Divine Nature in all beings today. 
May I be grateful today to those who came before me, and may I make the roads smoother
     for those who will travel them after me. 
May I leave each place at least a little better than I found it today. 
May I truly cherish this day, knowing that it may be my last. 
May I remember, remember, remember, not to forget, forget, forget."

-   Bo Lozoff, It's a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice 

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Harmony of Autumn


"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





Beautiful autumn colors on the trees in our neighborhood.  Wonderful.  

We have been improving our winter vegetable garden.  

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











Our Winter Garden






Monday, November 14, 2016

Express Spirit in Action

Seven Perennial Spiritual Practices:

"1.  Transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul's desire.
2.  Cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love. 
3.  Live ethically: feel good by doing good. 
4.  Concentrate and calm your mind. 
5.  Awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognize the sacred in all things. 
6.  Cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life. 
7.  Express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service." 

-   Roger Walsh, Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind, 1999

Nine Pagan Virtues
"1.  Wisdom - Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response. 
2.  Piety - Correct observance of ritual and social traditions; the maintenance of the agreements (both personal and societal),
we humans have with the Gods and Spirits.  Keep the Old Ways, through ceremony and duty. 
3.  Vision - The ability to broaden one's perspective to have a greater understanding of our place and role in the cosmos,
relating to the past, present and future. 
4.  Courage - The ability to act appropriately in the face of danger. 
5.  Integrity - Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence.
6.  Perseverance - Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult.
7.  Hospitality - Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the
honoring of "a gift for a gift."
8.  Moderation - Cultivating one's appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health (mental or physical),
through excess or deficiency. 
9.  Fertility - Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an
appreciation of the physical, sensual and nurturing." 

-  The Ar nDraíocht Feín Dedicant Program, 2005.
  


Virtues and a Good Life 

Epicureanism

Fitness and Well Being

Aging Well and Values

The Ten Paramitas of Buddhism

Dharmapada Sutra of the Buddha

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Stoicism

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Magic Pearl Qigong

Qigong, Tai Chi Chuan and physical culture enthusiasts can benefit from using a medicine ball when doing exercises.  There are many routines developed by Taijiquan and Qigong masters using a medicine ball, e.g., Yang Jwing Ming, Chen Qing Zhou, and Jiang Jian-ye.  

Medicine Ball Training and Exercises: Bibliography, Links, Resources .  Prepared by Mike Garofalo.  A general introduction to the use of medicine balls in exercise programs. 

I developed my own medicine ball routine called: Magic Pearl Qigong.


Magic Pearl Qigong, Part I, Movements 1-8 .   Instructions, Bibliography, Links, Handouts, Resources, Mythological Associations, Lore.  Prepared by Mike Garofalo. 

Magic Pearl Qigong, Part II, Movements 9-16 .   Instructions, Bibliography, Links, Handouts, Resources, Mythological Associations, Lore.  Prepared by Mike Garofalo.  An incomplete project.

The Magic Pearl Qigong can be a very vigorous physical culture routine if you increase the weight of the ball and the number of repetitions of each movement. 










Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sacred Circles

I've put together a webpage on the subject of Sacred Circles.

This webpage provides links, bibliographic citations, resources, quotations, notes, and comments on medicine wheels, henges, labyrinths, neopagan sacred circles, holy circles, the symbolism and myths about circles and spheres, sacred circle gardens, the four elements, and related topics.

This webpage includes information and photographs of our sacred circle garden at our home in Red Bluff, California.

Those folks who walk the circle in labyrinthswalking meditation or baguazhang might find some of the information in sacred circles to be of interest to them.

Here are a few pictures from our sacred circle garden.  They were all taken a few years ago.  Everything is the same today, except all the trees and shrubs are larger.  








Friday, November 11, 2016

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 19

Dao De Jing by Laozi
Chapter 19

"Abandon holiness,
discard your plans,
and the people will improve.
Let go of duty,
and the people will find devotion. 
Renounce learning and ceremony,
and the people will find peace.
Ditch your clever schemes and thirst for profit,
and thieves will disappear.
Better yet,
just return to the purity and simplicity,
of raw silk or unworked wood.
Lose your self-consciousness
and ease yourself away from desire."
-  Translated by Crispin Starwell, Chapter 19 


"Get rid of "holiness" and abandon "wisdom" and the people will benefit a hundredfold.
Get rid of "altruism" and abandon "Justice" and the people will return to filial piety and compassion.
Get rid of cleverness and abandon profit, and thieves and gangsters will not exist.
Since the above three are merely words, they are not sufficient.
Therefore there must be something to include them all. 
See the origin and keep the non-differentiated state.
Lessen selfishness and decrease desire."
-  Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 19  



"Stop being learned and your troubles will end.
Give up wisdom, discard cleverness, and the people will benefit a hundredfold.
Give up benevolence, discard moral judgments, and the people will rediscover natural compassion.
Give up shrewdness, discard gain, and thieves and robbers will disappear.  
These three false adornments are not enough to live by.
They must give way to something more solid.
Look for what is simple and hold onto the Uncarved Block.
Diminish thoughts of self and restrain desires."
-  Translated by Tolbert McCarroll, 1982, Chapter 19 


"It is better merely to live one's life,
realizing one's potential,
rather than wishing 
for sanctification.
He who lives in filial piety and love 
has no need of ethical teaching. 
When cunning and profit are renounced, 
stealing and fraud will disappear. 
But ethics and kindness, and even wisdom, 
are insufficient in themselves. 
Better by far to see the simplicity
of raw silk's beauty
and the uncarved block;
to be one with oneself, 
and with one's brother.
It is better by far 
to be one with the Tao,
developing selflessness,
tempering desire,
removing the wish,
but being compassionate."
-  Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 19 
 
 
 
絕聖棄智, 民利百倍.
絕仁棄義, 民復孝慈.
絕巧棄利, 民有無賊.
絕巧棄利, 盜無 ?者
此三者以為文不足, 故令有所屬.
見素抱樸.
少私寡欲.  
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 19



chüeh shêng ch'i chih, min li pai pei.
chüeh jên ch'i yi, min fu hsiao tz'u.
chüeh hsüeh ch'i li, min yu wu yu.
chüeh ch'iao ch'i li, tao tsê wu yu. 
tz'u san chê yi wei wên pu tsu, ku ling yu so shu.
chien su pao p'u.
shao ssu kua yü.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 19  




"If the people renounce self-control and reject wisdom,
Let them gain simplicity and purity
If the people renounce duty to man and reject right conduct,
Let them return to filial piety deep, deep in the heart.
If they renounce skill and leave off search for profit,
Let them rob and by violence take possession of spiritual life.
These three things do not help our progress.
Therefore now let us seek
To perceive simplicity,
To conserve beauty in the heart,
To curb selfishness and to have few desires."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 19 



"Prescribe la sabiduría, descarta la santidad,
y el pueblo se beneficiará cien veces.
Prescribe la bondad humana, descarta la moralidad,
Y el pueblo será abnegado y compasivo.
Prescribe la habilidad, descarta el provecho,
y así bandidos y ladrones desaparecerán.
Pero estas tres normas no bastan.
Por esto, atiende a lo sencillo y genuino,
reduce tu egoísmo, y restringe los deseos."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 19   



"If men would lay aside their holiness
And wisdom, they would gain a hundred-fold,
And, if benevolence and righteousness,
Parental care and filial love would hold;
If they would drop their cleverness and gain,
Robbers would cease to trouble, as of old.   
Here are three things where decorating fails,
Let them again embrace reality,
Let them restore the purity of old,
Let them return to their simplicity,
Curb selfishness, diminish their desires,
And in the genuine find felicity."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 19 



"Terminate 'sageliness', junk 'wisdom'
the people will benefit a hundred-fold.
Terminate 'humanity', junk 'morality'
the people will respond with 'filiality' and 'affection.'
Terminate 'artistry', junk 'benefit'
thieves and robbers will lack 'existence'.
These three
taken as slogans are insufficient.
Hence, leads us to postulate that to which they belong.
Visualize simplicity and embrace uncarved wood.
Downgrade 'selfishness' and diminish 'desire.'
Terminate learning and you will lack irritation."
-  Translated by Chad Hansen, Chapter 19 





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 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 19, 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