Sunday, December 31, 2017

With Slow Movements ...


"The movements of Qigong exercise should be slow instead of fast because slow movements will nourish qi and combine the posture with qi. The training practice of Qigong should start with Wuji with slow movement until the closing of the training.  Every movement and step must be done slowly, opening and spreading of the body be slow, closing and sinking of the body be slow, and rising and falling of the body be slow.  With slow movements, one can keep thinking whether the upper, lower, left and right of the body are followed, and whether the interior and exterior are coordinated.  With the slow and gentle movements and posture, the internal qi is conducted to flow slowly in the body to integrate mindwill with qi, vitality with posture, and enter the realm of forgetting the substance and me."
-  Master Wang Fengming, Special Taoist Taji Stick and Ruler Qigong, p. 115. 




Hun Yuan Stick and Ruler Qigong

Hun Yuan Qigong, Primordial Qigong, Mixed Circles Qigong

Valley Spirit Qigong

Vancouver Tai Chi and Chi Kung Studio, Vancouver, Washington State



I was given a number of books by family and friends this holiday season, and for my 72nd birthday. I thank them for their generosity. 

A 5 DVD set of instructional DVDs from Brett Wagland and Fontane Ip from Canberra, Australia.  They teach Hunyuan Taijiquan and Qigong.  A $125 investment in coaching in Hunyuan:

Yang Tai Chi for Beginners. By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. Instructional DVD, 293 minutes. YMAA, 2012. VSCL.

Tai Chi Chuan Martial Power: Advanced Yang Style. By Dr. Wang, Jwing Ming. Foreword by Tsung-Hwa Jou. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, YMAA Publication Center, 3rd Edition, 1986, 1996, 2015. Index, glossary, bibliography, 274 pages. ISBN: 978-1594392948. VSCL.


Tai Ji Quan: 105 Posture Yang Style Solo Form - Instructions and Applications. Chen Kung Series, From the Private Family Records of Master Yang Luchan, Volume Three. Translation and commentary by Master Stuart Alve Olson. Phoenix, Arizona, Valley Spirit Arts, 2017. Bibliography, appendices, 234 pages. ISBN: 978-1548105372. VSCL. "The long-awaited third volume in the Chen Kung Series presents the detailed instructions on the original Yang Style 105-Posture Taijiquan form, along with explanations of the practical self-defense applications, commentaries by Chen Kung, translations of the illustrations in the text, and notes by Stuart Alve Olson. A truly remarkable, insightful work that complements anyone’s library on the art of Taijiquan." "Born in 1906, Master Chen Kung (a.k.a., Yearning K. Chen and Chen Yen-lin) passed away in Shanghai, Chiina, in 1980. Master Chen Kung copied the Yang Family manuscripts in 1930."




Northwest Tai Chi and Qigong Studio, Vancouver, Washington


Northwest Taijiquan and Qigong
The Vancouver Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Studio
Sifu Brian Knack
Assistant Instructors: Bill, Sandy, Joel

Vancouver Health and Wellness Building

202 E. Mcloughlin Blvd., Vancouver, Washington, 98663
360-607-8240
Also, on Facebook
The information on the Northwest Taijiquan website has not been updated.

Class Schedule:
Tuesday Morning 9-11 am
Tuesday Evening 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Thursday Morning 9-11 am  (Class Cancelled Jan-Mar 2018)
Saturday Morning 10-12 am

I plan to attend these classes in 2018.  


The facility is clean and attractive, and located in downtown Vancouver, near Main Street and Mcloughlin Blvd.  An excellent peaceful atmosphere with many very accomplished and knowledgeable students.  Good mature attitudes all around, and peaceful, polite, and friendly people.  




Here are the kinds of Taijiquan and Qigong we have been learning and practicing at the Vancouver Studio (Dojo/Training Center) with Sifu Knack, and the assistant Instructors Sandy, Bill, Joel, and Camille along with four to eight other other students.  I also use DVDs by Sifu Knack for home study.  Curriculum:  

Yang Style Taijiquan 24 Form
Yang Style Taijiquan 108 Long Form

Hunyuan Chen Taijiquan 24 Form
Eight Gates Warmup Yang Taijiquan

Push Hands
Da Lu

Hunyuan Qigiong, Primordial Qigong, Mixed Circles Qigong

Kuan Yin Sitting Qigong
Bagua Qigong: Liang Shen Pu
Eight Immortals Flute Form
Hun Yuan Taiji Stick and Qigong Ruler.  


32 Sword Form
Chen Broadsword Form




About Sifu Bryan Knack Ph.D./Ma.Sc.D.



"Bryan Knack was inducted to the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame as "Chinese Martial Arts Master of the Year" and "International Sifu of the Year."

"Sifu Bryan Knack began studying martial arts in the mid-70's, begining with the external martial arts of Goju-ryu (Okinawan karate) and Siu Lum Kung Fu in the 1980's. Then he turned his studies to Tai Chi and Qi Gong and had a training center in Portland, Oregon.
He returned to his hometown of Spokane to open his own studio, Northwest Tai Chi for Health in 2000. Sifu Knack returned to the Vancouver/Portland area in 2011 to be close to his family."


"Tai Chi is fun!  The Vancouver Tai Chi and Qigong Studio offers an affordable program for multiple section classes for a monthly charge, or for a small fee for each class you attend."


Come and Join Us in Practicing and Learning Taijiquan and Qigong.  





Saturday, December 30, 2017

Seven Factors of Enlightenment


The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

1.  Mindfulness
2.  Effort and Energy 
3.  Investigation 
4.  Rapture 
5.  Concentration 
6.  Tranquility  
7.  Equanimity 


-  Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation, 1987, pp.61-77. 

Buddhism  

How to Live a Good Life: Advice From Wise Persons

Virtue Ethics  






Friday, December 29, 2017

Hunyuan Taijiquan and Qigong

"Hun Yuan Qigong is often translated as meaning ‘Primordial’ or ‘Congenital Qigong’ which is an appropriate name but it really deserves further exploration.  ‘Hun’ by its nature refers to something that is mixed, something that is still a composite and hasn’t been divided into various parts as in Hun Dun which is often translated as original chaos.  ‘Yuan’ literally means rotations or circles. So the name of this Qigong set is actually Mixed Circles or Mixed Rotations Qigong. Why is this and what does this have to do with primordial?  A state of undifferentiated rotating energy is the original state of the cosmos according to esoteric Daoism. This was the state before Yin and Yang divided. It is the potential for something but nothing manifest. The ultimate state of Wuji is supposed to be formed of various mixed circles – Wuji is Hun Yuan.  Out of these mixed circles come Taiji which is the catalyst for Creation so Hun Yuan literally implies trying to take yourself, your Mind, your Energy Body to a state before Yin and Yang divided when there is still just rotational potential for something – which is why often they’ll shorten all of that and say Primordial Qigong for example.  Most people will know Hun Yuan Qigong through a gentleman who died recently named Feng Zhi Qiang who was the founder of Hun Yuan Taiji, a variant of Chen style boxing. Feng also taught Hun Yuan Qigong which, prior to being part of a Taijiquan system, had alchemical Daoist origins."
-  Damo Mitchell, Hun Yuan in Qigong

"Qigong is the root of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is the flower of Qigong."
- Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang




Hun Yuan Taijiquan 24 Form

Chen Tai Chi Chuan

Hun Yuan Qigong


HunYuan Qigong: Tracing Life to its Root, by Kenneth S. Cohen, 2007

Valley Spirit Qigong

Hun Yuan Tai Chi 24 Form. Instructional DVD, NTSC, 74 minutes. Featuring Brett Wagland and Fontane Ip. From the Tai Chi Academy. VSCL.





Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9


Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 9



"It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full.
If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.
When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe.
When wealth and honors lead to arrogance, this brings its evil on itself.
When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished,
To withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 9 




"Holding to fullness
Is not as good as stopping in time.
Sharpness that probes
Cannot protect for long.
A house filled with riches
Cannot be defended.
Pride in wealth and position
Is overlooking one's collapse.
Withdrawing when success is achieved
Is the Tao in Nature."
-  Translated by R. L. Wing, 1986, Chapter 9  



 
"You hold to fullness, and it is better to stop in time!
You keep on beating and sharpening a sword, and the edge cannot be preserved   for long.
You fill your house with gold and jade, and it can no longer be guarded.
You put on airs by your riches and honor, and you will only reap a crop of calamities.
Here is the Way of Heaven: When you have done your work, retire."
-  Translated by Tran Tien Cong, Chapter 9 



 

  "Do not concentrate one's wealth in abundance.
It is far better for one to know where to stop.
Do not beat one's sword sharp, one can never keep its edge for ever.
If their houses are full of gold and jade, they have no way to keep them forever.
If they are proud of having great riches and honors, they just make more troubles for themselves.
When merits have been achieved, fame has been completed - one may withdraw himself.
That is to follow the law of Nature."
-  Translated by Tang Zi-Chang, 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  




"Continuing to fill a pail after it is full the water will be wasted.
Continuing to grind an axe after it is sharp will soon wear it away.
Who can protect a public hall crowded with gold and jewels?
The pride of wealth and position brings about their own misfortune.
To win true merit, to preserve just fame, the personality must be retiring.
This is the heavenly Dao."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, 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




"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 you will find it soon grows dull.
When bronze and jade fill your hall.
It can no longer be guarded.
Wealth and place breed insolence.
That brings ruin in its train.
When your work is done, then withdraw!
Such is Heaven's Way."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 9  



"Asir fuertemente y colmar
 Vale menos que dejar de hacerlo.
 Calcular y afilar las armas
 No significa que se prolongue su cuidado.
 Atiborrar la gran sala de oro y jade
 Y no habrá quien pueda custodiarlos.
 Ser rico y orgulloso.
 Quizás perderse a sí mismo sea la desgracia.
 Cuando la obra se completa y la persona se retira,
 Ése es el Tao del Cielo."
 -  Translated by Álex Ferrara, 2003, Capítulo 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 




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 9, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Complied by Mike Garofalo.  

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, December 28, 2017

Hun Yuan Chen Taijiquan


"In the Hun Yuan Tai Chi form, each movement flows into the next in an endless circle of energy. The first stage of learning involves remembering the individual movements which are all based on the following Tai Chi principles:

1. Keep the spine straight and relaxed - not tense.
2. Bend your knees to enable weight transfer.
3. Let your weight sink down to the soles of the feet - not held in the upper body or the thighs. Develop natural weight transfer – from ground to ground.
4. Legs are the foundation. Each movement starts from the legs, to the waist (which also enables the spine to rotate) and then to the arms. The waist controls the upper body.
Avoid leaning with the upper body.
5. Distinguish between empty and solid. Control your centre of gravity. Step out empty with no weight, so that you may be able to retrieve your step if necessary.
6. Be aware of relaxing the shoulders.
7. Use minimum amount of strength to move the body. Anything more is tension. Relax, relax, relax.
8. Coordinate the lower and the upper body.
9. Distinguish between open and close within the movement. Feel your back and chest. Avoid leaning.
10. Use your mind, that is, your intention, to lead the movement."

- Brett Wagland, Experiencing the First Stage of Hun Yuan Tai Chi




Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Diversity and Unity

"For the Eastern mystic, all things and events perceived by the senses are interrelated, connected and are but different aspects or manifestations of the same ultimate reality.  Our tendency to divide the perceived world into individual and separate things and to experience ourselves as isolated egos in this world is seen as an illusion which comes from our measuring and categorizing mentally.  It is called avidya, or ignorance, in Buddhist philosophy and is seen as the sate of a disturbed mind which has to be overcome.

'When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things is produced, but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears.'

Although the various schools of Eastern mysticism differ in many details, they all emphasize the basic unity of the universe which is the central feature of their teachings.  The highest aim for their followers - whether they are Hindus, Buddhists or Taoists - is to become aware of the unity and mutual interdependence of all things, to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and to identify themselves with the ultimate reality.  The emergence of this awareness - known as 'enlightenment'- is not only an intellectual act but is an experience which involves the whole person and is religious in its ultimate nature.  For this reason, most Eastern philosophies are essentially religious philosophies."
-  Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 25th Anniversary Edition, p. 24  


   In my experience, life is rightly characterized as diverse, complicated, varied, rich in multiplicity, saturated with the 'ten thousand things.'  Personally, I find little need to seek or to find or to have the "experience of unity."  This state of "unification," when actualized, is in most cases rather fleeting.  It may be profound, but no more so that the beauty of complexity and the fascinating reality of diversity.  I do not find the experience of the multiplicity of things distressing, disturbing, or disheartening.  

Just because all of the eggs today are in one basket does not make the colored basket more real or more interesting or more valuable than the eggs.  

Ignoring the facticity of the complexity of the natural and mental realms seems to me a more serious ignorance, not very sensible, and ultimately unwise.  I long ago gave up on any quest for "enlightenment" (in Hindu or Buddhist terms) and prefer the ordinary state of mind grounded in a world that is not simple, not one, not unified, complex, and rich in details.  To claim that our normal experience of complexity and variety is an "illusion" or "ignorance (avidya) seems to me a form of incorrect judgment.  

No doubt, trying to simplify one's life has its benefits, reducing sensory overload can reduce stress, and not becoming overly infatuated with novelty can be helpful; but, pushing on this strange path towards the "enlightenment" or "realization" of a pure and uncluttered "Unity" can produce its own distressing and disturbing predicaments for a person.  

Many philosophers, ancient and modern, have made a sharp distinction between appearances and Reality, the many and the One, the phenomena and the Noumena, and multiplicity and Unity.  For me, it is muddled thinking to call all of our experiences "just fleeting illusions" and fabricate a true realm of being outside of our personal and social and practical experiences.  Indeed, we can't "see" in any ordinary sense of "see," the cells, molecules, atoms, and the subatomic particles that constitute the objects of our macro-cosmic world; but, this in no way means the multiplicity of objects in our ordinary environment are in any way "illusions."  The meaning of "objects" is much more complicated, varied in linguistic usage, and functional in many practical contexts.  Again, complexity is closer to the truth.  

"I, who make no other profession, find in myself such infinite depth and variety, that what I have learned bears no other fruit than to make me realize how much I still have to learn.  To my weakness, so often perceived, I owe my inclination to coolness in my opinions and any hatred for that aggressiveness and quarrelsome arrogance that believes and trust wholly in itself, a mortal enemy of discipline and truth."
- Michel de Montaigne, "Of Experience," 1588


Our selves are, to Montaigne, "wavelike and varying" - ondoyant et divers


Complexity and Diversity 

Nature Mysticism:  Resources, Quotes, Notes

Gardening and Mysticism

Green Way Research Subject Index





Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Vancouver Tai Chi Chuan Studio


Northwest Taijiquan and Qigong
The Vancouver Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong Studio
Sifu Brian Knack

Assistant Instructors: Bill, Sandy, Joel

Vancouver Health and Wellness Building

202 E. Mcloughlin Blvd., Vancouver, Washington, 98663
360-607-8240
Also, on Facebook
The information on the Northwest Taijiquan website has not been updated.

Class Schedule:
Tuesday Morning 9-11 am
Tuesday Evening 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Thursday Morning 9-11 am  (Class Cancelled Jan-Mar 2018)
Saturday Morning 10-12 am

I plan to attend these classes in 2018.  


The facility is clean and attractive, and located in downtown Vancouver, near Main Street and Mcloughlin Blvd.  An excellent peaceful atmosphere with many very accomplished and knowledgeable students.  Good mature attitudes all around, and peaceful and friendly people.  


Here are the kinds of Taijiquan and Qigong we have been practicing at the Vancouver Studio with Sifu Knack, and the advanced students and assistant Instructors Sandy, Bill, Joel, Camille and with four to eight other other students. I also use DVDs by Sifu Knack for home study.  Curriculum: 

Yang Style Taijiquan 24 Form
Yang Style Taijiquan 108 Long Form

Hunyuan Chen Taijiquan 24 Form
Eight Gates Warmup Yang Taijiquan

Push Hands
Da Lu

Hun Yuan Qigiong

Kuan Yin Sitting Qigong
Bagua Qigong: Liang Shen Pu
Eight Immortals Flute Stick Form
Hun Yuan Taiji Stick and Qigong Ruler


32 Sword Form
Chen Broadsword Form



About Sifu Bryan Knack Ph.D./Ma.Sc.D.




"Bryan Knack was inducted to the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame as "Chinese Martial Arts Master of the Year" and "International Sifu of the Year."

Sifu Bryan Knack began studying martial arts in the mid-70's, begining with the external martial arts of Goju-ryu (Okinawan karate) and Siu Lum Kung Fu in the 1980's. Then he turned his studies to Tai Chi and Qi Gong and had a training center in Portland, Oregon.
He returned to his hometown of Spokane to open his own studio, Northwest Tai Chi for Health in 2000. Sifu Knack returned to the Vancouver/Portland area in 2011 to be close to his family."


"Tai Chi is fun!  The Vancouver Tai Chi and Qigong Studeio offers an affordable program for multiple section classes for a monthly charge, or for a small fee for each class you attend."

Come and Join us in Practicing and Learning Taijiquan and Qigong. 









Practice the Taijiquan Form Faster

Grandmaster Yang Jwing-Ming advises us to practice the Taijiquan form (sequence) by 1) practicing the sequence slower and slower, 2) developing a sense of an enemy, and 3) practicing fast Taijiquan.  He says,


    "In order for the sequence to be meaningful, Jing and technique must be combined.  An important way to do this is to PRACTICE FAST TAI CHI CHUAN.  Once you can do the sequence of movements automatically, and can coordinate your breathing and Chi circulation with the movements, you should practice the form faster.  Remember, if you ever get into a fight, things are likely to move pretty fast, so you have to be able to respond fast in order to defend yourself effectively.  If you only practice slowly, then when you need to move fast your Chi will be broken, your postures unstable, and you Yi scattered.  If any of this happens, you will not be able to use your Jing to fight.  Therefore, once you have developed your Chi circulation you should practice the sequence faster until you can do it at fighting speed.  Make sure you don't go too fast too soon, or you will sacrifice the essentials such as Yi concentration, Chi balance, breath coordination, and the storage of Jing in the postures.  When doing fast Tai Chi, do not move at a uniform speed.  Incorporate the pulsing movement of Jing so that you are responding appropriately to the actions for your imaginary enemy.  It is difficult to develop the pulsing movement of Jing solely by doing the sequence, so you should also do Jing training either before or concurrently with the fast Tai Chi."

-  Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming.  Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan.  Volume One: Tai Chi Theory and Tai Chi Jing.  By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Boston, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Academy, YMAA, 1986, p. 67.  


Tai Chi Chuan Martial Power: Advanced Yang Style. By Dr. Wang, Jwing Ming. Foreword by Tsung-Hwa Jou. YMAA Publication Center, 3rd Edition, 2015. 320 pages. ISBN: 978-1594392948. 

Tai Chi Chuan Martial Applications: Advanced Yang Style. By Dr. Wang, Jwing Ming. YMAA Publications, 3rd Edition, 2016. 400 pages. ISBN: 978-1594392993. VSCL.













Also, you might take a look at Yang Style Tai Chi Fast Form by Master Jesse Tsao from San Diego, California.  

"Yang Style Tai Chi Fast Form is a traditional practice with self-defense as its main focus. It trains the body in a dynamic energy flow, with agility in dodging, stepping and jumping along with solid strikes in flashing speed. The fast form is secretly carried forward by a limited population, as Tung Yingjie (one of Yang Chengfu's students) mentioned that the fast form is regarded as advanced-level training in old times. Tai Chi Healthways presents this routine for those who love to practice Tai Chi for martial arts applications. It is a good reference for home study, or a resource for instructor's teaching preparation. Suggest 50 class hours. (Difficulty: Beginner through Advanced Levels). DVD-R, (61 minutes)."

I viewed this instructional DVD on Amazon for $1.99, and then ordered a DVD copy ($34.95) from Tai Chi Healthways.  I like to view and listen to instructional DVDs using my small CooVu portable DVD player.  


When I lived in Red Bluff, California, on a 5 acre homestead in the rural North Sacramento Valley, I used many instructional DVD's created by Master Jesse Tsao, Master Jiang Jian Ye, and Grandmaster Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Master Tsao's instructional DVDs appealed to me because of their pace, breakdowns by sections, summary demonstrations, clarity of audio, diversity of styles presented, and background scenery around some very familiar San Diego locations (my brother lives in nearby Carlsbad).  

I particulary enjoyed learning, from Master Tsao's instructional DVD, the Eight Immortals Tai Chi Cane, Routine 1, in the Yang Style of Taijiquan. I've not practiced this form in the last 15 months, so I would need to replay the DVD and rehearse again lesson by lesson.  When you relearn, it is different from learning the first time.  

This relearning of the Eight Immortals Cane Form is one objective of mine in 2018; along a second objective of learning the Chen 19 Taijiquan Form of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang.  

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays


Enjoy the many celebrations that center around the Winter Solstice.  Best wishes to everyone.

Merry Christmas, Party at Saturnalia, and a Happy New Year!  

Karen and I enjoy this season.  We decorate a lighted tree, and set out Christmas decorations.  We exchange presents with family and friends.  We prepare special holiday meals.  We light fires in our fireplace.  We sing Christmas carols.  Many Pagan and Christian celebrations overlap in America, just like in ancient Rome in 100 CE.  

Lately, our typical weather here in Vancouver, Washington, has been 33F low and 40F high, with light rain and fog, and no snow. As for gardening, we bring many frost sensitive potted plants indoors for warmth.  

Chinese New Year comes on the 16th of February, 2018, the Year of the Dog.



Image result for chinese new year in 2018


Yule Celebrations  A hypertext notebook by Mike Garofalo.  

Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Xmas, Saturnalia, Wassail Blot, December 20th - 31st
Festival of the Fires, Feliz Navidad, Birthday of Mithras, New Year Celebrations, Santa Claus, Brumalia, Christmas Eve, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, 2nd Celebration in the NeoPagan Holy Day Annual Cycle or Wiccan Wheel of the Year.


"Reclaim Santa Claus as a Pagan Godform. Today's Santa is a folk figure with multicultural roots. He embodies characteristics of Saturn (Roman agricultural god), Cronos (Greek god, also known as Father Time), the Holly King (Celtic god of the dying year), Father Ice/Grandfather Frost (Russian winter god), Thor (Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats), Odin/Wotan (Scandinavian/Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse), Frey (Norse fertility god), and the Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year). Santa's reindeer can be viewed as forms of Herne, the Celtic Horned God. Decorate your home with Santa images that reflect His Pagan heritage. Honor the Goddess as Great Mother. Place Pagan Mother Goddess images around your home. You may also want to include one with a Sun child, such as Isis with Horus. Pagan Goddess forms traditionally linked with this time of year include Tonantzin (Native Mexican corn mother), Holda (Teutonic earth goddess of good fortune), Bona Dea (Roman women's goddess of abundance and prophecy), Ops (Roman goddess of plenty), Au Set/Isis (Egyptian/multicultural All Goddess whose worship continued in Christian times under the name Mary), Lucina/St. Lucy (Roman/Swedish goddess/saint of light), and Befana (Italian Witch who gives gifts to children at this season)."
- Selena Fox, Celebrating the Winter Solstice 




"It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind."
-  H.P. Lovecraft










Image result for grandfather frost

Are not costumes so fascinating?
The Ice King and Ice Queen from Russia.



"Before the time of Constantine the ancient world was a virtual cornucopia of different religions and cults that existed all over the Roman Empire and eastward into China and India. As a result of these competing doctrines "when Christianity was only one of several dozen foreign Eastern cults struggling for recognition in Rome, the religious dualism and dogmatic moral teaching of Mithraism set it apart from other sects, creating a stability previously unknown in Roman paganism" (Mithras in the Roman Empire). The striking parallels to Christianity in Mithraism have long been pointed out, for Mithras was said to have been: born of a virgin birth, had twelve followers or disciples, was killed and resurrected, performed miracles, and was known as mankind's savior who was called the light of the world and his virgin birth occurred on December 25. Indeed, the resemblances are so striking in that all of the Christian mysteries were known nearly five hundred years before the birth of Christ that later church fathers claimed that Satan had created all of this prior to Christ's birth so as to confuse the laity. In regard to Mithras Nabaraz wrote: 'According to Persian traditions, the god Mithras was actually incarnated into the human form of the Saviour expected by Zarathustra. Mithras was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess before the hierarchical reformation. Anahita was said to have conceived the Saviour from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan. Mithra's ascension to heaven was said to have occurred in 208 B.C., 64 years after his birth. This birth took place in a cave or grotto, where shepherds attended him and regaled him with gifts, at the winter solstice. This is based on an older myth about birth of Mithra, that his magical birth at the dawn of time was from a rock from which he formed himself using his Will. He holds in his hand a dagger and a torch. A statue from Housesteads shows Mithras being born from the rock while the twelve signs of the zodiac surround him, showing his image as a stellar god who rules the cosmos even at his birth. A serpent [is at} times shown to be coiled around…Mithras or [his] birth stone/egg. (Mithras and Mithraism).' "
- Christ, Constantine, Sol Invictus: The Unconquerable Sun By Ralph Monday











Mithras and the World Egg, His Birth Stone


We Humans are born of Egg and Sperm.

Reproducting Ourselves,
7.6 Billion Now,
Reborn, Lighting Up the World, Planting Seed Eggs
while it lasts












Yuletide Customs: Family Gatherings




Thanksgiving Day, 2012
Betty Eubanks-Yarber, R.I.P., 2017
Family Gatherings are popular at Yuletide in America, or later at Chinese New Year Week.






2015 Christmas


Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

2016 Christmas





Image result for Holly King


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Light Snow Falling








Taijiquan Thirteen Postures

"Tai Chi Chuan is based on this theory, and therefore it is smooth, continuous, and round. When it is necessary to be soft, the art is soft, and when it is necessary to be hard, the art can be hard enough to defeat any opponent.  Yin-Yang theory also determines Tai Chi fighting strategy and has led to thirteen concepts [Jings] which guide practice and fighting.  Thus, Tai Chi Chuan is also called "Thirteen Postures."  

"Chang San-Feng Tai Chi Chuan treatise states "What are the thirteen postures?  Peng (Wardoff), Lu (Rollback), Ghi (Press), An (Push), Chai (Pluck), Lie (Split), Zou (Elbow-Stroke), Kau (Shoulder-Stroke), these are the Eight TrigramsJinn Bu (Forward), Twe Bu (Backward), Dsao Gu (Beware of the Left), Yu Pan (Look to the Right), Dsung Dien (Central EQuilibrium), these are the Five Elements.  Wardoff, Rollback, Press, and Push are Chyan (Heaven), Kuen (Earth), Kann (Water), and Lii (Fire) are the four main sides.  Pluck, Split, Elbow-Stroke, and Shoulder-Stroke are Shiunn (Wind), Jenn (Thunder), Duey (Lake), and Genn (Mountain), the four diagonal corners.  Forward, Backward, Beware of the Left, Look to the Right and Central Equilibrium are Gin (Metal), Moo (Wood), Sui (Water), For (Fire), and Tu (Earth).  All together they are thirteen postures."

"The eight postures are the eight basic fighting moves of the art, and can be assigned directions according to where the opponents force is moved.  Wardoff rebounds the opponent back in the direction from which he came from.  Rollback leads him further that he intended to go in the direction he was attacking.  Split and Shoulder-Stroke lead him forward and deflect him slightly sideward.  Pluck and Elbow-Stroke can be done so as to catch the opponent just as he is starting forward, and strike or unbalance him diagonally to his rear.  Push and Press deflect the opponent and attack at right angles to his motion.  The five directions refer to stance, footwork, and fighting strategy.  They concern the way one moves around in response to the opponent's attack, and how one sets up one's own attacks."

-  Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming.  Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan.  Volume One: Tai Chi Theory and Tai Chi Jing.  By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Boston, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Academy, YMAA, 1986.  Glossary, 276 pages.  ISBN: Unknown.  This book includes a detailed explanation of the concepts of Jing, Yi, and Chi; and an outstanding discussion of the Jings (pp. 68-210) of Tai Chi Chuan.  VSCL.  Quotes from p. 9, and p. 253 (Appendix 13). 


Tai Chi Chuan Martial Power: Advanced Yang Style. By Dr. Wang, Jwing Ming. Foreword by Tsung-Hwa Jou. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, YMAA Publication Center, 3rd Edition, 1986, 1996, 2015. Index, glossary, bibliography, 274 pages. ISBN: 978-1594392948. VSCL.




Taijiquan Jings Eight Trigrams and Five Elements
Wardoff   (Peng Heaven   (Chyan)  
Rollback   (Lu) Earth   (Kuen)
Press   (Ghi) Water   (Kann)
Push   (An Fire   (Lii)
Pluck   (Chai Wind   (Shiunn)
Split   (Lie Thunder  (Jenn)
Elbow-Stroke   (Zou Lake   (Duey)
Shoulder-Stroke   (Kau Mountain (Genn) 
Forward   (Jinn Bu Metal   (Gin
Backward  (Twe Bu Wood   (Moo) 
Left   (Sou Gu Water   (Sui) 
Right   (Yu Pan Fire   (For
Center (Sung Dien Earth   (Tu



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Regain Childhood Suppleness



Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi)
Chapter 10


"While you
Cultivate the soul and embrace unity,
can you keep them from separating?
Focus your vital breath until it is supremely soft,
can you be like a baby?
Cleanse the mirror of mysteries,
can you make it free of blemish?"
- Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 10


"By patience the animal spirits can be disciplined.
By self-control one can unify the character.
By close attention to the will, compelling gentleness,
one can become like a little child.
By purifying the subconscious desires one may be without fault."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 10


"When the intelligent and animal souls are held together in one embrace, they can be kept from separating.
When one gives undivided attention to the vital breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy,
He can become as a tender babe.
When he has cleansed away the most mysterious sights of his imagination,
He can become without a flaw."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 10 


"Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a newborn child's?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from you own mind
and thus understand all things?
Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control:
this is the supreme virtue."
- Translated by Stephen Mitchell, 1988, Chapter 10

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dao De Jing, Chapter 8

Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu
Chapter 8


"The seer flows like water
Lying low along the way
Nourishing whatever comes
To be held on display
The seer keeps to simple ways
And therefore is content
When joy or sorrow manifests
To give complete assent
If you can clearly be yourself
And never rise to interfere
Everyone will cherish you
And always hold you dear"
-  Translated by Jim Clatfelder, 2000, Chapter 8


"A person with superior goodness (shan) is like water,
Water is good in benefiting (li) all beings,
Without contending (cheng) with any.
Situated in places shunned (o) by many others,
Thereby it is near (chi) Tao.
(Such a person's) dwelling is the good earth,
(His/her) mind (hsin) is the good deep water (yuan),
(His/her) associates are good kind people (jen),
(His/her) speech shows good trust (hsin),
(His/her) governing is the good order,
(His/her) projects (shih) are carried out by good talents (neng),
(His/her) activities (tung) are good in timing.
Because he does not contend (pu cheng) with any,
He commits no wrong."
-  Translated by Ellen Marie Chen, 1989, Chapter 8


"The highest good is like water.
Water give life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In daily life, be competent.
In action, be aware of the time and the season.
No fight: No blame."
-  Translated by Gai-fu Feng and Jane English, 1989, Chapter 8 


"The highest goodness that we know has water for its type,
It benefits all things, yet ever flows
To the spot which men disdain, the gutter and the plain,
And so is near the Tao, its archetype.
A residence is excellent according to its place,
A heart for eddies passion never knows,
Generosity for kindness, words for faithfulness,
A government for order, business for its gain,
And movements for their timeliness and grace.
As the man of excellence does not quarrel for his place,
There are none to find fault with him for the places which remain."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 8


"Perfect excellence is like gentle water.
Gentle water benefits all things and yet it does not struggle.
Do away with what all people hate.
Thus this is approaching Dao.
Give to what is of perfect personnel.
Stay in a perfect place,
think in a perfect way,
cooperate with perfect people,
speak perfect truth,
govern in perfect order,
work for perfect potentiality,
move when the time is perfect.
Because of non-struggle, therefore, there is no blame."
-  Translated by Tang Zi-Chang, Chapter 8


上善若水.
水善利萬物而不爭.
處衆人之所惡.
故幾於道.
居善地心善淵.
與善仁.
言善信.
正善治.
事善能.
動善時.
夫唯不爭, 故無尤.
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 8, Tao Te Ching 


 shang shan ruo shui.
 shui shan li wan wu er bu zheng.
 chu zhong ren zhi suo wu.
 gu ji yu dao.
 ju shan di xin shan yuan.
 yu shan ren.
 yan shan xin.
 zheng shan zhi.
 shi shan neng.
 dong shan shi.
 fu wei bu zheng, gu wu you.
 -  Pinyin Romanization, Chapter 8, Daodejing
  

"The best way to life is to be like water
For water benefits all things and goes against none of them
It provides for all people and even cleanses those places a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao
Live in accordance with the nature of things
Build your house on solid ground
Keep your mind still
When giving, be kind
When speaking, be truthful
When ruling, be just
When working, be one-pointed
When acting, remember, timing is everything
One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things
He moves in harmony with the present moment always knowing the truth of just what to do"
-  Translated by Johathan Star, 2001, Chapter 8 


"The highest form of goodness is like water.
Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men.
Therefore, it comes near the Tao.
In choosing your dwelling, know how to keep to  the ground.
In cultivating your mind, know how to dive in  the hidden deeps.
In dealing with others, know how to be gentle and kind.
In speaking, know how to keep your words.
In governing, know how to maintain order.
In transacting business, know how to be efficient.
In making a move, know how to choose the right  moment.
If you do not strive with others,
You will be free from blame."
-  Translated by John C. H. Wu, 1961, Chapter 8 


"El hombre de bondad superior es como el agua.
 El agua en su quietud favorece a todas las cosas,
 ocupa el lugar despreciado por los hombres,
 y así está cerca del dao.
 Su lugar es favorable;
 su corazón, sereno;
 su don, del agrado del cielo;
 su palabra, leal;
 su gobierno, en orden;
 en sus empresas, capaz;
 sus movimientos, oportunos.
 Sólo la falta de quietud
 impide la superación."
 -  Translated by Juan Ignacio Preciado, 1978, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 8  


"Heavenly Love is like water.
Water blesses all things,
It does not hurt them.
It loves the lowly place that men dislike,
Therefore it comes very near to Tao.
The Master loves to dwell upon the earth.
In his heart he loves Infinity,
In his benevolence he loves giving,
In his words he loves sincerity,
In his government he loves peace,
In his business affairs he loves ability,
In his movements he loves punctuality.
The Master, indeed, does not fight,
Therefore his Inner Life increases."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 8 


"Highest good is like water.
Because water excels in benefiting the myriad creatures
    without contending with them and settles where none would like to be,
    it comes close to the way.
In a home it is the site that matters;
In quality of mind it is depth that matters;
In an ally it is benevolence that matters;
In speech it is good faith that matters;
In government it is order that matters;
In affairs it is ability that matters;
In action it is timeliness that matters.
It is because it does not contend that it is never at fault."
-  Translated by D. C. Lau, 1963, Chapter 8  


"The highest excellence is like that of water.
 The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying,
 Without striving to the contrary, the low place which all men dislike.
 Hence its way is near to that of the Tao.
 The excellence of a residence is in the suitability of the place;
 That of the mind is in abysmal stillness;
 That of associations is in their being with the virtuous;
 That of government is in its securing good order;
 That of the conduct of affairs is in its ability; and,
 That of the initiation of any movement is in its timeliness.
 And when one with the highest excellence does not wrangle about his low position,
 No one finds fault with him."
 -  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 8


"The foremost goodness is like water.
Water is good at benefiting all living things,
even though there are arguments about how it could reside
in places that most people hate.
In that way it is very close to being like Dao.
It is good at residing in the earth; the mind sees that goodness as bottomless.
It is good at giving through nature; words express that goodness with sincerity.
It is good at showing the right course of governing.
It is good at enabling all work to be completed;
through motion goodness adjusts to the time.
Well then, there is really no reason for arguments.
Because there is nothing that is at fault."
-  Translated by Nina Correa, 2005, Chapter 8  


  

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.  These are hypertext documents, and available online under Creative Commons 4.

  
Chapter 8, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Complied by Mike Garofalo.  





The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life,” 2017, by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.

Tao: The Watercourse Way,” 1977, by Alan Watts and Al Chung-liang Huang.  Illustrated by Lee Chih-chang.  









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
Subject Index
 
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
81