Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blessed with Peaches

This peach, these peppers,
These grapes, these tomatoes
Will all soon become me.
Such a tasty fact.
I am That and That is Me.
Bless the gardens!
Bless the gardeners!
Bless the kitchens!
Bless the cooks!  
Bless the food!
-  Mike Garofalo, Pulling Onions

Jen Miller recently sent me her summary of the benefits of eating peaches.  Her lengthy and interesting article is titled: "12 Health Benefits of Peaches, According to Science (+10 Peach Recipes)."  

Peach trees and peaches have a special place in my heart.  I carefully tended the peach trees in our former orchard, but a bountiful crop was often just a gift, grace, luck. 

"In China, the peach was said to be consumed by the immortals due to its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them. The divinity Yu Huang, also called the Jade Emperor, and his mother called Xi Wangmu also known as Queen Mother of the West, ensured the gods' everlasting existence by feeding them the peaches of immortality. The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant banquet called the Pantao Hui or "The Feast of Peaches". The immortals waited six thousand years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. Ivory statues depicting Xi Wangmu's attendants often held three peaches. The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life. One example is in the peach-gathering story of Zhang Daoling, who many say is the true founder of Taoism. Elder Zhang Guo, one of the Chinese Eight Immortals, is often depicted carrying a Peach of Immortality." - Wikipedia

Peaches are native to China and introduced to Persia via the Silk Road before Christian times.

Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West, keeps the Immortals fed with the Sacred Peaches.  "No one knows Her beginning, no one knows Her end."

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices






Xi Wangmu, Braham, the Divine, the Supreme Universal Spirit, the Unmanifested and Manifested, the Absolute, the Everlasting, the Shining, Everything, Food for Life, God ...

Karen also enjoys our crop of peaches in the summer months in Red Bluff.

Ah, Such a tasty peach!!  






To get peaches in the summer, you must plant bare root peach trees in the winter.  Karen and I have planted nearly 100 trees in our orchard in Red Bluff, California.  We will miss these trees when we move to Vancouver, Washington, in April of 2017.  Someone else will enjoy them for decades.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Self-Organizing Awareness

“Proprioception is, literally, how we “sense ourselves.”  There are three main sources of input into our proprioceptive system.  One of them, kinesthesia, is the feeling of movement derived from all skeletal and muscular structures.  Kinesthesia also includes the feeling of pain, our orientations in space, the passage of time, and rhythm.  A second source, visceral feedback, consists of the miscellaneous impressions from our internal organ.  Labyrinthine or vestibular feedback?  The feeling of balance as related to our position in space is provided by the chochlea, and organ of the inner ear.  The physiological term “proprioception” refers to the ability to evaluate, and respond to stimuli sensed by the proprioceptives, actual nerves imbedded in our tissues (muscles, joints and tendons).  These cells constantly communicate with the brain, orienting the body to its movement, position, and tone.  It is our sixth sense.  The other five senses provide information about the outer world.  Proprioception provides information about the inner world, which we alone inhabit.  Physicist David Bohm used the term “proprioceptive intelligence” to describe an optimal state of self-sensing, self-correcting, and self-organizing awareness? allowing for coherent participation in life through the integral functioning of all modes of intelligence.”
- Risa Kaparo, Awakening Somatic Intelligence, 2012, p.25


"Awareness is the function of isolating "new" sensory-motor phenomena in order to learn to recognize and control them.  It is only through the exclusionary function of awareness that the involuntary is made voluntary, the unknown made known, and the never-done the doable.  Awareness serves as a probe, recruiting new material for the repertoire of voluntary consciousness.  The upshot of this is somatic learning begins by focusing awareness of the unknown.  This active functioning identifies traits of the unknown that can be associated with traits already known in one's conscious repertoire.  Through the process the unknown becomes known by the voluntary consciousness.  In a word, the unlearned becomes learned."
-  Thomas Hanna  


Body-Mind, Somaesthetics, Somatics: Quotations, Bibliography, Resources    


Monday, May 29, 2017

Crying on Memorial Day

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

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

Scores of millions of people have died in the many useless, stupid, tragic, horrible, cruel, and crushing wars of the past. Most of the men that started or fought in these destructive rampages where merely pawns in the hands of nations or dogmas or greed or dictators or petty warlords.  There were a few heroes, and many evil men, and mostly just extremely scared soldiers and civilians crying and screaming as the bombs exploded and bullets whizzed by and their loved ones and friends were torn apart and murdered.  60 million people died because of World War II.  

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

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



I served in the United States Air Force from 1969-1973.  I served because the United States forced men of my age, through "The Draft," to serve in the Vietnam War.  Penalties, social ostracism, and imprisonment were imposed on young men if they did not "serve their country" in the military.  I had been indoctrinated in my youth in Catholic Schools to hate communists and have few moral reservations about killing atheistic communists.  Again, sadly, we were merely pawns in the hands of nations or dogmas or ideology or religions or greed or dictators or petty warlords.  

When I hear women and men talking these days about how we need to fight and kill those cruel Islamist ISIS brutes in the Middle East, and that Mr. Trump is going to get "tough" and greatly increase military spending, this worries me greatly.  These war mongering nationalists very likely never gave one single hour of their life in being a soldier and/or seeing and smelling the carnage of battle.  They fret about Jidhadists 20,000 miles away, and ignore the fact that over 100,000 people are shot each year in America by Americans.    

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

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

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


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


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





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



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






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












And, in 2003, we made a "mistake" about Iraq having any weapons
of mass destruction and for having anything to do with 9/11.
American military soldiers killed over 120,000 Iraqi noncombatant civilians.  





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

Only crying on Memorial Day.


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

















Only crying on Memorial Day.


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

Memorial Day: Sorrow, Guilt, Shame, Revulsion







My Facebook Memorial Day Post on May 29, 2017:

"Every very brave and patriotic soldier knows that his enemy is also a very brave and patriotic soldier. Many patriotic soldiers and patriotic civilians, from all countries, believe some god is on their side, and that their enemy is unworthy or evil. The brave and patriotic soldiers on both sides, sworn enemies, will kill each other, and kill tenfold the number of civilians. The fighting will be hell on earth, millions will die, cities will be destroyed, famine and disease will prevail, and billions of dollars will be wasted. Each country will erect memorials and set aside days for patriotic citizens to honor their brave and patriotic soldiers. Patriotism will become a religion that few will dare to question, and doubters will be called cowards, ungrateful, and unpatriotic sinners. Such is the worldwide human condition.
We displayed a U.S. flag on our porch this Memorial Day. I am a Vietnam era veteran. While walking this morning, I noticed that 60% of my neighbors did not display a flag. I often think that they are wiser than I."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Green Man and Pan


"There lies within
A hidden glen
An altar made of stone.
Creeping vine
And moss entwine
To hide this ancient throne.
Tangled thorn
Grows thick to scorn
Those who seek to enter.
For though they strive
No man alive
Shall ever reach its center.
Known as Pan,
To some Green Man,
This glen is his sacred place.
He dons his hood
Of wildwood
To hide his leafy face.
The roving clans
That raped the lands,
Cut down his beloved trees.
And so, alas
As time did pass
The Green God fell to his knees. ..."
- Kristina Peters Moone, The Green Man

"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks."
-   Dylan Thomas, The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower



Lore, Legends, Tales, Celebrations, Springtime Symbols, Folk Stories and Plays
From the hypertext research notebooks of Mike Garofalo


This cabbage, these carrots, these potatoes,
these onions ... will soon become me.
Such a tasty fact!
- Mike Garofalo, Cuttings



Portrait of the Emperor Rudolph II as Autumn.By Arcimboldo, 1591, Held at the Museo Civico, Brescia. 




Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Smell of Spring

"Scents bring memories, and many memories bring nostalgic pleasure. We would be wise to plan for this when we plant a garden."
- Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973

"The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking. Immediately at the moment of perception, you can feel the mind going to work, sending the odor around from place to place, setting off complex repertories through the brain, polling one center after another for signs of recognition, for old memories and old connection. "
- Lewis Thomas

"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth."
- Diane Ackerman

Rhododendron's are especially prevalent in our new home town of Vancouver, Washington.  I would not call the Rhododendron plants that I have seen as having a strong fragrance, but mostly pleasing.  





Friday, May 26, 2017

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 79

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 79

"Compromise with great resentment will surely yield lingering resentment;
How can this be seen as good?
For this reason,
The sage holds the debtor's side of a contract and does not make claims upon others.
Therefore,
The man of integrity attends to his debts;
The man without integrity attends to his exactions.
The Way of heaven is impartial, yet is always with the good person."
-  Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 79 



"Give love in return for fierce hatred.
Otherwise, when the fierce hatred is forgotten,
A little of it will still remain.
And how can this end well?
Therefore the sage keeps the left half of a contract,
And does not check what the other holder has to do.
The virtuous person acts according to the contract,
The person who is not virtuous resorts to lawsuits and disputations.
The superior Tao is not biased,
It always accompanies the virtuous person."
- Translated by Chou-Wing Chohan, Chapter 79



"harmonizing great resentments and injuries
requires a soft but steady equilibrium
but even in a gentle balancing of the scales
some friction and pain will always remain
harmony can still be reached
if the sage wise man doesn't push
for complete unity
the sage wise man come to understand that flawless justice
is impossible
so he holds an even temperament instead
great knowledge comes from the left hand
holding something broken an flawed
accept the small inequities
a bodymind embracing the tao way of life
doesn't need perfection
a bodymind rejects the tao way of life
striving for perfection
remember
heaven lends its strength to those who
follow the natural laws of the universe."
-  Translated by John Bright-Fey, Chapter 79  



"Reconciliation of a great grudge
Surely will leave some ill-will.
How can this be considered as good?
Therefore, the sage holds the left-hand part of the contract and does not blame the other person.
The man with virtue is likely to keep the contract;
The man without virtue is likely to collect the tax.
The way of Heaven has no favor;
It is constantly with the good man."
-  Translated by Yi Wu, Chapter 79 



"Return love for great hatred.
Otherwise, when a great hatred is reconciled, some of it will surely remain.
How can this end in goodness?
Therefore the Sage holds to the left half of an agreement, but does not exact what the other holder ought to do.
The virtuous resort to agreement.
The virtueless resort to exaction.
The Tao of heaven shows no partiality;
It abides always with good men."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 79  



和大怨, 必有餘怨,
安可以為善?
是以聖人執左契而
不責於人.
有德司契,
無德司徹.
天道無親,
常與善人.
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 79, Tao Te Ching



he da yuan, bi you yu yuan,
an ke yi wei shan?
shi yi sheng ren zhi zuo qi
er bu ze yu ren.
you de si qi,
wu de si che.
tian dao wu qin,
chang yu shan ren.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Chapter 79, Daodejing

 



"There's little good in making peace
If resentment lingers
You'll never see an end to blame
If everyone is pointing fingers

It's better to be pointing
At the peaceful and creative place
Where you see naught but emptiness
And others say they see your face."
-  Translated by Jim Clalfelter, 2000, Chapter 79 



"You can resolve great rancor, but rancor always lingers on.
Understanding the more noble way,
a sage holds the creditor's half of contracts
and yet asks nothing of others.
Those with Integrity tend to such contracts;
those without Integrity tend to the collection of taxes.
The Way of heaven is indifferent, always abiding with people of nobility."
-  Translated by David Hinton, Chapter 79  



"When the principle of a dispute has been settled some accessory grievances always remain,
and things do not return to the state they were in before.
Therefore, the Sage never questions it, despite his right.
Keeping his half of the agreement, he does not exact the execution of what is written.
He who knows how to conduct himself after the Virtue of the Principle, lets his written agreements sleep.
He who does not know how to conduct himself thus, exacts his due.
Heaven is impartial.
If it were capable of some partiality, it would give advantage to good people.
It would overwhelm them, because they ask for nothing."
-  Translated by Derek Bryce, 1999, Chapter 79 



"El que consigue apaciguar un gran resentimiento, siempre deja subsistir algún resentimiento.
¿Esto puede considerarse un bien?
Por esto, el santo guarda la mitad izquierda de la talla, pero no reclama nada a los demás.
El que tiene la virtud no tiene interés más que por la talla,
El que no tiene la virtud not tiene interés más que por percibir lo que se le debe.
El camino del cielo ignora el favoritismo, recompensa siempre al hombre de bien."
-  Translated by Alba, 1998, Capítulo 79  



"When a bad grudge is settled,
Some enmity is bound to remain.
How can this be considered acceptable?
Therefore the Sage keeps to his side of the contract
But does not hold the other party to their promise.
He who has Virtue will honour the contract,
Whilst he who is without Virtue expects others to meet their obligations.
It is the Way of Heaven to be impartial;
It stays always with the good man."
-  Translated by Keith Seddon, Chapter 79



"When a great wound is healed,
There will still remain a scar.
Can this be a desirable state of affairs?
Therefore, the Sage, holding the left-hand tally,
Performs his part of the covenant,
But lays no claims upon others.
The virtuous attends to his duties;
The virtueless knows only to levy duties upon the people.
The Way of Heaven has no private affections,
But always accords with the good."
-  Translated by John C. H. Wu, 1961, Chapter 79 



"To harmonize great enemies
We must possess that which far surpasses enmity.
We must be able to be at peace
In order to be active in Love.
That is why the self-controlled man holds the left-hand portion of the contract, but does not insist upon the other man producing his portion.
He who is virtuous may rule by a contract,
He whose virtue is within may rule by destroying it.
Akin to Heavenly Tao is Inner Life.
A constant giver is the man who loves."
- Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 79



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 79, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Compiled and indexed 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, May 25, 2017

Temple Qigong by Grandmaster Ho'o

Nine Temple Qigong Exercises

The Temple Qigong (Chi Kung) form consists of nine exercises.  It was popularized by Grand Master Marshall Ho'o (1910-1993) of Los Angeles, California.  It is also referred to as the Nine Temple Exercises, or the Marshall Ho'o Temple Exercises.  



My webpage on Temple Qigong provides a bibliography, links, the names of the movements, and an explanation of each movement.  





Marshall Ho'o wrote a book 1968 which included an explanation with photographic illustrations of the Temple Qigong set.  The black and white photos in that book were of poor quality and the editing was unsatisfactory.  An instructional DVD also teaches this form.  



"Dr. Ho'o was instrumental in the certification of acupuncture in the State of California. He was the first Tai Chi Master to have been elected to the Black Belt Hall of Fame.  He was Dean of the Aspen Academy of Martial & Healing Arts, on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts, and taught Tai Chi and Acupressure at many educational institutions.  In 1973, he created a series for KCET public television, in Los Angeles, teaching Tai Chi.  He was a consultant to Prevention Magazine's The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies.  A Chinese American, Dr. Ho'o was America's first Tai Chi Chuan Grandmaster.  His influence is far-reaching in both the fields of healing and martial arts."
-  The Lineage, Teachers of Two Birds Tai Chi



Tai Chi Chuan  By Marshall Hoo.  Burbank, California, Ohara Publications, Inc., 1986, 1993.  111 pages.  ISBN: 0897501098.  VSCL.  The Nine Temple exercise set is briefly described in this book on pages 18-42.  Each movement is clearly illustrated by four to eight clear black and white photographs of a woman doing the form.  The Taijiquan is the Standard 24 Form in the Yang Style. 


Tai Chi Chuan: The 27 forms by Marshall Hoo .   Instructional DVD, released in 2005, by Marshall Ho'o.  Black Belt Videos, 90 minutes.  Includes the Nine Temple Qigong.   


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Is Carrying a Concealed Weapon Unsafe?

I got into a Facebook discussion with advocates of CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapons).  They offered training in gun handling and gave you what looked like a police badge to carry around.  

I asked: “Does anyone know how many gun carrying persons either shoot themselves by accident, or their children shoot themselves by accident, or shoot an innocent person through negligence or by accident; as opposed to shooting or making a citizens arrest of another person in a case of legitimate self-defense?  I'd wager that the former case far out weights the latter. Seems rather unsafe, unnecessary, and unwise to be carrying around a loaded weapon in your waistband.”

It is simply a question that requires a rational assessment of risk vs rewards/benefits.  

I am not discussing the “right to own arms or bear arms.”  I am not discussing hunters in the woods, or the few folks living in the wilderness.  

The responses to me were varied, often irrational, and off the point: get out of the country, you are irresponsible, you don't know, policemen carry guns and don’t shoot themselves, get a life, my "rights," etc.  

There are legitimate cases where a person needs to carry a concealed loaded gun based on dangerous occupations, dangerous work areas, safety, security, etc..  Hopefully, they are trained and very responsible, and, I prefer, licensed and insured. 

Many people own guns, but keep them safely locked up in their homes.  I’m a veteran and own guns, but keep them at home.  

I think the vast majority of Americans think the risks of carrying a loaded gun in their waistband or purse are far greater than the benefits or advantages.  The vast majority see no need to carry a loaded gun in their waistband or purse into the workplace, supermarket, church, school, barber shop, restaurant, gas station, hospital, library, repair shop, retail stores, a park, on a drive in the country, etc.  

Every year in America, over 100,000 people are shot with a gun.  

Most people don’t like to be around people carrying loaded weapons in public; and, rightly or wrongly, associate such concealed weapon carriers (CCW) with criminals, hot heads, loose cannons, paranoid people, bullies, misguided folks, or people with a pretentious hero complex. Many States have passed laws against non-licensed and unauthorized persons CCW.  Most of the responses to CCW Facebook books are against the idea.  The clear FACT is that the vast majority of Americans DO NOT carry a concealed weapon on their waistband or purse because they think it to be unsafe, unnecessary, and somewhat disrespectful of common social customs.    

One CCW post stated that it would be a "miscue" to get angry and make a mistake and misjudge another person and threaten them with a loaded gun or shoot them.  A "miscue"??  More like a criminal offence: brandishing a weapon, aggravated assault, criminal negligence, or manslaughter.  

Currently, some Republicans in the U.S. Congress are proposing bills to expand the ability of citizens to carry concealed weapons.  The NRA lobby, gun and bullet makers, and some citizens support this idea.  I do not.  

To drive an automobile you must meet age and many other legal requirements, be trained, pass tests, receive a valid licence, register your vehicle, purchase insurance, keep you car properly maintained, and follow all the rules and laws of the road.  I want to see the same kind of controls and requirements for carrying loaded weapons in public.  Cars and negligent drivers can injure, maim, or kill people. Guns and negligent users can injure, maim, or kill people.  Apply the same sensible social controls and regulations to both.  


Over 2,200 years ago, the sage, Lao Tzu, wrote down in the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 80, some advice on this matter.  

Though you have armor and weapons enough
Have no reason to parade them.

Though there are arms and soldiers,
There is no occasion to stage public reviews.

And, though there are weapons,
People do not carry them.

Although there are weapons and armours,
There are no occasions to display them.

There may be armour and weaponry yet they will sit collecting dust



Another perspective on this question of risk vs reward/benefit is the issue of statistics.  These statistics, if true, should make you think, and keep matters in perspective:


Monday, May 22, 2017

Developing Essential Skills in Taijiquan



"When asked what I consider the five most important skills for a beginner student in Taijiquan, I listed them as:
Fang Song – Loosen the body by relaxing the joints
Peng Jing – an outward supportive strength, the basic skill of taiji
Ding Jing – upright and straight
Chen – rooted
Chan Si Jing – Reeling Silk Skill"
- By Chen Taijiquan Master Wang Hi Jun in Tai Chi Forum



Mike Garofalo created the following webpages to discuss these important concepts and skills (Jin) and to provide links and references to additional resources on the subject:
Fan Song   Relaxed, Loose, Open, Yielding, Free, Responsive, Effortless

Jin (Chin, Jing)   Skilled use of energy, coordinated and focused engagement using muscular force, trained movement responses, skillful use of interactive powers and forces, energies, powers, skills, martial arts skills and training energy.  These are possible mind-body skills created and realized after years of dedicated training (Gong).  The overall benefits to health and well being go far beyond martial arts applications.  


Often mentioned as Taijiquan Jins (trained movement responses, energetic skills) are Wardoff (Peng), Rollback (Lu), Press (Ji), Push (An), Pull Down (Tsai) Split (Leih), Elbow (Chou), Shoulder (Kao), etc.  Sometimes, these are referred to as the Thirteen Postures or Eight Gates.  

Ding Jing   Central Equilibrium, Upright and Straight, Gravity Powers, Vertical Forces

Chen   Rooting, Grounding, Stabilizing, Sinking, Balancing

Chan Si Jing   Silk Reeling Exercises and Skills  




Sunday, May 21, 2017

One Million Page Views of Blog!!

The Cloud Hands Blog went online in 2005.  I have made 2,653 posts to this blog.

Since 2005, this blog has recorded over 1,000,000 Page Views!

Thanks to all my readers!


Also, my Green Way Research websites continue to record many webpage views each year: 

www.gardendigest.com    Statistics for the 2016 Year (Google Analytics)

Page Views   862,538
Sessions       651,036
Users           562,401


www.egreenway.com        Statistics for the 2016 Year (Google Analytics)         


Page Views   591,683
Sessions       331,906
Users           268,535

On the average, each month, these three web resources have a total of around 141,000 Page Views per month, and are distributed online each month to around 86,000 Users from all around the world.  

I figure that my websites and blog have together served up over 29,000,000 Page Views since 1999.  

Again, Thanks very much to all my readers!









Saturday, May 20, 2017

New Walking Paths


"I have two doctors, my left leg and my right."
- G. M. Trevelyan

"Walking is a spiritual practice that yields so many dividends: replenishment of the soul, connection with the natural world, problem-solving, self-esteem, health and healing, and heightened attention. Movement seems to encourage dialogue and conviviality, leading to richer conversations with soul mates, friends, and even strangers. Artists report that walking activates the imagination and opens up the creative process. It is deeply restorative. Throughout time, walking has played an enormous role in the devotional life of people from all the world's religions: prayers and mantra practice while walking, pilgrimage to sacred sites, walking the labyrinth, walking meditation, and informal spiritual practices that make the most of strolling, sauntering, or cavorting."
- Walking and Spirituality


"Improves your circulation
Shores up your bones
Leads to a longer life
Lightens mood
Can lead to weight loss
Strengthens muscles
Improves strength
Supports your joints
Improves your breath
Slows mental decline
Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
Helps you do more, longer."
– Arthritis Foundation, Walking Program, 2016

In trying to recover from pneumonia, I have been walking slowly every day.  I am now walking twice each day for 30 minutes each time.  

I've been walking at nearby Fuller Park in Vancouver, WA.  The park has a paved walking path around the park, about .4 miles in length.  The views along the path are spectacular.  This, indeed, is the "Evergreen State."  The photographs were taken at Fuller Park.

Walking: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Facts, Lore.  Complied by Mike Garofalo.











Friday, May 19, 2017

Dao De Jing, Chapter 80

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 80


"You want a small state with a minimal population.

Have ready to hand weaponry for a sufficient number of military units
Yet have no recourse to use them.

Make sure that the common people take dying seriously
So that they have no taste for venturing far from home.

Though you have ships and chariots enough
Have no reason to man them;
Though you have armor and weapons enough
Have no reason to parade them.

Bring the common people back to keeping their records with knotted stong,
To relishing their food,
To finding beauty in their garments,
To enjoying their customs,
An to finding security in their homes.

Although your neighboring states are within eyesight
And the sounds of their dogs and cocks are within earshot,
Your people will grow old and die without having anything to do with them."
-  Translated by Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall, 2003, Chapter 80




"Independence
Tu Li


A state should be small in size and population.
It should teach the people not to use arms,
Even though arms may be found in abundance.
It should teach the people
To view death as a serious matter,
And not to move to a far-away place.
Though there are boats and carriages,
There is no occasion to use them;
Though there are arms and soldiers,
There is no occasion to stage public reviews.
The people are taught -
To resume the practice of tying knots;
To enjoy their daily food;
To wear beautiful clothes;
To enhance the comfort of their homes;
And to take delight in their social customs.
Neighbor states may be within sight of one another,
And the barking of dogs and the crowing of cocks
In one of them may be heard in the others,
Yet the people to the end of their days,
Do not maintain intercourse with their neighbors."
-  Translated by Henry Wei, 1982, Chapter 80



"The wise person reduces the importance of governments
And simplifies the modes of living,
So that people use fewer tools and wares
And treasure simplicity in their lives,
So that, though there are vehicles,
People do not take them.
And, though there are weapons,
People do not carry them.
And, though there are records,
Tying knots will serve the record-keeping purpose.
Thus, the highest political achievement is one
In which people savor their food,
Like the beauty of their clothes,
Appreciate their safe and peaceful homes,
Enjoy their social customs;
And in which roosters and dogs
Can be heard between countries;
But people, all their lives,
Have no need to go across the borders."
-  Translated by Liu Qixuan, Chapter 80   


"A small state with few people.
Let the implements (ch'ih) for ten and hundred men be unused,
Let the people fear death such that they do not move far away.
Although there are boats and carriages,
There are no places to ride them to.
Although there are weapons and armours,
There are no occasions to display them.
Let the people again tie ropes and use them (as memory aids).
Let them enjoy their food,
Consider their clothing beautiful,
Be contented with their dwellings,
And happy with their customs.
The neighbouring states overlooking one another,
The dogs' barkings and cocks' crowings are heard from other states,
Yet till they are old and dying the people do not visit one another."
-  Translated by Ellen M. Chen, Chapter 80 



小國寡民.
使有什伯之器而不用.
使民重死而不遠徙.
雖有舟輿無所乘之.
雖有甲兵無所陳之.
使民復結繩而用之.
甘其食.
美其服安其居.
樂其俗.
鄰國相望.
雞犬之聲相聞.
民至老死不相往來.  
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 80, Tao Te Ching



hsiao kuo kua min.
shih yu shih po chih ch'i erh pu yung.
shih min chung ssu erh pu yüan hsi.
sui yu chou yü wu so ch'êng chih.
sui yu chia ping wu so ch'ên chih.
shih jên fu chieh shêng erh yung chih.
kan ch'i shih.
mei ch'i fu an ch'i chü.
lo ch'i su.
lin kuo hsiang wang.
chi ch'üan chih shêng hsiang wên.
min chih lao ssu pu hsiang wang lai.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Chapter 80, Tao Te Ching



"The ideal state is a small intimate community.
Where all the necessities of life are present in abundance.
There everyone is satisfied to live and die without looking around for greener pastures.
Even if they have cats or boats, they do not use them for traveling abroad.
Even if they have police and fortifications, these are never put to use.
Business transactions are simple enough to be calculated on one's fingers rather  than requiring complicated bookkeeping.
The people are satisfied with their food,
Contented with their clothing,
Comfortable in their dwellings,
And happy with their customs.
Even though neighboring communities are within sight,
And the crowing of the neighbor's cocks and barking of the neighbor's dogs are within hearing,
They grow old and die without ever troubling themselves to go outside of their own communities."
-  Translated by Archie J. Bahm, Chapter 80  



"Let every state be simple like a small village with few people
There may be tools to speed things up ten or a hundred times yet no one will care to use them
There may be boats and carriages yet they will remain without riders
There may be armour and weaponry yet they will sit collecting dust
The people must take death seriously and not waste their lives in distant lands
Let them return to the knotting of cord
Let them enjoy their food and care for their clothing
Let them be content in their homes and joyful in the way they live
Neigbouring villages are within sight of each other
Roosters and dogs can be heard in the distance
Should a man grow old and die without ever leaving his village let him feel as though there was nothing he missed "
-  Translated by Jonathan Star, 2001, Chapter 80 




"Imaginemos que gobierno un pequeño país de pocos habitantes.
Mis súbditos tendrían embarcaciones que no utilizarían.l
Les enseñaría a temer a la muerte y a no alejarse.
Por muchos carruajes que hubiese, no viajarían en ellos.
Aunque tuviesen armas y corazas, no las mostrarían.
Les llevaría de nuevo al uso de cuerdas con nudos (en lugar de escritura).

Encontrarían sabroso su alimento;
Ricos sus vestidos;
Cómodas sus casas;
Felicidad en sus costumbres.

Aunque los reinos vecinos se hallasen tan cerca
Que pudiesen oír el ladrido de los perros y el canto de los gallos,
Los hombres de este pequeño reino no desearían nunca abandonarlo."
-  Translated by Caridad Diaz Faes, 1970, Capítulo 80  




"Suppose I had a country small,
With people few, and I had there
Some officers of ten,
Or of a hundred men,
I'd not employ those men at all;
Though death were feared, unfrightened then,
My people would not emigrate elsewhere.
They might have carriages and boats,
But not in them to ride away,
They might have warlike arms,
But never war s alarms
Would call them with their hateful notes;
They d even forget how writing charms,
And knotted cords again they would display.
Then would they relish homely food,
Their plain clothes would seem elegant,
Though dwellings might be poor,
Content would guard the door,
And simple habits, plain and good, Far better than they knew before,
A sense of fresh enjoyment would implant.
A neighboring state might be in sight,
The voice of fowls and dogs be heard,
But life like that would make
My people such joy take
In their own state, that till the night
Of age should their enjoyment slake,
And they should die, they'd not exchange a word."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 80  


"If I had a small kingdom and but ten or a hundred men of ability, I would not administrate with them.
I would teach the people to look upon death as a grievous thing, and then they would not go abroad to meet it.
Though they had boats and carriages, yet they would not go away in them.
Though they had armour, yet they would never have occasion to wear it.
The people would return to the use of the quipu.
They should find their coarse food sweet, think their plain clothes grand, regard their homes as places of rest, and take delight in their own simple pleasures.
Though the neighbouring state could be seen by us, and the crowing of the cocks and the barking of the dogs could be heard,
Yet my people would grow old, and die before ever feeling the need of having intercourse with it."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 80



"A tiny nation, few people
Suppose the presence of ten or one hundred times too many tools
    Yet they are unused
Suppose people heavy with death
    Yet lack moving far.
Even present with boats and carriages
    There is an absence of a place to be riding
Even present with armor and weapons
    There is an absence of a place to be displaying them.
Suppose men return to knotting cords and using them
    What is eaten is sweet
    What serves as clothing is beautiful
    What is a home is peaceful
    What is common is joyful.

Nearby nations overlook each other
    Crowing, barking sounds are heard by each other
People reach old age and die
    Without coming and going between each other."
-  Translated by David Lindauer, Chapter 80



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 80, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  Compiled and indexed 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