Sunday, April 29, 2018

Learning to Learn

"One has to set about learning to learn as is befitting for the most important business in human life; that is, with serenity but without solemnity, with patient objectivity and without compulsive seriousness. Learning must be undertaken and is really profitable when the whole frame is held in a state where smiling can turn into laughter without interference, naturally, spontaneously."
- Mark Reese, Foreword to 'The Potent Self' by Moshe Feldenkrais


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Taijiquan Sword: Yang Style 32 Sword Form


This popular webpage includes a comprehensive bibliography, scores of links to webpages; an extensive listing of the names and name variations for each movement in English, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish; a detailed analysis of each posture and movement sequence with explanations and numbered illustrations and detailed instructions; selected quotations; comments on 20 Taijiquan sword techniques; a comprehensive media bibliography; a chart of performance times; recommendations for starting to learn this form at home one your own with instructional DVDs, books and practice methods; and, a comparison of the 32 and 55 sword forms in the Yang style. 

This is the standard, simplified, orthodox, 1957, 32 Taiji Sword Form, in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. 

32 Sword Form Pamphlet by Geoffrey Hugh Miller.  Adapted from information and graphics found on the 32 Sword Form webpage by Michael P. Garofalo.  22 pages, 9/7/2015, PDF Format.  Excellent job by Mr. Miller.  This is a handy practice tool.  

Cloud Hands Taijiquan

I am currently taking a Saturday class, led by Jill Roth, on the practice of the Tai Chi Sword.  We are learning and practicing the standard 32 sword form. 

I learned the 32 Sword Form on my own using Dr. Paul Lam's excellent instructional DVD back in 2006.  However, I have not practiced this sword form in over five years.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day in Vancouver Washington

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

10:00 am - Noon
Clark College Campus
Vancouver, Washington

I will be attending this event on Saturday.  

For the next 9 weeks, my new Taijiquan 32 Sword Form teacher will be Jill Ross.  I learned and practiced this form back in 2005; however, I have not practiced this form in the last five years.  

Our class will participate in the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day festivities at
Clark College.  

Flyer for 4/28/2018 Tai Chi and Qigong Day Event.  

Saint James Infirmary

Saint James Infirmary

I will be using the Blues Keys of A Minor:  A C D  Ef  E G A

Blues Chords of: 

Am   A C E
E7    E  G Sharp  B D
F7    F A C  E Flat  

The melody is 8 bars long, unlike many songs in the classic blues genre, where there are 12 bars. It uses a steady slow 4/4 time signature.
  The Louis Armstrong version has a tempo or pace is that of a slow walk, a funeral march, a dirge.  It can be done in a stride rhythm style with the left hand like Doug Duffey does solo below in 1991, along with his skilled extensive melodic improvisation.  

I take lessons at the Vancouver Music Academy, near Fourth Plain Blvd. and Covington St (94th Ave.)., in the unincorporated Orchards area of Northeast Vancouver, Washington.  

My piano music teacher, Howard, has me doing a finger exercise in C Key and the chords and melody for playing St. James Infirmary.  

The song I asked to work on first was  St. James Infirmary, based on old folk ballads.  The second song will be Summertime, by George Gershwin.  

Various Lyrics for Saint James Infirmary:

"Well, folks, I'm goin' down to St. James Infirmary
See my little baby there
She's stretched out on a long, white table
Well, she looks so good, so cold, so fair

I went down to the St. James Infirmary to see my baby there.
She was lyin' on a long white table, so sweet, so cool, so fair.
Went up to see the doctor, "Shes's very low" he said.
Went back to see my baby.  Great God!  She was lyin' their dead.

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
Wherever she may be
You may search this whole wide world over
But you'll never find another sweetheart like me, yeah

Take apart your bones and put 'em back together
Tell your mama that you're somebody new
Feel the breeze blowin', tell 'em all "Look out, here it comes"
Now I can say whatever I feel like to you

Then get me six craps-shootin' pallbearers
Let a chorus girl sing me a song
Put a red-hot jazz band at the top so that we can raise
Hallelujah as we go along, well

Well, folks, now that you have heard my story
Say, boy, hand me another shot of that rye
And if anyone else should ask you
Just tell 'em I've got some of those St. James Infirmary blues."

Sunday, April 08, 2018

The Forces of Green

"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. 

Friday, April 06, 2018

Daodejing, Laozi, Chapter 20

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 20

"Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.
Is there a difference between yes and no?
Is there a difference between good and evil?
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.
Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused.
Others are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak.
Others are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.
Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother."
-  Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, 1989, Chapter 20  

"Get rid of "learning" and there will be no anxiety.
How much difference is there between "yes" and "no"?
How far removed from each other are "good" and "evil"?
Yet what the people are in awe of cannot be disregarded.
I am scattered, never having been in a comfortable center.
All the people enjoy themselves, as if they are at the festival of the great sacrifice,
Or climbing the Spring Platform.
I alone remain, not yet having shown myself.
Like an infant who has not yet laughed.
Weary, like one despairing of no home to return to.
All the people enjoy extra
While I have left everything behind.
I am ignorant of the minds of others.
So dull!
While average people are clear and bright, I alone am obscure.
Average people know everything.
To me alone all seems covered.
So flat!
Like the ocean.
Blowing around!
It seems there is no place to rest.
Everybody has a goal in mind.
I alone am as ignorant as a bumpkin.
I alone differ from people.
I enjoy being nourished by the mother."
-  Translated by Charles Muller, 1891, Chapter 20  

"Cease learning, no more worries
Respectful response and scornful response
How much is the difference?
Goodness and evil
How much do they differ?
What the people fear, I cannot be unafraid
So desolate! How limitless it is!
The people are excited
As if enjoying a great feast
As if climbing up to the terrace in spring
I alone am quiet and uninvolved
Like an infant not yet smiling
So weary, like having no place to return
The people all have surplus
While I alone seem lacking
I have the heart of a fool indeed so ignorant!
Ordinary people are bright
I alone am muddled
Ordinary people are scrutinizing
I alone am obtuse
Such tranquility, like the ocean
Such high wind, as if without limits
The people all have goals
And I alone am stubborn and lowly
I alone am different from them
And value the nourishing mother"
-  Translated by Derek Linn, 2006, Chapter 20 

唯之與阿, 相去幾何.
善之與惡, 相去若何.
人之所畏, 不可不畏.
我獨怕兮其未兆, 如嬰兒之未孩.
衆人皆有餘, 而我獨若遺.
我愚人之心也哉, 沌沌兮.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 20

wei chih yü a, hsiang ch'ü chi ho.
 shan chih yü wu, hsiang ch'ü jo ho.
 jên chih so wei, pu k'o pu wei.
 huang hsi ch'i wei yang tsai.
 chung jên hsi hsi.
 ju hsiang ta lao.
 ju ch'un têng t'ai.
 wo tu p'o hsi ch'i wei chao, ju ying erh chih wei hai.
 lei lei hsi jo wu so kuei.
 chung jên chieh yu yü, erh wo tu jo yi.
 wo yü jên chih hsin yeh tsai, t'un t'un hsi.
 su jên chao chao.
 wo tu hun.
 hun su jên ch'a ch'a.
 wo tu mên mên.
 tan hsi ch'i jo hai.
 liu hsi jo wu chih.
 chung jên chieh yu yi.
 erh wo tu wan ssu pi.
 wo tu yi yü jên, erh kuei shih mu.
 -  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 20  

"Leave off fine learning! End the nuisance
Of saying yes to this and perhaps to that,
Distinctions with how little difference!
Categorical this, categorical that,
What slightest use are they!
If one man leads, another must follow,
How silly that is and how false!
Yet conventional men lead an easy life
With all their days feast days,
A constant spring visit to the Tall Tower,
While I am a simpleton, a do-nothing,
Not big enough yet to raise a hand,
Not grown enough to smile,
A homeless, worthless waif.
Men of the world have a surplus of goods,
While I am left out, owning nothing.
What a booby I must be
Not to know my way round,
What a fool!
The average man is so crisp and so confident
That I ought to be miserable
Going on and on like the sea,
Drifting nowhere.
All these people are making their mark in the world,
While I, pig-headed, awkward,
Different from the rest,
Am only a glorious infant still nursing at the breast."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 20 

"Renounce knowledge and your problems will end.
What is the difference between yes and no?
What is the difference between good and evil?
Must you fear what others fear?
Nonsense, look how far you have missed the mark!

Other people are joyous,
as though they were at a spring festival.
I alone am unconcerned and expressionless,
like an infant before it has learned to smile.

Other people have more than they need;
I alone seem to possess nothing.
I am lost and drift about with no place to go.
I am like a fool, my mind is in chaos.

Ordinary people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Ordinary people are clever;
I alone am dull.
Ordinary people seem discriminating;
I alone am muddled and confused.
I drift on the waves on the ocean,
blown at the mercy of the wind.
Other people have their goals,
I alone am dull and uncouth.

I am different from ordinary people.
I nurse from the Great Mother's breasts."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 20 

"Suprime el adoctrinamiento y no habrá preocupaciones.
¿Qué diferencia hay entre el sí y el no?
¿Qué diferencia hay entre el bien y el mal?
¡El dicho “lo que otros evitan, yo también deberé evitar”
cuán falso y superficial es!
No es posible abarcar todo el saber.
Todo el mundo se distrae y disfruta,
como cuando se presencia un gran sacrificio,
o como cuando se sube a los jardines de una torre en primavera.
Sólo yo doy cabida a la duda,
no copiando lo que otros hacen,
como un recién nacido que aún no sabe sonreír.
Como quien no sabe a dónde dirigirse,
como quien no tiene hogar.
Todo el mundo vive en la abundancia,
sólo yo parezco desprovisto.
Consideran mi mente como la de un loco
por sentir umbrías confusiones y críticas.
Todo el mundo brilla porque solo las luces buscan,
sólo yo me atrevo a transitar por las tinieblas.
Todo el mundo se conforma con su felicidad,
sólo yo me adentro en mi depresión.
Soy como quien deriva en alta mar,
voy contra la corriente sin un rumbo predestinado.
Todo el mundo es puesto en algún uso;
sólo yo soy un ermitaño intratable y aburrido.
Sólo yo soy diferente a todos los demás
porque aprecio a la Madre Naturaleza que me nutre."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 20  

"Give up learning, and you will be free from all your worries.
What is the difference between yes and no about which the rhetoricians have so much to say?
What is the difference between good and evil on which the critics never agree?
These are futilities that prevent the mind from being free.
Now freedom of mind is necessary to enter into relation with the Principle.
Without doubt, among the things which common people fear, there are things that should be feared; but not as they do, with a mind so troubled that they lose their mental equilibrium.
Neither should one permit oneself to lose equilibrium through pleasure, as happens to those who have a good meal or view the surrounding countryside in spring from the top of a tower with the accompaniment of wine, etc.).
I, the Sage, seem to be colourless and undefined; neutral as a new-born child that has not yet experienced any emotion; without design or aim.
The common people abound in varied knowledge, but I am poor having rid myself of all uselessness and seem ignorant, so much have I purified myself.
They seem full of light, I seem dull.
They seek and scrutinize, I remain concentrated in myself.
Indeterminate, like the immensity of the oceans, I float without stopping.
They are full of talent, whereas I seem limited and uncultured.
I differ thus from the common people, because I venerate and imitate the universal nourishing mother, the Principle."
-  Translated by Derek Bryce, 1999, Chapter 20 

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 over 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, and other resources for that Chapter.  Each webpage includes a Google Translate drop down menu at the top that enables you to read the webpage in over 100 languages.

Chapter 20, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Chapter Indexing for the Tao Te Ching

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

Concordance to the Tao Te Ching (2018 Project)   

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey  

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Hudson's Bar and Grill, Vancouver

Karen and I enjoyed breakfast at the Hudson's Bar and Grill restaurant in the Heathman Lodge near the Vancouver Mall this morning.  A very enjoyable meal, excellent atmosphere, and good service.  Afterwards, we walked indoors for 40 minutes at the Vancouver Mall.  

Totem Pole at the Heathman Lodge

Cherry tree in bloom

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Orchard's Park, Vancouver

I frequently walk at the nearby Orchards Community Park in unincorporated Northeast Vancouver.  Two laps on the walking path in a forested park area takes me about 45 minutes to walk at my moderate pace. 

Today, Karen and I walked for 40 minutes in Orchards Park. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Cultivating the Dao

Nine Ways of Cultivating the Tao

Cultivating Harmony
Cultivating the Spirit
Cultivating the Energy
Cultivating Right Action
Cultivating Contentment
Cultivating Simplicity
Cultivating Clarity
Cultivating Humility
Cultivating Softness"

-  Eva Wong, Being Taoist: Wisdom for Living a Balanced Life, 2015,
      pp. 105-115

How to Live a Good Life: Advice From Wise Persons