Friday, November 21, 2014

Daodejing, Laozi, Chapter 37

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 37

"The Tao in its regular course does nothing for the sake of doing it, and so there is nothing which it does not do.
If princes and kings were able to maintain it, all things would of themselves be transformed by them.
If this transformation became to me an object of desire, I would express the desire by the nameless simplicity.
Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will."  
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 37  

"The Way takes no action, but leaves nothing undone.
When you accept this
The world will flourish,
In harmony with nature.
Nature does not possess desire;
Without desire, the heart becomes quiet;
In this manner the whole world is made tranquil."
-  Interpolated by Peter Merel, 1992, Chapter 37  

"Reason always practices non-assertion, and there is nothing that remains undone.   
 If princes and kings could keep Reason, the ten thousand creatures would of themselves be reformed.
 While being reformed they might yet be anxious to stir; but I would restrain them by the simplicity of the Ineffable.
 The simplicity of the unexpressed
 Will purify the heart of lust.
 Is there no lust there will be rest,
 And all the world will thus be blest."
 -  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 37 

道常無為, 而無不為. 
侯王若能守之, 萬物將自化. 
化而欲作, 吾將鎮之以無名之樸. 
無名之樸, 夫亦將無欲. 
不欲以靜, 天下將自定. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 37

tao ch'ang wu wei, erh wu pu wei.
hou wang jo nêng shou chih, wan wu chiang tzu hua.
hua erh yü tso, wu chiang chên chih yi wu ming chih p'u.
wu ming chih p'u, fu yi chiang wu yü.
pu yü yi ching, t'ien hsia chiang tzu ting.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 37

"Tao is never active, but there is nothing it does not do.
If princes and kings could hold onto it, all things would develop by themselves.
When they develop, the desire in them would emerge,
I would restrain them with simplicity,
So simple that it does not even have a name,
In order to liberate them from desire.
Free of desire, they would be soaked in tranquillity,
And thus the world would attain purity and virtue.
Simplicity, however unimportant it may be,
Cannot be subdued even by the entire world.
If princes and kings could hold onto it,
Everything in the world, of its own accord, would pay homage.
Heaven and earth would unite to sprinkle dew, sweeter than honey, on the ground.
Without anyone ordering them to do so, people would attain harmony by themselves.
With the mission accomplished and the objectives achieved,
People would see themselves as following in nature's footsteps."
-  Translated by Chohan Chou-Wing, Chapter 37  

"The Tao eternally non-acts, and so
It does nothing and yet there is nothing left to do;
If prince or king could keep it, all would change
Of their own accord with a transformation strange.
And so transformed, should desire to change again still come to be,
I would quiet such desire by the Nameless One' s simplicity,
But the Nameless One' s simplicity is free from all desire,
So tranquilly, of their own accord, all things would still transpire."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 37 

"Way-making is really nameless.
 Were the nobles and kings able to respect this,
 All things would be able to develop along their own lines.
 Having developed along their own lines, were they to desire to depart from this,
 I would realign them
 With a nameless scarp of unworked wood.
 Realigned with this nameless scrap of unworked wood,
 They would leave off desiring.
 Is not desiring, they would achieve equilibrium,
 And all the world would be properly ordered of its own accord."
 -  Translated by Roger T. Ames and Donald L. Hall, 2003, Chapter 37   

"El Tao, por su naturaleza, no actúa,
pero nada hay que no sea hecho por él.
Si los príncipes y los reyes
pudieran adherírsele,
todos los seres evolucionarían por sí mismos.
Si al evolucionar aún persistiera el deseo codicioso,
yo los retornaría a la simplicidad sin nombre.
En la simplicidad sin nombre no existe el deseo.
Sin deseos es posible la paz
y el mundo se ordenaría por sí mismo."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 37

"Tao never does anything,
And everything gets done.
If rulers can keep to it,
The ten thousand things will changes of themselves.
Changed, things may start to stir.
Quiet them with the namelessly simple,
Which alone will bring no-desire.
No-desire: then there is peace,
And beneath-heaven will settle down of itself."
-  Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, 1985, Chapter 37

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography, indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization, and other resources for the Chapter.  


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Study All Over From All Things

"This is the realm of true reality where you forget what is on your mind and stop looking.  In a wild field, not choosing, picking up whatever comes to hand, the obvious meaning of Zen is clear in the hundred grasses.  Indeed, the green bamboo, the clusters of yellow flowers, fences, walls, tiles, and pebble us the teaching of the inanimate; rivers, birds, trees, and groves expound suffering, emptiness, and selflessness.  This is based on the one true reality, producing unconditional compassion, manifesting uncontrived, supremely wondrous power in the great jewel light of nirvana.

An ancient master said, "Meeting a companion on the Way, spending a life together, the whole task of study is done."  Another master said, "If I pick up a single leaf and go into the city, I move the whole of the mountain."  That is why one ancient adept was enlightened on hearing the sound of pebbles striking bamboo, while another was awakened on seeing peach trees in bloom.  An ancient worthy, working in the fields in his youth , was breaking up clumps of earth when he saw a big clod, which he playfully smashed with a fierce blow; as it shattered, he was suddenly greatly enlightened.  One Zen master attained enlightenment on seeing the flagpole of a teaching center from the other side of a river.  Another spoke of the staff of the spirit.  One adept illustrated Zen realization by planting a hoe in the ground; another master spoke of Zen in term of sowing the fields.  All of these instances were bringing out this indestructible true being, allowing people to visit a greatly liberated true teacher without moving a step.

Carrying out the unspoken teaching, attaining unhindered eloquence, thus they forever studied all over from all things, embracing the all-inclusive universe, detaching from both abstract and concrete definitions of buddhahood, and transcendentally realizing universal, all pervasive Zen in the midst of all activities.  Why necessarily consider holy places, teachers' abodes, or religious organizations and forms prerequisite to personal familiarity and attainment of realization?"

-  Yuan-Wu, The House of Lin-Chi, "The Five Houses of Zen," translated by Thomas Cleary, Shambhala Press, 1997, p. 58.  

"I did however used to think, you know, in the woods walking, and as a kid playing the the woods, that there was a kind of immanence there - that woods, a places of that order, had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel; that there was something peculiarly, physically present, a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God.  It evoked that."
-  Robert Creely, Robert Creely and the Genius of the American Common Place, p. 40   

"The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars."
-  Chief Dan George  

Zen Poetry


Haiku Poetry

Gardening and Spirituality

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Finding the Spring of Life

"The enduring legacy of Taijiquan is that qi grows by the practice methodology, as a plant by tending and watering.  Along the way, the qi nutured in daily practice alleviates stress related illnesses.  In the longer term, the qi buildup invigorates and strengthens the body's constitution, and serves as a natural preventive medicine that shields against chronic ailments.  The alluring promise is that the store of qi preserves the "spring of life" in old age, as espoused in the verse of the Song of Thirteen Postues.

Yi shou yan nian bu alo chun
One gains longevity and prolongs the spring of life in old age."

-  C.P. Ong, Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength, p. 156

Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength  By C. P. Ong.  Bagua Press, 2013.  366 pages.  ISBN: 978-0615874074.  VSCL.  "This book diverges from traditional exposition on Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) as it engages rather than shuns the role of muscles in elucidating the cryptic practice dictum of “using yi (mind) and not li (muscle force).” It centers on the core principle of Taiji balance—the balance of yin and yang, but presents the metaphysics of balance the way the body comprehends it, developmentally, through practice in the musculo-skeletal framework. In the process, the fog of mystique lifts, and the many abstruse concepts of Taijiquan become clear. Taijiquan training is physical at the initial phase, but the slow-motion exercise nurtures a meditative discipline of the mind. As it progresses, the soft methodology grows into one of building qi-energy, and then the practice becomes more internalized. The process fortifies the body with qi and cultivates a holistic balance of the organ systems. The book explains how the training methodology, in pursuing Taiji balance, leads to the development of a highly refined strength called neijin (inner strength). By incorporating the training of “silk-reeling energy” in Taiji balance, the practitioner develops the coiling power (chanrao jin) that underlies the magic of Taijiquan kungfu."  Dr. Ong has a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.  C.P. Ong is a 20th generation Chen Family Taijiquan disciple of both Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei. He has traveled with them, as well as with Zhu Tiancai, for a few years in their U.S. workshop tours.

"Think over carefully what the final purpose is: to lengthen life and maintain youth."
Song of 13 Postures, translated by Benjamin Lo

Thirteen Postures of Taijiquan

Cloud Hands Taijiquan

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind.  By Peter M. Wayne, Ph.D., and Mark L. Fuerst.  Shambhala Press, 2013.  240 pages.  A Harvard Health Publication. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chen T'ai Chi Ch'uan 18 Movement Form

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

Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Movement Form Webpage

List of Movements of the Chen Taijiquan 18 Movement Short Form

Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu Webpage

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

Watch Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei perform the short form he created:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yang Cheng-Fu's Taijiquan Traning Principles

"1.) Head upright to let the shen [spirit of vitality] rise to the top of the head. Don't use li [external strength], or the neck will be stiff and the ch'i [vital life energy] and blood cannot flow through. It is necessary to have a natural and lively feeling. If the spirit cannot reach the headtop, it cannot raise.

2.) Sink the chest and pluck up the back. The chest is depressed naturally inward so that the ch'i can sink to the tan-t'ien [field of elixir]. Don't expand the chest: the ch'i gets stuck there and the body becomes top-heavy. The heel will be too light and can be uprooted. Pluck up the back and the ch'i sticks to the back; depress the chest and you can pluck up the back. Then you can discharge force through the spine. You will be a peerless boxer.
3.) Sung [Relax] the waist. The waist is the commander of the whole body. If you can sung the waist, then the two legs will have power and the lower part will be firm and stable. Substantial and insubstantial change, and this is based on the turning of the waist. It is said "the source of the postures lies in the waist. If you cannot get power, seek the defect in the legs and waist."

4.) Differentiate between insubstantial and substantial. This is the first principle in T'ai Chi Ch'uan. If the weight of the whole body is resting on the right leg, then the right leg is substantial and the left leg is insubstantial, and vice versa. When you can separate substantial and insubstantial, you can turn lightly without using strength. If you cannot separate, the step is heavy and slow. The stance is not firm and can be easily thrown of balance.

5.) Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows. The shoulders will be completely relaxed and open. If you cannot relax and sink, the two shoulders will be raised up and tense. The ch'i will follow them up and the whole body cannot get power. "Drop the elbows" means the elbows go down and relax. If the elbows raise, the shoulders are not able to sink and you cannot discharge people far. The discharge will then be close to the broken force of the external schools.

6.) Use the mind instead of force. The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say, "all of this means use I [mind-intent] and not li." In practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan the whole body relaxes. Don't let one ounce of force remain in the blood vessels, bones, and ligaments to tie yourself up. Then you can be agile and able to change. You will be able to turn freely and easily. Doubting this, how can you increase your power?
The body has meridians like the ground has ditches and trenches. If not obstructed the water can flow. If the meridian is not closed, the ch'i goes through. If the whole body has hard force and it fills up the meridians, the ch'i and the blood stop and the turning is not smooth and agile. Just pull one hair and the whole body is off-balance. If you use I, and not li, then the I goes to a place in the body and the ch'i follows it. The ch'i and the blood circulate. If you do this every day and never stop, after a long time you will have nei chin [real internal strength]. The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say, "when you are extremely soft, you become extremely hard and strong." Someone who has extremely good T'ai Chi Ch'uan kung fu has arms like iron wrapped with cotton and the weight is very heavy. As for the external schools, when they use li, they reveal li. When they don't use li, they are too light and floating. There chin is external and locked together. The li of the external schools is easily led and moved, and not too be esteemed.

7.) Coordinate the upper and lower parts of the body. The T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classics say "the motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist and manifested through the fingers." Everything acts simultaneously. When the hand, waist and foot move together, the eyes follow. If one part doesn't follow, the whole body is disordered.

8.) Harmonize the internal and external. In the practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan the main thing is the shen. Therefore it is said "the spirit is the commander and the body is subordinate." If you can raise the spirit, then the movements will naturally be agile. The postures are not beyond insubstantial and substantial, opening and closing. That which is called open means not only the hands and feet are open, but the mind is also open. That which is called closed means not only the hands and feet are closed, but the mind is also closed. When you can make the inside and outside become one, then it becomes complete.

9.) Move with continuity. As to the external schools, their chin is the Latter Heaven brute chin. Therefore it is finite. There are connections and breaks. During the breaks the old force is exhausted and the new force has not yet been born. At these moments it is very easy for others to take advantage. T'ai Chi Ch'uan uses I and not li. From beginning to end it is continuous and not broken. It is circular and again resumes. It revolves and has no limits. The original Classics say it is "like a great river rolling on unceasingly." and that the circulation of the chin is "drawing silk from a cocoon " They all talk about being connected together.

10.) Move with tranquility [Seek stillness in movement]. The external schools assume jumping about is good and they use all their energy. That is why after practice everyone pants. T'ai Chi Ch'uan uses stillness to control movement. Although one moves, there is also stillness. Therefore in practicing the form, slower is better. If it is slow, the inhalation and exhalation are long and deep and the ch'i sinks to the tan-t'ien. Naturally there is no injurious practice such as engorgement of the blood vessels. The learner should be careful to comprehend it. Then you will get the real meaning."

-  By Yang Cheng-fu (1883 - 1936) as researched by Lee N. Scheele



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Building a Cold Frame in the Garden

We have a number of perennial plants that are not cold hardy.  Most are in pots setting on the front porch or back porch.  These plants needs to be protected during the winter months, e.g., bougainvillaea, ginger, succulents, cacti, etc.

We decided to build a cold frame structure to protect our tender plants.  It is located in our sunny garden and gets sunshine all day.  It is approximately 5 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 5 feet high.  I used treated lumber and used concrete around each post for stability.  The structure will be covered with plastic sheeting.  It will be filled with straw and then pavers and bricks will be placed on top of the straw.  If temperatures drop below 25F we will place a light bulb inside the structure - making it into a hot bed.

I will add more pictures as this project is completed during the upcoming week.  

"A cold frame is a protected plant bed. It has no artificial heat added. The temperature difference between the inside and outside of the frame is generally not more than 5 to 10 degrees. A mat or blanket may be placed over the frame on cold nights to conserve heat, but this increases temperature by only a few degrees. There are times, however, when a few degrees can be very important.
A cold frame is used to provide shelter for tender perennials, to "harden off" seedling plants or to start cold-tolerant plants such as pansies, cabbage or lettuce earlier than they can be started in open soil. It may also be used to overwinter summer-rooted cuttings of woody plants.
A hotbed basically is a heated cold frame. In many ways it is a miniature greenhouse, providing the same benefits with limited space at minimal expense. It is a means for extending the growing season. It is most often used to give an early start to warm-season vegetables such as tomato, pepper or melon. It may also be used to root cuttings of some woody plants.
Hotbeds and cold frames should have a southern exposure to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. To reduce the cost of heating, use a north or northwest windbreak. This may be provided by a building, bales of hay or straw, tight board fence or evergreen hedge. Bundles or bales of straw could be used on the north for temporary windbreak."
-  By Denny Shrock, Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri

Images for Cold Frames

How to Build a Cold Frame

Building and Using Hotbeds and Coldframes

The Spirit of Gardening:  Quotes, Sayings, Poems, Information.  Over 3,500 quotations arranged by over 200 topics.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

Months and Seasons: Quotes, Sayings, Poems, Information.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Northern California Garden in November

Here are some photos of our backyard gardens in November.  We harvested all of our remaining pepper plants yesterday.  Our winter vegetable crops are coming along fine: Swiss chard, lettuce, cabbages, onions, garlic, and kale.  

We have had some gentle rain the past few weeks.  The weeds and grass are quite a lush green.  Temperatures range from 50F to 65F. 

"Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed."
-  Walt Whitman


"I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, 'Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.' "
-  Jim Carrey


"Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage."  
-  Thomas Kincade


"Complexity excites the mind, and order rewards it.  In the garden, one finds both, including vanishingly small orders too complex to spot, and orders so vast the mind struggles to embrace them."
-  Diane Ackerman

"Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it."
-  Rumi
 "Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."
-  Alfred Austin

A Winter Vegetable Garden in Northern California

The Winter Vegetable Garden in Warm Climates

The Spirit of Gardening:  Quotes, Sayings, Poems, Information.  Over 3,500 quotations arranged by 200 topics.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

Months and Seasons: Quotes, Sayings, Poems, Information.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 38

Daodejing, Laozi
Chapter 38

"A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
And is therefore good.
A foolish man tries to be good,
And is therefore not good.
A truly good man does nothing,
Yet leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man is always doing,
Yet much remains to be done.
When a truly kind man does something, he leaves nothing undone.
When a just man does something, he leaves a great deal to be done.
When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds,
He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order.
Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.
Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface,
On the fruit and not the flower.
Therefore accept the one and reject the other."
-  Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, 1989, Chapter 38  

"Those who possessed in highest degree the attributes of the Tao did not seek to show them, and therefore they possessed them in fullest measure.
Those who possessed in a lower degree those attributes sought how not to lose them, and therefore they did not possess them in fullest measure.
Those who possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing with a purpose, and had no need to do anything.  
Those who possessed them in a lower degree were always doing, and had need to be so doing.
Those who possessed the highest benevolence were always seeking to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so.
Those who possessed the highest righteousness were always seeking to carry it out, and had need to be so doing.
Those who possessed the highest sense of propriety were always seeking to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared the arm and marched up to them.
Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared;
When its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared;
When benevolence was lost, righteousness appeared;
When righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared.
Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder.
Swift apprehension is only a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity.
Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower.
It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 38 

"A man of sure fitness, without making a point of his fitness,
Stays fit;
A man of unsure fitness, assuming an appearance of fitness,
Becomes unfit.
The man of sure fitness never makes an act of it
Nor considers what it may profit him;
The man of unsure fitness makes an act of it
And considers what it may profit him.
However a man with a kind heart proceed,
He forgets what it may profit him;
However a man with a just mind proceed,
He remembers what it may profit him;
However a man of conventional conduct proceed, if he be not complied with
Out goes his fist to enforce compliance.
Here is what happens:
Losing the way of life, men rely first on their fitness;
Losing fitness, they turn to kindness;
Losing kindness, they turn to justness;
Losing justness, they turn to convention.
Conventions are fealty and honesty gone to waste,
They are the entrance of disorder.
False teachers of life use flowery words
And start nonsense.
The man of stamina stays with the root
Below the tapering,
Stays with the fruit
Beyond the flowering:
He has his no and he has his yes."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 38

"The highest virtue is un-virtue, therefore it has virtue,
Inferior virtue virtue loses not, and so has none,
The highest virtue is non-action, and thereby does nothing,
Inferior virtue acts it, and exists by acting done.
The highest benevolence acts it, but thereby does nothing,
The highest righteousness acts it, and acting has thereby,
The highest propriety acts it, and then, when none respond,
It stretches forth its arm, and enforces its reply.
So, when the Tao is lost to sight, its attributes are shown,
When these are lost to sight, we find Benevolence appear,
When Benevolence is lost to sight, then Righteousness comes on,
And when Self-righteousness is lost, Propriety is here.
Now, these propriety-things are shams of loyalty and faith,
Forerunners of disorder, which soon will come to be,
Quick-wittedness is but the flimsy flower of the Tao,
And is the first beginning of man's incapacity.
With the solid dwells the solid man, not with the empty shell,
With the mature fruit he abides, but with the flower not he,
The latter he avoids, that the former his may be."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 38  

上德不德, 是以有德.
下德不失德, 是以無德. 
下德為之, 而有以為. 
上仁為之, 而無以為.
上義為之, 而有以為.   
夫禮者, 忠信之薄, 而亂之首.   

前識者, 道之華而愚之始. 
是以大丈夫處其厚, 不居其薄.
處其實, 不居其華. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38

shang tê pu tê, shih yi yu tê.
hsia tê pu shih tê, shih yi wu tê.
shang tê wu wei erh wu yi wei.
hsia tê wei chih, erh yu yi wei.
shang jên wei chih, erh wu yi wei.
shang yi wei chih, erh yu yi wei.
shang ki wei chih.
erh mo chih ying.
tsê jang pi erh jêng chih.
ku shih tao erh hou tê. 
shih tê erh hou jên.
shih jên erh hou yi shih yi.
erh hou li.
fu li chê, chung hsin chih pao, erh luan chih shou. 
ch'ien shih chê, tao chih hua erh yü chih shih.
shih yi ta chang fu ch'u ch'i hou, pu chü ch'i pao.
ch'u ch'i shih, pu chü ch'i hua.
ku ch'ü pi ch'ü tz'u.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38 

"Superior energy is non-action, hence it is energy.
Inferior energy will not resign action; hence, it is not energy.
Superior energy is actionless because motiveless.
Inferior energy acts from motive.
Superior magnanimity is active but motiveless.
Superior equity is active from motive.
Superior propriety is active; is bares its arm and asserts itself when it meets with no response.
Thus as the Tao recedes there are energies; as the energies recede there  is magnanimity; 
as magnanimity recedes there is equity; as equity recedes there is propriety.
Inasmuch as propriety is the attenuation of conscientiousness it is the origin of disorder.
The beginnings of consciousness are flower of Tao, but the commencement of delusion.
Therefore the men who are great live with that which is substantial, 
they do not abide with realities, 
they do not remain with what is showy. 
The one they discard, the other they hold."
-  Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 38 
"La virtud superior no se precia de virtuosa,
esa es su virtud.
La virtud inferior aprecia su propia virtud,
por eso no tiene virtud.
La virtud superior no actúa por intereses personales.
La virtud inferior sí actúa por intereses personales.
La bondad actúa sin requerir de motivaciones para hacerlo.
La justicia actúa, pero requiere de motivaciones para hacerlo.
El ritual actúa
y, al no hallar respuesta, la impone por la fuerza.
Así, perdido el Tao, queda la virtud.
Perdida la virtud, queda la bondad.
Perdida la bondad, queda la justicia.
Perdida la justicia, queda el ritual.
El ritual es sólo la apariencia de la fe y la lealtad,
pero es en realidad el origen de todo desorden y confusión.
La precognición es sólo una flor del Tao
y suele dar origen a la necedad.
Así, el sabio
observa lo profundo y no lo superficial.
Se atiene al fruto y no a la flor,
rechaza esto y prefiere aquello."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 38

"When conduct is of high virtue, one is unconscious of virtue, thus he can accomplish virtue.
When conduct is of low virtue, one is conscious of virtue, thus he cannot accomplish virtue.
High virtue does not contrive and has no desire for gain.
Low virtue also does not contrive but has desire for gain.
High benevolence does contrive yet it has no desire for gain.
High righteousness does contrive and also has desire for gain.
High ritual does not only contrive and desire, but is also violent:
if it finds no response at all, it resorts to fighting its way out with stretched arms.
Hence when Dao is losing, then its virtues are losing.
When virtues are losing, benevolence is encouraged.
When benevolence is losing, the righteousness is encouraged.
When righteousness is losing, then rituals are encouraged.
Rituals stand for the lack of loyalty and reliability and are the beginning of disorder.
Divination stands for the emotional performance of Dao and is the beginning of stupidity.
Therefore the superior man prefers to possess few things rather than an abundance, to have insight rather than to see superficially.
Thus he prefers insight to superficiality."
-  Translated by Tang-Zi Chang, Chapter 38

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

 A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo on a Chapter of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes at least 16 different translations or interpolations of the Chapter in English, two Spanish translations, the Chinese characters for the Chapter, a Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin Romanization of the Mandarin Chinese words for the Chapter, recommended reading lists, a detailed bibliography, indexing by key words and terms for the Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization, and other resources for the Chapter.  


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gateways to Personal Growth

Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth

"1.  Preparation: Stairway to the Soul 
2.  Discover Your Worth: Opening to Life 
3.  Reclaim Your Will: The Power to Change 
4.  Energize Your Body: A Foundation for Life 
5.  Manage Your Money: Sufficiency and Spiritual Practice 
6.  Tame Your Mind: Inner Peace and Simple Reality 
7.  Trust Your Intuition: Accessing Inner Guidance 
8.  Accept Your Emotions: The Center of the Cyclone 
9.  Face Your Fears: Living as Peaceful Warriors 
10.  Illuminate Your Shadow: Cultivating Compassion and Authenticity 
11.  Embrace Your Sexuality: Celebrating Life 
12.  Awaken Your Heart: The Healing Power of Love 
13.  Serve Your World: Completing the Circle of Life"

-  Dan Millman
   Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth,

How to Live the Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Aging Well

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Can Eating Less Slow the Aging Process?

For me, eating less and loosing 30 pounds of body weight in the last two years has significantly lowered my average morning fasting blood sugar and four month A1C readings; and, has resulted in my cardiologist reducing my blood pressure medicine dosages in half.  I feel stronger and more energetic, and I exercise in some way on a daily basis.  I sleep soundly and dream every night.  My waistline measurements have decreased from 44 inches to 40 inches.  My current goal is to reach a body weight of 230 pounds, and a waist of 38 inches, at a height of 6’6”.  Consequently, I plan to continue my efforts to eat less, but eat nutritious meals. 

I doubt I can live longer by eating less, but the likelihood of reducing the significant possible negative health effects of my Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure seem worth the effort. 

Is fasting one day a week reasonable for me?    I am currently not sure about this approach to reducing caloric intake, since I actively exercise each day.  Maybe skipping dinner twice a week might be an option.  Comments?? 

“While human calorie restriction doesn't have the same impact on life span, it does provide numerous benefits, such as a greatly lowered risk for most degenerative conditions of aging, and improved measures of health. In recent years, human studies of long-term and short-term calorie restriction have comprehensively demonstrated these benefits. Many researchers believe that the evidence to date shows the practice of CR will in fact extend the healthy human life span, but there simply isn't enough data yet to pin down the effects on life expectancy. It is plausible that they are at least as good as those resulting from exercise. If so, it could mean a difference of 5-10 years of life.”

“Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear. CR reduces metabolic rate and oxidative stress, improves insulin sensitivity, and alters neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous system function in animals. Whether prolonged CR increases life span (or improves biomarkers of aging) in humans is unknown. In experiments of nature, humans have been subjected to periods of nonvolitional partial starvation. However, the diets in almost all of these cases have been of poor quality. The absence of adequate information on the effects of good-quality, calorie-restricted diets in nonobese humans reflects the difficulties involved in conducting long-term studies in an environment so conducive to overfeeding. Such studies in free-living persons also raise ethical and methodologic issues. Future studies in nonobese humans should focus on the effects of prolonged CR on metabolic rate, on neuroendocrine adaptations, on diverse biomarkers of aging, and on predictors of chronic age-related diseases.”
-  Caloric Restriction and Aging, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition   

Calorie restriction (CR), or caloric restriction, is a dietary regimen that is based on low calorie intake. "Low" can be defined relative to the subject's previous intake before intentionally restricting calories, or relative to an average person of similar body type. Calorie restriction without malnutrition has been shown to work in a variety of species, among them yeast, fish, rodents and dogs to decelerate the biological aging process, resulting in longer maintenance of youthful health and an increase in both median and maximum lifespan.

Live Longer:  The One Anti-Aging Trick That Works by Robert Roy Britt.

Making Aging Positive by Linda P. Fried

The Longevity Diet by Lisa Waldford and Brian M. Delaney

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Essence of Chen Taijiquan

The Essence of Taijiquan.  By David Gaffney and Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim.  CreateSpace Publishing, 2012.  Interviews, bibliography, 288 pages.  ISBN: 978-1500609238.  VSCL.  

Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing.  By Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney.  Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books, 2002.  Index, charts, 224 pages.  ISBN: 1556433778.   Provides an excellent introduction to Chen style Taijiquan history and legends, outlines the major forms, discusses the philosophy and foundations of the art, and gives very good information on training methods, push hands, and weapons.  Very well written, highly informative, and a unique contribution to the field.  Essential reading for all learning the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan.  The Hand Forms (Taolu) are described on pp. 110-141.  [Sim & Gaffney 2002]  VSCL.  

Gaffney and Siaw-Voon Sim are advanced Chen Taijiquan teachers.  They studied for many years with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang in China, and with many other top Chen Taijiquan teachers.  They are very knowledgeable and highly skilled in Chen Taijiquan.  

I just started reading "The Essence of Taijiquan."  Highly informative!  Excellent information on Taijiquan training principles, methods, and progression.  Strong emphasis upon training for combat skills.  Interesting observations about everyday life in the Chen village, ancestor respect and rituals, and overcoming the repression of the Maoist Cultural Revolution.  I will report more at a later date. 

Chen T'ai Chi Ch'uan:  Forms, Bibliography, Weapons, Links, Resources

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dragon Qigong Exercises

Dragon Chi Kung features exercises that involve twisting, turning, screwing, spiraling, curving, wiggling, undulating, spinning, sinking down and rising up, swimming, circling, swinging, or twining movements are often associated with snakes, serpents and dragons.  There are many Qigong sets and specific Qigong movements that have been called "Dragon" forms, sets, or exercises.  Baguazhang martial arts feature much twisting, turning and circling; and, also include many "Dragon" sets and movements. Silk Reeling exercises in Chen Style Taijiquan include twisting, twining, circling, and screwing kinds of movements. 

    "Laozi's Dao Te Jing in the third chapter says "Empty the mind, fill the belly. Weaken the ambition, strengthen the character." So then, this is the motto for practicing China's Wudang Daoist Qigong. To study each method, each method must be understood, the energy processed must be understood. If there is one type of practice Daoist qigong method not mastered, temporarily don't practice other training methods. If one type of movement has not been mastered, concentrate on that posture, do not study or practice other postures. Do not reach too high, must empty the mind, have patience, cultivate both inside and outside, step-by-step achieve an abdomen relaxed inside and breath ascending correctly, so then cultivate the breath continuously, and you will not contract illness. When the dan tian is full and sufficient, the inner breath is unimpeded and not obstructed.  Breath and strength are sent out from the spine, following that which the mind desires. Strive for the substantial, don't let practice become lax, maintain it so it will be lasting; abide by the regulations, follow the rules; refine the breath, cultivate the body; cultivate the Mind, develop the character; thus seek emptiness and stillness, complete emptiness, and long life.
    Wudang Qigong has eighteen types of practice exercises and methods: Extreme Emptiness, Pushing the Mountain, Wild Goose Flying, Crane Bending, Supporting Heaven, Both Appear, Four Directions, Ward Off and Pull Down, Pipa, Shaking Tail Feathers, Offering Fruit, Facing the Sun, Stirring the Grass, Dragon and Tiger, Coiling Snake, Spitting a Core, Climbing a Tree, and Bowing To The Top."
-   Wudang Qigong: China's Wudang Mountain Daoist Breath Exercises.  By Yuzeng Liu, and Terri Morgan. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

To Go Walking - It is a Miracle

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see."
-   John Burroughs

"To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings - it's all a miracle.  I have adopted the technique of living life miracle to miracle."
-   Arthur Rubinstein

"If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk."
-   Raymond Inmon

Walking: Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Information.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo