Friday, August 01, 2014

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 51

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 51


"The Way produces all things.
Power nourishes them.
Matter gives them physical form.
Environment shapes their abilities.
Therefore all things respect the Way and honor power.
The Way is respected, and power is honored
without anyone's order and always naturally.
Therefore the Way produces all things,
and power nourishes them,
caring for them and developing them,
sheltering them and comforting them,
nurturing them and protecting them,
producing them but not possessing them,
helping them but not obligating them,
guiding them but not controlling them.
This is mystical power." 
-  Translated by Sanderson Beck, Chapter 51  



"A guide starts it,
virtuosity cultivates it,
Natural kinds model it
and circumstances complete it.
For this reason, among the ten-thousand natural kinds,
None fail to respect a guide and value virtuosity.
This respecting of guides
and valuing of virtuosity
is not, in general, commanded in words instead it treats self-so as constant.
Hence a guide starts it,
virtuosity cultivates it,
Acts as its elder, educates it,
shades it, poisons it,
nourishes it and returns it.
Gives rise to and not 'exist,'
Deem: act and not rely on anything.
Acts as elder and does not rule.
This would be called 'profound virtuosity.'"
-  Translated by Chad Hansen, Chapter 51  



"Tao produces them (all things);
Virtue feeds them;
All of them appear in different forms;
Each is perfect by being given power.
Therefore none of the numerous things does not honour Tao and esteem virtue.
The honouring of Tao and the esteem of virtue are done, not by command, but always of their own accord.
Therefore Tao produces them, makes them grow, nourishes them, shelters them, brings them up and protects them.
When all things come into being, Tao does not reject them.
It produces them without holding possession of them.
It acts without depending upon them, and raises them without lording it over them.
When merits are accomplished, it does not lay claim to them.
Because it does not lay claim to them, therefore it does not lose them."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 51  



道生之.
德畜之.
物形之.
勢成之. 
是以萬物莫不尊道而貴德.
道之尊.
德之貴.
夫莫之命而
常自然. 
故道生之.
德畜之.
長之育之.
亭之毒之.
養之覆之. 
生而不有.
為而不恃.
長而不宰.
是謂玄德. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 51  



tao shêng chih.
tê hsü chih.
wu hsing chih.
shih ch'êng chih.
shih yi wan wu mo pu tsun tao erh kuei tê.
tao chih tsun.
tê chih kuei.
fu mo chih ming erh ch'ang tzu jan.
ku tao shêng chih.
tê ch'u chih.
ch'ang chih yü chih.
t'ing chih tu chih.
yang chih fu chih.
shêng erh pu yu.
wei erh pu shih.
ch'ang erh pu tsai.
shih wei hsüan tê.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 51 




"Tao brings forth and Teh nourishes.
All things take up their several forms, and natural forces bring them to perfection.
Therefore all things conspire to exalt Tao and to cherish virtue.
But this regard of Tao and Teh is not in deference to any mandate.
It is unconstrained, and therefore it endures forever.
For Tao produces all things, and Teh nourishes, increases, feeds, matures, protects, and watches over them.
To produce without possessing; to work without expecting; top enlarge without usurping; this is the absolute virtue!"
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 51 




"Tao gives all things life
Te gives them fulfillment
Nature is what shapes them
Living is what brings them to completion
Every creature honours Tao and worships Te not by force but through its own living and breathing
Though Tao gives life to all things
Te is what cultivates them
Te is that magic power which raises and rears them completes and prepares them comforts and protects them
To create without owning
To give without expecting
To fill without claiming
This is the profound expression of Tao
The highest perfection of Te"
-  Translated by Jonathan Star, 2001, Chapter 51 




"El Tao engendra.
La virtud nutre.
La materia conforma.
La Energía perfecciona.
Por esto, los diez mil seres
respetan al Tao
y honran la virtud.
Este respeto al Tao y honor a la Virtud
no ha de ser impuesto por nadie, sino que es espontáneo,
por ser la propia naturaleza.
Porque el Tao los engendra,
la virtud los nutre,
los hace crecer, los perfecciona,
los conserva, los madura
y los protege.
Engendrar y criar,
Engendrar sin apropiarse,
Obrar sin pedir nada a cambio,
Guiar sin dominar,
Esta es la Gran Virtud."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 51



"The Tao gives birth to all of creation.
 The virtue of Tao in nature nurtures them,
 and their families give them their form.
 Their environment then shapes them into completion.
 That is why every creature honors the Tao and its virtue.

 No one tells them to honor the Tao and its virtue,
 it happens all by itself.
 So the Tao gives them birth,
 and its virtue cultivates them,
 cares for them,
 nurtures them,
 gives them a place of refuge and peace,
 helps them to grow and shelters them.

 It gives them life without wanting to posses them,
 and cares for them expecting nothing in return.
 It is their master, but it does not seek to dominate them.
 This is called the dark and mysterious virtue."
 -  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 51 
  




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



Taoism: A Selected Reading List



Tao Te Ching English Language Corncordance by Gerold Claser.  An excellent English language concordance providing terms, chapter and line references, and the proximal English language text.  No Chinese language characters or Wade-Giles or Pinyin Romanizations.  Based on the translation by John H. McDonald, available on the Internet in the public domain.  






Thursday, July 31, 2014

Awaken to the Deeper Principle

Transliterations by Bob O'Hearn from Paradise, California 

 
By Seng T'san
 
Satisfying the deepest longing
at the heart isn’t difficult – 
just practice letting go
of grasping and avoiding,
and recognize what remains
as your own native happiness.
When we cling to differences,
heart and mind conflict.
If you want to end the inner war,
don’t be for or against.
The argument with oneself
is the primal disease of the mind.
 
Relentless suffering.
Not awake to the deeper principle,
we persist in disturbing our natural harmony. 
Luminous spaciousness, empty and full --
that's the mind of least resistance,
the mind of carefree humility.
Habitually craving and avoiding,
we can’t allow mind’s true nature,
Clear Light, to reveal itself.
Don’t get bewildered by things;
don’t lose yourself in what changes.
Be at peace in the immaculate
transparency of all arising;
stop trying to be
a knower.
When we don’t live as Tao Itself,
boundless and non-dwelling,
we part ways with our natural happiness,
confusing ourselves with borrowed
schemes and dogmas, claims
and superstitions.
Believing the world is real, we're
ignorant of its deeper reality.
Denying the world is real, we're
blind to the selfless innocence
of all forthcoming things.
Open those eyes!
The more we think about it all,
the farther we are from the truth.
Dropping off both body and mind,
there’s nowhere we can’t go.
Returning to the heart, we’re welcomed home;
chasing appearances,we lose their source.
In one moment of unbiased clear seeing,
we can transcend both form and emptiness.
Don’t keep searching for truth;
just let go of all opinions,
and truth will find you.
For the mind surrendered,
all selfishness dissolves.
Free of doubt, fearless in love,
we can trust the universe
completely.
Nothing to gain, nothing
to lose - all is empty,
brilliant, perfect
in itself.
In the world of all-as-is,
there is no self, no non-self.
If we want to speak plainly,
the best we can point to is
"not-two." 
At the heart of surrender
there’s no separation,
nothing to add
nor subtract:
no lost nor found,
no bondage nor liberation,
no here nor there,
no this nor that -- 
the awakened awaken
to this truth, as
this truth.
The tiny is as large as the vast
when conceptual distinctions vanish.
The vast is as small as the tiny,
when mental limitations dissolve.
Being is an expression of non-being,
non-being is no different from being.
Until we understand this truth,
we won’t see anything clearly.
One is all, all is one -- 
when this becomes self-evident,
what interest in stages or categories
can occupy one's attention any longer?
Preachers become obsolete.
The mind of absolute trust is beyond
all thought, all striving, all motive
to know, to cling, or to turn away.
It is non-dwelling mind,
perfectly at home, at peace,
for within it there is no past,
no future, no present --
only what is.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Season





  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
 
Winter Spring Summer Fall
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December 






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Place is Profound Individuality

"I can only meditate when I am walking.  When I stop, I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs." 
-  Jean Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” 
-   Henry David Thoreau

"The silence of landscape conceals vast presence. Place is not simply location. A place is a profound individuality. With complete attention, landscape celebrates the liturgy of the seasons, giving itself unreservedly to the passion of the goddess. The shape of a landscape is an ancient and silent form of consciousness. Mountains are huge contemplatives. Rivers and streams offer voice; they are the tears of the earth's joy and despair. The earth is full of soul ….. Civilization has tamed place. Left to itself, the curvature of the landscape invites presence and the loyalty of stillness."  4
-   John O'Donohue, Anam Cara

"To find new things, take the path you took yesterday." 
-   John Burroughs

"Hiroshi Nose, M.D., Ph.D, a professor of sports medical sciences at Sinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, who has enrolled thousands of older Japanese citizens in an innovative, five-month-long program of brisk, interval-style walking (three minutes of fast walking followed by three minutes of slower walking, repeated 10 times).  The results have been striking.  Dr. Nose reported that "Physical fitness ― maximal aerobic power and thigh muscle strength ― increased by about 20 percent, which is sure to make you feel about 10 years younger than before training.  The walker's symptoms of lifestyle related diseases (hypertension, hyperglycemia and obesity) decreased by about 20 percent, while their depression scores dropped by half." 
-  Reported by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times Magazine, "What's the Single Best Exercise?", 2011







Monday, July 28, 2014

Vacation Trip to Newport, Oregon

We went on vacation to the Oregon coast.  We traveled from Gold's Beach to Newport.  We camped at South Beach State Park in Newport, Oregon.  Cool, mostly clear skies, and windy along the coastal region.

On the first day we drove north up Interstate 5 to Grants Pass.  Then we drove west on the Bear Mountain Coastal Route to Gold's Beach.  We stayed at Jot's Resort on the north side of the harbor at Gold's Beach.   

We joined our daughter's family, the Flinn's, for camping at South Beach in Newport.   We played each day at a different beach along the coast.  

Yesterday, we came home.  We went from Newport to Waldport, then east along the Alsea River for 40 miles to the small burg of Alsea.  Then, we drove east to Monroe through some dense rainforest like environments.  Then, we drove south on Interstate 5 for 370 miles to Red Bluff. 

I will post some pictures later.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Chapter 52

Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 52


"The beginning of the universe, when materialized, is considered to be a mother.
When a man finds the mother, he will know the children, accordingly.
Even though he knows the children, he still clings to the mother:
Therefore, although his body wanes, he never perishes.
The person who shuts his mouth and closes his doors
Will never perish.
If he opens his mouth and increases his affairs,
He will never be saved.
The person who sees the tiniest thing possesses clear vision,
The person who adheres to the weak possesses strength.
Use your light, but dim your brightness,
In this way you will not do yourself any harm.
This is called following the eternal Tao."
-  Translated by Chou-Wing Chohan, Chapter 52  



"While in the world gain possession of the Life-Spring in order that you may become a World-Mother.
When you have attained to Motherhood you will know your children.
When you know your children you will retain your Motherhood.
Then, though the body may disappear, You will not be hurt.
Close the door of the mouth,
Shut the doors of the senses,
Throughout life your body will not be fatigued.
Open your mouth,
Increase your business affairs,
Throughout life your body will not be safe.
To perceive the small is called clear vision.
To guard the weak is called strength.
Follow the Light, you will reflect its radiance.
Neglect the Inner Life, your body will meet with calamity.
This is called the eternal heritage."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 52


"The beginning of the Universe, when manifested, may be regarded as its Mother.
When a man has found the Mother, he will know the children accordingly;
Though he has known the children, he still keeps to the Mother:
Thus, however his body may decay, he will never perish.
If he shuts his mouth and closes his doors,
He can never be exhausted.
If he opens his mouth and increases his affairs,
He can never be saved.
To see the minuteness of things is called clarity of sight.
To keep to what is weak is called power.
Use your light, but dim your brightness;
Thus you will cause no harm to yourself.
This is called following the eternal Tao."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 52  



天下有始, 以為天下母. 
既得1其母, 以知其子.
既知其子, 復守其母.
沒身不殆. 
塞其兌, 閉其門, 終身不勤. 
開其兌, 濟其事, 終身不救. 
見小曰明.
守柔曰強. 
用其光.
復歸其明.
無遺身殃.
是為習常. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 52  




tian xia you shi, yi wei tian xia mu.
ji de qi mu, yi zhi qi zi.
ji zhi qi zi, fu shou qi mu. 
mo shen bu dai.
se qi dui, bi qi men, zhong shen bu qin.
kai qi dui, ji qi shi, zhong shen bu jiu.
jian xiao yue ming.
shou rou yue qiang.
yong qi guang.
fu gui qi ming. 
wu yi shen yang. 
shi wei xi chang.
-  Hanyu Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 52  



"This world must have begun in certain way;
We may thenceforth consider it the origin (mother) of our world;
Once we manage to ascertain the origin, we could [apply it] to study its offsprings;
After we learn more about the offsprings, we may reciprocally eke out our knowledge about the mother (the origin);
This is my never-ending life-long quest.
If paths and openings of one's connections [to the outside world] are blocked, he will never be aroused to do anything in life;
If paths and openings of one's connections [to the outside world] are unlocked and he is properly motivated, he will never cease [from the quest described above].
One who perceives subtleties is brilliant;
One who maintains humility is strong.
One who would use [the light of Tao] to illuminate his [potential] brilliance will thus leave behind nothing that could cause misfortune to later generations.
A person, who achieves all of the above described fulfillment, is what I called the person with embodiment of the perpetual [Te]."
-  Translated by Lee Org, Chapter 52  



“Realizing the interplay of the Tao way of life
and the virtue of nuturing all things under heaven
will introduce you to the primal mother 
The mother of the world
resting peacefully with the mother
will introduce you to her sons and daughters
The sons and daughters of the world
these children can be exhausting
and though they mean no harm
trying to follow or control them
will only bring great danger to you

To be safe
rest peacefully with the mother
gently close your eyes
and look inward
softly direct your eyes
to listen within
lightly close your mouth
raise your tongue to its roof
and quietly savor the interior
gently lift your crown
sit firm with a relaxed hold
on your bodymind
and let her love
fill you up
you will never be empty
again

remember
chasing children
brings calamity
no matter
how hard
you try
to follow
or grasp them
the whole universe is in the palm
of your hand
but without
illumination
you cannot see it
the real world is not open
to the rational mind
the ancient child asks
when you have rested sufficiently
in the arms of the primal mother
and you vision begins to clear
what occurs
it is an unexpected sense of making
that first arises within the bodymind
then you are engulfed in a benevolent flame
that outlines rather than burns
and I do not know if I am
the source or the witness
the senses play
leaping to and fro
mischievously acting against their nature
emotions of comfort and satisfaction swell
so that even the harshest rain
feels like a lover’s kiss
resting deeper
you fell as if an unseen enemy
has been vanquished
and life courses through you limbs
as the warrior’s belt collects you
the connection to the Tao source and way of life
becomes punctuated and definite
possessed of a wholly benevolent clarity
language leaves you
and a light and sensitive energy collects at your
     crown
visions cascade upon you so rapidly
that it becomes impossible
to divide or discern
what we normally regard as real
death becomes impossible
fire and force penetrate deeply
within you bodymind
and a new truth shapes you
into someone altogether different
you begin to breathe
the Tao way of life
as true respiration
within a quickening
that shines out
for all to see
spinning out of the quickening
you understand the mother’s children
you sing and dance
you paint and play
you look at the palm of your hand and
you see
you can still make mistakes
you can still be confused
you can still misstep
but you will always have the eyes of the Tao
however
should you ever see yourself as separate from it
you will cease
to see
altogether”
-  Translation and Interpretation by the Reverend Venerable John Bright-Fey, Chapter 52




"Todo cuanto existe tuvo un Origen Común.
Este Origen es la madre del Universo.
Quien conoce a la madre
conoce a los hijos.
Quien conoce a los hijos
preserva a la madre
y su vida no correrá peligro.
Quien tapa los orificios,
y cierra las puertas,
vivirá sin problemas.
Quien abre los orificios,
y aumenta sus trabajos,
vivirá su vida asediado.
Ser lúcido es ver lo ínfimo.
Guiarse por lo flexible otorga fortaleza.
Usar la luz,
retornar y restituir la Iluminación.
No abandonar la vida de uno a la calamidad.
De esta manera, se practica la eternidad."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 52


"The source of life
Is as a mother.
Be fond of both mother and children but know the mother dearer
And you outlive death.
Curb your tongue and senses
And you are beyond trouble,
Let them loose
And you are beyond help.
Discover that nothing is too small for clear vision,
Too insignificant for tender strength
Use outlook
And insight,
Use them both
And you are immune:
For you have witnessed eternity."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 52  





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



Taoism: A Selected Reading List



Tao Te Ching English Language Corncordance by Gerold Claser.  An excellent English language concordance providing terms, chapter and line references, and the proximal English language text.  No Chinese language characters or Wade-Giles or Pinyin Romanizations.  Based on the translation by John H. McDonald, available on the Internet in the public domain.  
















Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tai Chi Ball Qigong

Martial Arts, physical culture, and Qigong enthusiasts can benefit from using a medicine ball when doing exercises.  There are many routines developed by Taijiquan and Qigong masters using a medicine ball.   Qigong Ball exercisers can get into a calm mode, mellow their mood, and go with the Flow. 

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

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



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

The Magic Pearl Qigong can be a very vigorous physical culture routine if you increase the weight of the ball, lower the stances, and increase the number of repetitions of each movement.  Serious Qigong Ball enthusiasts use a very light wooden ball, move slowly, stay relaxed, sink, play.  

In addition, upper body strength and athletic fitness is also be improved by practicing longer Taijiquan Forms using weapons like the saber, sword, cane, and staff. 

Tai Chi Ball Qigong: for Health and Martial Arts.  By Yang Jwing-Ming and David Grantham.  Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, YMAA Publication Center, 2010.  Index, glossary, bibliography, appendices, 301 pages.  ISBN: 1594391998.  The best book on the subject.  Linked to the two instructional DVDs listed below.  VSCL.



Taji Ball Qigong Course.   By Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D.  Courses 1 and 2.  YMAA Publication Center, 2006.  180 minutes.  1 DVD, NTSC.  Directed by Yang Jwing-Ming and David Silver.   ASIN:B000EHT3DY.   VSCL. 
    "Deepen Your Tai Chi Training with Taiji Ball Qigong. Taiji Ball training is common practice in both external and internal martial arts in China. It can strengthen the torso, condition the muscles, and increase physical power by using the mind to lead the Qi. In Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), Taiji Ball Qigong training was once a major training tool to enhance Pushing Hands ability. However, due to its secrecy, fewer and fewer people have learned it. Today the art of Taiji Ball training is almost unknown. In Course 1, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming teaches fundamental Taiji Ball breathing techniques, and 16 basic patterns of stationary and moving Taiji Ball Circling, both Vertical and Horizontal. Breathing patterns demonstrated: Wuji breathing Yongquan breathing Laogong breathing Four Gates breathing Taiji Grand Circulation breathing Course 2 focuses on 16 basic patterns of stationary and moving Taiji Ball Rotating, both Vertical and Horizontal. Dr. Yang offers detailed instruction as students demonstrate in the classroom, accompanied by an easy-to-follow demonstration of each pattern shown in a lush outdoor setting, with beautiful classical Chinese music. Regular Qigong practice accelerates the health benefits of Taiji. You'll enjoy reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and a deeper awareness of breath and body coordination. This authoritative guide can be used with any style of Taijiquan, and it is a great way for anyone to energize the body, raise the spirit, and deepen your understanding of Qigong and Taiji. DVD features: Over 100 Chapter Markers . Narration: English and French. Multi-Language Menus and Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish. Over 1 hour of additional DVD-only content. Hidden DVD-Outtakes bloopers Segment. Interactive YMAA Product catalog with Previews of All Other YMAA Video Titles."   

 
       


Taji Ball Qigong Course.   By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Courses 3 and 4.  YMAA Publication Center, 2007.  200 minutes.  1 DVD, NTSC.   ASIN:B000NVRONM.   Featuring: Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, Ramel Rones, Aaron Damus, Kathy Yang, Ben Warner and Richard Krupp.  Directed by David Silver.  MGC.  "Deepen Your Taiji with Taiji Ball Qigong. Taiji Ball training can strengthen the torso, condition the muscles, and teach the practitioner to use the mind to lead the Qi. In Taijiquan, Taiji Ball training was once a major training tool to enhance Pushing Hands ability, but it is rarely taught in modern times. This multi-language DVD by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming contains two complete video courses, and builds upon the foundation taught in the Taiji Ball Qigong Courses 1 & 2 DVD. Dr. Yang offers you detailed instruction as you follow along with a YMAA class lesson. In Course 3, Dr Yang teaches 16 patterns of Taiji Ball Wrap-Coiling, both Vertical and Horizontal. Course 4 focuses on solo and partner applications, which help to develop coiling and neutralizing taiji skills. You will learn several Self-practice exercises: Flying Dragon Plays with the Ball. Taiji Ball Along the Edge. and 2-person Taiji Ball partner drills. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Over 100 Scene Selections. Narration: English. Multi-Language Menus and Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish. Interactive YMAA Product catalog with Previews of All Other YMAA Video Titles."   VSCL. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Returning to the Source is Serenity

"Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of things, but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready."
-  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16, Translated by Stephen Mitchell




"Even before I could speak, I remember crawling through blueberry patches in the wild meadows on our hillsides.  I quickly discovered Nature was filled with Spirit; I never saw any separation between Spirit and Nature.  Much later I discovered our culture taught there was supposed to be some kind of separation - that God, Spirit and Nature were supposed to be divided and different.  However, at my early age it seemed absolutely obvious that the church of the Earth was the greatest church of all; that the temple of the forest was the supreme temple.  When I went to the sanctuary of the mountain, I found Earth's natural altar - Great Spirit's real shrine.  Years later I discovered that this path of going into Nature, bonding deeply with it, and seeing Spirit within Nature - God, Goddess, and Great Spirit - was humanity's most ancient, most primordial path of spiritual cultivation and realization."
-  John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below


"In the assemblies of the enlightened ones there have been many cases of mastering the Way bringing forth the heart of plants and trees; this is what awakening the mind for enlightenment is like.  The fifth patriarch of Zen was once a pine-planting wayfarer; Rinzai worked on planting cedars and pines on Mount Obaku.   ...  Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment." 
-  Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master , Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31 



The Three Step Practice



"First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful. This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.”

Then go into the next moment without any agenda."
-  Pema Chodron, 2012




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Those That Touch the Sky

"Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life."
-   Krishnamurti


Trees: Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Lore


"Larger and finer meanings are read into the older legends of the plants, and the universality of certain myths is expressed in the concurrence of ideas in the  beginnings of the great religions.   One of the first figures in the leading cosmologies is a tree of life guarded by a serpent.  In the Judaic faith this was the tree in the garden of Eden; the Scandinavians made it an ash, Ygdrasil;  Christians usually specify the tree as an apple, Hindus as a soma, Persians as a homa, Cambodians as a talok; this early tree is the vine of Bacchus, the snake-entwined caduceus of Mercury, the twining creeper of the Eddas, the bohidruma of Buddha, the fig of Isaiah, the tree of Aesculapius with the serpent around his trunk." 
-   Charles M. Skinner, Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruits and Plants, 1911    



"Because they are primeval, because they outlive us, because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence.  And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky.  For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them, to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital to our own lives; or even, more specifically, some secret vital to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence."
-  Kim Taplin,  Tongues in Trees, 1989, p. 14.     






Monday, July 14, 2014

Chapters of Time

  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
 








"To these delights of a garden, age may add a further interest which can hardly be distinguished from beauty, for the mind, at least with those who have the historic instinct, is always longing to be connected with the past, and dreading for itself confinement upon the plane of time, delights in evidences of the long continuance of nations, families and institutions, in hale and vigorous old age, in long-settled peace beyond the turn of Fortune's wheel, the 'scornful dominion of accident.'  Restfulness is the prevailing note of an old garden; in this fairy world of echo and suggestion where the Present Age never comes but to commune with the Past, we feel the glamour of a Golden Age, of a state of society just and secure which has grown and blossomed as the rose."
-  Sir George Sitwell, On the Making of Gardens, 1909  


"Only the ephemeral is of lasting value."
-   Ionesco


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dancing Puts a Smile on Your Face

Here are some young, trim, and athletic ladies doing a nice dance routine - Gangnam Style.  Great exercise.  Lots of hip movement.  Lovely long hair.  "Hey, sexy lady!"  Ah, to be young and full of provocative liveliness ...





Saturday, July 12, 2014

Improve Your Health by Walking More and Walking Faster

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

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


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





 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 53

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 53


"Ah, that I were wise enough to follow the great Tao!
Administration is a great undertaking.
The great Tao is extremely simple, but the people prefer the complex ways.
While the palace is extremely well appointed, the fields may be full of tares, and the granaries may be empty.
To dress grandly, to carry sharp swords, to eat and drink excessively, and to amass great wealth,
this I call stylish theft.
That it is not Tao is certain."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 53 



"If I were possessed of the slightest knowledge, traveling on the great Way,
My only fear would be to go astray.
The great Way is quite level,
but the people are much enamored of mountain trails.
The court is thoroughly deserted,
The fields are choked with weeds,
The granaries are altogether empty.
Still there are some who wear clothes with fancy designs and brilliant colors,
sharp swords hanging at their sides,
are sated with food,
overflowing with possessions and wealth.
This is called "the brazenness of a bandit."
The brazenness of a bandit is surely not the Way!"
-  Translated by Victor H. Mair, 1990, Chapter 53   



"If, in some unexpected manner, I
As one endowed with knowledge should appear,
To walk according to the mighty Tao,
T'is only bold display that I should fear;
For plain and simple ways Great Tao suggest,
But people love cross-paths and by-ways best.
The halls and courts are splendid, but the fields
Uncultivated are, the granaries
Empty; to put on ornamented robes,
And keen-edged swords, to gorge with gluttonies,
To pile up wealth; this, robbers' pride I call,
But, of a surety, not Great Tao at all."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 53  


"If I had but little knowledge I should, in walking on a broad way,
Fear getting off the road.
Broad ways are extremely even,
But people are fond of bypaths.
The courts are exceedingly splendid,
While the fields are exceedingly weedy,
And the granaries are exceedingly empty.
Elegant clothes are worn,
Sharp weapons are carried,
Food and drinks are enjoyed beyond limit,
And wealth and treasures are accumulated in excess.
This is robbery and extravagance.
This is indeed not Tao."
-  Translated by Wing-Tsit Chan, 1963, Chapter 53   




使我介然有知.
行於大道. 
唯施是畏. 
大道甚夷而民好徑. 
朝甚除.
田甚蕪.
倉甚虛.
服文綵. 
帶利劍.
厭飲食.
財貨有餘.
是謂盜夸. 
非道也哉. 

-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 53



shih wo chieh jan yu chih.
hsing yü ta tao.
wei shih shih wei.
ta tao shên yi erh min hao ching.
chao shê ch'u. 
t'ien shên wu.
ts'ang shên hsü.
fu wên ts'ai. 
tai li chien.
yen yin shih.
ts'ai huo yu yü. 
shih wei tao k'ua.
fei tao yeh tsai.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 53




"If I had the smallest seed of wisdom,
I would walk the Great Way,
And my only fear
would be to lose my way from it.
The Great Way is very smooth and straight;
And yet the people like better the complicated paths.
The courtyard is very clean and well decorated,
(Their cities appear powerful.)
But the fields are very weedy and wild,
And the grain silo's are very empty!
(But they have lost the skill to feed themselves.)
They wear beautiful clothes,
(They value appearances over substance.)
They carry destructive weapons,
They use the tools of destruction to get their needs.)
They over fill themselves with food and drink,
(They indulge themselves in the fruits of the conquered.)
They own more riches than they can use!
(They are greedy.)
They are the messengers of lawlessness!
As for Tao (the Laws of the Universe),
what do they know about it?"
-  Translated by John Trottier, Chapter 53



"Quisiera poseer la sabiduría
para poder marchar por el Gran Camino
sin temor a desviarme.
El Gran Camino es llano y recto,
pero la gente elige los senderos tortuosos.
Cuando la corte imperial se adorna de esplendor,
los campos se llenan de malas hierbas
y los graneros quedan vacíos.
Los barones y reyes visten ropas lujosas,
Tienen mas posesiones de las que llegan a usar,
se hartan de bebida y de manjares,
Acumulan tesoros y riquezas en exceso.
Son gobernantes-ladrones.
Robar y ostentar no es seguir al Tao."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Tao Te Ching, Capítulo 53


 
 
"If I have a grain of wisdom,
I walk along the great Tao
And fear only to stray.
The great Tao is easy indeed,
But the people choose by-paths.
The court is very resplendent;
Very weedy are the fields,
And the granaries very empty.
They wear gaudy clothes,
Carry sharp swords,
Exceed in eating and drinking,
Have riches more than they can use.
Call them robber-braggarts:
They are anti-Tao indeed!"
-  Translated by Herrymoon Maurer, Chapter 53  





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



Taoism: A Selected Reading List



Tao Te Ching English Language Corncordance by Gerold Claser.  An excellent English language concordance providing terms, chapter and line references, and the proximal English language text.  No Chinese language characters or Wade-Giles or Pinyin Romanizations.  Based on the translation by John H. McDonald.