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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WHEN IT COMES TO CHI: Do only what you can do and be sure you know what you are doing! PART I

One can assemble a great deal of reference material, such as, books,photos, magazines,newspaper clippings and the like, not to mention anecdotes and testimonial galore, to bolsteer the claims of boeht distinct camps on the issue(s) of CHI, KI, GHI, PRANA, KUNDALINI,etc. etc. These camps consist,of course, of those who believe wholeheartedly,if not fanatically, in the eixistence of such forces, powers, abilities and the like and of those who disbelieve entirely in such, which is dismissed as fraudulent, undemonstrable, explainable in physical or scientific or medical terms or as sheer nonsense. Marvelous feats and deeds, often described as psychic, supernatural,mystical,or magical, have a strong appeal for people,regardless of culture,religion,education or society, and the literature of nearly all peoples is apt to be overwhelming when deeply examined. For those in martial arts, of whatever persuasion, style, school or system,especially for nearly all beginners, young or old, the path is fraught with peril for those who seek to cultivate extraordinary powers of any kind, beyond physical prowness and mental focus, and strewn with both failures and successes as well as pitfalls awaiting many.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WORKS ON TAOISM

The first books on this vast and fascinating subject(s) I undertook to examine years ago, proved to be most tiresome,dull and too scholastic 'for one who wished to know',to penetrate and perhaps to practice,because their 'philosophical' tone seldom embraced a 'psychological' method or basis, or, at the other end, were a bit too religious or historical, and also sometimes compared or blended with Confucianism & Buddhism and even Shinto, all subjects of my attention and interest over the years,at certain times in my life. Now that I am RE-LOOKING & RE-WORKING (while trying REMEMBERING) along some LINES much neglected and worn thin, I am dredging up some aspects of TAOISM, gleaned here and there,sometimes mostly related to MARTIAL ARTS that I hope to expand upon some time...if ever...

INTRINSIC ENERGY(IES)

The Human Body houses or contains what may be called a 'INTRINSIC' or an 'INNATE' ENERGY that science can only approach but not explain or control(as yet) for many reasons. But this state of affairs should not deter us from our own personal investigations and efforts along this line of 'esoteric-occult' endeavor. The MENTAL & EMOTIONAL MACHINES have an effect on this ENERGY as they also do on the BODY itself-another machine. However, unless we are aware of our body and its components/machines, and few of us are really, we cannot go much further than mere conversation and discussion,which ends up usually as very frustrating and sometimes controversial when presented to those who scoff and ridicule such 'arcane' notions,etc. Various terms ofr the ENERGY,in both EAST & WEST, have entgered our vocabularies over the years, even centuries, but are not really explanatons of these 'mysterious powers' many are so eager to possess, control, use, develop and demonstrate. Thoughts & emotions,no matter how concentrated or intense, cannot, as a rule, open the doors to this in any satisfactory manner of constant and noteworthy display that will satisfy all scoffers and skeptics and justify all the claims of their diehard enthusiasts & demonstrators. Which means that demonstrations of such energy or energies may not really demonstrate such for some interesting reasons and yet serve to convince many that they do 'prove' such to exist. NATURE(GREAT NATURE),not to be mocked, often plays tricks on MANKIND and limits his powers on all levels(physical & psychic & mental) and on all scales, from growing a garden to moon landings. Rather than list all the pro's & con's at this time, I shall let anyone reading this find their own examples and do their own basic research and study if they are so inclined to do so...but few will make much effort, preferring to relax and watch various videos purporting to be either debunk or confirm such 'energies' or to read about such in many popular magazines devoted to science and psychism,etc.

THE YIN & YANG OF TAO

These 'dual' PRINCIPLES occupy a great deal of discussion in NEW AGE CIRCLES and nearly all books on such give varied explanations and examples,ranging from the mundane to the sublime; from the simple to the complex. A lot of anxiety and stress arise from being unduly concerned with all these topics,procedures, rites & rituals, and sects & cults,etc. so much so, that one's REAL & TRUE AIM(S) are often lost sight of when pursuing the illusive DAO/TAO,which will always escape our utmost attempts to grasp or seize it. The usual example of this is WATER which one can attempt to grasp with the hands but which eludes the fist,though some moisture may remain until it evaporates, which is about all that one can 'experience' of such. The TAO/DAO eludes us most especially when we seek to grasp it with the mind or the mental faculties, the thinking apparatus, the intellectural machine......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TEH 'YIN & YANG' SCHOOL OF DAOISM

Simply put, YIN & YANG as they appear in the TAO/DAO are sources of conflict, of which most are problematic for mankind,humanity, and all their institutions, such as government, economics, religions, health, etc. The TAO is the RESOLUTION OF ALL DUALITIES, real or apparent, that the body,mind(mental) and emotions create or cofnront on various levels and on various scales. YIN & YANG,qualities of which people tend to get immersed in and which are discussed in various ways, often appearing as 'fortune-telling' considerations in elaborate schemes,are really 'scales'-measures of various things, from mental, physical, emotional states and functions to actual movements fo all kinds in the Universe, Nature, the earth and mankind. These scales can tip up or down but the TAO seeks to keep them balanced as much as possible. In every 'YIN' there is a trace of 'YANG', and in every 'YANG' there is a speck of 'YIN'. In TAI CHI CHUAN, 'THE GRAND ULTIMATE EXERCISE', one passes, bflows, 'meets and says goodbye' travels, etc. along a bumpy or smooth road,on, over,in, etc. 'YINS & YANGS'! DIAGRAMS exist that can sometimes enable one to mentally or intellectually understand this but one must actually understand, feel and sense this 'process', this 'flow' etc. which can b e easy and difficult.YIN & YANG enable and allow people to hold very contradictory and opposing feelings, ideas, and practices at the same time, and allow people to fully deceive themselves and others, and most are completely blind to this! A simple example of this are the various 'YIN' & 'YANG' suggestions others give us as well as those we give to others. Nations,governments, religions,etc. bombard us with 'yin' & 'yang' suggestions, controls,etc. over which we have little or no personal control or focus or actual decision about. We are helpless, yet strong in this process, once we can b
ecome aware of this 'alternating current' of 'YIN & YANG'-once we receive the 'DIRECT CURRENT' from the ETERNAL SOURCE. A very hard process because the 'voltage' and the 'amperage' can destroy as well as 'free' or 'enlighten' us. SO BEWARE!

LEARNING TAI CHI IN A RESTRICTED/CONFINED MANNER, PART I

The learning of TAI CHI CHUAN, as usually shown in all manuals, videos, and classes, should not be the exclusive province of those who can stand, walk, run, and move all four limbs and the trunk in various floor patterns and forms of classical systems, but the learning should allow those who cannot stand erect, move on one or both legs;who cannot run or walk or bend over,etc., to experience and do Tai Chi,which if Taoism has any validity or reliability beyond mere ceremony and theory,they can become as proficient, if not more so,than those who claim complete mastery in some way. After all,one of the highest performances in Tai Chi,which few have seen if ever, or even suspect exists,is 'THE ARMLESS MAN'-'THE LIMBLESS MAN' FORM which hopefully I can expand upon when it is appropriate to do so. However,what I am formulating is for those who have at least one arm or both and can sit up in a chair, with or without wheels! Already, some of you may suspect where this is going.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SIMPLY 'TAI CHI'

Daoism is more than a 'religious' system of varied practices,often viewed by some as derived from cultural superstitions that have been 'upgraded' into philosophical ideas which,however lofty and abstract they are outfitted, still reflect a hodge-podge of 'occult' notions and dubious practices....... However,from a martial arts perspective, that is not always appreciated, DAOISM in terms of physical practice is simply TAI CHI....a notion sure to upset many who disdain physical systems of ordinary martial arts as well as those who embrace fully the more aggressive forms of attack-defense,competitions, and external systems of vigorous effort......with or without gadgets and devices, such as, weapons. Moreover, many Daoists who do not practice TAI CHI and those who do will quibble over certain things that I will discuss eventually......the various 'schools' or 'systems' of TAI CHI CHUAN, as it is usually called by those who lok at the subject beyond a popular conception, all have their merits and special histories, along with a long, vague speculation on the ancient times when it began to be practiced. Trying to establish exact origins of TAI CHI CHUAN and to list all the 'founders' and 'contributors' requires much patience and sorting of names and terms and other things, with only exact dates and information,sometimes not fully established, can only be seen and possibly done from the 19th century to the present..... Taking the practice of all the systems and schools of Tai Chi, we can, as some have done,consider that THERE IS ONLY ONE TAI CHI CHUAN! So what is Tai Chi? Essentially, it is a moving form of meditation, a heah exercise for self defense(martial arts) and a way to experience the TAO or DAO if done consistently and frequently,with attention to certain details, such as, posture, breathing, direction, balance, etc. all of which requires some instruction by someone,somewhere, somehow, in whatever conditions one can undertake the practice... Of course, this is not the entire story since many other factors enter into this, but one can dispense if so desired with any of the doctrinal coatings and beliefs and conceptions that accompany the physical practice or motions one does....that is, remain ignorant of such, a difficult task to fulfill since the teachers and enthusiasts will attempt to give you more than you bargained for usually.... However, what I am actually saying is that DAOISM CAN BE EXPERIENCED THROUGH THE PRACTICE OF TAI CHI without the theoretical, philosophical, religious, martial arts aspects that take up the attention of most practitioners.....