fighting the ego is a great battle
that monster from the underworld
every minute you must be vigilant
and ready to take up sword
but does the creature really exist
have the sightings been verified
are they any more than your thoughts
are you not wrestling with a phantom
where is the ego
– Billy Doyle, “The Mirage of Separation”

Today we continue with Billy Doyle Week. As you can deduce from the excerpt above from his “Mirage of Separation,” we are constantly fighting a losing battle with an opponent that doesn’t exist. And, so does anyone know where the ego is? Has anyone ever found an actual ego?

Stay tuned for Part3 of Billy Doyle’s Yoga/Meditation, the all important breath awareness.

Today’s Video: “Breath Awarenesss – Guided Meditation – Billy Doyle (Part 3)”


all volition ensnares you
deeper into the black pit of illusion
thinking you’ve achieved something
your compassion for the world is admirable
but where is the compassion for the Self
smothered beneath a mountain of concepts
it can barely breathe
see through the illusion
of being a separate entity
of being I am this, I am that
and let the Self breathe forth
– Billy Doyle, “The Mirage of Separation”

Today we continue with Billy Doyle Week with more quote from “Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition” and Part II of his guided meditation/yoga video

“Jean (Jean Klein) compared the body to a musical instrument; by listening we come to tune it, we come to harmonisation. This expanded body has the flavour of its source: light, and acts from this light.

‘In listening to the body in this way, a choiceless welcoming, we are no longer an accomplice to the patterns and contractions. We have, as it were, stood back and let the body be the body. We are no longer fueling the reactions. There is a feeling of space between awareness and what we’re aware of, a feeling of detachment—but without trying to be detached.”
– Billy Doyle, “Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition: the art of listening”

Comment: If I were to select the most important aspect of any bodywork especially within the internal arts, I would say that it is definitely choiceless listening.

Today’s Video: “Opening of the Senses – Guided Meditation – Billy Doyle (Part 2)”


“the scent of the rose
is not in the flower
it is in you
the sound of the Beethoven quartet
is not in the instruments
it is in you
the taste of the mango
is not in your mouth
it is in you
the poem
is not on the page
it is in you
the sunset
is not in the sky
it is in you”
– Billy Doyle, from “The Mirage of Separation”

The month is nearly ended on this Memorial Day, and today we are starting Billy Doyle Week. Who is Billy Doyle? Billy Doyle is an unique yoga instructor and spiritual teacher. Both of these facets are a result of being a disciple of Jean Klein who introduced Doyle to both Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition and Advaita Vedanta. Although Doyle studied with many teachers in a wide variety of approaches including Eutony, Feldencrais, Alexander Technique and Craniosacral Therapy, it was with Jean Klein that he worked closely for many years attending his seminars in England, Holland, France and the United States.

Billy has published a book which presents these teachings: “Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition: the art of listening.” He’s also the author of “The Mirage of Separation” and “Ocean of Silence,” collections of poems and prose written from a non-dualistic perspective, covering subjects that include identification, desire, time, the spiritual path and silence.

He holds regular weekly yoga classes online as well as a monthly Q&A Dialogue (Satsang).

“There may be certain parts of our body that we don’t feel, that are unconscious; we will need to return to these parts often until they begin to speak to us. We can use visualisation or simply touch these areas with our hands to bring more life. When we visualise part of the body, it involves a certain abstraction which involves memory. But to feel is a direct perception with no thinking involved. However, if we first visualise the body, or parts of it, it may help us to subsequently feel the body as sensation, as an energy field.” – Doyle, Billy. Yoga in the Kashmir Tradition:

Today’s Video: “Relaxation and the Energetic Body – Guided Meditation – Billy Doyle (Part 1)”


Circular in its straightness
straight in its circling,
moving in circles,
issuing in lines,
the mind leads,
the energy follows.

Today we closed out the week and our feature on Chen Tai Chi with one of Chen’s most respected and reputed master of all time, Chen Fake (Fa-Kay). Chen was born in Chenjiagou when his father was in his sixties, and both of his older brothers had already passed away. Thus, he lived a relatively privileged life. During his youth, Chen frequently fell ill and was occasionally confined to bed. Due to his health issues, he did not engage in the practice of his family’s martial art.

However, everything changed when Chen was fourteen and his father went to Shandong province to teach martial arts and entrusted the care of his family to relatives. One evening, Chen Fake overheard his relatives criticizing his weakness and suggesting that he had failed to live up to the expectations of his ancestors.This greatly disturbed Chen. He yearned to prove his relatives wrong but feared it might be too late. In comparison to others within Chen village, he considered himself lacking in martial arts ability. This question haunted him until he realized that by dedicating himself to the practice of his family’s art, he could enhance his skills. Over the next three years, while others rested or relaxed after their daily chores, Chen diligently practiced the various forms of Chen’s family tai chi chuan. Whenever he had questions, he sought help from everyone around him. His unwavering determination made him one of the most accomplished practitioners in Chen village. When his father returned for a visit, he was pleasantly surprised with Fake’s achievements.

Chen Fake not only gained an unparalleled martial arts reputation but earned the public’s respect for his morality and integrity. According to his student, Hong Junsheng, Chen Fake never criticized other martial artists either publicly or privately and would admonish his students for criticizing others as well. This quote shows the kind of person Chen Fake was.

“The pillar of socialization is loyalty and the method of dealing with people should be based on modesty and cooperation. Loyalty fosters trust; modesty encourages progress; and cooperation befriends people. Modesty and cooperation should be based on loyalty not on hypocrisy.” – Chen Fake

Today’s Video: “https://youtu.be/VKg9zRkJ_7k”


The body fully extended,
the energy cannot return;
the energy fully extended,
the body cannot return.
Neither is correct.
The body and energy balanced,
Heaven and Earth are in harmony.

Today we feature the last of the four Chen Dragons or Buddha’s Warrior Attendants, Grandmaster Zhu Tiancai. Grandmaster Zhu is the oldest among the Chen Style Tai Chi (Taiji) Four Warriors. Grandmaster Zhu is well respected worldwide. He has retired from regular teaching at home for a few years; however, he is still busy with visitors, media, and projects as well as traveling domestically and internationally to give lectures and workshops

“After practicing for two months, we (the five disciples) through our practice and the explanation of our master (Chen Zhaokui) had really understood how the New Form (83 Postures) took shape and was created…The key to flexibility of the hands is the wrist. The key to turning is the shoulder. Big turning depends on flexibility of the hands. The key is wrists. Wrists and shoulders must be flexible.”

You can see the flexibility, Grandmaster Zhu is speaking of in the second part of today’s video where he demonstrates the “Chan Si Gong” or Silk Reeling.

Today’s Video:Visible Qi – Master Zhu Tiancai


Oh lovely flower
as I gaze upon you
though never seen before
you are but a memory
crossing before my mind.
If I could be present,
I would know you
as you truly are,
much more than a memory
of thousands of flowers
gazed upon
but never really seen.

Today we feature another of the four Buddha’s Warrior Attendants of Chen Tai Chi, Wang Xian. He is a 19th generation lineage holder of the Chen family style of Taijiquan and an outstanding qinna and tui shou practitioner. He is also a disciple of Chen Zhao Kui and a professor at Henan Teacher University and LuoYang Teacher University.

“The external arts, which was the first Chinese Kung Gu, start with hardness. The internal arts start with softness. The goal is to combine both for success. The goal of each is that softness and hardness will combine for success.” – Wang Xian

Today’s Video: “Grand Master Wang Xi’An Taijiquan applications in Wenxian (Chenjiagou).”


is not an object,
neither outside nor inside,
free from time and space,
the Great Vastness
in which all appears,
never perceived.
Perceiving cannot perceive itself.
The eye cannot see itself.
Only the Ultimate knows itself
by itself.

Today we feature another of the four Buddha’s Warrior Attendants a.k.a. the four Chen Dragons, Chen Xiaowang. Chen who is now teaching in Australia, was born and raised in Chen Family Village (Chenjiagou) and is the 19th generation lineage holder of Chen-style taijiquan. His grandfather was the famous taijiquan grandmaster Chen Fake.

Chen Xiaowang began his study of Chen-style taijiquan in 1952 at the age of seven under his father, Chen Zhaoxu, and later with his uncles Chen Zhaopi and Chen Zhaokui. He was awarded the Chinese National Wushu Tournament Taijiquan gold medal three consecutive years beginning in 1980. In 1985, he was crowned Taijiquan Champion at the First International Wushu Competition in Xi’an.

Chen created two condensed forms of the laojia and xinjia forms; a 38-posture form and a 19-posture form. He told inside Kung-Fu Magazine in 1991, “I have tried to do away with all the repetitions and simplify the exceedingly difficult moves without destroying the characteristics of Chen Style Taijiquan, with special emphasis to attack/defense and the chansi technique.”

“The core (of tai chi chuan) is the Dan Tian. How to form the core? It is formed through your whole body movement. Make all your body parts move accurately. Your chi will then move freely through your Dan Tian.” – Chen Xiaowang

Watch the video below to learn how to properly use the eight tai chi energies: peng, lu. jik an, cai, lie, zhou, kow.

Today’s Video:”Chen Xiaowang showing eight taijiquan energies”


He who knows himself
as awareness, not the psyche,
is knowingly aware.
He is present, perceiving,
a living witness,
both audience and actor alike.
One who doesn’t know himself
is not aware, not present,
conceptualizing, not perceiving;
lost in the sensation,
he has forgotten himself.

Today we take a look at Chen Style Tai Chi, and no one is better suited to start us off than Chen Zhenglei, one of the four Buddha’s Warrior Attendants or sometimes known as the four Chen Dragons, the outstanding exponents of the 19th generation in Chenjiagou (Chen Village), Wen County, Henan Province.

Chen Zhenglei was born and raised in Chenjiagou. He began studying taijiquaj in 1957 at age of 8 with his uncle Chen Zhaopi, focusing not just in hands form and weapons but also Taiji theories. In 1972, after Chen Zhaopi death, Chen Zhenglei continued the studies from his uncles, Chen Zhaokui, another famous Taijiquan teacher who was the son of Chen Fake.

Chen Zhenglei specializes in the theories and skills of Taijiquan and push-hands, directly by his grandfather’s brother Chen Fake.

“If you practice for one day you get one day’s benefit, with daily practice you can steadily improve. If you don’t practice for one day you lose ten days of development. So practice everyday without stopping! Western students must understand this clearly. Practice everyday!”
– Chen Zhenglei, 19th generation of the Chen Family

Today’s Video: “Chen Zhenglei – The Belt and Road China Tai Chi Culture World Tour”


always present, immediate.
Conceptualization is memory;
it’s mostly where we live,
conceptualizing through life,
functioning through memory,
not allowing perception
to fully unfold,
never welcoming our surroundings.
Cut off from the universe,
we live in isolation,
the root of all suffering.

We ended last week with the legendary foundary of Tai Chi, Zhang Sanfeng. However, he may not have been the actual founder for he had a teacher. Xu Xuanping was a Taoist hermit and poet of the Chinese Tang dynasty. He was said to have lived south of the Yangtze River in Huizhou. His legend relates that he left the city of Yangshan to become a recluse and build a home in Nan Mountain.

According to some schools of T’ai chi ch’uan, Xu is considered to be the Tao Yin teacher of Zhang Sanfeng, whom they say later created the martial art of T’ai chi ch’uan. Other schools hold that Xu himself was a T’ai chi ch’uan practitioner, and that the style Xu Xuanping passed down was simply called “37”, because it consisted of 37 named styles or techniques. During this time it was also known as Chang Quan or Long Boxing as a reference to the flowing power of the Yangtze River (which is also known as the Chang Jiang or Long River).

When Xu carried firewood down from his mountain home to sell in the town below, he would sing this verse.

“At dawn I carry the firewood to sell
To buy wine today, at dusk I will return
Please tell me the way to get home?
Just follow the mountain track up into the clouds”
– Xu Xuanping

For more than 30 years, he had sometimes saved people in distress, and sometimes helped them out of the misery of disease. Many people living in the city went to visit him, but never saw him. They only saw the verses he left on the wall of his thatched hut:

“I have lived in seclusion for thirty years,
on the top of the stone room south of the mountain.
Playing with the bright moon in the quiet night,
drinking the blue spring in the Ming Dynasty.
Forget the year of Jiazi.”
– Xu Xuanping

During the Tianbao period of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (the seventh emperor of the Tang Dynasty), a wildfire burned Xu Xuanping’s thatched hut. Since then, there was no trace of Xu Xuanping.

Then more than a hundred years later, in the seventh year of Emperor Yizong of Tang Dynasty (the eighteenth emperor of the Tang Dynasty), an old woman in Xu Mingnu’s house from Xin’an County, who often accompanied others to chop wood in the mountains. Once she saw a man in Nanshan. Sitting on a big rock, he was eating peaches. The man asked the old lady, “Are you from Xu Mingnu’s family? I am Xu Xuanping, the ancestor of Xu Mingnu!” The old lady told Xu Xuanping that she had heard that Xu Xuanping had become a fairy. Xu Xuanping said: “When you go back, tell Xu Mingnu that I am in this mountain.”

While there are no videos about Xu Xuanping, there are a few on the mountain range where he dwelled.

Today’s Video: “NanLing, Guangdong, China”


Truth cannot be perceived;
it can only be lived;
free from agitation,
not by will or discipline,
without grasping to attain
or effort to become
or planning to achieve.
When energy settles peacefully,
the equilibrium returns.
Allow yourself to be taken
by that freedom, that rhythm
to where the Truth lives.

We close out the week with the Ultimate Tai Chi Master, the legendary character Zhang Sanfeng. Was he historic or purely legendary? No one knows for certain. Many believe Zhang invented T’ai chi ch’üan while others point to early versions of Tai Chi predating Zhang.

In any case Zhang is purported as having created the concept of neijia in Chinese martial arts, specifically taijiquan, a Neo-Confucian syncretism of Shaolin martial arts with his mastery of daoyin (or neigong) principles. Legrend has it, on one occasion, he observed a bird attacking a snake and was greatly inspired by the snake’s defensive tactics. It remained still and alert in the face of the bird’s onslaught until it made a lunge and fatally bit its attacker. This incident inspired him to create a set of 72 taijiquan movements. He is also associated with the Taoist monasteries in the Wudang Mountains, where he supposedly lived in his latter years.

Some legends have made Chang San Feng into a Xian (Hsien). A Xian is a Taoist term for an enlightened person, an immortal, an alchemist, a wizard, a spirit, an inspired sage, a person with super powers, a magician, or a transcendent being. A Xian is similar in function to a Rishi who is an inspired sage in the Indian Vedas.

“What is essential to practice the Tao is to get rid of cravings and vexations. If these afflictions are not removed, it is impossible to attain stability. This is like the case of the fertile field, which cannot produce good crops as long as the weeds are not cleared away. Cravings and ruminations are the weeds of the mind; if you do not clear them away, concentration and wisdom do not develop.” – Zhang Sanfeng

Today’s Video: “The history of kung fu zhang sanfeng legendary founder of tai chi chuan”


I drive around in my car,
but I am not my car.
I walk around in my body,
but I am not my body.
I think thoughts in my mind,
but I’m not my mind.
All are very useful,
but I am not any of them.
I am that which uses them
to perceive and marvel
at the grandeur of all Creation.

Today we have another quote from Wee Kee Jin, director of the School of Central Equilbrium and disciple of Huang Shengxian. This is an important quote regarding the form and its relation to push hands.

“When you practice the Taijiquan form, don’t forget to feel and experience the changes in the form, the synchronisation of your movements and be aware of your relaxation and sinking. You must bring all this into your partner work. In free partner work (push hand exercises) it is best to practise slow. When you practice slow you are able to feel whether you are synchronising with your partner’s movements and relax force. With continuous practice it becomes natural and in relation to your partner’s changes the speed of your changes is natural. The speed is not initiated by you. There’s no need to be excited or agitated in the practice of free partner work, it’s only a practice session, not a competition. You must practise until you achieve the relaxation of your “heart”. When the heart is relaxed your spirit will be relaxed, when the spirit is relaxed then your mind will be relaxed and when your mind is relaxed then your body will be relaxed…

“In all push hands you must have relaxation and sinking. If you move forward with only relaxation and without sinking then your following will not have sticking jing (force). If you move backward with only relaxation and without sinking you would only have yielding but no neutralisation (Moving backwards needs to contain yielding and neutralisation. Yielding is to extend the incoming force to weaken it, neutralisation is totally nullifying the force through sinking)” – Wee Kee Jin

There’s a special triple split screen video today showing grandmaster, master and student doing the Tai Chi 37 Form with Cheng Man Ching, his disciple, Huang Shengxian, and Huang’s disciple Wee Kee Jin.

Today’s Video: Wee Kee Jin, Cheng Man-Ching and Huang Sheng-Shyan side by side Tai Chi 37 Step Form


feeling not whole,
something is missing,
something is lacking.
Who feels one is lacking?
Uncover that person.
The false disappears
once seen as false
and what remains is wholeness.

One of Huang Shengxian’s 10,000 students who stood out from the others is Wee Kee Jin. Now the director of the School of Central Equilibrium in New Zealand, Jin has become a prominent teacher in his own right not only in New Zealand but having established branches throughout Europe and having many international students attending his workshops and summer camps.

“The commonly understood concepts in martial arts and generally in human thinking are that: the strong overcomes the weak, the fast overcomes the slow, the hard overcomes the soft, and we use brute force and resistance against an incoming force. In the practice of taijiquan, the emphasis is on the weak overcoming the strong, the slow overcoming the fast, the soft overcoming the hard, using the mind and not brute force when there is an incoming force, then yielding to it. Because in taijiquan the emphasis is totally the opposite of what one would normally (habitually) do, the practitioners and would-be practitioners of taijiquan must not use a conventional mind-set and methods to understand and train it.” – Wee Kee Jin, “Taijiquan – True Art”

Today’s Video: “Tai Chi Chuan Principles – Wee Kee Jin”


Be alert, be ready,
the uninvolved witness,
watch them as they pass,
the succession of thoughts
across the mind,
no longer sticking,
no longer binding.
They burn away
under the watchful alertness
leaving only silence.

Continuing with more on Huang Shengxian from Singapore, Malaysia. Huang opened 40 schools and taught 10,000 students throughout Southeast Asia. Although he was well known for his push hands proficiency, Huang taught his students that the tai chi form was everything.

When teaching, Huang had three important pet phrases or principles: “the essence of Taiji is in the Form” and “Slow is fast and fast is slow.” and “Seek the quality not the quantity” He often reminded his students to take their time and pay attention to the principles in their form. They will progress much further then someone who rushes through the form hoping to get on with push hand practice.

“The way that you do the form will result in the way that you push hands. By understanding yourself and understanding your opponent, you will excel in pushing-hands.” – Huang Shengxian

“If you have a foundation deep enough for three stories, you can only build a three story building. For a twenty story building you need to have laid a foundation to support twenty stories.” – Huang Shengxian

Listening begins in the Form and allows you to cultivate a better understanding of yourself and how your body moves, balances and connects. Thus how you move your body and sychronise your yi (intent) in pushing hands must be the same as in the Taiji Form.

Today’s Video: “Huang Xing Xian — Sheng Shyan — Yang Short Form”


The desire to Be,
the Self searching for Itself.
No need to accumulate,
grasp, accomplish or have.
This understanding
bring one home.
Grace draws one to Itself.

Today we move from China to Southeast Asia to look at prominent Tai Chi masters. One of the most notable masters in Singapore, Malaysia was Huang Sheng Shyan (Huang Xingxian). Originally, Master Huang was from Fujian, China, where he studied White Crane in his youth and became very proficient at it. But in 1947 he relocated to Taiwan, where he soon met Cheng Man Ching and became one of the Professor’s most famous students. Then in 1956, he emigrated to Singapore where he set up shop and remained there until his death in 1992.

During his time in Singapore, Master Huang integrated principles from his White Crane practice into Cheng Man Ching’s Yang 37 short form and became well known for his push hand abilities throughout Southeast Asia. One of his guiding principles centered around loosening and softness in order to capture an opponent’s center.

“‘If there is an object, then it should have a center of gravity. If there is a weight then it must have a center of gravity. No weight then no center of gravity. But if I don’t have the center of gravity, how can I control people’s center of gravity. You yourself (must be) Song. Then you realize it (the center of gravity). If our hand is soft, then we can feel the pulse. If my hand is hard, then my sensitivity is no more. Without perception, there is no sensitivity. Then I can’t feel when your hand is loose.” – Huang Xingxian

Besides his push hand abilities, Master Huang was also known for his five loosening or “songing” exercises.

Today’s Video: “Master Huang Xingxiang Five Loosening Exercises”


The Etheric Body
it’s not the physical body,
nor is it the Ultimate.
It’s not what I am
nor is it what I am not.
It’s in between.
A ladder is not the ground,
nor is it the rooftop.
It’s in between,
helping one to ascend.

More on the fascinating Southern Wu Style Tai Chi Grandmaster, Ma Yueliang, from last week. Not only did Master Ma become a great martial artist, but he Ma was also a medical doctor who graduated from the Beijing Medical College in 1929 and specialized in Hematology. Trained in Western science and medical practices He established the First Medical Examination and Experiment Office and ran the blood clinics at Zhong Shan Hospital in Shanghai.

Ma studied a number of martial arts in his youth including shaolinquan, bauguazhang and tongbeiquan. However, Wu Jianquan, the founder of the Wu style, insisted that Ma give up the other martial arts and concentrate on Wu Tai Chi. Not only did Ma agree but he eventually married Wu Jianquan’s daughter, Ying-hua, who was also an accomplished Tai Chi practitioner. Both went on to teach many students well up into their nineties.

“Five of my students are over 90 years old. The oldest one is 97. Many of the students are in their eighties. We have a saying: ‘Diligent practice of Tai chi will restore your youthful vigor.’ The old can recapture the vitality of youth.” – Ma Yueliang

Is it push hands or ballroom dancing???

Today’s Video: “Ma Yue Liang push hands”


I AM the morning mist
that covers the mountain ridge.
I AM the dark, heavy clouds
that press against the horizon.
I AM the cold air that chills the flesh
and pierces the bones, which IAM NOT.
I AM the swirling wind
that whistles through the cavities,
which I AM NOT,
I AM thankful to all I AM
perceived through these senses,
which I AM NOT,
yet appreciated nonetheless.

Another famous Wu Tai Chi practitioner was Ma YueLiang, a Grandmaster of Southern style Wu Tai Chi from Shanghai, China. Grandmaster Ma was well-known throughout China as he was especially proficient at Tui Shou (Push Hands).

“There is no mystique to Tai Chi Chuan. What is difficult is the perseverance. It took me ten years to discover my chi, but thirty years to learn how to use it. Once you see the benefit, you won’t want to stop.” – Ma Yueliang

There you have it! No mystique just perseverance. Keep at it, folks, and have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother’s Day.

Today’s Video: “Ma Yueh Liang Push Hands (Rare Footage)”


Encountering the guru
unlike meeting an acquaintance,
no aggressions or defenses,
no pursuit of goals,
accepting yourself,
surrendering, receptive.
deeply attentive,
free from preconceptions,
you find yourself on the threshold
of your true nature,
ready to be taken through.

Yang Tai Chi has a close cousin, Wu style Tai Chi, derived from the Yang form. Wu Quanyou learned his tai chi from Yang LuChan and his eldest son, Yang Ban-Huo, while in the military. Eventually Wu Quanyou’s son Wu Jianquan (吴鉴泉1870–1942) made the majority of the modifications and refinements in his father’s Yang style form and promoted this new form of tai chi as Wu style. And, it is Wu Jianquan who is credited as the founder of Wu style tai chi. Here is a poem he wrote about this new art.

“Two hands rise, separating into yīn and yáng
Left and right like a yīn and yáng fish
Movement springs from extreme stillness, opening then closing
Relax the shoulders and sit on the leg as if embracing the moon

Two hands form into yīn and yáng palms
Two palms crossed over for locking joints

Wait for opportunity before moving, watch for changes
Create opportunity by following the opponent’s force”

– Wu Jianquan – from a didactic poem quoted by his son Wu Gongzao in Wu Family T’ai Chi Ch’uan (吳家太極拳), Hong Kong, 1980 (originally published in Changsha, 1935)

Today’s Video: “History of Wu Style – Ma Hai Long Interview 1 of 6”


Letting go,
actively passive,
totally present, clear-sighted,
uninvolved, alert.
The ego reabsorbed
into pure awareness
that shines forth
like a flash of lightning
taking root
in an unencumbered mind.

Another one of Yang Chengfu’s famous students was Fu Zhongwen, who, like his grandmaster, Chengfu’s father, Yang LuChan, had a two word motto to describe how he one must practiceTai Chi: “Hard Work.” How hard is it? Here’s his quote…

“Practicing Tai Chi until you sit down and don’t want to get up, you don’t want to sit down when you get up. The whole body is as uncomfortable as torture. You must practice to this level”.

Today’s Video: “Fu Zhong Wen 16min FORM”


warm-cold, heavy-light, tense-relaxed,
habits to which we are accustomed,
memories embedded in our tissues,
on the primal natural body.
The idea ‘I am this body’
reassures the ego that it exists.

Yesterday, we looked at Cheng Man Ching, one of Yang Chengfu’s foremost students who popularized Tai Chi in America. Today we have a quote from Wolfe Lowenthal, one of Cheng Man Ching’s senior students from his school in New York City back in the 1960s and early1970s.

“As the practitioner incorporates the quality of tai chi movement into his life, he finds that he stops banging into things. The result of not falling into each step provides the opportunity to instantaneously ease back from unexpected barriers.” — Wolfe Lowenthal, “There Are No Secrets: Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing and His Tai Chi Chuan,” 1991

Today’s Video: “Cheng Man Ching PUSH HANDS and FAJING”


The Truth is the Truth,
Dogma is Dogma.
They are not the same.
Which Dogma does not matter,
one is no more true than another.
While there are many Dogmas,
there is only one Truth,
one Reality.
Be open to it
by rising above the Dogmas.

The most prevalent tai chi form being practiced today was originally formulated by Yang Chengfu, the youngest son of Yang Luchan who originated the Yang family tai chi form. One of Yang Chengfu’s more famous students was Professor Cheng Man-ching, who is noted for establishing and popularizing taichi in America. He moved from Taiwan to New York City, where he established his school in the early 1960s. Cheng was also a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a calligrapher, painter and poet. Here’s a short sample of his poetry.

“Pity! The southerly trees have shed their leaves. Nobody comes to appreciate the mountain’s beauty. Tomorrow I too will float away. My reflection gone from cool streams.”
– Cheng Man-ch’ing

And one simply called TaiChi…

Today’s Video: “THE PROFESSOR: Tai Chi’s Journey West – Official Trailer”


Be the witness,
not the doer, the actor.
Be aware,
see the natural flow of life,
your actions, their motives, results.
Notice the walls
you have built around yourself.

Today we are starting to view the quotes of Taichi Masters and other Martial Artists on enlightenment and their particular art. We begin with a tribute to a famous artist andTaichi player, Ju Ming. Ju who recently passed away began studying tai chi some 40 years ago and had become one of Asia’s foremost sculptors through his Taichi Series, which he started in the late 1970s. The Series features large, angular, bronze sculptures frozen in Tai Chi postures, capturing the principles of this highly meditative internal art.

‘When I first started practising tai chi I practised by myself, so all the forms of the earlier series are mostly single, But as you practise more you need to learn ‘pushing hands’ and you need a partner to practise with, which is why you see, later on, two sculptures ‘pushing hands’ in more abstract form.

‘As you go further and further you become more skilful and the energy is floating with your partner. The (Taichi) Arches evolved from the representation of two tai chi masters in the pushing hands position. This is the final step, when the two bodies connect. They are more abstract than earlier works in the series, and they also impart a stronger sense of motion. In the older pushing hands works there’s still a gap between the two bodies. Now, I have connected the two sides so that the energy and tension of musculature flows between them as one body that evolved into the shape of an arch.” – Ju Ming

Ju Ming’s story is reminiscent of that famous Taichi principle “Stillness in motion, and motion in stillness,” but at the same time reflects upon a principle of art: “Art imitates Life as well as Life imitates Art.” So, when doing your Taichi form find the art – the beauty, the truth – of each posture. Enjoy your practice.

Today’s Video: “Ju Ming, who created world-famous ‘T’ai chi’ sculptures, dies at 85”


We cannot find the Light
since we are the light
underlying all our senses.
all our thoughts, sensations.
We cannot perceive
that which perceives

We end the week of looking at contemporary Tibetan Buddhist masters with the first woman to become a Tibetan geshe.

Geshe Kelsang Wangmo is a German-born Buddhist nun, scholar, and teacher. She is the first woman to be awarded a Geshe title, considered equivalent to a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy. She was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Lohmar, Germany. After completing high school in 1989, she went on a backpacking trip. Travelling through Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan, she reached India. After visiting Kolkata, Varanasi, and Manali, she landed in Dharamshala. She had planned to stay for a couple of weeks before returning to start university, studying medicine. But eventually, she stayed on.

She took ordination as a nun in April 1991. She later enrolled in the traditional geshe curriculum (a 17-year course) at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) in Dharamshala. In April 2011, the IBD conferred the degree of geshe, a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monastics, on her, thus making her the world’s first female geshe.

“I don’t like the word ignorance. It implies that we’re stupid. We’re not stupid. I prefer the word misperception.That is the cause for all our troubles…The problem is, we misperceive how the ‘I’ exists. From the Buddhist perspective, every problem comes back to that: misperceiving reality. Because of this misperception, there is anger and attachment. Buddha says we can get rid of all these problems if we get rid of misperception.”
– Geshe Kelsang Wangmo

Could it be that we misperceive reality because we are ignorant? Thank about that and enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Today’s Video: “Geshe Kelsang Wangmo Self Cherish Vs Self Confidence”


Beauty is the same in all.
Live in beauty,
Look from beauty.
It is our wholeness,
our awakenedness.
No longerdivided, separate,
we live in our fullness,
our global oneness.

Thubten Chodron, born Cheryl Greene, is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun, author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Newport, Washington, the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the United States. Chodron is a central figure in the reinstatement of the Bhikshuni (Tib. Gelongma) ordination of women. She is a student of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and other Tibetan masters. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is co-authoring with the Dalai Lama a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion.

““When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready.”
― Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron

If you are one who longs for enlightenment, I cannot think of any better advice than be patient and be content creating the causes for goodness. That all we need to do.

Today’s Video: “Introduction | Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron”


Being stillness,
without someone
trying to be still.
No controller, no doer,
no chooser making choices.
living choicelessly,
the situation to unfold,
to RESOLVE itself.

Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown, July 14, 1936, is an American Tibetan-Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, former acharya of Shambhala Buddhism and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Chödrön has written several dozen books and audiobooks, and is principal teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia.

Chödrön began studying with Lama Chime Rinpoche during frequent trips to London over a period of several years. While in the United States she studied with Trungpa Rinpoche in San Francisco. In 1974, she became a novice Buddhist nun under Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. In Hong Kong in 1981 she became the first American in the Vajrayana tradition to become a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī.

Trungpa appointed Chödrön director of the Boulder Shambhala Center (Boulder Dharmadhatu) in Colorado in the early 1980s. Chödrön moved to Gampo Abbey in 1984, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in North America for Western men and women, and became its first director in 1986.

“But as we let go of our repetitive stories and fixed ideas about ourselves–particularly deep-seated feelings of “I’m not okay”–the armor starts to fall apart, and we open into the spaciousness of our true nature, into who we really are beyond the transitory thoughts and emotions. We see that our armor is made up of nothing more than habits and fears, and we begin to feel that we can let those go.”
― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

We have put on the armor to protect ourselves from that which is most fearful to us – deep-seated change. Yes, the armor does protect us and at the same restricts us and restricts our movement from doing what really need to be done – change!

Today’s Video: “Pema Chödrön – Why I Became a Buddhist”


suffering and pleasure,
sadness and joy,
one follows the other,
reciprocating, oscillating,
one after the other.
no peace in one’s bosom,
no stillness in one’s heart,
chasing after one,
trying to escape the other.
never living,
dying day by day.
what fools these mortals be!

Continuing with contemporary Tibetan Masters, today we meet Serme Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering, abbot of Sera Mey Monastic University in India. He was born in Purang, Tibet in 1958, and his family escaped to India in 1959. He entered Sera Mey Monastic University in South India when he was 13 years old, and graduated with a Lharampa Geshe degree 16 years later. From 1994 to 2018, he was the resident Tibetan Buddhist teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London.

In the west, Tsering teaches in English and is renowned for his warmth, clarity and humour. Besides Jamyang, he has been a regular guest teacher at other Buddhist centres in the UK and around the world. He is also the creator and original teacher of the Foundation of Buddhist Thought Course, a two-year course which gives an overview of Tibetan Buddhist study and practice. In March 2018 the Dalai Lama asked Geshe Tashi to become abbot of Sera Mey Monastic University in India. He was enthroned as abbot on 17 June 2018.

“The first training, ethics (also called ethical conduct or moral discipline) is crucial in developing the second and the third, concentration and wisdom, and as such is really the foundation for the other two.”

“So ethical conduct, practicing a moral life, is not something that can effectively be enforced from the outside but must grow out of a subjective understanding of what helps and what harms others.”
― Tashi Tsering, The Four Noble Truths: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 1

Today’s Video: “Developing Compassion Without Attachment | Geshe Tashi Tsering”


The flame may be gone,
but the embers never die.
They remain embedded
in the hearts of all
whom he touched.

Continuing our look at contemporary Tibetan Master, we honor one who just passed away a few weeks ago on April 13th. Thubten Zopa Rinpoche was a Tibetan Buddhist lama in the Gelug school. He is known for founding the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition and Maitripa College in Portland, Oregon.

Born in Thangme, Nepal, in 1946,vhe was recognized early in life as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama Kunzang Yeshe, from the same region (hence the title “Rinpoche”). At the age of ten, he went to Tibet and studied and meditated at Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery near Pagri. He took his monastic vows at Dungkar Monastery in Tibet. Lama Zopa Rinpoche left Tibet in 1959 after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and went to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his closest teacher.

“The real miracle is when someone is able to stop the cause of suffering and create the cause of happiness by learning that their own mind is the source of their suffering and happiness. The real miracle is to transform our mind, because this will take care of us for many lifetimes. Our positive attitude will stop us from creating the cause of problems, thus ensuring our happiness not only in this life but in hundreds, or even thousands, of future lives up to enlightenment. This is the greatest success. (p. 30)”
― Thubten Zopa, Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion

Today’s Video: Our Beloved Lama Zopa Rinpoche


our jailer,
listen to it,
listen closely,
but don’t act upon it.
listen in stillness
and to your reactions.
see how deeply rooted.
see how much you desire
to be free of your jailer.
desiring to be desireless
is still a desire.

Happy Merry Month of May to everyone!

We ended April with ancient Tibetan Masters and lineage founders. Today we begin May with contemporary Tibetan Masters, and our first one happens to be a co-founder of a Tibetan foundation and dharma center and an American. Jeffrey Miller is an American lama born in 1950 in Long Island, New York. Miller’s Dharma name, Surya Das, meaning “Servant of the Sun, was given to him in 1972 by the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba. Miller is a poet, chantmaster, spiritual activist, author of many popular works on Buddhism, and spokesperson for Buddhism in the West. He has long been involved in charitable relief projects in the developing world and in interfaith dialogue.

He is a Dharma heir of Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche, a Nyingma master of the non-sectarian Rime movement, with whom he founded the Dzogchen Foundation and Center in 1991. He received Nyoshul Khenpo’s authorization to teach in 1993.

“Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness.

Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home — at ease.”
― Lama Surya Das, Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World

Today’s Video: Lama Surya Das – Natural Meditation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *