12/07/2022

Today’s look at Happiness during the Jolly month of December is not from the Daoist perspective, although I am sure many Taoist sages would most likely concur. It is by Jean Klein, an Advaita sage, from his “Dialogue at the Day of Listening,” in Fairfax, CA: May 22, 1991, and published in his “Book of Listening,”

“You may for some time live with the desire for a certain object, then one day this object is attained. You will then see that at the moment of attainment the object is not present, and you are not present. There is only a non-dual state: happiness. Then you can see that the cause is not in the object and you no longer project any object. Then you are free from the desire for objects and a profound maturity arises: you are free from all projection, because you have clearly understood that the cause is not an object, that happiness is causeless. You must come to this experience.
When you become restless it is because you have identified happiness with an object. But happiness is not in an object. It is causeless. It comes when you are open. It is not in a red car, a beautiful house, a second marriage.
You must live completely in openness, and this openness is the happiness.”
– Jean Klein, “Dialogue at the Day of Listening”

We think happiness is acquiring objects whether it be a new job, a new car or iphone, a new lover. But in truth – and self-dultivation is about realizing Truth – objects are not the cause of happiness. No person, place or thing can cause one to be happy. As Jean Klein has said – happiness is causeless. It comes when you are open. Openness is the happiness. So, for today, let’s see if we can practice being open. Open to your environment, open to your family, open to your friends, open to your emotions, open to yourself. And, above all, enjoy your practice, people.

In today’s video we are going to learn about Elastic Force with Sifu Mark Rasmus and the Martial Man.
https://youtu.be/e7BSMp0Orq4

 

12/06/2022

Today we have a not-so-jolly quote on happiness from Chuang-Tzu in this jolly season of December. Nevertheless, it is how a true Daoist sage look at happiness as it relates to our lives.

“I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness.”
― Chuang-Tzu, from the Zhuangzi

Abiding by Chuang-Tzu’s directive, your practice for today is to see how many times you can stop yourself from a negative thought or action and change direction. Enjoy your practice, folks.

Today’s video is on advanced tai chi sparring demonstrated by Victor Shim.
https://youtu.be/ma5SFF-TJaU

 

12/05/2022

Sheila Burke starts us off this week with a quote from “Enriched Heart: The Tao of Balancing Your Big, Beautiful, Badass Soul” as welook at the Daoist perspective on Happiness and Joy for December.

“You have the power to change the happiness level in someone’s life and in the process you change your mind-set and the level of your own happiness. Practicing kindness and compassion will change your life, your environment, your outlook on your future, and how you view what has happened in your past.”
― Sheila M. Burke, Enriched Heart: The Tao of Balancing Your Big, Beautiful, Badass Soul

In essence, Burke is giving us the #1 rule for Happiness. If you want to be happy, then make someone else happy. That sounds like a great practice to start off the your week. Enjoy, folks.

Today’s video shows tui shou (push hands) basic concepts for new students rom Grandmaster Victor Shim.
https://youtu.be/gEu4HdB4hDc

 

12/03/2022

Another blissful quote on Taoism during this blissful, jolly season. This one from Leland Lewis…

““The Eternal Tao

Like the softness
of water we flow…
through gentleness
of love we grow…
and through blissful
Oneness we know…
Forever is now.”
― Leland Lewis, Random Molecular Mirroring

Wishing you and yours blissful Oneness this weekend, and practice making your practice blissful and let blissfulness be your practice.

Today’s video is the first of several with Victor Shim on push hands and using qi. In this one, Master Shim demonstrates push hands self-practice.
https://youtu.be/XQFCiHorjCA

 

12/02/2022

It’s December, ‘Tis the season to be Jolly. So, we look at Joy and Happiness from the Daoist perspective – fa la la la la! Today’s quote is from Lieh-Tzu and is nearly the mirror image of yesterday’s quote from Chuang-Tzu.

“To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of the idea of what it means to be truly happy or content. ” — Liezi, the Book of Lieh-Tzu

From both Chuang-Tzu and now Lieh-Tzu, one can surmise that the Daoist concept of happiness is based on their principle of wu-wei (non-action or no action). This means without intention, with no thought of pursuing happiness or joy but as my Advaita teacher once said, “Think that you are happy.” Do that and enjoy your practice, folks.

In today’s video, we will practice how to deepen and anchor the breath with my teacher, Damo Mitchell, in Part 2 of Anchoring the Breath…
https://youtu.be/WfL9Gks4mdc

 

12/01/2022

December is the month of Joy, Happiness and Merriment. So, we will look at Joy and Happiness from the Daoist perspective as well as that of other spiritual traditions. And who better to start us off than my favorite Daoist philosopher – Guess who – none other than Chuang-Tzu.

“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.” — Zhuangzi

There you have it, short but sweet, the whole month in a nutshell. Tomorrow we will hear from Lieh-Tzu. Enjoy your practice, my friends.

In today’s video, we are going to step away from tai chi and bagua and start to look at the Qi specifically and Qigong practice. Of course much of qigong can be applied to the other internal arts, which is especially the case with breathing. Today, we will hear how to deepen and anchor the breath from my teacher, Damo Mitchell, in a 2-part video lesson. Here’s Part 1…
https://youtu.be/N0fTg23psfw

 

11/30/2022

We close out November and our theme of Life and Living according to Daoism with this quote from Hexagram 52 of the I Ching, Ken – the Mountain…

“Learn inner silence. Bring a meditative mind into all activity or non activity. Achieve total stillness and be a mountain. Such is Wu Wei…
When the mind is highly active it will not accommodate vision or inspiration. It is the cup already full. Mountain over Mountain is the opening of the infinite mind through the silencing of the mind conceptual.”
– Hexagram 52, Ken. Keeping Still. Mountain over Mountain.

Pretty good advice on how to live life with the least effort and the most insightfulness. Enjoy your practice, folks.

In today’s video, Sifu Liang De Hua continues with some tips on Peng both the hand shape or posture and the inner Peng, the energy within the body.
https://youtu.be/zvJZoEk-NUo

 

11/29/2022

Today is the conclusion of Chuang-Tzu’s “The Great and Most Honored Master” from Book 6 of The Zhuangzi.

“In this way they were one and the same in all their likings and dislikings. Where they liked, they were the same; where they did not like, they were the same. In the former case where they liked, they were fellow-workers with the Heavenly (in them); in the latter where they disliked, they were co-workers with the Human in them. The one of these elements (in their nature) did not overcome the other. Such were those who are called the True men.”
– Chuang-Tzu from The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

Such were the True Men of Old, but what about the True Men and Women of Today? Are you one of them? Keep practicing your Cultivation and enjoy.

In today’s video, Sifu Liang De Hua discusses the all important quality of Peng Jin.
https://youtu.be/8u-tzkN6eUI

 

11/28/2022

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, and you’re ready to resume your Self-Cultivation practice after the holiday respite. We will continue with Chuang-Tzu’s view of the ideal way of life and living as exemplified by the True Man of Old and thus the True Man of Dao and end the series this week.

“They (the True Men of Old) considered punishments to be the substance (of government, and they never incurred it); ceremonies to be its supporting wings (and they always observed them); wisdom (to indicate) the time (for action, and they always selected it); and virtue to be accordance (with others), and they were all-accordant. Considering punishments to be the substance (of government), yet their generosity appeared in the (manner of their) infliction of death. Considering ceremonies to be its supporting wings, they pursued by means of them their course in the world. Considering wisdom to indicate the time (for action), they felt it necessary to employ it in (the direction of) affairs. Considering virtue to be accordance (with others), they sought to ascend its height along with all who had feet (to climb it). (Such were they), and yet men really thought that they did what they did by earnest effort.

The gist of what Chuang-Tzu is saying in this paragraph is that the Men of Old rendered to Caesar what was Caesar’s and the Nature (the Dao) what was Nature’s and thereby led an effortless life. See if you can start to work that concept into your daily practice and enjoy, folks.

In today’s video, Liang De Hua is teaching another very important aspect of tui shou (taiji partner work) – sticking energy.

 

11/25/2022

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your Thanksgiving and are all geared up for Black Friday. We continue now with another excerpt from The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

“The True men of old presented the aspect of judging others aright, but without being partisans; of feeling their own insufficiency, but being without flattery or cringing. Their peculiarities were natural to them, but they were not obstinately attached to them; their humility was evident, but there was nothing of unreality or display about it. Their placidity and satisfaction had the appearance of joy; their every movement seemed to be a necessity to them. Their accumulated attractiveness drew men’s looks to them; their blandness fixed men’s attachment to their virtue. They seemed to accommodate themselves to the (manners of their age), but with a certain severity; their haughty indifference was beyond its control. Unceasing seemed their endeavours to keep (their mouths) shut; when they looked down, they had forgotten what they wished to say.”
– Chuang-Tzu from The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend and don’t go too overboard on Black Friday. See everyone Monday.

Here’s Part 2 of the Taii Jin video with Sifu Liang De Hua

 

11/24/2022

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Of course, according to Chuang-Tzu below, if you try to share your joy at Thanksgiving or manifest affection or observe times and seasons, you are not very wise or sagely. But who cares? If you are enjoying yourself, go right ahead. But read the paragraph anyway.

Being such, their minds (the True Men of Old) were free from all thought; their demeanor was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came from them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go. Therefore the sagely man might, in his conduct of war, destroy a state without losing the hearts of the people; his benefits and favours might extend to a myriad generations without his being a lover of men. Hence he who tries to share his joys with others is not a sagely man; he who manifests affection is not benevolent; he who observes times and seasons (to regulate his conduct) is not a man of wisdom; he to whom profit and injury are not the same is not a superior man; he who acts for the sake of the name of doing so, and loses his (proper) self is not the (right) scholar; and he who throws away his person in a way which is not the true (way) cannot command the service of others. Such men as Hû Pû-kieh, Wû Kwang, Po-î, Shû-khî, the count of Kî, Hsü-yü, Kî Thâ, and Shan-thû Tî, all did service for other men, and sought to secure for them what they desired, not seeking their own pleasure.

In essence, Chuang-Tzu is not being as abrupt as this translation sounds. The key is “to regulate his conduct.” If you only act thankful or affectionate or benevolent at certain times in certain situations, then you are being manipulated by a conditioned mind that is attuned to societal norms rather than the Dao. Those sages who follow the Dao have a conduct and demeanor that is consistent all the time, no matter what the occasion is. That’s the point. So, we shouldn’t require a certain day in the year to be Thankful, but should live gratitude and live thankfulness every day of the year without regard to situations and circumstances.

Enjoy the rest of your day and the video with Sifu Liang De Hua on Jin in Tai Chi Part 1…

 

11/23/2022

More on the True Men of Old from Chuang-Tzu as we approach Thanksgiving and draw nearer to concluding our November theme of Life and Living according to Daoism.

“The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning bad been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted (their life) and rejoiced in it; they forgot (all fear of death), and returned (to their state before life). Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tâo, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.”
– The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

There are three main aspects of tai chi that confound many practitioners, even long time students – song, jin, and peng. Today’s video is from the Martial Man series and features Sifu Liang De Hua, the training partner of the master featured in yesterday’s video, Sifu Adam Misner, demonstrating “song.”

Enjoy the video and enjoy Thanksgiving, everyone. Hope each of you has a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

 

11/22/2022

More on the True Men of old from Chuang-Tzu as we continue his description of “The Great and Most Honored Master” from Book 6 of the Zhuangzi during our November Life and Living theme from a Daoist perspective.

“The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes (even) from his heels, while men generally breathe (only) from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.”

Maybe you can’t breathe from your feet but you should make sure your breath is anchored to the belly or dantian. That is vital for progressing in the Internal Arts. Also, remember “Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Enjoy your practice, folks.

Yesterday’s video featured Huang Xing Xian’s loosening exercises. Today’s video features Adam Misner presenting detailed instructions for his Grand Master Huang Xing Xian’s loosening drill. Follow along and enjoy.

 

11/21/2022

More from the Zhuangzi, (the Book of Chuang-Tzu), Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master” in our November series on Life and Living according to Daoism. On Saturday, we concluded the week asking what is this True man and what is this True Knowledge of which Chuang-Tzu speaks. Today he gives us his answer…

“What is meant by ‘the True Man?’ The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tâo.”
– The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

Not only does the True Man’s stature seem powerful, his knowledge that allowed him to ascend and reach the Tao seems even more powerful, We can see by Chuang-Tzu’s description that the True Man was adept at living by “wu-wei.” He was also humble and not emotionally swept up by either failure or success. We will have more from Chuang-Tzu and the True Man tomorrow.

In today’s video we return to Tai Chi – well, sort of. Tai Chi requires much different physical conditioning than other forms of martial arts or typical Western bodybuilding. So, to accomplish this transforming the body into a tai chi conditioned body we use various sets of stretches and exercises. Here is the creator of one such set Grand Master Huang Xing Xiang.

 

11/19/2022

We conclude this week and will conclude our November series on Life and Living from the Daoist perspective with excerpts from the Zhuangzi, Book 6 entitled “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

“To complete one’s natural term of years and not come to an untimely end in the middle of his course is the fulness of knowledge. Although it be so, there is an evil (attending this condition). Such knowledge still awaits the confirmation of it as correct; it does so because it is not yet determined. How do we know that what we call the Heavenly (in us) is not the Human? and that what we call the Human is not the Heavenly? There must be the True man, and then there is the True knowledge.”
– The Zhuangzi, Book 6, “The Great and Most Honored Master.”

So. what is this True man? What is he like and what is this True knowledge? Check back on Monday to find out.

Today we have a 2008 video with Sun Zhi Jun and his students demonstrating further applications from Cheng style Baguazhang.

 

11/18/2022

We conclude today with our fifth and final excerpt from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, one of the founders of modern Western philosophy, on his perspective of Daoist thought and philosophy in our November series on Life and Living according to Daoism.

“This is immortality, that the soul subsisting in presence to self is both essential and existing at the same time. Essence without existence is a mere abstraction; essentiality or the concept must be thought as existing. Therefore realization also belongs to essentiality. But here the form of this realization is still sensible existence, sensible immediacy.”
– Georg W. F. Hegel, On Daoism

Unlike Buddhism that focuses on the Great Void, Daoism and. to Hegel’s point, professes that the soul is both essential and existing at the same time. Essence without existence, as in the Great Void, is indeed a mere abstraction, although some Daoist sects do indeed expound the theory that existence came from non-existence and being from non-being.

In today’s video, Hans Menck demonstrates some baguazhang footwork and basic palm applications with a partner.

 

11/17/2022

We continue today with our fourth excerpt from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, one of the founders of modern Western philosophy, on his perspective of Daoist thought and philosophy in our November series on Life and Living according to Daoism.

“This essential character also pertains directly to the subject or the soul; it is known that the soul is immortal, that it has within itself the power of existing purely, or being purely inward, though not yet of existing properly as this purity, i.e. not yet as spirituality. But still bound up with this essentiality is the fact that the mode of existence is yet a sensible immediacy, though only an accidental one.”
– Georg W. F. Hegel, On Daoism

Hegel seems to have arbitrarily separated the soul from the self as being within self and has the power or potential of existing purely as spirituality but is still dealing with the accidental immediacy of being bound to essentiality.

It is most difficult for someone coming from an entirely different culture, in Hegel’s case, the idealism of Western philosophy in that era, to understand the underlying philosophy of Daoism especially as it pertains to the soul and immortality. Unlike Hegel’s Christian culture, which basically focused on a singular soul, Daoism proposed that man had at least two souls, a yang and a yin, and these were further subdivided into ten aspects. In addition there were subdivision upon subdivision with regards to the various aspects of immortality. We will conclude with Hegel’s thesis on Daoism tomorrow.

Our video today focuses on the 16 palm changes within the Cheng style of Baguazhang as demonstrated by Hans Menck.

 

11/16/2022

We continue today with our third excerpt from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, one of the founders of modern Western philosophy, on his perspective of Daoist thought and philosophy in our November series on Life and Living according to Daoism.

“…The I is not lifeless tranquility but movement, though a movement that is not change; instead it is eternal tranquility, eternal clarity within oneself. Inasmuch as it is first in Buddhism that God is known as the essential, and is thought in his essentiality – that being within self, or presence to self is the authentic determination – this being within self or this essentiality is therefore known in connection with the subject, is known as the nature of the subject, and the spiritual is self-contained…”
– Georg W. F. Hegel, On Daoism

That’s a real mouthful. If you can follow Hegel’s compound, complex sentence structure then you are definitely enlightened. I do believe that the eternal tranquility or eternal clarity within oneself is a valid description of the I or, as Hegel puts it, “this essentiality,” the nature of the subject.

In today’s video, let’s step away from tai chi for now and take in a more obscure but nevertheless skillful internal art called Baguazhang. Today’s practitioner is Suijen Chen from the 15th World Wushu Championships in Shanghai, China.

 

11/15/2022

We continue today with our second excerpt from Georg Wilhem Friedrich Hegel, one of the fathers of modern Western philosophy, on his perspective of Daoist thought and philosophy in our November series on Life and Living according to Daoism.

“The thought of immortality lies precisely in the fact that, in thinking, human beings are present to themselves in their freedom. In thinking, one is utterly independent, nothing else can intrude upon one’s freedom – one relates only to oneself, and nothing else can have a power upon one. This equivalence with myself, the I, this subsisting with self, is what is genuinely immortal and subject to no alteration; it is the unchangeable itself, what has actual being only within itself and moves only within itself.”
– Georg W. F. Hegel, On Daoism

Hegel’s theory of immortality would be true except for one very important factor that he omits – not from philosophy but from psychology – and that is the subconscious. Our subconscious and ultimately our unconscious mind is built upon conditioning, which in turn is built upon the influences and our experiences with family, teachers, friends and society at large. And it is these ideas and concepts of what life is and how it should be led that influences our thoughts. So, to say that in thinking one is utterly independent and nothing else can intrude upon one’s freedom is completely false. Some part of society, no matter how miniscule, is with us within every thought. More from Hegel tomorrow. Enjoy your practice, folks.

You have no doubt heard it said of tai chi that “four ounces defeats a thousand pounds.” Well, in today’s Internal Arts video, Sifu Adam Misner sets the record straight as he explains jin power and how it is generated and used in tai chi.

 

11/14/2022

Today’s commentary on our November theme of Life and Living according to Daoism comes from a most unusual source – Georg Wilhem Friedrich Hegel, one of the founding figures of modern Western philosophy. In his dissertation on Daoism, Hegel interprets Daoist wisdom and philosophy through his perspective of German idealism. A rather lengthy and yet absorbing interpretation that requires breaking it down into a number of excerpts that may take up a better part of our November theme. Here is the beginning…

“While Daoism presents the attaining of immortality through the meditation and withdrawal into oneself as the highest destination of human beings, it does not in that connection declare that the soul persists intrinsically as such and essentially, that the spirit is immortal, but only that human beings can make themselves immortal through the process of abstract thinking in immediate consciousness, and that every man should do so…”

Unlike many Western and some Eastern religions, I would have to agree with Hegel that immortality is not a given. In both Daoism and its offshoot, Zen Buddhism, immortality must be worked at. Whereas Christianity, and some sects of Islam and Hinduism have always taught that humans have an immortal soul that lives on after the physical body dies. So, give that some thought, and we will continue with Hegel tomorrow. Enjoy your practice, folks.

Today’s video feature Adam Hsu from the “Martial Man” series demonstrating applications of some of the moves featured in Saturday’s Chen Tai Chi video with Chen Zheng Lei.

 

11/12/2022

We continue our November theme of Life and Living in the flow of the Dao with a famous quote from the Dao De Ching…

“If you want to become straight, first let yourself become twisted. If you want to become full, first let yourself become empty. If you want to become new, first let yourself become old. Those who desires are few get them, those whose desires are great go astray.”
― Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

So, if you have only a few desires, you may actually have one or two fulfilled. But if you are never satisfied and desire more and more in daily life, then you wil lonly succeed in corrupting your life. Practice referring to the reversion of opposites that Lao-Tzu points out in the beginning and enjoy your weekend.

This weekend’s video features Chen style Tai chi with Grand Master Chen Zheng Lei from a 2015 demonstration at a Wushu tournament. Check out his soft, subtle movements contrasted with his sudden explosiveness.

 

11/11/2022

On this Veterans’ Day, I want to thank all veterans reading this post for your service. Continuing our November theme of the Daoist perspective on Life and Living with another quote by Chuang-Tzu. It’s not one of his famous quotes but an important one nevertheless as he discusses a particularly significant virtue of a sage, his bearing or demeanor.

“A man like this will not go where he has no will to go, will not do what he has no mind to do. Though the world might praise him and say he had really found something, he would look unconcerned and never turn his head; though the world might condemn him and say he had lost something, he would look serene and pay no heed. The praise and blame of the world are no loss or gain to him.”
― Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, translated by Burton Watson

This is the demeanor we hope to accomplish ,when our self-cultivation practice has substantially progressed. See how often your demeanor changes in a day in reaction to changing situations. Enjoy your practice, everyone.

Today’s video looks at one of the more famous students of Yeung Chen Fu, the Professor, Cheng Man Ching. After leaving China and relocating in Taiwan and later in New York City, he took the 108 postures of his teacher’s form and condensed them into a form with 37 postures. On this coprehensive video, there are two versions of the Professor performing the 37 postures as well as tui shou (push hands) sequences and the Yang sword form.

 

11/10/2022

We continue with our November theme of the Daoist perspective on Life and Living with a memorable quote from Lao-Tzu and the Dao De Ching.

“Practice non-action.
Work without doing.
Magnify the small;
increase the few.
Reward bitterness with care.”
― Lao Tzu

Again we are reminded of wu-wei and humility. Add both to your practice and enjoy, folks.

Today’s video focuses on Wu Tai Chi in one of the oldest surviving Tai Chi films from the 1930’s. Here not only does Chu Minyi demonstrate his Wu style Taijiquan form but also his solo training equipment. If the music is too intrusive, mute the audio.

 

11/09/2022

We continue our November theme of the Daoist perspective on Life and Living with a quote from Chuang-Tzu.

“You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless.”
― Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Chaung-Tzu’s language as translated by Burton Watson is overly colorful not to mention dramatic, but I think you get the idea. Don’t interfere and let things transform themselves. Enjoy your practice, everyone, and be sure to study our inaugural video

We begin our inaugural presentation of Internal Arts videos with the only known video of Yeung Chen Fu’s eldest son, Yeung Sau Chung. The quality of the recording is very poor since it was taken from an old 8mm film that the British authorities in Hong Kong required Master Yeung to provide in order to assuage officials from Mainland China that Yeung’s family tai chi was not dangerous. Therefore, Master Yeung hid, sped up or eliminated moves that involved internal energies and explosiveness. Nevertheless, his correct posture and fluidity are evident if you watch closely and rerun it a few times.

 

11/08/2022

PLEASE NOTE: We are changing our Diary format slightly. Beginning Wednesday, November 9, along with our Daoist Daily Diary quotes, we will also be including videos of past and present Internal Arts Masters in Taichi, Baguazhang, Xingyi and Nei Gong. The videos will include forms, tui shou (push hands), and applications.

Continuing our November theme of Life and Living from the Daoist perspective, today we hear once more from Lieh-tzu This time he reveals the Daoist way to travel.

““Travel is such a wonderful experience! Especially when you forget you are traveling. Then you will enjoy whatever you see and do. Those who look into themselves when they travel will not think about what they see. In fact, there is no distinction between the viewer and the seen. You experience everything with the totality of yourself, so that every blade of grass, every mountain, every lake is alive and is a part of you. When there is no division between you and what is other, this is the ultimate experience of traveling.”
― Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living

Not only has Lieh-tzu reveal how to travel on a trip but also how to travel through Life and follow the Dao. Enjoy your practice, everyone. And make sure you get out to vote, if you haven’t already. Taylor Swift tell us how…

 

11/07/2022

We continue our November theme of Life and Living from the Daoist perspective with the man known as the Sage of Tea, Lu Yu, (733-804), an ancient Tea Master and writer, best known for his monumental work, “The Classic of Tea.” The verse below is his way of telling us to “Chill out!”

“The clouds above us join and separate,
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?”
― Lu Yu

Go ahead and brew a cup of tea, then relax and celebrate how much you enjoy your practice, everyone. But don’t get too relaxed that you forget to vote. Only today and tomorrow left, so follow Taylor Swift’s advice…

 

11/05/2022

A short one to live by from Chuang-Tzu…

“Don’t go in and hide; don’t come out and shine; stand stock-still in the middle.”
― Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

So, you got it. That’s it. Stand stock-still in the middle, and enjoy your weekend, folks.

 

11/04/2022

Today’s quote on the Daoist perspective toward Life and Living is actually from one of the earliest Chan Buddhist poems and is attributed to Seng Tsan, the third patriarch of Chan, which combined aspects of Daoism and Buddhism and later became known as Zen when it was brought to Japan.

“When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the slightest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.”
― Hsin Hsin Ming

Is it possible as we near the hotly-contested mid-term elections not to hold any opinion for or against anything? Just asking? Okay, go ahead and enjoy your practice, folks.

 

11/03/2022

Continuing our November theme of Life and Living from a Daoist perspective, today Chuang Tzu gives us a conversation between himself and his friend. Hui-tse.

Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, “I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same – useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them.”

Chung-txe replied, “You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.”
– Chuang-tzu, Zhungzi (the Book of Chuang-tzu) translated by Burton Watson.

So practice everyday making yourself useless and enjoy your practice.

 

11/02/2022

Continuing our November theme of Life and Living from a Daoist perspective, we have a profoundly insightful thought from Liezi on how not to live our lives:

“Some people think they can find satisfaction in good food, fine clothes, lively music, and sexual pleasure. However, when they have all these things, they are not satisfied. They realize happiness is not simply having their material needs met. Thus, society has set up a system of rewards that go beyond material goods. These include titles, social recognition, status, and political power, all wrapped up in a package called self-fulfillment. Attracted by these prizes and goaded on by social pressure, people spend their short lives tiring body and mind to chase after these goals. Perhaps this gives them the feeling that they have achieved something in their lives, but in reality they have sacrificed a lot in life. They can no longer see, hear, act, feel, or think from their hearts. Everything they do is dictated by whether it can get them social gains. In the end, they’ve spent their lives following other people’s demands and never lived a life of their own. How different is this from the life of a slave or a prisoner?”
― Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living

If you don’t want to be a prisoner or a slave of life, then follow Liezi’s advice. Don’t chase after fulfillment and achievement. You are already fulfilled. You really have nothing to gain, nor should you have. Instead practice self-cultivation and by all means enjoy life, everyone.

 

11/01/2022

Yesterday we ended our October Halloween theme on Death and Dying from a Daoist perspective with a final quote from Zhuangzi. Today we begin our November theme of Life from a Daoist perspective with a very short but immensely profound quote from none other than Zhuangzi…

“Do not use life to give life to death. Do not use death to bring death to life.” — Zhuangzi

Beautiful and wise, reflect on it, meditate, see how you are going against Zhuangzi’s advice by letting your subconscious fears bring death to your life. Then give life to Life by enjoying your practice, folks.

 

 

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