Friday, September 7, 2018

The Dao De Jing: A Qigong Interpretation


Being loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone other than yourself gives you courage. Being loyal to someone or something greater than oneself is a true test of a person of integrity. Lessons and Memories of my father today one year since his passing.

For me it's rather ironic that Master Yang's ~ The Dao De Jing: A Qigong Interpretation was released today on the one year anniversary of my fathers passing. He was a great fan of his since I introduced his Qigong teachings to him over 20 + years ago. He liked listening to all the old recordings of Master Yang and his story's of his life, wit and cranking on western culture that I would bring back many years ago. My father really liked him because he believed was a great teacher and a person of integrity, and very brilliant to say the least.

So this book has been in the making for many decades. Many years ago at Jamaica Plains School in Boston either in Winter time or Summer time retreat season Master Yang would issue a piece here or there,but nothing to the extent it is now. 

Looking Back: A little background on my experience on studying with Master Yang; I studied with him privately, took his local classes and attended his seasonal winter and summer retreat workshops (Qigong 1- 8) yearly from the early 1990's through early 2002. We even had a great White Crane training group in Scottsdale AZ. I had translated his Bone Marrow Washing Herb Formulas as well as his Traumatic injury herb formulas privately with the Help of Dr. Henry Lu of Vancouver way...back in the day. I will post these on my new website this winter, they are very good. For a couple of years I was seller of his books and videos which helped many out greatly pre fully accessible internet days. I found him to a invaluable Master and still practice the styles I have learned from him, as well as the healing massage techniques.

With all things in life things, change happens. He was going to move to California and start the retreat center and I had went on to learn many other advance practices etc. The memories are still there along the great experiences I had for many years. I will say this any of us that trained at YMAA  Headquarters were one of the best groups to this day I have seen. Kinda like the Julliard for Martial Artist and Qigong Healers. Everyone was always well prepared, rehearsed and knew the practices. You automatically became better practicing with everyone.

Onto the Book:

For students of his method's this is a well welcomed and long awaited study guide. The book is kinda like two books in one; he translated the Wang Bi version of the Dao De Jing and used his experience and writing skills for each chapter with, detail analysis of it. Then each chapter has a Qigong  interpretation. Which really are great prompt notes for Qigong practice for beginners to advanced alike. There is also a wonderful appendix of Chinese terms that relate to the book.

What you want to remember with this text is that follows master Yang's view on Chinese Qigong culture and how he teaches it. It is not a Taoist Interpretation which is totally different in presentation which takes personal mentoring into it. So some people might scoff the idea of Qigong and the Dao De Jing existing together in one book.  But who cares the book is less than $30.00 and is 539 pages thick; a great deal which could be the cost of printing alone. 

I give it AAA+++ well worth the wait and will nourish your contemplative experience on Dao, energy and the meaning of life. If its your first Qigong book what a book to have; maybe the only one you will need for many years.  Express your free will purchase it today : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594396191/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Gary W. Abersold
 9/7/2018
    
  

      

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Opinion ~ John McCain: A True Leader and National Hero



Above: John McCain is escorted by Lt. Cmdr. Jay Coupe Jr. to Hanoi's Gia Lam Airport on March 14, 1973, after 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war. The enduring spirit that never caved in.  

John McCain: The True American Spirit
For most of my childhood I witnessed the aftermath of what the Vietnam war did to the men and women that served our country; it literally amputated their soul in half. A very unpopular war and our society in many areas did not support them or welcome them back either.  Lets face it we treated them like second class citizens, they were treated unfair, but yet they gave all for the country. It was a troubled time for sure. 

I still find it amazing that John McCain survived the brutal treatment as a POW for 5 1/2 years and stuck it out with his fellow soldiers. He could of easily took the easy route but he did not he took the hard road because it was just and right. He followed the code of honor, integrity and to have each others back in the face of adversity. He did not cut and run or cave in; he understood everyone had to be there for each other. This is why hes a true American Hero and be remembered as a Icon for sure. 

 I voted for John McCain when he ran the second time around against Barack Obama. I simply thought he deserved it and had proved he was a true leader. I have no problems with President Obama, he did a great job as a president.  It all worked for the good anyway, the universe always balances things out for higher purposes. 
It is troubling that we have a sitting President who cannot even put his petty personal insecurity to rest during the national wake for Senator McCain. He is obviously jealous of his heroics and knows he will never be loved like Senator McCain. That's because John McCain had integrity and character which showed through life actions, and will be remembered for it. 

Dear President Donald Trump,

Why did you hate John McCain so much? I think you owe the American people a simple answer; or is it because hes everything you will never be...a real Icon, Hero and good person.

Gary Abersold
American Citizen  



          

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Tai Chi 氣 Chi Flow Teacher Announcement







Congratulations to Bella Hebert for passing the  Tai Chi ~Chi Flow (太極氣流) Teacher Certification Test. She is one of the first students I began teaching the beginning elements of the system to here in Michigan three years ago. Bella is now Certified in the Level I of the Tai Chi ~Chi Flow System. 

 Bella has been teaching Qigong classes for several years now, runs a ongoing Qigong program in Livonia and in Lyon Township. A dedicated Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioner as well.  I met Bella way back in fall of 2002 when I taught my first large group class of Qigong at Renaissance Unity Church. She has been a dedicated student and practitioner for over 16 years and understands my teachings of my master Teachers better than anyway here at Qigong Healing Centre. 

She also is a woman of many talents certified in Jose Silva Meditation Method, excellent painter, licensed hair stylist for many decades with a private clientele, great parent and grandparent to her family and much more. The most admired quality of Bella besides here of her long list of achievements is that of a Genuine person. Students and friends like her classes because of her aura of receptivity to participate and enjoy life.

GWA 
   

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sacred Symbol of Awakening ~ Lotus Flower


A student asked who's explanation on the Lotus Flower is correct? It's a good question since there's literally hundreds of articles on it. I feel everyone is allowed to express there feelings on anything; and I don't want to be the policeman on who's right, who's wrong. I believe everyone has their worth to chime in. 

One pithy answer from my early Ordained Buddhist Mentor is that the Lotus Flower is an important symbol in Buddhism, as it represents the process of awakening. The Lotus Flower beginning as a seed, it becomes secured in the sticky muck of a pond or dead end water body, and grows from that environment to blossom into this beautiful radiant flower. 

As a sacred symbol of awakening it represents the purity of our awakened body/mind, which in order to manifest itself, has to spring from the muck of normal existence. The Buddhist Religion in many forms has depicted this in their sacred art. The Lotus Flower/Lotus Blossom  is often depicted in the hands of various Icon's or shown as a platform seat on which they sit.  There are countless Buddhist documents, Recitation Practice's, short Mantra's (vocalization as a form of meditation), Mudra's (hand symbols) and Lotus Meditations using tantric imagery, and schools named after the Lotus Flower. Properly understood it for sure came from the Buddhist and has merged into many other systems of spirituality and health.


 Lotus Flower Invocation 

The purity of heaven, purity of earth; purity within and without; purity of my sense organs. Our mind being pure, there is no impurity in any pollution. Our sense organs of our body are pure, I am one with spirits of heaven and earth. Just as the awakened one has taught us the teaching of the Lotus Flower is like the shadow that accompanies form, if what we and what we do are pure, then all our personal request will be fulfilled and our happiness and longevity will be limitless. I am now endowed with the most revered and supreme sacred treasured teaching, my body/mind is pure like a beautiful Lotus Flower which transformed out of the emotional mud of the world.    

GWA

   
                                       

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Transformation Benefits of Chanting Practice (updated 7/15/2018)


I have been receiving many emails in the past weeks about "Healing Sounds", and Chanting practice of late. So I thought it would be timely to write a quick entry on it and what I think.

My experience with Chanting began with my first Teacher when I was 13; it was in the form of Morning and Evening Ritual Hommage practice of the Japanese Buddhist  Religion I still follow to this day. As time went on more liturgies and empowerment and practice came into play. A serious practice of Zen Meditation was always present, in which I was required to study the history and the many components of it. The Heart Sutra is one of many popular ones that many learn (image above).    

When I was a teenager I had many health issues and could hardly breathe, focus and function. Which cause myself many personal problems. I found this practice of chanting to be very beneficial to my health and works on many levels. Different sounds vibrate different spiritual centers, invigorating the body and releasing trapped energy. Repeated chanting promotes our physical, mental and spiritual activities, providing positive adaptability to any environment and to deal with the stresses of life.

Scientific research in East Asia and the West has showed evidence that these type of breath control practice are not only a textbook perfect form of healing meditation, but also reverse oxygen deficiency (hypoxia), increase blood saturation and bio electric components of the overall body. In the future the "big buzz" will be how transformation exercises reverse hypoxia and in controlling effects of Cancer. This is my opinion although.   

As the years have ticked on and with many mentors have learned many practices in this area. I still practice many sound resonation practice's and traditional liturgies to this day. These East Asian liturgies have been used for thousands of years because the effects of repeated chanting are very beneficial. You don't have to be a Buddhist, Taoist or a Hindu to benefit from chanting. If you practice it seriously one will find that it helps to develop breathing control, focuses the mind and makes everything better. Just do it for a week or more and see if you feel better!

Pearls of Wisdom Notes: Ling Yan ( 言霊) rough English meaning  "Spiritual Words/Phrases of Empowerment" is a common belief in the traditional schools of practice. Mantras and Healing Sounds Systems are ubiquitous and a melting pot of village practice, culture, belief and imported dialects by neighboring country's. The tangible mystical powers reside within the sacred liturgy itself and come alive when invoked and dutifully followed. In the last 70 years hybrid "Qigong" has adopted it into it's culture and really is a endless list.  The Ling Yan Concept "Spiritual Words of Empowerment", use Mudra (hand symbolism), Mantra (vocalization) and internal image (creative visualization) focusing as well.

The Ling Yan common teaching is that these sacred scripts have a tangible and intrinsic power capable of affecting Body, Mind and Spirit's. Through activation practice one develops various levels of empowerment and stages of awareness. The different levels of power are revealed through health, moving meditation and even while doing everyday life. The mentor teachers responsibility is to introduce the teaching and the rest lies on unshakable faith of the devotee to the path. This can be universal as well in other spirtual systems that use Chanting or sounds systems to empower themselves for connection to the source or a higher level of awareness. ~G. W. Abersold     

       

GWA


Monday, July 9, 2018

Be the Light that Illuminates the Way ©





 When we come into the world, as we mature one can be mislead by culture, trends and technology. If we live our lives for what the outer world pushes onto oneself and don't cultivate our own life - we truly become likened to "animal herd mentality".  Then we have loss the real meaning of our life.

Personal worth and experience  is truly seldom recognized and appreciated in our society. The world at times seems to reward people that are popular, greedy and of poor character. It has been a problem since the beginning of time and will continue. It's important to avoid these pitfalls of our existence and follow truly people and things that have great integrity and tangible value. Find the true mentors of whatever you are into to help you along the way, but you must do the personal growth and work. They cannot do it for you.

As you live your life, if we long to be what Society of the World wants you to be, our life will be empty, no matter what you believe that you have achieved. We must examine deeply into our own life. For it's not hard to realize that true power does not come from outside or around you; but from our own personal skill development.

It takes much patience to filter the people, events and things out that really have true meaning. If you don't learn this you will forever chasing your tail of "chaos". The sages of old have taught our natural integrity, contentment and clarity is our foundation of true happiness and of everything we seek in life is found with our personal path. This truly is the "gold" that is worth investing time into for personal achievement. 

Spirituality and Pathways are not about graduating, or mastering. It's all about being better than yesterday; learning "how to be less wrong" and living a life of hope and upright character. All the Sages teach a life of service - help the "down and trodden" and be the light in many's life. A lesson taught that some follow but many abandon once they get deluded by greed and hubris. 

When you are around people think of the north star and bigger dipper a never ceasing sparkling source of energy to uplift anyone. This in a sense you are not alone. Just do a silent countdown of  1-2-2-4-5...okay now "lets sparkle and make a difference"!

The only true thing in life we own is our personal experience, integrity and how we carry ourself. Where ever you are today is from your own navigating; stop blaming your parents or others it is on you. Do some real personal work and change what you don't like. Everyone deserves a fresh start give yourself that start today.

Look in life to to cultivate oneself this is the foundation of true happiness. Learn how to be the architect of your own blue print in life; for this is worth achieving.  Learn how to harness the power of self through life. Only you can do it.

GWA 
     
    

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Unless youre Native American; you have a Chain of Immigration


Over 118 years ago my great grandmother took her 5 children to a White Star line Ship (same company of Titanic) and shipped them off before her from Nivola Finland to escape the Nazi's and the Russian Red Guard. Four daughters and one brother made it to New York and my grandmother vividly recalled "once you saw statue of liberty" you knew you would be safe; America accepts anyone it was magical." They didn't know English or anything all they had was what they were wearing and a little money from their parents.  My grandmother is first on the left; her oldest sister on far right ran the whole show. They immigrated eventually and settled into Hancock Michigan and the rest is history.  

I often take this story and cherished picture to heart throughout my life; how lucky I am to be American and have free will to do whatever I like pretty much. Whenever I feel sorry for myself I pull this up on my phone and changes everything in a instant. I often wonder could I pull off what they did?

The President rode on "Make America Great Again"; his immigration Policy is fueled by scare the public and having a "us against the Rest of the World". His heart is on Building the Wall; by the time its gets done maybe many of us will be climbing that wall to get the hell out of here! All he is doing is causing a police state and creating more unneeded unrest. I like to remind him his ancestors were foreigners as well; not to mention two of his wife's as well. I usually stay out of cranking about politics but what the hell is really going on now. I am glad my Grandmother is not alive to see this nor her sisters or brother, they would be heartbroken in disbelief. America can you hear us, see us or feel us? Where are you......signed souls of hope and freedom
 
   I leave you today withe inscription on the statue of liberty:



 Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

GWA

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Meditation Moment: Cultivating Daily Balance


 A common trend in American Culture is to rush, hurry up, achieve, and proceed non stop. What many are lacking although is how to find balance, take time out for ourselves and appreciate our current daily life. This is why a Body/Mind system that fits your age, personality and body type is so crucial. Finding what is correct for you and developing it, is very important if you care about yourself.

If you don't take time for yourself outside of your Family, Spouse and Work Life, it will not be a surprise that you feel burned/fried out. I am forever grateful for what I have practiced since a young teenager and developed during my life. It has brought many many personal treasures beyond words.

 To see it through you will need a slick mind; in many ways blind faith on "Giving it a Serious Try" and enduring Spirit. Be it Qigong, Meditation or a personal Yogic Tradition, it will take commitment to it beyond what you normally give to normal activity's. Invest in yourself..

GWA

New Certified Teacher in Tai Chi 氣 Chi Flow Level I (太極氣流) and Emei Lotus Tradition I


Congratulations to Kathy Liang for passing the Certification Test in  Tai Chi  氣 Chi Flow Level I (太極氣流), a student now - a teacher dedicated to the tradition. She also received a teacher Certificate in Emei Lotus Meditation  and  Certificate of Completion of the Emei 49 day Purification Tradition. She will have classes in North West Michigan area; for more information contact us through this website.

Kathy has been a rare student whom practices what she comes to class for. I can see it in her practice and how she carry's herself in daily life.  A student of the past 4 years of weekly private classes; she's a textbook perfect example of following traditional guidance through verbal instruction and one on one training.  A perfect example of real experiences gets you to the end goal, and learning how to integrate "Qigong Way of Life" in one's everday experience.

I have taken her through many traditional foundations and rare ritual practice of  Emei Mountain Healing that Master Wen Lei Chen had taught me many years ago in Windsor at Reaume Park. Today was coming full circle where had I met her four years ago as curious student; she now is one of my most competent teachers to share Health and Wellness practices of Qigong and Ritual Meditation. Great Job :)

Gary W. Abersold
     

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tai Chi 氣 Chi Flow Teacher Announcement

We had a great weekend of Qigong Classes and Teacher Certifications! Congratulations to Bella Hebert and Kathryn Trevethan in Tai Chi  氣 Chi Flow Level I (太極氣流). Both of them practiced diligently, understand this level and performed them correctly.  Very proud of my students and friends that practiced what I have taught in the public in the past many years.

This was the first weekend of classes since last September. I took time off from passing of my father and the loooong winter we had. Its encouraging to see students keep there practice strong without me there to prod them constantly. 

New student Qigong workshops are available generally on Saturdays at 3:00pm. In these workshop's I introduce you to the Chi Cultivation practice and Flow system. Comes with a reminder video and access to my email Qigong group. Great opportunity for those serious about really learning Qigong practice. You can reach me at taozahnchi@gmail.com

GWA


http://www.qigonghealingcenter.com/certified-teachers

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Wu Wei is advised in Six Circumstances in the Tao Teh Ching


1. Avoiding Competition: "The Tao of the Sage is to act but not to compete with others" (Ch 81)

2. Avoiding Creating Hardship: "Those who avoid creating problems are clever & donot act" (Ch3)

3. Avoiding emphasis on One's Ability: "Acts but does not absorb credit" (Ch2)

4. Existing in accord with Tao of all things: "I follow "Wu Wei", and people
    transform themselves (Ch 57)

5. Following Nature: "The Tao always exist in "Wu Wei", but leaves nothing undone" (Ch 37)

6. Pro-activeness to anticipate dilemma's: "Act before the problem happens; manage before disorder arises" (Ch64)

The above is taught as follows "Wu Wei" has two meanings. One is the highest state of our mind, free from habitual patterns, free from desire and attachment. Two is is the quality of acting according to nature. The above illustrates six circumstances as advised by Lao Tsu in the Tao Teh Ching.



Taoist of China teach that wise people choose to follow Lao Tsu's method of the Path of Tao. Supporting and educating the common householder's by one's living example. People who follow "Wu Wei" essentially all anyone to live their lives as they see fit with unabridged freedom to grow and flourish. The Sage of the Tao holds nothing against anyone or anything from the smallest silk worm to the soaring Dragons of Heaven. People who cultivate their lives through "Wu Wei Tao" learn how to actualize all things to life, but does not hold to them as well. They follow a path of balance and non assuming action, which brings contentment and success with ease.

Notes: Chinese Spiritual Traditions emphasize "one culture three practice systems" meaning Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Common features among the three systems are as follows. Taoism Wu Wei encourages and permits everyone to follow their own true nature. Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen guides everyone to awaken to their own true face. Confucianism teaches no worshiping of gods, Gurus or my spirituality/religion. Therefore historically anyone or everyone could in Chinese culture can become a Master, Sage or God to the people who think they have  great merit or special skill in some cases.                           
 
         

Friday, March 23, 2018

Introduction to Wu Wei Chapter 2 Tao Teh Ching



 無爲 
Wu Wei

 天下皆知美之為美,斯惡已。皆知善之為善,斯不善已。故有無相生,難易相成,長短相較,高下相傾,音聲相和,前後相隨。是以聖人處無為之事,行不言之教;萬物作焉而不辭,生而不有。為而不恃,功成而弗居。夫唯弗居,是以不去

Under Heaven everyone knows that the capacity of the beautiful depends on the existence of ugly. Everyone knows the capacity of kindness to be kind depends on the existence of unkind.

Existence and nothingness are mutually born, difficult and easy mutually complement each other, long and short mutually shape one another, tall and short mutually fill one another, sound and music mutually harmonize, before and after mutually follow one another; So there is balance.
 
This is why the sage engages in "non-action" (wu wei無爲). He engages in teaching by not speaking. He achieves all things but undertakes nothing. He produces but has nothing. He acts but does not depend. He accomplishes meritorious acts but does not possess. Since he does not possess he is not lost.

Quick Notes: Wu Wei is taught throughout the Tao Te Ching in six chapters they are - chapters 2, 3, 37, 57, 64, 81.

Wu Wei: The foundational life code as taught by Lao Tsu. To live ones life without compulsive needs, wants or agendas. Dissolve neurosis of the self, desires and attachments-to live ones life in accord with nature and natural cycles.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Our Biggest Enemy in Life

Be Content Who You Are 
Part I

If we spend our life trying to compare or lurk around to see what others are doing, we cause much harm to ourselves. Engaging in this kinda of activity is a complete waste of time. Not to mention it causes much problems in the mind and heart.

As soon as we pass away from this life and unzip out of our body we are equal. We all meet the same fate no matter how rich or poor we are. 

Each of us are part of the Tao's heart; we are put on this earth likened in many ways as an assistant. If someone achieves faster or greater than you;...be honest with yourself see it for what it truly is ~a wonderful achievement of hard work and effort for that person. 

Our life is a reflection of our own uniqueness, value and place in whatever we are into. Throughout one's life we will meet people all the time, that have higher ability or skill; and that is ok. Wouldn't be a dull world if everyone was exactly the same? Everyone should celebrate peoples uniqueness and abilities. 

The act of being "Content" is a major teaching throughout the teachings of Lao Tsu. Invest energy to better yourself and forget about whats going on around you or in "internet land". 

In the Taoist practice of Centering Meditation and casting our issues aside, and cultivating our self daily; you will find much peace that is already there. You will find that through practicing of contentment and peace where you are right now the energy of truth comes through the fog and chaos of our body/mind.

 We experience there is no jealous, hate or worry. Our experience is likened to a clean window in which we can look at things more calm and clear. We find there is no need for adversarial emotions; each of us can then strive for cultivating meaningful lives with anyone we encounter. 

The need for justifying is gone. We can develop ourselves for personal higher purposes. People that connect to the Well of Wisdom of Natural Healing of Nourishing Life Arts and Spiritual Cultivation begun to ascend personally to a high level.

 To end this part I section begin to focus on daily life experience's right here and now:

 The past is behind us; 
the future has not reached us;
 Why bother with things that cannot be reached?
Focus on Life today.  

   


      
 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Seven Teachings of Tao within Tao Teh Ching



Seven Concepts
of 
Tao 

Tao has been translated as Way, principle, nature, road and many other related terms. For practitioners of Tao ( 道) it is the source of everything; the original ingredient to life as we know it. It is so vast and mosaic none of us can tell how it started. It is by itself ~never born nor dying.  Tao is so grand it is limitless; at the same time it is so subtle and fine it travels through anything. Lao Tsu tried himself to see it but it's invisible; he tried to feel it but could not feel it; He asked for it's voice but nothing responded in a communicable voice.

The general ideas here can be found in the Tao Teh Ching found in chapters 4, 23, 32,34,35,41,53,62, and chapter 77. Here you will find citations to the generic term Tao within the chapters themselves, within the theme of lessons.

With that being notated although, there are although, seven key conceptual meanings that are used in many Taoist of China teachings of the Tao Teh Ching or a.k.a. the "Lao Tsu". Taoist of China are simply my terms for teachers and friends whom are a lineage of Taoist whom use Lao Tsu's teachings as a foundational source of transcendence to the source.  Below I will list them for anyone's own personal meditation & contemplative practice:       
 
 

1. Truth/Eternity: "The Tao which one can explain is not the unchanging Tao". (Ch. 1)
2. Creator/Creation: "The Tao gives birth to all things; virtue rears them". (Ch.51)
3. Energetic Power: " Returning is motion of Tao". (Ch.40)
4. Omnipresence: "Its alone stands without changes. It is omnipresent and endless. It may be the mother of our world. I don't know it's name, but name it the Tao; source of all things". (Ch. 25)
5. Foundations & Principles: "If you hold to the Tao of ancient life, one will manage existence in the present. If one can know the origin;..it is called the precepts of the Tao". (Ch.14)
6. Supreme Standard: "Our greatest virtue expression is to only follow and practice Tao". (Ch.21)
7. Nature: The Tao follows Nature. (Ch. 25)
  



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tao Teh Ching Chapter I: What is the Tao? (老子道德經)


Chapter I: What is the Tao? (老子道德經)


 Traditional Chinese: 道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。此兩者,同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,衆妙之門。

English Translation: 

The Tao which one can explain is not the unchanging Tao。The name which can one name is not the unchanging name。Nothingness is the name of the beginning of Heaven and Earth。Existence is the name of mother of all things。

Therefore one should always emphasize nothingness, if one desires to observe the marvelousness of the Tao; one should always emphasize existence if one desires to observe the limits of the Tao。

These two have the same origin but different names; one could call both of them profound。More profound than profound, they are the gate of all marvelous things 。

Elementary Commentary/Understanding:

The key concepts of what Lao Tsu is teaching us here from the beginning is that Tao is eternal, the nameless, the source and substance of all things as we know it. Concepts of the "named" and the "unchanging name" or even better the "nameless" are emphasized here. In East Asian Spiritual Studies the concept of a name is common throughout the land, but the revelations's of Lao Tsu's thoughts on life is unique in this respect. Many traditions thrust upon it's followers a correspondence of  names, individuals and actualities; to accept them as necessary as a pathway to goodness. Lao Tsu clearly in his writings rejects names, individuals in favor of the "nameless". This shows a radical departure from common tradition even in his ancient time when he wrote these statements out. 

Lao Tsu teaches us that "Tao" is the "unchanging nameless" origin of heaven and earth, and all creatures great and small. The simplicity message of "without names"; is to understand that when tagged "names, titles, etc" arises the oneness of Tao is split up into individual things with "names" which is for sure is a red flag - time to stop and check out, or  better yet get away from those kind of dis-empowering ideas.

Lao Tsu introduces ideas of "nothingness and existence", sometimes taught as "being and non being" which are important here, for in Lao Tsu's teaching's "Wu Ming" (無名: nameless, literally the nothingness name) is equivalent to non being and the named "You Ming/Yu Ming": (有名 the existence name) is commonly accepted as being. Followers of East Asian Studies are very familiar of "being and non being", or sometimes taught as "nothingness and existence". These are omni present in the melting pot of East Asian Thought Schools. Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian all share these ideas in their teachings for thousands of years. In some modern traditions it might read like " always be of no desires" and "always be of desires". The scholar who was responsible for the organization of the Tao Teh Ching, Wang Pi wrote based on his studies with Taoist of the Lao Tsu lineage that "all beings originated in "non being before being".

The term "Tao" (道) is used by Lao Tsu cautiously knowing that it's not entirely correct. The teachings of Wen Tsu the famous student of Lao Tsu ( 文子) explains it best:

Lao Tsu taught that "There is something, an undifferentiated whole, that was created before heaven and Earth. It has only abstract images, no solid form. It is deep, dark, silent and undefined, I donot hear it's voice! Assigning a name provisionally I call it "Tao".

***More updates to come on this entry; Meditate and ponder on the subtle treasures of the Tao ***


GWA




  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Invocation of Master Chang Tsai


Western Wall Incantation

Heaven is my Father and Earth is my Mother, and even such a small creature as myself, find an intimate place in their midst. Therefore that which fills the universe I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider as my nature. 

All people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions.The great ruler is the eldest son of my parents, and the great ministers are his stewards. Respect the aged -- this is the way to treat them as elders should be treated. Show deep love toward the orphaned and the weak -- this is the way to treat them as the young should be treated. The sage identifies his character with that of Heaven and Earth, and the worthy is the most outstanding man. Even those who are tired, infirm, crippled, or sick; those who have no brothers or children, wives or husbands, are all my brothers who are in distress and have no one to turn to. 

Wealth, honor, blessing, and benefits are meant for the enrichment of my life, while poverty, humble station, and sorrow are meant to help me to fulfillment.
In life I follow and serve. In death I will be at peace.

Commentary:

 Master Chang Tsai was a famous a teacher from "Rational Idealism  Confucian" school of thought in the 11th Century. I posted this because Master Chang Tsai is almost unknown in English speaking culture. The above passage was found on his western wall in his study. Concepts of  "Rational Idealism"; which are naturalness, connectedness, belonging, being always present and mindful where ever you may be. These are all qualities that anyone would appreciate. Traditional Chinese thought which is almost always transmitted through verbal dictation and written prompt books teaches anyone our spirit's are connected. With the power of memory and tradition, to the past it prepares us, with Spiritual Empowerment, for the future. It's a wonderful piece to say the least especially in a time where basic ethics and morality are at a all time low.   

GWA  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wisdom of William Saroyan


The Time of Your Life
W. Saroyan


In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.

footnote: From the Play's monoluge "The Time of Your Life" (1939)   

A Symbol of Hope for All


Statue of Liberty
 Hand Drawn Picture 1883  

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The above is the full inscription from the statue of liberty. The Statue for most immigrants is the first thing they see/look for when coming by ship. My Grandmother on my fathers side recounted many times how they had to take what they wore and could carry in one bag, to leave their current life forever! This was in the early 1900's and she told me when they saw the statue they knew half the battle was over. They believed deep in their heart that once they arrived at Ellis Island they would be free from persecution of the Communist. 

The United States is a multi layered enclave of immigrants from all walks of life. This Country is more than just a symbol, but that of "hope, freedom, opportunity and place of new beginnings". In my life I have encountered many cultures, music and stage training and customs brought here by these indigenous people, whom have graciously shared with me the "foreigner". Although if you enjoy your Qigong Traditions, Yogic Arts or Martial Arts, you owe the gratitude to the people whom brought it here. This would not be possible if we were not a Integrated Society.


  
Each day more and more stories about immigrants being deported, DACA bill being rescinded in September. These are steps backwards not forwards; maybe George Orwell got is right in his essay of Nationalism read the cliff notes here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_on_Nationalism    

I am not here to bash the White House or the President, I will leave that for all the self righteous Facebooker's and Tweeter's. What I do think is we are going backwards, and talent, imagination and brilliant minds are not getting a fair chance because of partisan politics. Just remember if you like something that is uniquely imported from a different land such as Qigong, it is solely because of these brave men and women that forged to our foreign land. They seeked what Lady Liberty Stands for with her torch burning on high - Opportunity for all. Interesting that a Female Icon on our shores of New York Represents Balance and Opportunity?

GWA