Friday, June 28, 2013

Cookie of Childhood

Cookie of Childhood
by Thich Nhat Hanh
from Peace Is Every Step

“When I was four years old, my mother used to bring me a cookie every time she came home from the market. I always went to the front yard and took my time eating it, sometimes half an hour or forty-five minutes for one cookie. I would take a small bite and look up at the sky. Then I would touch the dog with my feet and take another small bite. I just enjoyed being there, with the sky, the earth, the bamboo thickets, the cat, the dog, the flowers. I was able to do that because I did not have much to worry about. I did not think of the future, I did not regret the past. I was entirely in the present moment, with my cookie, the dog, the bamboo thickets, the cat, and everything.

It is possible to eat our meals as slowly and joyfully as I ate the cookie of my childhood. Maybe you have the impression that you have lost the cookie of your childhood, but I am sure it is still there somewhere in your heart. Everything is still there, and if you really want it, you can find it. Eating mindfully is a most important practice of meditation. W can eat in a way that we restore the cookie of our childhood. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” 

 What has this to do with playing Tai Chi?  Everything!  Hope to see you in class.

 Sifu,  Gene


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Reasons to Study Qigong and Neigong

We practice Elemental Qigong, defined as "Essential" so we can connect to the advanced philosophy of internal development ..... Nei Gong. We gain strength and softness through Sung (tranquil) breathing directing relaxed, energetic and therapeutic movements. These movements incorporate all of the bodies joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles while energizing the spine and massaging all the internal organs. We effect the waste removal, immune and breathing functions of the body and ultimately regulate energy flow throughout the meridians of the body.

Using the Tai Chi movement Repulse the Monkey, as an example, we have the opportunity to take the connection, from Neigong training, and add the complexity of using all the rotational ability of the body, acute balance (walking backwards under complete control) while incorporating gross and small coordination, mindfulness, visualization, functional relaxation (not meeting force with force) and eventually having all guided by the pace of our tranquil breath (Sung Breathing). In addition we must accept what might seem as unnecessary minutia during training, as the essential exactness of Tai Chi. Simple things like where the eyes focus, expression, intent can effect postural awareness (alignment), which is a corner stone, the bed rock of all internal arts training.

By incorporating the internal principles and philosophy of Neigong (the Philosophical Art of Change) into our Qigong and Tai Chi practice, we can reach the highest levels of personal Internal Arts development.