Poems, Uncategorized

Tai Chi Is About Depth

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This morning’s neigong:
Tai Chi is all about depth;
It’s an iceberg rather than a mountain;
Not how much you know;
But how deeply you can experience.

Buddha means ‘one who is awake’;
Living fully in the present;
Experiencing life in all it’s richness;
We have a body and senses for just that purpose.

It is at is, right now in this moment;
The pressure of moist summer air on the skin;
Invigorating the internal system from the lungs;
Tasted on the tongue, smelled in the nose;
The sweet fragrant mix of roses and jasmine.

The softness of yin;
On the inside of the limbs and down the front of the body;
The empowerment of yang;
On the outside of the limbs and up the back;
The perfect harmony of the two…

The more yin your mind makes the yin;
The more you empower the yang;
And vica versa;
The depth of the experience becomes richer.

Tai Chi power is all about the depth of the awareness, focus, sensitivity and intensity;
And your ability to direct it.

 

Steve Rowe— at Shi Kon Martial Arts.

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Nature’s Way

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This morning’s neigong:
Don’t look for it…. It cannot be seen;
Don’t try to find that deep state:
Don’t think, instead just be present.

Feelings don’t require words;
Let them come and go;
Just watch whatever comes;
Thoughts, feelings – nothing stays.

Let go, let go, let go…
Just ‘be’;
Be yin, be yang, be neutral;
Be totally in the present.

Nature’s wordless speech;
Can be experienced in this state;
On this late summer overcast day;
Natures freshness has begun turning in on itself.

Soon enough it will hibernate to heal;
The earth, wind, rain and sun nourish us all;
Each one will have it’s time;
Spring, summer, autumn and winter;
As does a human life.

It’s the ‘Way’ of nature – and a wise person yields to it.

 

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Fasting Diet & Buddhism

Photo on 03-03-2018 at 12.03

Fasting Diet & Buddhism

Meditation in the bath in the mornings, rather than listening to a ‘lifestyle guru’ I like to play a ‘Dhamma Talk’ by one of the Buddhist Ajahn’s from the informative website of Amaravati Monastery.

This morning it was Ajahn Metta and just labelled ‘Dhamma Talk’. Her voice was very quiet and was difficult to hear above my abolutery splashing sounds, but I laid still to listen to see whether to change it – and am I glad that I didn’t!

She was discussing fasting and diet and how the ‘switch off’ for religous fasting was easier than a controlled diet and being a meditator and Buddhist, the process of watching her mind on a diet was important. I am currently doing the same thing with both intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet so this was ‘gold dust’ for me.

I will summarise her points and add my own notes in my own way:

Pooh Bear said ‘the most delicious taste whilst eating honey is the moments before you put it in your mouth’. This is the rising of desire (our anticipatory mind).

If you recognise this arising, don’t push it away, investigate it fully. Ajahn Metta received the food, smelled it and put it on her shrine to examine her mind. The desire was to eat, it appeared that her body craved nourishment, when denied it eventually eased, but after a while would come back again. When denied again, it would appear with a different face, like sexual desire or ‘wanting’ something.

Her point was that desire had many faces but in fact was the same thing. Many lifestyle gurus would want us to use that desire to energise us to work for other things we may want in life, but Ajahn Metta was saying that if you just observe it, eventually it calms down, leaving you with an incredible sense of peace. I like that.

The problem is that if you don’t deal with the desire, it will inevitably control you and allow others to use it to suit them all of your life.

I realised that when I fasted and controlled my food the diet worked well, but when my mind fell foul of the different faces of desire I could get confused. When a diet guru says you can eat as much as you like of….. what happens? Gluttony means you overeat whatever you are allowed, it’s crazy but you’re being driven by a demon without realising it, thinking you are still doing good. I remember friends on the Atkin’s diet eating masses of meat and cream because it was ‘okay’ and failing because they didn’t realise that they were not addressing their real problem and desire was simply wearing another face!

Buddhism teaches you to watch your mind. Mindfulness and self examination are the key to success. A greedy person can be chasing ‘success’, food, wealth, sex and be allowing it to control their life from the outside in and their are many guru’s, businesses and politicians happy to exploit those weaknesses.

Diet is about being disciplined, not punishing yourself, but become your more ‘natural’ self by examining your thoughts, wants and desires and their results, that way wisdom can arise and the balancing is permanent.

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3 Ways To Practice Tai Chi

Steve Tai Chi Pose

3 Ways To Practice Tai Chi

Monk Style
Always begin with Monk style… Neigong, Qigong, the Yang Chen Fu form and basic push hands drills. Practice like a monk in the temple gardens, with no ‘martial’ applications in mind, get rid of violence, aggression, fear and anger by clearing your mind, making it aware, focused, sensitive, intense and bringing it to a state of peace and stillness. Do this by working on your posture and breathing, this will bring forth these qualities of mind. Be gentle, soft, circular, continuous and let the mind be at ease. Until you can practice this way, DO NOT MOVE ON as you will not progress.

Warrior Style
Now you have the ‘yin’ and have cleared your mind and emotions, have good posture, balance and free movement without excessive tension, you have ‘cleared down’ or ’emptied your cup’ and are ready for the martial fairydust.  The ‘Chong Chuan’ introduces the powerful, focused and intense intention to direct the 13 Dynamics and skills such as the ‘fa geng’ (jing) and work with an opponent in mind. Learn the weapons forms and their proper skills and drills so you understand the strategies and skills of using that particular weapon. We use broadsword, double edge sword and spear. Push hands drills now also become dynamic, to include applications of the techniques, ideas and principles in the form and can also become enthusiastic ‘play’. Wall training also helps with combative training and adrenaline release.

Sick Man Style
Sometimes called ‘Drunken’, is to exaggerate the power sourcing of the moves, utilising the bodycore and spine and taking all positions to the absolute furthest point to ‘fire’ the power. ‘Sick Man’ because it’s using the core in a vomiting way (without actually doing it) to project the power.

I cannot stress the importance of ‘Monk Style’ first to ‘clear down’ ready for ‘Warrior Style’ training and ‘Sick Man Style’ is an additional way of building those essential power skills. Many practitioners never get past the ‘Monk Style’ and many don’t want to, but for those interested in the complete art, ‘Warrior’ and ‘Sick Man’ are essential for vigorous health, self defence and strategies for life.

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My Body Is Like My Dog

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My dog is my old friend, when we were young we used to run around and wrestle and for 13 years where ever I’ve been he’s been there with me, at my feet or on my lap. Now his doddery old legs barely carry him and his arthritis and old injuries are a constant nag and need medication but our intertwined lives means that we are still the best of friends and know each others thoughts and emotions.

My body is my oldest friend, for 68 years it’s carried me through 50 years of martial arts and every sensual pleasure and trauma that’s beset me. Now I treat it the same as my old dog, I talk to it every day and the constant pain reminds me of everything we’ve done, the many scars, the arthritic legs and shoulders only cement our long term friendship and remind me of the great life we’ve had together. I couldn’t have done it without him.

Like my dog, I love it and take care of it.

Never punish or hate your oldest friend because it hurts and doesn’t work so well, if you do, you only make yourself suffer….

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Why Are You Ignoring Your Oldest Friend?

Photo on 03-03-2018 at 12.03

Why are you ignoring your oldest friend?

It’s always been there with you, holding you up in the hardest of times, crying and laughing with you, always supporting you from the ground up – and yet you steadfastly ignore it!

It talks to you all the time, tells you when it wants to exercise, rest, eat, drink, and yet you treat it rudely.

Well STOP IT! And start paying attention.

Your dog doesn’t speak your language and yet you understand everything he says, when he wants attention, feeding, drink, walkies, you treat him well and love him.

You body does the same. In it’s own language, it tells you when it needs attention, feeding, drink, exercise and rest – so why don’t you listen?

Your ego, your vanity, your fears and desires constantly over rule your oldest friend. You hate it, you punish it, in the gym, ‘no pain no gain!’ stuffing it with food that the media pushes on your subliminal desires, forcing it into uncomfortable clothes, painting it and still looking in the mirror and hating it.

Why don’t you listen? The reason is that your ego won’t shut up, it’s either distracted to every shiny object the media pushes toward you or it’s lazy, because you ate the wrong foods, drunk the wrong drinks, exercised the wrong way ands are obsessed with the little electric square you carry around all day and react like Pavlov’s dogs to every chirrup it makes.

How do you change this and listen?

Be still and aware, let your thoughts and feelings subside. Learn to be mindful.

Let your sensitivity grow. Take your mind through every part of your body, with kindness.

Talk to your oldest friend. Ask it how it feels, listen to all the minor aches and pains, because if you wait until it has to shout – it will be major illness.

Treat it with appropriate exercise and rest whilst paying attention to exactly what it needs and is asking for. Your Friend loves to exercise, to play, to have fun, to rest, to be fed, watered, there’s no need to punish it…… ever.

Treat it the same way you treat your oldest friend, it’s always been there for you and the more care you give it, the more it can give you.

 

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