Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. - Lao Tzu
Years ago, I felt drawn to learn Tai Chi / Qi Gong and took classes, read books, bought DVDs. One instructor I liked was Lee Holden, but his DVD by Gaiam had a problem. His moves were not mirrored, and I found it impossible to follow. Recently I felt again to learn Qi Gong, and tried iOS apps. Master Li (Li Laoshi of Taichi Temple and Moving Meditations apps) is an inspiration of grace and ease, and the music is soothing, but again there are production issues - the voice instruction is out of sync with the moves. Today I took Lee Holden's new app on the iPad to the river and practiced near the water. It was wonderful! This is a way to learn Qi Gong I can recommend. The video below is an older one from YouTube (updates can be found on Holden Qigong). It is followed by more quotes from Lao Tzu.
This is the first blog post done from the iPad, and since moving to Germany. Photos and links are posted on Facebook.
More Quotes from Lao Tzu
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.
Act without striving. Work without interfering. Find the flavor in what is flavorless.
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Silence is a source of great strength.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens.
An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.
The best fighter is never angry.
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
A man with outward courage dares to die: a man with inner courage dares to live.
Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
Be the chief but never the lord.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. if you are at peace, you are living in the present.
Because of a great love, one is courageous.
Stop thinking and end your problems.
New beginnings are disguised as painful endings.
By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.
Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.
Make your heart like a lake with a calm still surface and great depths of kindness.
Do not look only at yourself, and you will see much. Do not justify yourself, and you will be distinguished. Do not brag, and you will have merit. Do not be prideful, and your work will endure.
Great acts are made up of small deeds.
Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons learned from silence and the actions taken without striving.
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
He who is contented is rich.
For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.
From caring comes courage.
To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
From wonder into wonder existence opens.
The heart that gives, gathers.
Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.
Confidence is the greatest friend.
Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.
Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning, and which permeates all heaven.
Be still like a mountain, and flow like a great river.
He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.
Act without expectation.
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
Use the light that is within you to revert to your natural clearness of sight.
He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.
Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
He who knows himself is enlightened.
Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
Quotes reprinted from BayArt.
This photo is from the dock in the river below the castle of Lenzen-on-the-Elbe, Germany, where today I started my Qigong practice with the app by Lee Holden. Some of my older writings are on Hubpages. Below the photo is a post reprinted from White Tiger Qi Gong.
Reprinted from White Tiger Qigong
In our school of Baguazhang and Qigong in Bali we teach techniques for energy development and cultivation of the three different “types” of qi in the body and one on the spiritual plane. The first is what called “skin qi.” This is the qi that moves through your body’s meridians, channels, and associated collaterals. When the practitioner practices qi gong and feels warmth, tingling, heaviness, and fullness, they are experiencing awareness of the “skin qi.” We cultivate this kind of qi through both static and moving exercise such as 14 Meridian Flow Set, Standing Tree Qigong and other standing exercises, some breathing Qigong, Sitting Qigong and more.The second kind of qi is “nerve qi.” This is the energy we associate with the nervous system. This energy is best developed and trained through movement of the joints through their full range of motion while maintaining proper body alignments and mental intention. This kind of qi cannot be developed fully without body movement. Practitioners usually feel this kind of qi as an electrical kind of tingling or shock that they usually first notice in the area of their joints. We cultivate this kind of qi energy also through our 14 Meridian Flow Set, 5 Organ Qigong set, and more. Our Fire Qigong is very beneficial to development of this kind of energy cultivation.
The third type of qi in our system of training is “bone qi.” This is the energy, which runs through the bones. This type of qi energy is usually the most difficult to cultivate because in order for it to develop their needs to be a good balance and cultivation of the other two types of qi (skin and nerve). For the fullest development of this kind of qi energy, movement is necessary, especially rotational movement and articulations of the joints. When practicing Qigong the practitioner will usually first experience awareness of this qi energy as a dull ache inside the bones as if something inside the center of the bones is trying to expand outward. Keeping the important point in mind that in order to develop these three types of qi in the body is that in order to progress beyond the awareness and cultivation of “skin qi,” the practitioner needs to move the body and practice the various sets through a period of sustained practice. Our methods for cultivation of this kind of qi energy are our Bone Qigong Set, Circle Walking practices, and more. When you practice our system’s Qigong sets together in a single practice session, it is the best way to develop and feel each type of qi energy.
The fourth type of qi energy development is nature or spiritual qi energy. In order to cultivate this we need to be able to connect to heaven and earth energy, to learn to become a conduit. Opening of the Crown Point the third eye, while staying centered in the lower Dan Tian is key for this type of qi development. To train this type of qi we have 5 Gate Breathing, Embryonic Breathing, Body Breathing, Esoteric Circle Walking and more. The feelings of this kind of qi you will feel outside and inside your body and every practitioner could have a different experience of what this feels like. Some more common feelings of awareness of this qi energy are feelings of a bubble of energy outside of your body, warmth and tingling and vibrations. The practitioner may feel energy coming in from outside of your body and then flowing into one of the 3 types of body qi feelings.
We usually start beginning students practicing various components of qi gong separately and thus static posture holding, motion qi gong sitting or standing meditation, and sitting or standing breathing exercise may be included in the curriculum. However, later in the development process, all of these components are brought together and practiced in conjunction with progressively more difficult physical body movements and circle walking. If the student begins the more complicated movements without first being able to get qi feelings in the basic movements then it is wasted time. Eventually the student will learn how to project their qi energy outside of their body into a patient for healing, for self-defense, and also to be able to move it within their body on will.
Posted on Taoism, Lao Tzu and Wu Wei Group
Excerpt from 'The Dao De Jing: A Qigong Interpretation'
道德經氣功解 Lao Tzu
Translation and Commentary by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
'Finally, there is the use of paradoxes; for example, wuwei can be translated as “the doing of not doing.” Somewhat similar to the koan in Buddhist thought, the paradox forces the reader’s mind into a new channel. In this connection, martial arts students may recall Bruce Lee’s description of his art in Enter the Dragon as “fighting without fighting.” Paradoxically as well, the purpose of study, concentration, and effort is to achieve “emptiness” that can be filled by new ideas and to recover the innocence of childhood. Elsewhere in this text, reference is made to a “semisleeping” state, itself a parallel to Buddhist themes such as zazen meditation.
'Understanding the Dao is certainly made challenging in itself, since it is described as without shape and color—indeed, without explicit or concrete description. It thus resembles—in its formlessness and ubiquitous permeation of all things—God, Nature, and even “the Force” used by the Jedi in the Star Wars universe. Lest readers feel this is far-fetched, Dr. Yang observes later in this book: “Dao is always in a state of high alertness so it can sense any disorder in this universe and respond to the changes.” Note how this closely parallels the notion of a “disturbance in the Force.” The “De”—the manifest universe—is described as an expression of the Dao.'
Comment on post by a group member
'It sounds as if the Tao were an entity. That does not sound like the Tao.' - Nathan Dudley
Response to Comment
Nathan Dudley - the Dao defies description, yet each of us has an individual idea of what it is or isn't. It is beyond the scope of words and imaginings. But as humans we will continue to try to imagine, define and describe the Dao.
As I see it, the Dao cannot be named because it is non-specific. As soon as word labels are applied, there is specificity.
It is neither entity nor non-entity, as it is both and beyond both. I feel the closest description of the Dao is non-specific, unconditional love. That is, love for no reason, love for love itself. From a human perspective, it manifests in lofty qualities such as compassion, wisdom, equanimity, the agape love of the ancient Greeks.
The Dao is the most complete perspective of consciousness, as it is all perspectives without specificity.
Only if we apply characteristics to the Dao can it be taken out of a purely mental, conceptual realm and be made useful in our lives.
Do we choose to discuss the Dao, or embody it? We cannot be the Dao, or would be unmanifest. But I feel that agape love is the first quality manifested from the unmanifest, and embodying it is the closest we can be to the Dao.