July, 2003, Valley Spirit Tai Chi Chuan Journal
July 31, 2003, Thursday
We just returned from a long vacation to Humboldt County on the coast of northern
California. Karen and I really relaxed in the cool and foggy climate of
this beautiful area. We visited and walked at many fine beaches, rocky shorelines,
lagoons, and dense forests. We were awed by the redwood groves at Prairie
Creek Redwoods State Park, and the spruce-hemlock forests around Patrick's
Point and Trinidad State Beaches. We enjoyed sumptuous meals at many fine
restaurants in Arcata and Eureka. We were delighted to meet some new friends:
Robert and Mazie O'Hearn. Finally, we followed the mighty Klamath River from
its oceanside terminus and up route 96 from Willow Creek to Yreka.
I attended a two day workshop led by Elaine
Waters. We did form work,
covered principles, and learned a great deal about push hands. She was
preparing five of her top students for an upcoming push hands competition
in Dallas, Texas. I worked with four students and Sifu. The workshop was
held in beautiful Trinidad.
The push hands work was rigorous, challenging, and very instructive for
One gentleman, Bruce, a geologist, was a man closer to my size (I'm 6'6',
255 pounds), so we did a lot of push hands work together. Nobody was hurt
or injured, people were respectful and helpful towards each other, we had a
lot of fun, and everyone shared techniques and ideas.
Elaine Waters is
very energetic, enthusiastic, full of ideas, and very talented and
experienced. She is an aggressive, hands-on, and lively teacher.
July 21, 2003, Monday
Does a qigong form itself have the power to heal our body and improve our
Or, is it the belief of the person doing the form that the form will benefit their health?
Is the healing power in the person who believes, who prays, who wishes for a cure?
Or, is it the practice of the form, the activity, that helps us improve our health?
Or, is it the combination of the qigong form along with other conventional
medical treatments that improves our health. Are the qigong benefits just some
type of placebo effect? Are the improvements in health a result of the combination
of postiive attitude, belief in the power of the qigong form, the additional exercise
itself, and the power of the particular qigong form itself.
Sometimes feeling good about doing something to improve one's health is sufficient
reason to continue because it gives the person a sense of empowerment, a sense
of self-control, a sense of active participation in the process. Later, they may change
from doing one method (Ba Duan Jin) to another method (Tai Chi Chuan), but they
are still actively involved with self treatment and personal transformation. The patient
who is actively involved in their treatment, improving their knowledge and asking
questions, and exercising on a daily basis is more likely to achieve positive results
that the patient who is passive, uninformed, and a couch potato.
July 20, 2003, Sunday
Updated the webpage on the Short Staff Weapon. Added links,
pictures, and books.
July 19, 2003, Saturday
"Correct central equilibrium (Zhong Ding) is the basis for everything
else in Taijiquan.
One must focus with their complete intention (Yi) to differentiate that which is external and
separate from one’s centre. The centre is the key; it must remain straight and hidden,
concentrated, deep inside the body constantly changing, spiraling into the earth for the
most part. One must gather all the Qi (energy) to your centre. It is this structure that is
the basis for internal power (Nei Jing) or Zhong Ding Jing, and essential for good
health and longevity."
- Article about Wu Style Grandmaster Wang Hao Da published in
Qi Magazine #48 by J. Reynolds Nelson
July 18, 2003, Friday
During the hottest part (105º F) of the day, siesta time, I sat indoors, read, and
wrote about the Eight Section Brocade (edited, added new links and references,
added a few graphics, wrote the section on "The Wise Owl Looks Back.") A
very productive afternoon.
July 17, 2003, Thursday
I am doing lots of research into the Tai Chi symbol. This Yin-Yang emblem or
graphic is widely discussed in Tai Chi Chuan classes. Many Tai Chi schools
incorporate this graphic into their school logo. Artwork featuring this graphic is
widely seen in America.
I was interested in the concepts and interpretations of this symbol, its
in the context of Tai Chi Chuan, exercises using the symbol, its origin, and
its place in Taoist philosophy and practice.
July 16, 2003, Wednesday
Tristan send me additional links to websites with information about the
Eight Section Brocade. Many Thanks!
I edited and rewrote some of my notes about the Eight Section Brocade
based upon print and on-line
We had our last Tai Chi class at the Maywood School tonight. There were
six people at the last class. There was some interest and discussion about
continuing the class next week, on Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8 pm. I don't know
if enough students will attend. Joyce Harrison needs an assistant instructor
if beginners are always going to attend.
July 15, 2003, Tuesday
We took our regular trip to the California State University at Chico Library today.
I picked up a number of interesting books about Taoism. Fascinating reading.
Added them to the bibliography.
Expanded my notes on the Tai Chi symbol.
July 14, 2003, Monday
I worked on writing up movements in the Eight Section Brocade Qigong and
Thirteen Treasures Walking Qigong. These webpages are seved to many
readers each day.
July 13, 2003, Sunday
Worked 10 hours at home. We are screening in the back porch, adding
some electrical features to the porch area, and doing painting.
Daytime temperatures are now above 98ºF. At night, the temperatures
70ºF. One must be careful about exercising and doing hard physical labor in
the direct sunshine and high heat of the day. Rest in the shade more, and drink
plenty of water!!
Reading some about the Tai Chi symbol, Tai Chi Tu, yin/yang
Garden Snake Colorado Herpetological Society Logo
Informatics in Old Symbols: Tai Chi Symbol and Hexagrams
from the I Ching. By Klaus-D. Graf.
Tai Chi Symbol Instructions for making an origami Tai Chi symbol . 20K, PDF.
Tai Ji Symbol and the Oviphile Swastika. By Ming Zhen
Useful instructions for drawing the Tai Chi symbol. 34K.
Tai Chi Tu (Supreme Ulitmate Symbol)
Yin and Yang
Yinfishy By Carl Attenisese Jr. Image
"The term "Tai Chi" first appeared in the "Book of
Change" better known as "I Ching", in which it is said "Out
of Tai Chi is born two elements; out of two elements are born the four
phenomenas; out of the four phenomenas are form the eight trigrams." The
term Tai Chi here refers to the originator of everything. Later in the Northern
Song Dynasty, a new-confucian philosopher by the name of Chow Ton Yee expanded
this notion with the contribution from taoism. He used the Tai Chi symbol to
demonstrated the common elements in everything. What he did was make a circle to
represent Wu Chi stage. Inside this Wu Chi circle, he drew a wave line in the
middle separating two equal black and white components to represent yin and
yang. The black component represented yin and the white component represented
yang. Inside the white component was a black dot to show that yin existed in
yang and inside the black component was a white dot to show that yang existed in
yin. With this he established a duality principle to explain that yin and yang
are the most basic of all things. When these two components intercourse,
everything mutlipied. Later, when this duality principle became popular, people
used the term "Tai Chi" as Tai Chi symbol to represent the universe.
Now, we can see that the term "Tai Chi" in the Book of Change does not
have the same meaning as the term "Tai Chi" in the "Tai
Chi"symbol. The first one refers to the originator of all things and the
second one refers to the duality principle."
- Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation
The Tai Chi emblem/symbol has been attributed to Fu-hsi, the first recorded
ruler (2852-2738 B.C.).
July 12, 2003, Saturday
Attended Taijiquan class in Chico today led by Marilyn Bonney. This is the
level of instruction that I need to improve! She provides good constructive
criticism and clear suggestions for individual improvement, insightful observations,
positive encouragement, and challenges the group to improve their Tai Chi.
This class always has a number of fine advanced Tai Chi teachers and students
in attendance. The energy of the group is very good - positive, hardworking,
serious, and friendly.
Starting today, for the next 30 days, I will begin a careful review of the
Section, Parts I and II, of the Yang Family Traditional Long Form.
July 11, 2003, Friday
Finally, after many many hours of work, the Cloud Hands website is now running
on the ChicoNet web server. The website was down from 7/1/2003 until today
due to the very poor service of AtlanticNet and Feature Price.
Time that I could have spent writing and creating webpages was spent on
web hosting problems. It is like spending hours sharpening and repairing garden
tools, rather than working in the garden.
I had a lot of time invested in numerous websites running at www.egreenway.com.
In just six months, the domain was getting 45,000 hits a month. These websites
could be found in all the search engines.
I was very dissatisfied with the poor service by AtlanticNet and Feature
These inept and dishonest web hosts were totally inaccessible - my emails went
unanswered and the phone lies were always busy. I will Blast them in my Blog.
In contrast, ChicoNet, and August Germar in particular, were very
were just a phone call or e-mail away, and solved all my problems.
July 9, 2003, Wednesday
Attended the Wednesday night taichichuan class at Maywood School in Corning.
Twelve people were in attendance. After days of 100ºF heat, everyone seemed
slower and weaker. We took more breaks.
I now have all the workshop materials for the September Tai Chi for
DVD and books. I will add to the references to the links section.
My review of the Second Section of the Yang Family
form has been useful. I have the
movements committed to mental and physical memory, and with good style.
July 3, 2003, Thursday
Working on extra exercises in preparation for the Push Hands workshop in
Trinidad with Sifu Elaine Waters. This two day workshop will be held at the
end of July. Trinidad is a small town right on the Pacific coast, just a few
miles north of Arcata and Eureka, California. The setting is very beautiful
in a spruce-hemlock forested area overlooking a rugged rocky coastline.
Did some webpage touch up and made additions to my general webpage on
July 2, 2003, Wednesday
I attended our Tai Chi class in Corning tonight. We started with about 25 students
three weeks ago and tonight there were seven students. Exercise classes have a high
dropout rate. Habits are hard to change. Plus, Tai Chi does not appeal
to many folks because of its difficulty - most departed when they had to learn
Cloud Hands. I have enjoyed the class.
We are learning the Tai Chi for Arithitis form developed by Dr. Paul
It is in the Sun style.
Joyce Harrison mentioned attending the Plum Blossom fan workshop in San
Francisco with Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong. She said the form was very martial.
July 1, 2003, Tuesday
My web host, for egreenway.com, where Cloud Hands lived, was Feature
in Florida. They have suddenly gone out of business and disappeared. Some
company called Atlantic.Net is now posting a message on egreenway
saying that I will need to sign up and pay them to get my website back up,
even though I am still paid up for another 6 months. What a racket!! Based
on my experiences, Atlantic.Net and Feature Price are a ripoff team, can't do
the work you pay them to do, can't run your webpages or mail server, make
excuses, and don't answer your e-mail or phone calls. Beware!!!
I signed up with Chico.Net in Chico, California, today for them to be my
new web host for my egreenway.com websites. Chico.Net has been in business
for six years and runs on Red Hat Linux. But, we shall see how they perform!
I have also used Radiant Communications in Vancouver, B.C. since 1999, - they
run on UNIX, and are an excellent web host - fast, reliable, and very helpful.
Cloud Hands - Yun shou
Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail
Red Bluff, Tehama
County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Close to the Cities of Chico, Orland, Corning, Los Molinos, Anderson, and Redding CA
Valley Spirit Taijiquan Journal
© Michael P. Garofalo, 2003, All Rights Reserved
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