Valley Spirit
T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung


Reflections, Notes, Suggestions, References, Questions and Answers, Links, Quotations, Blog

Michael P. Garofalo

October 2003

Index to the Valley Spirit Taijiquan Journal

Cloud Hands




October 31, 2003, Friday

I did Taijiquan with Kevin Weaver again tonight.  Afterwards, I lifted weights.  The Tehama
Family Fitness Center was nearly empty tonight.   

I have been carefully studying and making notes on the 
"Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms.  The Competition Forms".  An instructional videotape 
by Dr. Paul Lam.  A competition form created by Professor Men Hui Feng of Beijing 
University based on the Sun style.  "This detailed instructional video includes a 
demonstration of the set by its creator, Professor Men Hui Feng.  Sun style is 
characterised by its powerful Qigong elements, agile steps and flowing 
movements."  VHS, 103 minutes.  Contents: Introduction to Tai Chi and the
Sun style.  Comprehensive instructions.  Demonstrations of the complete set
by Dr. Paul Lam from front and back views.  A demonstration by the creator
of the set, Professor Men.  


October 29, 2003, Thursday

A sore back has slowed my progress this week.  Doing forms very slowly.  

Upadate the Yang Style Long form webpage.


October 29, 2003, Wednesday

I am now reading:  T'ai Chi According to the I Ching: Embodying the Principles of the Book of Changes.
By Stuart Alve Olson.  Rochester, Vermont, Inner Traditions International Ltd., 2001.  
224 pages.  ISBN:  0892819448.

I updated a few references on my webpage on Taoism and Tai Chi.


October 28, 2003, Tuesday

Updated a few references to Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan.  


October 27, 2003, Monday

Updated a number of links in the Northern California Tai Chi Directory.  


October 26, 2003, Sunday

Attended the Tai Chi for Diabetes workshop in Monterey, California.  Dr. Paul Lam,
M.D., from Australia, led the workshop along with four master trainers.  About 40 people 
attended.  The workshop was held on Saturday and Sunday at the Community Hospital in



October 25, 2003, Saturday

Attended the Tai Chi for Diabetes workshop in Monterey, California.  Dr. Paul Lam,
M.D., from Australia, led the workshop along with four master trainers.  About 40 people 
attended.  The workshop was held on Saturday and Sunday at the Community Hospital in
Monterey.  I met some e-mail friends for the first time.  

Beautiful evening in Monterey.  We visited the Butterfly Grove in Pacific Grove, and took 
the 17 mile drive at Sunset.   



October 24, 2003, Friday

Updated Diabetes Therapy - Exercise: Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong.

Beautiful drive from Red Bluff to Monterey.  



October 12, 2003, Sunday

"To practice mindfulness of the body, we need to kindle an awareness of sensations,
accept what we have kindled exactly as it appears, and then surrender to the process
of change that inevitably occurs.  Kindling is a function of alignment.  Acceptance is
experienced through relaxation.  Surrender is made possible through resilience.  
It is not really possible to separate out these three aspects of the posture of meditation 
into discrete units any more than it would be possible to conceive of the three faces 
of a pyramid as distinct entities, unrelated to one another ..
-   Will Johnson, Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient, 2000, p. 15

I think I will start a webpage on Standing Meditation.  


October 11, 2003, Saturday

"The true heart of being is only uncovered by experiencing the whole body all at once as
a unified field of shimmering tactile sensations.  In this condition of bodily union, you 
naturally enter into the experience of your spiritual heart or heart-cave.  This experience
of union possesses a feeling tone of deep joy and rightness.  Within this sheltered cave
of experience, heart, body, and mind all merge together into pure presence.  Within this
cave, it becomes much easier to function as a mirror, not grasping or cling to any aspect
of experience, not pushing any aspect away, simply aware of the sensational presence
of the body and mind."
-   Will Johnson, Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient, 2000, p. 23.


October 10, 2003, Friday

"It is also important to remember that although the understanding of basic structural
considerations is important, alignment is ultimately an experience to be internally
discovered.  It is not an external template that you artificially superimpose onto
yourself.  When the body is aligned, there is a distinct feeling tone of rightness,
lightness, and ease.  Let the discover of this feeling tone be your ultimate guide in
your exploration of alignment.  
-   Will Johnson, Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient, 2000, p. 36.

Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient:  The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness.   By Will Johnson.
Boston, Shambhala, 2000.  137 pages.  ISBN: 1570625182.  See "Standing on the Earth", 
pp. 32-38.  

Refer to my notes on relaxation.


October 9, 2003, Thursday

Very busy with projects and assignments for my part-time job as the Technology
and Media Services Supervisor for the Corning Union Elementary School District.
I had little time or energy for reading and writing about other matters.  

My brief biography gives some sense of my varied interests.

October 6, 2003, Monday

Too much happening to me, health wise, for me to easily cope with.  I must keep my 
head up, accept the reality, and remain positive and an good example for others.

Updated the Northern California Tai Chi Directory with leads from e-mail messages.
One gentleman from San Francisco complimented me on my website's  "thorough"
and "open-minded" approach.  That comment made me feel really good.  

Reading lots about the the Shambhala Buddhist "Warrior" ideology.  


October 5, 2003, Sunday

I attended the T'ai Chi workshop in Chico for Day II.  We did Yang style work
and searched for circles and spirals in the form, and then Chen sytle silk
reeling exercises.  I was a bit tired this evening after a busy day of exercise.  


October 4, 2003, Saturday

Attended an all day Tai Chi Chuan workshop in Chico today.  In the morning,
Marilyn Bonney led us in an examination of how circles and spirals are present
in Yang style movements.  Joyce Harrison led us in exercises that emphasized 
circular and spiral movements, including silk reeling exercises wherein we
traced the outline of the Tai Chi Tun.  After a pleasant and nutritious pot luck
luncheon, good conversation, and a period of relaxation, we started the second 
session.  Scott led is in Bagua warmups, chi kung, standing I Chuan, and then 
Bagua circle walking techniques.   

I was able to participate in about 90% of the activity, and only needed occasional
rest breaks.  I had no discomfort or pain doing the body work, and used restraint in
going "low."  I did get tired a few times and sat down to rest.  Marilyn was very
considerate towards me - thankfully.  I enjoyed myself.  

About 15 people were in attendance.  As always, Tai Chi players are often very 
interesting people, and "comrades in the same disciplines."  A good group
to practice with.  

This workshop was sponsored by North Valley T'ai Chi Chuan and organized
by Marilyn Bonney.  An excellent weekend Tai Chi workshop in a lovely small 
college town with many cultural activities and good restaurants.    !  



October 3, 2003, Friday

"When you are in a matching situation with your opponent, there are three circles
of offensive and defensive domains or territories.  These circles are large circle
(Chang Ju, i.e., long range), middle circle (Zhon Ju, i.e., middle range), and short
circle (Duan Ju, i.e., short range).  These circles are also called rings.  In a battle,
you should not stay in the same rign, which allows your opponent to set up a 
strategy against you easily.  Your rights should be variable, random and confusing
to your opponent.  Not only just the size of the rings, but also the height of defensive
and offensive actions should vary as well.  When this happens, you will generate more
confusion for your opponent and this will allow you to execute your techniques 
effectively and efficiently."
-  Yang, Yu (Ban-Hou)  1837-1892
    Translated by Yang, Jiwng-Ming, Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style, p. 24



October 2, 2003, Thursday

Train, don't strain
No burn, no earn.
No pain, no gain.  


October 1, 2003, Wednesday


"A Look at the T'ai Chi Hand."   By Michael Gilman.  Tai Chi International Magazine
Vol. 24,  No. 1, February 2000, p. 39-42.  "The hands contain over one quarter of all the
bones of the body.  One sixth of all the muscles of the body are used in hand movements.
A singl hand movement can involve as many as 50 muscles working together.  There
are as many as 21,000 sensors of heat, pressure, and pain per square inch of the
fingertips.  The hands can destroy or heal, cause pleasure or pain."

Cloud Hands - Yun Shou











Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Homepage




Michael P. Garofalo's E-Mail


Valley Spirit Tai Chi Chuan Club

Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood, 
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA



Michael P. Garofalo, 2003, All Rights Reserved






Zen Poetry

Cuttings: Haiku and Short Poems

Cold Mountain Sages

The Spirit of Gardening




Cloud Hands: Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung Website







Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Tai Chi, Tai Ji Quan, Taiji, Tai Ji Chuan, Tie Jee Chewan

Chi Kung, Qi Gong, Qigong, Chee Gung, Qi, Chi, Tu Na, Dao Yin, Yi, Neigong, Gung Fu

Valley Spirit Blog, Gu Shen Blog, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Journal