Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What do you do? Diet and exercise   4 comments

Temptation is in the small things…..
Love is patient endurance……

David

natural woman

Imagine you are a Taoist… you wake up in the morning and do your Qigong while your blood sugar and adrenalin levels are high.
Then you have some fruit, later for lunch, a nice salad with some veggies.  When you are done for the day, when you can relax, you enjoy a piece of fish, some meditation and then off to a restful sleep…

I have a food/nutrition philosophy; mostly, I only eat food.  By that, I mean “food that a natural person would eat”.  For example, in nature, there are no such things as bread or cheese, or packaged foods, and most food we now eat cooked was consumed raw.  I am not against cooked food, but mostly keep to raw foods.  In the cooked food area, I think we need to cook our meat these days, and I occasionally eat cooked beans and rarely even potatoes.

For the most part, I eat as if I was a natural person living in the natural world; fruit, vegetables, and some meat make up the lion’s share of my diet. Did you know that in countries where we consider people “under nourished” there is a longer life expectancy than here in America? Most people just eat too much of the wrong foods at the wrong times…

Another principle I mostly adhere to is that of proper food combining or for me actually, not combining…   Because of the facts of the body’s digestive system, we can optimize our diets to work in harmony with our natural attributes.  For example, our digestive juices are specific for certain foods and bad combinations can cancel out the chemistry so we get poor or no digestion. Also drinking after eating dilutes the digestive acid causing incomplete digestion.  Starch like bread, rice, or potatoes, require a different chemistry then protein; this can lead to such things as un-digested meat rotting for days inside our intestines.

Meals as common as “Fish and rice” or Steak and potatoes” “Spaghetti and meat sauce” and even the “Sandwich” are all recipes for poor digestion and I avoid them.  The main idea is, never mix anything with fruit, and do not mix proteins and starches.

A typical day’s food consumption for me would be something like this…
Mornings, from 6 AM until noon I only eat fruit ….
Afternoons I limit my food intake to vegetables and possibly a small amount of either meat or a starch.
Evenings from 6 PM until nine I would eat my meat meal.
Do not eat or drink anything after the meat or after 9 PM.

Fruit can move through you in an hour, veggies take about 4 hours but meat takes 8 hours to digest. Wait that amount of time between meals to avoid stimulating conflicting digestive chemistry. This way everything gets a chance to digest well.

Do whatever you want to when you eat out or are visiting friends do not be a “Food Nazi”; I’m just suggesting some common sense guidelines for your information.  Don’t be self-righteous about it; just remember: “Temptation is in the small things and love is patient endurance”.  In time, you will see the truth and adapt to a more healthy way of living.

I have cured my acid stomach problems, quit eating empty calories, eliminated almost all sugar, dairy, gluten, starch, fat, supplements, medicines, drugs and alcohol from my diet,  and lost over fifty pounds… effortlessly.

We may never achieve the bodies depicted above, and yet we can all dream…. and do our best to be the best we can be. Somewhere inside of us is the image of the perfect self; hold to that image and take right action.

Proper assimilation of food and daily morning qigong is a perfect two-prong approach to balanced health.

Memorial Day   2 comments

We owe our way of life to our fallen heroes

Remembering those that have fallen to preserve our way of life…

What ever our desires, hopes and dreams may be, Americans are uniquely blessed with freedom to do so.  These days we are losing our freedoms little by little, it has been said, “Every day congress meets, we lose a little bit of our freedom”.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day it read, “If you can read, thank a teacher. If you read English thank a Vet”.

Holding to your values, principles, and traditions is not always easy or popular.  Even in our home lives and among friends and associates we are challenged constantly.  I say: Without temptation, there is no claim to virtue.  Warriors know these things, even if they do not “think” about them.  No one wants to die for his country and yet without a peaceful homeland we cannot raise peaceful people.

Keeping America safe is a noble honor.  Keeping babies, women and children, families and homes, towns and cities free requires a strong commitment to our country. No one is more committed to this cause than our warriors and they have my deepest respect.

Yet we are all challenged by temptation to doubt and apathy from preserving the virtue of our spirits.  Every challenge we meet is an opportunity to practice our skills. To be a scholar-warrior is a calling to protect ourselves from the assaults of life.

Stand up for who and what you are, be plain spoken and kind, speak the truth, be firm but flexible.  Forgive and overlook other people’s shortcomings on the spot.  Do not be affected by things out of your control. Do your part and be brave and strong in the face of everyday challenges. Live a free life, one of opportunity and pursue happiness and;

Remember those who gave their lives so that you can.

Posted May 31, 2010 by The Maui Taoist in Uncategorized

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Understanding Reality, Being a “Real Human”   1 comment

The Universe

“The sage sees the whole universe without going out the door”

If you only learned to meditate, it would be the most valuable experience of your life.  To gain understanding, a wordless gift of knowing that you’ve always had, but haven’t used is a profound thing indeed. I am paraphrasing Roy Masters work “Be still and Know” and yet there is so much more going on when we do qigong.

By combining physical exercise and meditation, we gain more than can be had by just “exercising” or “meditating”.  The synergy is further enhanced by the other attributes of qigong, like the way we exercise, opening up the joints, and skeletal system and the sequential opening and closing of the muscles and energy pathways within our bodies.  There is really no other “exercise” like qigong; in my opinion there is no better exercise, and yet it is so much more.

Dissolving your mind and body using qigong also has a calming and strengthening effect on our emotions as well.  To liberate your mind from the emotional prison that has kept the real you locked up without your knowledge is not an insignificant gain!

The understanding gained from proper practice gives insight to all things. The meaning of the quote from the “Tao Te Ching” written above is this: Within everyone, there are elements of all things; a celestial world, we are a microcosm of the universe. Every atom is like a minute solar system, all our cells are virtual galaxies, and our consciousness is like God, indeed, if you can truly know yourself, then you can understand the whole universe.

I often wonder what if we all could expand our understanding in this way.  Yet it was once the normal way for humans. Our convoluted lives have dulled our sense of reality; learning to get in touch with our true objective self is to understand a separate reality, a primordial knowledge that is the “Way” we were intended to be….. Freedom from contrivance, like an un-carved block of wood, becoming what Nature (God?) intended for us.

If you have a goal in life, make it to be a fully integrated human being by being balanced in each realm of human functioning. Don’t be a “spiritual person” or an “intellectual”, and do not be a slave to your emotions and don’t ignore or indulge them. Stop always seeking physical gratification or obsessing about your body.  To be a “Real Human” you need to be in control of all of these things.

Balancing all these separate things naturally into one universe is, for me…..The Way, Taiji the “Supreme Ultimate” and qigong is the path to the Way….. The Way to divinity, to freedom, to perfect health, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Qigong Lesson #4 Discerning Two Qis   2 comments

Yin AND Yang separated

In the first three lessons, I discussed how we align our physical bodies with the forces of Heaven and Earth. This lesson is about learning the difference between the two main aspects of our Qi using the concept of Yin and Yang.

Realize that there are two major forces acting upon us at all times, the first and most obvious is the force of gravity, we all understand what that is. There is however another, balancing force in play as well, that of centrifugal force.  As the earth spins at about 6000 miles per hour trying to throw us off it, we are at the same time held fast by gravity. (Physicists would disagree,  but I’m just illustrating a point)  In another way of viewing it (the Taoist way), we are suspended between the two forces of Heaven and Earth.

Think of “Earth” as the pull of gravity, pulling directly towards the center of the planet. Know it is Yin and, elemental, sinking and compressing downward, everything heavier than air flows towards it. The only way we know which way is up is because we know which way is down!

Think of “Heaven” as that centrifugal force that is lifting us directly away from the center of the Earth; in Qigong parlance, “the golden thread from Heaven” this force is Yang, and ethereal. Lifting and expanding upwards, everything lighter than air, including electrical energy floats weightlessly.

Beginners on the way of Qigong first learn to feel and understand these two different aspects of energy, adepts move beyond the understanding of discerning yin and yang to get to a point where they harmonize yin/yang.

To better learn how to feel Yin and Yang, consider two main types of qi, Yeng qi and Wei qi. Yeng qi is all that stuff that sinks down through our bodies as we relax and let it sink, things like blood, lymph, muscles, organs, a thick viscous downward flow of all our soft tissue.
Think of Wei qi as all that stuff that floats like our electrical signals our nervous system releasing neutral density neurotransmitters into our system like endorphins… our emptied muscles and bones and our breath.

After you understand this concept, you are ready to apply the knowledge to Qigong exercise.

When you relax your body, the blood and lymph and all the soft tissues sink lower into your body; this is the Yeng qi sinking. As this material sinks down, the blood filters through the lymph nodes, and the fascia tissues relax and a curious event occurs. The Wei qi is displaced and it rises up giving you a buoyant feeling. The more you can sink and relax downward, the more you can expand and feel buoyant going upwards.

You are learning to flow all the Earth (Yin) elements (Yeng qi) downward causing the complimentary effect of all the heavenly (Yang) elements (Wei qi) to rise and expand. These dynamics act like an energy pump, sinking down stimulating a return to an upright posture, you are learning to discern Yin and Yang: a major milestone on the qigong path.

More Here: Qigong Lesson #5

 

Earth Day   7 comments

We cannot "save the planet"

Did you know?

The earth has survived volcanoes, ice ages, earthquakes, floods, erosion, plate tectonics, collisions with asteroids, gamma ray bursts, and who knows whatever for billions of years; always surviving, evolving and adapting.

Did you also know that in China in 1931 between one and 2.5 million people died in a flood?
Or that also in China in 1887 between 900,000 and 2 million people died in a flood.
In addition, in 1556, an earthquake killed 830,000 in China.
And another earth quake in China in 1976 left 242,419 people dead? And in 1920, 243,117?
How about the earthquake-generated tsunami in Indonesia, 230,000 lives lost.
And the death toll in Haiti is estimated at 230,000?

The eruption of the Volcano in Iceland puts more CO2 into the air in one day than the entire population of Europe did in the last 100 years.  And did you know that CO2 is a scant 0.033% of the atmosphere; and it is the only source of life for all the green plants on the Earth?

Did you also know 250 million people each year get malaria resulting in between one to 2.7 million deaths? In addition, did you know that environmentalists, through the EPA banned DDT, and yet DDT was heralded as having saved over 500 million lives in the two decades before it was banned?

The bottom line is: we cannot “save the planet” and conversely we cannot destroy the planet. Are we so arrogant that we think we can destroy the planet when we are only a minuscule drop in an ocean of planetary history?  Everything here is from here….whatever we dig up, or burn or eat or whatever, came from here and it is going to stay here. The planet will adapt and evolve. We may not adapt however, and so life goes on. The planet will be fine.

Yin/Yang, Taoist thought understands these things, sure, we all want a clean environment, and we also don’t want millions to die from malaria or perish in cheaply made lightweight vehicles.  Nature always works things out.  If we are not meant to survive then, we will not. Perhaps we need war and disease to teach us what to do, or what not to do. These things are all part of nature, even our strange lifestyle is part of nature, as are we. There are those people that will not eat meat and consider it wrong for people to eat meat, do they protest the tiger, fighting extinction, and begrudge him his last meal?

Heaven and Earth are eternal, our physical selves, not so much. The Human experience for an individual is all we have here and now. Do not fret or worry about mother Earth, she will survive. Our only challenge is to deal with each moment correctly, enjoy what we have and let nature take its course.

If we are going to live full and joyous lives, we need to live in harmony with the way things are, adapt and overcome. To change with change is the way of nature; to be discontent is the greatest misfortune.

Happy Earth Day

Front Page of Maui News   4 comments

Isle seniors learn graceful gestures

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo Cory Williams shows Kula’s Louise Brandeburg, 84, how to block a punch Tuesday.

Seeking strength and balance in the shade of a Spreckelsville monkeypod tree, a taiji class goes through its moves at Kaunoa Senior Center on Tuesday afternoon under the direction of Cory Williams. Williams teaches a half dozen classes weekly for Kaunoa, including locations in Lahaina, Kahului, Kihei and Spreckelsville. By mixing the “energy cultivation” exercises of “qigong” and the martial-art maneuvers of taiji, Williams said, he helps Maui seniors stay active and on their feet. Williams said taiji is now the accepted spelling of tai chi.

copyright Maui News and Matthew Thayer

Thank you everyone!!!!

Posted February 3, 2010 by The Maui Taoist in News and Events, Uncategorized

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Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!   2 comments

Each year we start anew…
Building on lessons learned
If we can only make one small improvement in our lives,
What an amazing transformation will we become…

We are the future manifest…
Each unfolding moment is there just for you…
It is no one else’s… it is yours…
We flow into each moment

Through the years, if we acquire virtues we become stronger
And if  we shed vices we become clearer…
Stronger and clearer we move with the way of Heaven
Go through life with dignity and grace.

Stronger and clearer each day,
Watch closely and you will see the future,
As each moment guides you into it…
Know that the truth lives within you.

Posted December 31, 2009 by The Maui Taoist in Philosophy, Tao, Uncategorized