Friday, July 23, 2010
Have you ever been in one of those situations where everyone is looking expectantly at you and you have no idea what to say? The elder Chinese, when at a dinner party or banquet, like to tell stories or recite poetry. I was attending one in Baoding City with my teacher, Master Wang Juemin. And - it was my turn.
Think quickly, I told myself. But, myself said back, "What kind of story can I tell? I have no stories."
But I stood up.
So what am I going to say? Everyone looked expectantly at me. Well, I could tell a coming of age drinking story - but wait, although very funny, that one has a naughty ending - can't tell that one.
I could tell a fishing story. But do these distinguished guys fish? Don't know, but don't think so. No, no fishing story.
All of this flashed in my head for about 3 seconds or so. Here I was caught with no story.
Just as I was about to say "I have no story" and sit down, it came to me they may find it interesting to hear about my dog Shen Go.
Yes, I know, very few folks in the good ol USA have dogs with Chinese names. But I had not one but two.
So here is the story of Shen Go, my Spirit Dog:
I was out on my normal morning run. I usually run on this rural dirt road surrounded by beautiful and mystical woods that is quite a way from any civilization; no traffic and no people. This particular morning had fog rolling about, threading its way though the tree limbs and making everything more enticing and magical.
I had traveled about 2 miles or so on my run. I all of a sudden felt something in the energy. I became wary, often glancing behind me. I didn't know what to make of this as usually I had an extremely peaceful run while basking in the beauty of Tao.
I was practicing qigong running, as had been my practice for several years while running. This consists of 4 main stages; stamina, qi pushing up a hill, swiftness, and the lightness technique. I was currently in the lightness phase when the feeling of wariness became extremely acute.
I glanced, for the 50th time, behind me. Nothing.
After about 10 seconds I looked behind me again. Appearing as swiftly as an avenging Spirit, all of a sudden, a wild and snarling animal jumped out of the woods and began to chase me.
So I, as an accomplished qigong practitioner, calmly entered my swiftness phase of qigong.
Are you kidding me? The practice of Qigong left my mind as swiftly as a dove flying over one's head.
What did I do? I panicked and ran like hellfire itself was pushing at my soul.
After about 1/2 mile I said to myself, surely I have outrun this spooky and terrible apparition. So I glanced back.
No, this terrible apparition was right behind me. I did manage to see it was a wild dog, baring it's teeth at me like a wolf about to eat lunch. And he was coming on swiftly.
Holy crap, I thought. So I put on another burst of speed. After a while I became very winded. Surely a dog doesn't have the stamina to run this long, I tried to talk myself into believing. So I looked back. This wild and vicious creature of the woods was still right behind me. So I put on one last and desperate burst of speed.
I didn't make it much further. I was done, about to be mauled and eaten by a wild, ferocious, teeth baring dog.
So I turned around to face him. Prepared to battle until the gory, blood letting, and bitter end.
And then that moment happened, when time stands still and one's life becomes merged in the never ending Tao. In slow motion I watched as this creature from hell, spittle foaming from his lips, jumped up and landed on my chest, reached for my face, and...
He licked me. All over my face.
Can't ignore a message from Spirit like that. I took him home and named him Shen Go. He never allowed anyone else to touch him and remained quite wild. He was my Spirit Dog.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The first is Taoist Medicine Conversations.
The 2nd is Case Studies: Chinese Taoist Medicine & Medical Qigong
And there is the article I originally published in 1993: Chinese Medical Qigong
If you haven't seen www.qigongamerica.com in a while, come see all the new changes. The site has been totally rewritten.
Don't forget our next Qigong workshop July 24th, 25th and optional Clinical Applications July 26th. Here is a pdf flyer
Practice your qigong!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Ever since I invented the internet, of course with just a small amount of help from Al Gore, I have had a website for qigong training, www.qigongamerica.com. No No, Al didn't help with the website – only inventing the internet. I utilized Microsoft software and became very familiar with said software. It was SO easy to use. Yeah, had to learn a a small amount of HTML programming but programming is/was not my cup of tea. Not since learning Fortran (uh oh, show my age) have I been the slightest interested in programming. Well, OK, you caught me - I did do some basic programming years ago. But no interest now.
So what is my point? Oh yeah, in my opinion, Microsoft sabotages it's web software so that Firefox (which is what I use) and other browsers don't look the same. In other words, code is optimized for IE and looks funky sometimes in Firefox.
OK, so, fine. But what is my main point? How does this relate to "putting it off.."?
What I have been putting off is using other software for web development. After all, it IS/WAS SO EASY to just add or change something and then ftp it.
I knew several years ago that I was going to need to change this... but put it off until summer... until next year...until...
So I investigated other software. Dreamweaver seems to be a business standard, but have you seen what they want for that? Above my budget.
Joomla appears to be the very coolest. So I downloaded it and went to work. Tried it. Liked it...BUT.. database appeared to just eat passwords so when I wanted to update BAM the database locked up...inexplicably. Tried playing with this for quite some time and probably will eventually go back to it. Can't beat the price - it is FREE!
Meantime, my website has gotten added on to, patched, bloated, difficult to maneuver, etc. So I needed to change it. So I will do so sometimes shortly – perhaps this summer... winter...next year for sure.
OK, so I created a sister site in Joomla. Liked it. Just on the verge, probably this summer..or perhaps by fall... of updating www.qigongamerica.com.
Meanwhile I needed to add some stuff, so easy to do with existing software, maybe I will put it off for a while. In the meantime Joomla did another one of those inexplicable things – can't even log on to change anything... sigh. If I ran my own server I think I would stay with this Joomla – so much to like.
But I think, for now, I'll just add on to www.qigongamerica.com with existing software. So easy...
ALLRIGHT – ENOUGH!!!
So, after more than 10 years of putting it off I finally completely re-wrote www.qigongamerica.com. Not finished but OK to go ahead and put it up. Check it out!
So how does this apply to qigong and life? Think about it.
No, actually DON"T think about it. Just DO!!!