TienShanTzi would like to thank everyone that participated in our 1st school give-a-away contest. Hopefully, these contests will continue every 2 to 3 months ( depending on size of prizes or quality) so look for posters letting you know when the next contest had begun and also the deadline. Thanks and Good Luck to all.
One of these days I have been having a tea with my fellow partner and my life mate Smiljana. It’s not that this happens just once in a while. We have this »tea ceremony« every single day and it’s nothing special about it. For the outside observer, though. What is special is that we do it every day at aproximately same time. After our Qigong routine, which is another daily thing that we do together.
What is special about this ceremony is that once, a few years ago, we have decided to talk only good and inspiring things during our tea time. We won’t be complaining and we won’t be judging anyone, or anything, anymore. We will talk about a beauty and a life. These conversations and sometimes just monologues are the inspiration for many of our blogs, videos and future things that will be manifested. What we do is, we make ideas more clear. We share with each other new things that anyone of us saw, heard or observed in the nature. These are the moments when we connect intelectually and emotionally. A time when both of us feel secure to express the things that only Jedis in Star Wars would talk about ;).
What I’ve put my mind on this time
During past few years I’ve been observing annual cycles. This is really not something special, these cycles are as you know seasons. But seasons were, at least for me, something rational, something connected with things that have to be done in your life. Seasons would mean holidays or no holidays, eating something or lack of something else… Starting school, going to vacation or seeing somebody. Oh, yes, and the weather. Especially weather. Hot, cold, wet, snowy and other would mean something to me, and would represent seasons.
How I track seasons today
This year, since the early spring time I have been really enthusiastic about picking wild vegetables in forest and on meadow. And I still do it. I started with wild asparagus and continued with dandelion which are both delicious. If you stew them only shortly, very few spices are needed. Dandelion is also very good in a salad. I have also pulverized dandelion roots, after I dried them. We are still taking this powder daily. It’ really good for liver and since I am pretty temperamental, this one is good for me.
What would Popeye actually eat
Then stinging nettle came. They can be added to smoothie or prepared as spinach. This is the herb I really love. This is the real Popeye’s food. I can feel having more energy after a meal or the next day. Then in middle of Maycherries came. From the middle of May until the middle of June we were eating cherries every day. Then we had some strawberries in both of our gardens. One is mine, the other is Smiljana’s, just in case someone decides to do things differently. Then mulberries came, black and white. Just after cherries.
Then white goosefoot came, and wild amaranth and purslane. And all these are eatable and grow as »weeds« and all of these are so beneficial and full of everything so essential for us.
Then there were blueberries, now we have gojiberries (fresh!!!) that our friend lets us pick. And then for the last ten days we were eatingfigs. So many figs you would not usually eat, but we manage to skip breakfast and lunch just by eating these. They are so nutritious and full of vitamines. We just blend them or eat them from a tree. Our neighbours let us pick them up. They taste delicious.
All these came to us for free. By the abundance of the environment where we live, even though it’s a bit harsh environment, but still there’s plenty for all. Now we are expecting plums, early pears. In the mean time there will be a lot of cucumbers and zucchiniand later tomatoes. Then there will be early apples.
Then figs again. The figs which come in the late August are different. They are much sweeter than those in the late June and early July. They are even more nutritious and people usually like to dry them and store for later seasons.
Are figs inspirational?!
And while I was eating early summer figs I somehow got this insight.
Every season has its plants for the man to eat. And if the man is in accordance with season, one will eat those herbs, fruits and vegetables because those will provide the right minerals, vitamins and vibration that will help him along the journey through annual and life cycles.
When you think you’ve tasted all
What is the most common food in the spring time? First very cleansing vegetables and then later good regenerators. Then lighter fruits, very good cleansers such as strawberries and cherries.
What I eat and what I do during annual seasons is also very important. Do I cleanse my body and mind in the spring time when there is so much of good things to be ingested? Or do I live like I used to, by exaggerating with all kind of “delights” as if it is always the time around a New year?
When the summertime comes it is a good time to regenerate and rebuild our physical body. Fruits and vegetables are so designed to help us in this time. To regenerate our fluid matrix we eat a lot of watery vegetables and fruits.
This water will regenerate our fluid matrix, inside our bodies. The matrix that I talk about is connected with fascia and contains the purest water that we know of. It is found only in our bodies. And in between these layers of fascia are energy meridians. This water is the living matrix.
If you eat locally grown and healthy, you will spontaneously succeed. It’s the time to get a warmth and the energy of Sun inside your body, into the deepest tissues, like bone marrow.
What is the most characteristic for food in the late summer and fall. It is sweeter, denser and more fatty for both, vegetables and fruits.
In the end of summer and in the beginning of fall there will be a lot of red peppers,pumpkins, all sorts of sweet roots… These are the foods for storing the energy inside our bodies. These will help you naturally gather all the nutrients and prepare you for the winter.
Winter is a time to take a break. A time for silence and peace. A time when we need to rest. We can eat something heavier, sauer, spicy, but we rest. We sleep more, and it’s all right. It is not laziness, it is just that season. You can write something or see some old friends, play a chess or do some qigong set that you haven’t done for quite a long time. Making plans. Visualize.
All these seasons are not marked by anything else but the nature. These cycles are seen by the Sun cycle and we used to celebrate these moments. The major holidays in the pagan times were solstices and equinoxes. Summer and winter solstice, 21 of June and 21 of December. Spring and autumn equinox, 21 of March and 21 of September. And they had time for everything. And they had fun.
It is easy to follow
Are you conscious about these cycles? Do you know you are part of them? Do you know that nothing in your life can disconnect you from them? The only thing that might happen is that you forget. Hey, but you can remember it again :). Try to follow your instincts, try to listen to your body and how it responds to the natural environment. How do you respond, emotionally and mentally? Are you happier or more satisfied when you follow these cycles? Are your thoughts more clear and inspiring, creative maybe?
What will help
Qigong helped me to forget artificial things that I was thought by my parents, by my school, by media… It helped me connect with the spirit of the Ancients and those who came before us. Wisdom whispers into the ears of those who are able to listen. Are you a listener? Qi is a medium for consciousness. And Qigong is a tool to work with it.
The Secret of the Golden Flower,太乙金華宗旨-TàiyǐJīnhuáZōngzhǐ, translation by Richard Wilhelm, commentary by C.G Jung (first published 1931, constant re-prints)
Highlight: One of the first works to explain Taoist concepts and Chinese meditation techniques to a Western audience, this book is a great read for those who would like to understand more about the philosophy behind Martial Arts, especially Tai’Chi.
Key themes: Spirituality, meditation, philosophy
Jung and Wilhelm were some of the first westerners to systematically try to understand Chinese philosophy with reference to the I Ching (“Book of Changes”), which the distinguished Sinologist Richard Wilhelm also translated, with a foreword by renowned psychologist Carl Jung. They explore their interpretation of concepts such asqi(气) in English, which is translated as a sort of “breath energy”.
The original text The Secret of the Golden Flowerwas thought to have been written by the late Tang dynasty master LüDongbin (呂洞賓), but actually, we now know that it was first published in the early Qing dynasty (清代前期), around the years 1668-1692.
In Chinese, the central idea of this book can be described asnèidānshù (內丹术). The challenge, for modern readers (as for the original translators) is to find a meaningful description and explanation of this concept in English, bearing in mind the fundamental differences between the Eastern and Western psyche. In short, this book provides details on a range of meditation practices which originate from the Taoist tradition, focusing on the immortal spirit-body, and designed to prolong life.
“Action through non-action”.
“Though one does not destroy things, neither does one pay attention to them; this is the contemplation of the Centre”.
“If, when stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the impulse of the being. If, when not stimulated by external things, one moves, it is the movement of heaven”.
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Tai Chi Chuan (literally “Supreme Ultimate Fist”), often shortened to Taichi or Tai Chi in the West, is a type of internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also believed that focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.
There are five major styles of tai chi chuan, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated. Most modern styles of Tai chi chuan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun. Later dozens of new styles, hybrid styles, and offshoots of the main styles appear, but the five family schools are the groups recognized by the international community as being the orthodox styles.
Chen-style tai chi
Yang-style tai chi
Training and Techniques
The core training involves two primary features: the first being the solo form, a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion; the second being different styles of pushing hands with a partner and in a more practical manner.
Study of Tai Chi Chuan
The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspects:
Health: Tai chi’s health training concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on tai chi’s martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi is seen as necessary in relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis.
Martial art: The ability to use tai chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student’s understanding of the art. Tai chi chuan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and “sticking” to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of tai chi as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.
Modern Tai chi
Outdoor practice in Beijing
With purely a health emphasis, tai chi classes have become popular in hospitals, clinics, and community and senior centers in the last twenty years and the art’s reputation as a low-stress training for seniors became better known.
Tai chi chuan in popular culture
Tai chi chuan plays an important role in many martial arts and fighting action films and series, novels, as well as video games, trading cards games, etc. For example, Tai chi chuan have been featured in popular movies starring or choreographed by well-known martial arts competitors, such as Jet Li and Donnie Yen. Fictional portrayals often refer to Zhang San Feng, who is believed by these schools that Tai chi’s theories and practice was formulated by the Taoist monk in the 12th century.
Tiger Claw Elite’s KungFuMagazine.com Championship had 42 Overall Grand Champions. To qualify for Overall Grand Champions, competitors competed in three divisions: 1 Empty Hand Form and 2 Weapon Forms (each Weapon Form must be of a separate division). Overall Grand Champions earned points for placing in each of these three events: 3 points for each 1st place, 2 points for each 2nd place, 1 point for each 3rd place. The top three point earners competed in a Grand Champions Empty Hand round to determine a winner.
TRADITIONAL KUNG FU CHAMPIONS
7-9: Audrey Young
9-10: Aston Wu
11-13: Kyle Lin
14-17: Lawrence Nguyen
40+: Ebert Kan
9-10 F: Jennifer Liu; M: Brandon Liu
11-13: F: Krystal Lan; M: Max Lwin
14-17: F: Kaitlyn Tran; M: Ean Bennett
18-39: M: Brandon Wong
40+: F: Vivian Tam; M: Ryo Eguchi
MODERN WUSHU CHAMPIONS
7-9: Lucas Dong
9-10: Sophia Liu
11-13: Aspen Shen
14-17: Rachel Ho
18-39: Candace Saults
9-10: F: Kandra Chang
11-13: F: Ava Yu; M: Ian Lim
14-17: F: Isabella Miller; M: Leland Zhang
-18: Wallace Lim
46+: Wu Xingqiang
-18: F: Jasmine Syu; M: Alexander Yu
19-45: M: Glen Bunting
46+: F: Anny Hu; M: Pete Rincon
TEAM COMPETITION AND SPARRING SET
Team Competition consisted of synchronized or coordinated forms demonstrated in concert, known as Jiti (集体) in Chinese. Demonstration Teams consisted of 4 to 12 member teams of all ages. Sparring sets, also known as Duilian (对练), consists of two or more competitors in a choreographed form of simulated combat. Both Team Competition and Sparring Sets were judged on originality, showmanship, and presentation, as well as martial arts skills.
External: Shaolin Temple USA; Internal: American Chen Taiji Society